Friday, March 28, 2014

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.  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.  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. 
Before an order for any cover which has less than the factory specified slack is processed, we must receive a signed statement from the customer which releases Coverstar from any warranty or safety liability issues which may arise because of premature failure of the fabric or system due to fabric shrinkage.
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.



Friday, March 14, 2014

Creating a Custom Photo Gallery in the Coverstar Ipad App

In the spring of 2012, Coverstar, a division of Latham Pool Products, introduced their new Ipad App. This app was designed to provide clear, concise and compelling presentations on how Coverstar cover systems enhance the safety, savings and convenience of the swimming pool.   The app is easy to navigate and provides helpful information for Automatic or Solid & Mesh Safety Covers.

One popular feature of the app continues to be the photo gallery.   Coverstar has provided a number of pictures to show automatic or solid & mesh safety covers installed on a variety of different types of pools, and in a number of different applications. After the app was released, several pool builders asked about the possibility of the app being updated to allow them to be able to create their own photo gallery. Based on this suggestion, the app has been updated so custom photo gallery’s can be created.

Follow these steps to create your own custom photo gallery in for either automatic or solid & mesh safety covers:
  1. With the photo gallery page open, press the "Manage Images" button on the screen.

2. Two new buttons will be displayed. Press the "Create New Gallery" Button.

3. Enter the name for the new photo gallery.   In our example below, we have entered "Latham Pool Products" as our new gallery.   
4. Press the "Create new Logo" button. Press the "Add logo" button. Thumbnails of different pictures in the camera roll on the ipad can be viewed. 

5. Select the desired Logo.
6. Select the name of the newly created gallery from the images drop down menu.
7. Click on the Add Image button. Select the desired picture(s) from the camera roll on the Ipad.

8. After the images have been added to the gallery, when one of images in the gallery has been selected, the page will display the company logo and thumbnails of each picture in the gallery. As each thumbnail is selected, the image will be shown in a larger size.

When using the photo gallery, you can select to show the pictures in the app, the pictures from your own gallery, or you can choose to show all pictures. 

We hope you will find this helpful as you create your own photo galleries to show pictures of the pools you build or automatic or solid & mesh safety covers you have installed.   

Friday, March 7, 2014

Automatic Safety Cover Considerations

When designing a pool that will include a Coverstar 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 because of visibility challenges when operating the cover. 

  • 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.