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Winter Pool Cover Tips

Follow these Steps

Now that your pool has been properly closed, please do not totally forget about it! With a minimum of care and maintenance throughout the winter months, your cover will last longer and your pool will open up with less problems in the spring. Follow the instructions below for best results.

ABOVE GROUND POOLS
Periodically check your cover cable to make sure that it is tight. If the cable becomes loose, the cover might start to slip into the pool. Check your air pillow to make sure that it still has air in it. If you see it starting to go flat, get another one and slip it under the cover and blow it up. Remember, the air pillow is not in the pool to keep rain water off the cover! It is there to keep your pool walls from splitting if the water in the pool freezes and expands. It does not matter if the pillow is in the center of the pool and it does not matter if it is not 100% inflated. Pump (or siphon) the rain water off the cover a few times throughout the winter. Also remove any leaf accumulation that may occur on the cover. Excess water and leaf weight can cause undue stress on the cover and could cause the cover to rip or fall in. Check the water level in the pool every month. A slow leak in the liner could cause you to lose a lot of water from the pool. If you notice part of the cover falling into the pool, pull it up and properly reset it right away to prevent damage.

INGROUND POOLS WITH WATER TUBE TYPE COVERS
Make sure you replace any water tubes that break over the winter. It is a good idea to have a few extra tubes handy so that you can replace them as needed. Remember, the tubes not only hold the cover on the pool, but also prevent wind from blowing the cover up. Any areas that are not properly covered with tubes could cause the cover to fall in or blow up. Do not use cinder blocks, bricks, flower pots, lawn furniture or other heavy items to keep your cover in place. If the cover starts to fall into the pool, it could drag any of those objects into the pool causing massive damage to the pool cover and/or liner. Pump the rain water off the cover a few times throughout the winter. Also remove any leaf accumulation that may occur on the cover. Excess water and leaf weight can cause undue stress on the cover and could cause the cover to rip or fall in. Check the water level in the pool every month. A slow leak in the liner could cause you to lose a lot of water from the pool.

“LOOP LOC” MESH SPRING TYPE COVERS
Tightness—the springs and straps on your cover will need to be adjusted from time to time, especially during the first few seasons of use. The cover material, as well as the straps, will start to stretch as soon as the cover is initially installed. THIS IS NORMAL. Check cover periodically over the first few seasons of use, and retighten the straps as necessary.

Water Level — the water level in your pool should be kept at or just below the skimmer when the cover is in use. However, the water level should not be lower than 18” from the top of the pool. If your water level goes down further than 18”, the cover could stretch out too much and either rip or cause anchors to pull out of your deck. If you experience a lot of precipitation over the winter months when the cover is in use, it is possible that the pool could dill up, no longer allowing the water from the cover to drain into the pool. Check pool water level periodically over the winter, adding or removing water when necessary with your garden hose or cover pump.

Water clarity — remember, this is a mesh pool cover. Sunlight and rain water will get through the cover to the pool water. Most pools covered with this type of cover will remain clear until April or May, depending on the weather. It is strongly recommended that you open your pool early to avoid the green “swampy” water that occurs when strong sunlight and temperatures over 75 degrees are present. As a rule of thumb, you should open your pool prior to May 15 to avoid a green water situation. It is also a good idea to add shock to the pool in the beginning of April to ensure good water clarity at opening time.

‘SOLID” SPRING TYPE WINTER COVERS
Tightness—the springs and straps on your cover will need to be adjusted from time to time, especially during the first few seasons of use. The cover material, as well as the straps, will start to stretch as soon as the cover is initially installed. THIS IS NORMAL. Check cover periodically over the first few seasons of use, and re-tighten the straps as necessary.

Water level — the water level in your pool should be kept at or just below the skimmer when the cover is in use. The water level should not be lower than 18” from the top of the pool. If your water level goes down further than 18”, the cover could stretch out too much and either rip or cause anchors to pull out of your deck. For most manufacturers of Solid Spring type pool covers, this could void your warranty! If you experience a lot of precipitation over the winter months when the cover is in use, it is possible that the pool could fill up, no longer allowing the water from the cover to drain into the pool. Check pool water level periodically over the winter, adding or removing water when necessary with your garden hose or cover pump.

Cover Draining — although the mesh center drain panels of your cover will allow rain water to drain into your pool, they are not designed to drain off every drop of water from your cover. Because of the way that the cover straps are situated, some water will puddle in areas of your cover. THIS IS NORMAL AND THERE IS NO WAY TO STOP THIS FROM HAPPENING. Do not try to over-tighten the cover straps in an attempt to get all the cover water to drain into the mesh panels. It will not work, and you run the risk of over stretching the straps and springs. For most manufacturers of solid spring type pool covers, this could void your warranty! The center mesh drain panels are primarily designed to let most of the water drain off the cover.

Mesh Panel — to ensure proper drainage, make certain the mesh center drain panels are clear of leaves and debris. Check cover periodically over the winter and remove debris from panels as it accumulates using a pool leaf net, vacuum pole or broom. This is especially important for pools located in heavily wooded or treed areas. If you walk on the cover to get to the panels, make sure you are not wearing shoes with spikes or heels, as this could puncture the cover. Failure to keep the mesh panel free from leaves and debris will result in improper water drainage from the surface of the pool cover and will cause too much water weight on the pool cover. This could cause the cover material, straps and/or hardware to stretch or break. For most manufacturers of solid spring type pool covers, this could void your warranty.

Water clarity — remember, this is a mesh drainage panels. Some sunlight and rain water will get through the cover to the pool water. Most pools covered with this type of cover will remain clear until April or May, depending on the weather. It is strongly recommended that you open your pool early to avoid the green “swampy” water that occurs when strong sunlight and temperatures over 75 degrees are present. As a rule of thumb, you should open your pool prior to May 15 to avoid a green water situation. It is also a good idea to add shock to the pool in the beginning of April to ensure good water clarity at opening time.

Download a printable PDF: BUL-149 – WINTER POOL COVER CARE TIPS
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NOTE: Always follow label directions and manufacturer’s instructions for each product used. Conditions may vary from pool to pool. Ultra Modern Pool & Patio does not assume any responsibility or liability for the results that may be obtained through utilization of this or any other program, procedure or product.

Bulletin #149
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