Throughout the years Coverstar has identified a number of ways to prevent early wear and tear of automatic pool covers and to increase their life by following some simple maintenance techniques.
- Keep water levels in your pool at the mid-skimmer level. If the pool is overfilled, water can flow over the bond beam into the housing and flood the mechanism. If the water level is too low, the cover will have a lot more sag in it, which adds more stress and wear to the system. It is critical to maintain the correct water level especially in the winter months if the cover is being used as a winter cover. If the water level in the pool is too low to support the weight of the snow load, significant damage can occur to the pool and pool cover. By simply maintaining your water level, it will help keep your system running smoothly.
- It is also important to monitor the chemistry of the pool water and keep it properly balanced. Doing this will minimize the harmful effects of chemical imbalance. The general rule is that you only cover a pool that you would swim in. After adding any chemicals to your pool, allow the chemicals to circulate before closing the cover. If you are unsure if it is safe to close the cover, test the water at the surface with your test kit. If the cover is closed before the chemicals have had a chance to mix, this could shorten the life of the fabric or not allow the chemicals to balance properly in the pool.
- General cleaning maintenance of the cover, housing drains, pulleys, and cover guides can greatly impact the operation and life of the cover. Periodically removing debris and dirt from the guides and pulleys with a high pressure hose will allow the cover to operate efficiently. In windy and dusty areas, covers may become inoperable until the debris has been hosed from the guides. The build up of this debris, if not removed, can cause premature wear and tear on all components of the system.
- When you uncover the pool, the water in the pool is transferred from the pool to the top surface of the cover. The sun then dries it, causing high concentrations of chlorine on top of the cover that may damage the fabric. To remove this build-up and other debris, wash the cover with a mild hand dish washing liquid every 3-6 months. However, do not use laundry detergent or any other chemicals to clean the cover.
- In order to meet ASTM safety standards, a closed cover should have a cover pump in place on top of the cover to remove any accumulated water. Not only is the accumulated water on top of the cover a safety hazard, but the increased weight on top of the cover will strain the system if you try to operate the cover with water on top of it.
- Proper operation of the autocover can also impact its life span. We suggest that homeowners stop the cover a foot before the cover is completely uncovered or covered, then bump the switch to inch the cover until it is fully open or closed. This will reduce the wear on the ropes and the webbing by preventing hard hits against the coping on the deep end of the pool as the cover is closed and on the cover stops as it is opened.
- Finally, you may want to consider employing the services of a local authorized pool cover professional to provide an annual maintenance and check-up of your pool cover system. They can provide a variety of service options including lubricating and greasing pulleys and fittings, making cover adjustments, tightening loose bolts and screws and cleaning the box and cover.
Following these few simple maintenance and autocover care recommendations will help preserve the life not only of your cover, but your pool as well. Taking the time to maintain your cover will pay off and will help to keep it operating safely for many years to come.