Winter cover experiences


Jul 9, 2016
shadyside, ohio
Hello everyone, I live in Ohio have a 16x35x30 lagoon shaped pool that I built myself and want to purchase a winter safety cover. I have been shopping around a bit but am looking for advice on whether you all like the mesh or the solid covers and why. I will have to get it custom made due to my imagination (flower beds within 14 inches of the pool...for banana trees of course). I don't mind pumping water off the top from time to time, as I do that now with a huge tarp that I've been using as a winter cover, but please fill me in on what you all prefer. Thanks!


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LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
Central MD
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I've only had my fine mesh cover, no solid cover, during my 8 years. I open clear each spring. But I close Nov 1 and open around Apr 1. I do usually pump water before it freezes (if it fully does). I like the lighter weight and that the water to fill it each spring comes from above, not my well. I don't drain after Feb 1 and it is usually pretty close to full by 4/1. Ours in a Merlin Smart Mesh cover. Very happy with it. Just don't lower the water level too low. Each manufacturer will specify a max drop from coping to water level. I think ours says 16". The water has to support the cover before the springs, straps, anchors or cover fails.


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TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
Hey selmon and Welcome !! I had a 98% mesh which allowed rain to pass through albeit sloooooowly. It appeared solid if you held it up to the light so it stopped almost all debris except for the finest dusts.

What I liked about it was not having to drain the cover or keep tabs on a cover drain doing it for me. Once or twice a winter I’d just drain the pool 18 inches again if I was full depending on the precipitation that year.


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Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
Columbus, Ohio
I have had both solid and mesh winter covers before we switched to the auto cover. I prefer the solid cover with a pump. I usually close in October but don't open until early to mid May. I always had better luck with a solid cover. With the mesh I usually opened to green water. I don't like to open early since it's too cold to swim and the fields around the house have not been plowed yet. I'll open when it's a little warmer and the farmers are done. A solid cover seems to result in less organics in the water and no sunlight to promote algae growth as the water warmed up.

The solid covers are heavier, but pulling a large winter cover is a two man job either way. Really, both of them will work. You just need to manage your water accordingly.
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