Pool Covers

OVERVIEW

 

Did you know that 90% of a pools heat loss is through the water surface? That is why it is critical to use pool covers as the insulation barrier between the pool and atmosphere ensuring your pool stays warm and clean ready for swimming when you want.

Pool covers are a valuable addition to your swimming pool. Namely:

Extend your swim season: By warming and insulating your pool water with a pool cover, you can double your swimming season, double the use of your pool, and double the fun!

Saving Water: A swimming pool can evaporate up to twice its volume every year. A pool cover will stop evaporation. Pool covers can stop up to 97% of evaporation resulting is saving our precious water resource.

Saving Energy: Heating a pool requires energy from the sun, gas, or electricity. A pool cover will significantly reduce your heating costs by up to two thirds by retaining heat in your pool.

Saving Time: Keep your pool cleaner using a pool cover, reduce the workload on your pool cleaner and yourself by not having to constantly clean out leaves and debris.

Save Chemicals: By using a pool cover, your chemical usage will significantly decrease saving you money.

Saving Money: The return on investment is quick when you consider all the savings a pool cover gives you by saving water, energy, chemicals and time.

Pool Covers come as 4 main types:

  1. Solar Covers (Bubble style): flexible polyethylene bubble style covers to heat (up to 8oC) and retain heat in the pool, stop evaporation, save energy, help keep the pool clean and save chemicals.
  2. Thermal Covers (Foam Style): flexible insulating foam cover with cross woven polyethylene layers both top and bottom to retain heat in the pool, stop evaporation, save energy, help keep the pool clean and save chemicals.
  3. Mesh Covers: woven porous covers anchored around the pool into paving primarily for keeping the pool clean while letting water through, will help stop evaporation and chemical loss.
  4. Slat Covers: Motorised slat covers provide a solid barrier when in place retain heat in the pool, stop evaporation, save energy, help keep the pool clean and save chemicals.

Note:      Terminology of pool ‘cover’ or ‘blanket’ is effectively the same.

 

SPASA promotes best practice minimum standards to ensure pool covers are fit for purpose giving you piece of mind that the cover you buy will last. As a minimum the pool cover selection you make should come with Climate Care Certification or Smart Water Mark approval which certifies water efficient products of your home.

 

Pool enclosures and liquid pool covers are not considered pool covers for the purposes of this Fact Sheet. A pool cover is defined as a physical barrier either on or close to the water surface.

Pool Cover Rollers:

A pool cover roller is generally recommended to make using your pool cover easy and convenient. Most pool covers will require a roller of some type and the type of roller you buy will depend on your budget and requirements. A pool cover roller is an important consideration when purchasing a cover and there are several different options including:

  • Stationary or Mobile manual pool rollers which are generally movable around your pool area and require manual operation.
  • Underground rollers and cover housings which provide convenience and improved aesthetics by storing the roller & cover underground and out of sight.
  • Motorised rollers are also available for the ultimate of ease and convenience. These can be operated via switches, key switch or even remote controls.
  • Refer to the manufacturer’s operating guide on how to best use your pool cover.

INSTALLATION

Your pool cover should come with an installation and operation manual.

  1. Solar Covers (Bubble style) are generally installed lying flat on the water bubble side down, size can be from having a gap around the edge to having an upturn up the wall of the pool.
  1. Thermal Covers (Foam Style) are generally installed lying flat on the water, size can be from having a gap around the edge to waterline at pool edge
  1. Mesh Covers: are generally installed extending over the pool, around the pool edge with anchors into the paving
  1. Slat Covers: are generally installed to waterline flat on the water with motorised rollers underground or above ground

Note:

  • All pool covers should be installed to manufacturers recommendations.
  • Completely remove pool covers before swimming.
  • Do not swim under pool covers.
  • Follow manufacturers operating procedures.
  • Pool Covers are not safety covers, pool covers cannot be used instead of fencing.

Different pool cover types require different techniques of installation. Some pool covers are cut exactly to the surface of the pool, some a little larger, and some need gaps around the edge to allow for free operation. Minor gaps around your pool cover will not affect the performance and all pool covers will expand or shrink marginally due to the temperature fluctuations they are exposed to.

CARING FOR YOUR POOL COVER

For maximum life of you pool cover and all your pool equipment including pool surface finish ensure you keep your pool water correctly balanced. Refer to the SPASA Water Balance Fact Sheet for more guidance.

 Proper care and maintenance of your pool cover will ensure it lasts. The following hints will assist to protect and help extend the life of your cover, pool and equipment.

  • Chlorine levels should not exceed 1.5 – 2.0ppm to provide a comfortable swimming environment and an environment that will not be damaging to pool covers. Do Not super-chlorinate your pool while the pool cover is on the pool. Leave the cover off the pool until chlorine level is back to normal.
  • Automatic chemical dosing systems are strongly recommended when a pool cover is in use as when a cover is on the pool, chemical usage is dramatically reduced. Chemical balances should be reduced at these times particularly over winter when the cover remains on the pool for long periods of time.
  • If the pool is not being used regularly and the pool cover is on, remove the pool cover for one day every month and test your water balance
  • Attempt to keep the solar pool cover protected from sunlight while off the pool. Bubble covers should be covered as soon as it is removed from the pool, either on the roller or when folded and stored.
  • Regularly clean your pool cover with a brush or broom.
  • Don’t leave solar pool covers on the lawn. The cover may be damaged, and the lawn may be burnt.
  • Refer to the manufacturer’s warranty for specifics about maintenance and tips depending on the type of pool cover and roller you purchase.
  • For trouble shooting guides, refer to the manufacturers operating guides or product information.

The key to unlocking all the benefits from a pool cover is to be diligent in using it. If you consistently and correctly use your pool cover, you will be the beneficiary of all of the incredible savings a pool cover can give you.  

Remember, you wouldn’t build a house without insulation, nor should you build a swimming pool without the addition of a pool cover.