Should You Get An Automatic Pool Cover?

everything you need to know about automatic pool cover upgrade

One of the major upgrades to consider when installing a new pool is an automatic pool cover.  These are typically installed on rectangular pools. Although, you can get creative and install them on other shapes as well. 

Reasons Why You Should Get An Automatic Pool Cover

There are many reasons to get an automatic pool cover. While it’ll cost you a little more, this mechanism helps you save on heating and keeps your backyard safe.

The automatic pool cover is the only way you can truly close and lock your pool from use other than building a natatorium and locking the doors. This makes them a popular addition to the price of an inground pool for homeowners with kids or pets.

Additionally, automatic pool covers reduce evaporation of your pool up to 40%.  Reducing evaporation also reduces heat loss.  If you’re heating your pool an automatic pool cover will reduce your heating bill significantly.

How Automatic Pool Covers Work

Automatic pool covers are made up of a reinforced vinyl fabric stretched over the pool to ‘tracks’ on either side and a ‘leading edge bar’ which extends over the pool and appears to pull the fabric from one end to the other. 

What’s actually happening when a cover opens and closes however is the ropes or cables which run in the tracks are being pulled one way or another to move the leading edge bar in an opening direction or a closing direction.  This is done by the automatic cover motor which turns the reel or tube where the cover fabric rolls up and the pulleys which control the rope or cables.  

Automatic Pool Cover Guide

How To Learn More About Automatic Pool Cover Options

All in all, an automatic pool cover is a fairly complex system. Instead of us confusing you by going completely into the weeds of how covers work, a good place to do a deep dive is on a manufacturer’s websites. Here are a few to check out.

How These Auto Cover Manufacturers Work

All three of these manufacturers create systems which operate in a similar manner.  Coverstar and Coverpools focus on an electric motor. This means that there is an electrical power source next to the pool which operates the cover system.  Aquamatic focuses on a different means of opening and closing by using a remote hydraulic motor.  This can be installed at your pool equipment pad with hydraulic lines running to the pool cover to operate the opening and closing mechanism of the cover.  

With all three cover manufacturers, you will find the cover key switch. This is the way you can ‘lock’ your cover closed.  The key switch is how you open and close the cover.  This must be installed in a place that when you operate the switch, you can see the whole pool.  The idea there is to prevent you from closing the pool when someone is swimming in it.

Safety Concerns We See With An Automatic Pool Cover

Although the key switch is sold as a way to secure your pool, in our experience, the homeowner keeps the key in the switch all the time so they don’t lose it.  This means anyone who is tall enough and has the logic to understand how the cover works can open or close the pool cover at will.  We always recommend coming up with a better solution for keeping the key safe from curious children, whether putting it on your key ring or placing it in it’s own out of the way hiding spot.

How Much Does An Automatic Pool Cover Cost?

Covers are a great way to keep your pool locked but they do come at a cost initially.  Expect to spend somewhere between $12,000 and $30,000 for your automatic cover.  Also, over time you will need to replace components of the cover from the fabric to the ropes or cables, to the motor and tube itself.  Over time you’ll need to replace all these parts.  Keep a record of your warranty and budget accordingly for repairs.  Despite the cost, there is no better way to be able to secure your pool.

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