Thursday, June 27, 2013

Coverstar Safety Covers – We make it Strong, We make it Easy

Latham Pool Products offers a number of tools and features to help make the installation of a solid or mesh safety cover easier.  

       CenterWeb Design

o       Allows quicker line-up

o       3x3 – 5x5 spacing for quick and easy installation         

o       Allow easy installation with less than 18” of deck space

o       Maintains safety standards with tight cover fit

o       No other manufacturer offers this feature

       35”Installation Rod

o       Increased the length to 35" to help ergonomically

o       Diameter was decrease and wall thickness improved to better match the anchor diameter

o       Extends the life of the cover

o       A Velcro application allows the durable padding to be easily installed or removed for replacement


Friday, June 21, 2013

Slack in Automatic Safety Covers

From time to time the question arises about the need for slack in automatic pool covers and how much is enough.  All automatic pool cover fabrics are made wider than the width of the track.  There are several reasons for this:

 1.  A cover that is too tight will pull against the tracks and will not operate properly.  A cover that is made too small reduces the life of the cover and mechanism, causing premature failure of both the fabric and the mechanism due to the added stress.

2.  All fabric shrinks over a period of time.  The amount of the shrinkage varies widely according to the weather conditions, particularly the amount of time the cover is exposed to the sun.  Slack is always added to the fabric to compensate for potential fabric shrinkage.

3.  In order to meet the ASTM safety standards, the cover must lie on the water, most of the supporting strength of the cover comes from the support of the water directly under it.
Each cover we manufacture is made with the slack calculated on the basis of the type of fabric, application, and unit.  Any other variables that may be brought to our attention are also included.  Initially, a properly sized cover will drop almost directly down from the track or deck to the water, with some folds & wrinkles as it crosses the pool.  Because each cover is subject to many variables, it is impossible to calculate the exact amount of shrinkage each individual cover will have, so an approximation is made based on our past experience.  Our slack formula is designed to give the cover and mechanism maximum life, as well as making the cover look as attractive as possible. 



Friday, June 7, 2013

Automatic Cover Guidelines

When designing a pool that will include an automatic safety cover, it is important to consider the following guidelines:

  • Drop to water - This is the distance from the cover guide to the water level in the pool.  For the best possible results, it is important to keep the track as close to the water level as possible.  Strive to keep your cover guides within 4 inches of the water’s surface.
  • Drag (or resistance) - It takes almost no effort to push or pull a cover across water. Pulling a cover across a dry surface can create a lot of drag or resistance.  This drag commonly occurs on freeform pools where the cover guides are mounted outside the shape of the pool.       
One way to combat drag is to limit these drag areas to 10% of the total cover size. This is done by keeping the cover guides as close to edge of the pool as possible.  Another way to handle drag is by using blowers. Lifting a cover with blowers requires a significant amount of air flow (more than you might think) and must be done properly.  Blowers will create a cushion of air that the cover will ride on rather than riding on the dry surface, significantly reducing the amount of drag.   
  •  Switch location- Having the switch correctly located can prevent many problems and costly repairs. When selecting a location for the switch, keep in mind that you must be able to see the entire pool at all times.

    It is best if you can be closer to the Leading Edge Bar when the cover is in the open position so you can see that the cover is running straight.  We recommend that the switch be located along the length of the pool halfway between the middle of the pool and the mechanism end, not more than twelve feet from water’s edge. Poorly located switches are one of the largest contributors to cover failure. 
  • Drains- Lack of sufficient drainage is the most frequent cause of cover failure. When a cover housing is flooded, it is not just the motor that might be damaged.  The roll-up tube often fills with water, which can weigh several hundred pounds causing the tube to fail and the cover to rip.  The best way to protect your automatic cover is to have proper drainage. We recommend at least one three inch (3”) drain.  Increasing the size of your drain to four inches (4”) can offer additional protection.  Additional drains can be added to further prevent the possibility of flooding. Drain pipe smaller than three inches is not recommended.
By following the above guidelines, we are confident that your automatic safety cover project will be a pleasant and trouble free experience.