Friday, October 25, 2013

Coverstar Automatic Safety Cover Maintenance

Extending the life of an automatic pool cover is neither hard nor time consuming. Proper cover maintenance will help lengthen the life of your cover and keep it operating smoothly. An automatic pool cover not only provides safety for your loved ones, but it can also save you money by reducing heating loss, chemical loss and water evaporation. 

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 the simple maintenance techniques.
  • Keep the water level 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.
  •  Regular cleaning 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.

Monday, October 21, 2013

2013 International Pool & Spa Expo

Nov. 12-14, 2013 the International Pool, Spa and Patio Expo will be held in Las Vegas NV. at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.  Pool Builders from around the world come to see the new products and innovations that were exhibited by hundreds of vendors.   Coverstar, a division of Latham Pool Products, will be one of the vendors who will be participating in this event.

During three days of exhibits, , Coverstar will highlight many features that set our automatic cover system apart from our competitors. Some of the features include:

  • Heat Sealed Webbing – This webbing is much stronger and longer lasting then standard sewn on webbing,
  • Eclipse Stainless Steel and CS3000 Aluminum Mechanisms – These mechanisms were engineered to provide strength in the harsh pool environment, as well as easy and reliable operation for years to come.
  • WiFi Touch Pad Control Switch – The new touch pad can send homeowners notifications via text or email when the cover is opened, when the cover is closed, if the cover has been left open for longer than a set amount of time and more.  
  • New Lid Forming Kit – This reusable lid forming system will allow builders to quickly and easily form and pour beautiful concrete lid sections that can be installed over the cover housing.
  • Coverstar Ipad App - The Coverstar app includes a cost savings calculator that will show homeowners what their potential savings can be when operating a pool with an automatic cover.  It also includes a design tool which allows homeowners to choose from many  automatic cover options and displays photographs of pools that include similar features. 
To learn more about Coverstar products and programs, visit us in booth #3511 at the International Pool & Spa Expo.   

Friday, October 11, 2013

How To:Measure & Install A Mesh & Solid Safety Cover

Wondering how to measure and install a Mesh & Solid Safety Cover? We have made two videos to help you understand the steps a little easier and what you will need on the job.
Safety Cover Installation

AB Measuring Safety Cover

Monday, October 7, 2013

Slack in Automatic Covers

From time to time the question arises about the need for slack in Coverstar automatic pool covers and how much is enough.  Regardless of manufacturer, 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.  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 as most of the supporting strength of the cover comes from the support of the water directly under it.

Each automatic cover that Coverstar manufactures is made with the slack calculated based on the type of track that was used, how far the track is located above the level of the water and the overall size of the cover.  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.  Our slack formula is designed to give the cover and mechanism maximum life, as well as making the cover look as attractive as possible. 
In some cases, a portion of the slack may be taken up by lowering the water level.  However, you should consult with your pool builder or service man before doing so.  They can advise you exactly where the water level should be to keep the pool equipment operating properly.