What to use to lubricate automatic cover pulleys?

dblko

Active member
Jun 20, 2012
30
Greetings

It's summer and the pool season arrived, unfortunately the pool cover is acting up ...

We have a coverstar automatic cover on our saltwater gunite in-ground pool. Lately especially closing the pool is becoming difficult, with the cover closing not straight and getting stuck. I need to manually push the cover forwards to help out the motor. I'm thinking I could try to lubricate the pulleys on the opposite end of the under-tracks where the robe turns around to pull the cover while the pool is being closed. Is this a good idea?

What lubricate would be recommended to be used here? I read somewhere on this forum everything teflon based is not good for saltwater pools? Also I might want to use something not-toxic. Any suggestions?

Thanks
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,701
SouthWest Alabama
I would first check the pulleys and make sure they're your problem. If they are I'd contact Caverstar and see what they recommmend using as lube.
 

harleysilo

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2012
1,924
North Georgia
I am having the opposite problem. When my cover closes one side is not closed all the way by 2 inches. This cause me to have to start/stop/start/stop/start/stop to get the cover to open. I think my ropes need to be adjusted (so that it closes evenly and doesn't bind up). Since mine is new this year they are coming out TODAY to adjust/fix the issue. I will report back with pics on what they do, i'm going to get them to teach me how to make the adjustments because I'm not going to pay them to come out if i don't have too. I'm also going to find out how/why they can get out of adjustment. I also want him to tell me how I would replace ropes in the future by myself....

I'll ask about lube points and what lube is recommended.

What year is yours?
 

harleysilo

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2012
1,924
North Georgia
Okay so the installer followed through and called me. This was the one that installed the initial tracks and pit who i liked and enjoyed talking to. He explained everything to me, and I understand what was going on. Here is what I learned.

Mine is the new style and has no grease points, bearings all sealed/self lubed.

Pulleys can be greased, he suggests food grade spray silicon. You can also spray the food grade silicon down the entire track.

My cover was stuttering upon closing and difficult to open, the problem was the torque limiter. The torque limiter looks like a disc brake on the end of the motor. It has two 9/16" bolts on it. He tighten those a couple of turns (which supply's more torque to the motor) the stuttering went away. He said that after the newness wears off sometimes this adjustment is required (he did say had he done the entire install it would have been more "dialed in").

Regarding the cover (in closed position) not being closed equally on each side he said that these new style black ropes are supposed to be non-stretch. He believes they still stretch a tiny bit. He said that having the torque limiter set too weak might cause it not to pull the cover tight against the pool and close the gap (if a pool was out of square). In my case he is going to adjust one of the ropes (meaning re-wrap it around the cylinder either shorter or longer).

He also explained to me the "tongue and groove" method in which the tracks are held in the pool wall. There is a little thin grey piece of plastic that you see under the track. IF you pulled that out the track would drop 1/8" unlocking the tongue and groove (that is on top of the track, and the underside of the housing embedded in the concrete that the track goes in) and allow you to pull the track out, also exposing the hidden chamber where the rope runs.

HTH's :wave:
 

dblko

Active member
Jun 20, 2012
30
Thank you harleysilo for asking about the lube and your detailed descriptions.

Food grade silicon makes sense. I'm not sure how old the pool is because it was build by the previous owner, maybe around 5 year or so. Thus I also don't have good info on what particular service provider he used for the cover.

I believe our cover driver is hydraulic with an electric motor next to the pump and filter equipment. I have not examined the mechanism in the cover pit, as the pit is covered by really heavy blue-stone plates. Probably a lot of junk waiting to cleaned out of there.

Today while the pool was open I cleaned out the under-tracks nicely with a garden hose and made sure the water level in the pool is topped. Also a screw that had hold the under-track at the far end up against the stone surround had become loose and I fastened it. That might have contributed to the added friction. Have not closed to pool for tonight, will report back if the problem persists.
 

patpend

Active member
Aug 11, 2012
27
My installer recommended rinsing the tracks & pulleys every two weeks with a garden hose then lubing with CRC-656. I stretch it out to once a month and this works well to keep the cover smooth & quiet.