Why Every Pool Owner Should Consider an Automatic Swimming Pool Cover
In recent years, the single most compelling trend in the swimming pool industry has been the addition of automatic safety covers. We get hundreds of questions about them each season, and we tell all of our customers the same thing – you can’t argue with the benefits. They save you money on heating and keep your pool cleaner, but, most importantly, they truly can save lives. Given the interest and the upsides, we decided Auto Covers needed their own blog entry.
- Automatic covers are a primary safety feature because they prevent unintended access into the pool. Entry to the pool is restricted when the cover is closed.
- They are easy to use: a flip of a switch and the cover rolls out automatically. No manual labor, no need to call your service tech to help. And that translates to using the cover more often.
- They can save up to 70% in heating costs. Covered pools are 8-10 degrees warmer than uncovered pools.
- They reduce chemical consumption by up to 70%, electricity usage by up to 50%, and water evaporation by up to 90%.
- They minimize cleaning efforts; Covered pools stay much cleaner for much longer.
- They can extend your swim season into cooler weather! By efficiently retaining heat and reducing evaporation, they allow for more affordable usage during months when it would typically be expensive to heat your swimming pool.
As with any mechanical device, regular maintenance and care is required to keep your cover operating properly. Here is what we recommend to all of our auto cover customers:
Care & Maintenance
- Pump water off the cover prior to operation. (We supply our customers with a cover pump when they purchase their auto cover – make sure you have one before the season begins!) Keep the cover pump deployed in the anticipation of rain.
- Check pulleys, sliders, rope, cover fabric, and guide feeds for wear and tear and clean the cover box of debris regularly. Your pool service provider should offer these programs, and it’s best to set up an annual maintenance program to protect your investment.
- Maintain the proper water level in your pool – generally mid- way up the skimmers is recommended. Auto covers operate much more efficiently when pool water is at the proper level.
- Allow newly added chemicals to circulate prior to closing the cover.
- “Burp” the cover periodically to remove trapped gases that can accumulate when the cover is closed for an extended period of time (5-7 days). Pools with Salt Chlorinators should be particularly aware of this.
- Be sure that the drain in the cover box is operating free and clear.
- Rinse the cover regularly with mild hand soap. As the cover is used, chlorinated water from the pool is transferred to the top of the cover.
- Remove toys and floats from pool before closing the cover. They can get trapped in the mechanism and cause significant damage.
- Do not grout or caulk the cover box stones. Accessibility is periodically necessary and this could result in additional cost each time service is required.
Q: Is the auto cover also a winter cover?
A: No. The cover is not intended to operate with a snow load. A winter cover should be installed and used in the winter months, and the auto cover should be retracted during this period.
Q: Can I walk on the cover?
A: Yes. The cover is designed to hold the weight of a family, but it is not recommended on a regular basis.
Q: If I have an auto cover, do I need still need a fence?
A: Yes. The cover does not eliminate the need for a fence (Safety Barrier) as per building code.
About the contributor:
Bob has worked with Shoreline Pools for over 25 years. For the last 13 years he has been overseeing the Pool Covers department. From installation to maintenance he is the go-to expert for all types of swimming pools covers.