Question regarding in ground pool winter safety cover

canaligatorJune 5, 2008

Does anybody have any recommendations for a good quality, well built, fairly priced winter cover? I currently have, and have been using for the last 15 years, a basic solid cover. I have been using water bags, cinder blocks, etc. to hold it down all winter. Every spring, I have a mess on my hands. Pumping off the cover. The muck, the worms, bugs, dead leaves, etc. I went to my pool company and asked them if they had a better alternative. They informed me about a different type of cover that would involve drilling anchors into my concrete and ataching to a solid cover. There were several different types, some allowing water to pass through, others that don't. I understand the algae problem with covers that allow sunlight to pass through (another issue!). It seems like there is no easy way to cover a pool without some type of drawback. I'm just looking for some easier alternative. These new covers are also very pricey, especially where I have a 20x43 Lazy L, which is more difficult to make. I'm getting a price in the $3000 range. That's a lot of money for something I'm not sure is going to even make my life any easier. Does anybody have any enlightening experiences with this issue? The 2 companies that I am looking at are Loop-Loc and Merlin. Any help, ideas, input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Dave

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sbluhm_va

I also used a solid cover with wood blocks and water bags for a few years, what a mess!

Two years ago I splurged and bought a Loop-Loc Ultra mesh cover.. it blocks the majority of sun light, but it also lets water drain through.

We are extremely happy. It looks so much better than the old sagging tarp, but the best part is, water drains right through, and any leaves or debris dry up and then blow off!

It's not to hard to get on and off, and the concrete anchors screw flat on the deck when the cover is off.

Not to mention the safety aspects of an attached cover make this a must have if you have any kids near the pool when the cover is on.

You would be surprised how many leaves can sneak under the cover, so expect openings to still require cleanup and such. However, it's been far better for us then when we used the solid tarp.

I'm trying to remember the price we paid, a little less than 3K I think, but our pool was a basic rectangle 20 X 40, although the steps stick out and the cover was custom fit.

This will definitely make your life easier! It's the best upgrade we've done so far.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 4:10PM
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ducter

What you want is the newer mesh covers that now block almost all light and dont have the issues of algae as with the earlier ones.

I got mine from Backyardcity.com and it was a cantar pro mesh winter safety cover. I did the measuring and installation myself with a little help from my spouse and I have a freeform pool around the same size as yours. Your will be easier since straight lines are easier to deal with. They are very good to deal with, I think I paid 1800. One word Rent the best concrete drill you can since a you can mess up with a cheaper drill. I uncovered my pool this year and my friend that has a standard looploc mesh couldnt believe how clear the water was, just like the day it was closed zero algae, just some pollen. No pumping of water, very safe and looks alot better. They will give you directions for measuring and installing and they are perfect. They had the best price around for a quality name cover. The cover is heavy if you have a big pool so taking it off is tough. Putting it on is very easy. No dragging the cover because it can rip. Just measure three times and you are good to go. Measuring is the hardest part but the rest is easy. The cantar is just as good as the 2 you mentioned since I have seen the loop locs. A solid safety cover will be very heavy and more $$. Make sure you get the pro mesh.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 5:03PM
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flowergirl232

We have the Merlin solid safety cover that comes with a cover pump. It was so easy. The pump kept all the water off the cover and a quick once over with the leaf blower kept everything else off. When it was opened this Spring, it was crystal clear with only a very minimal vacuum required. I highly recommend.

Flowergirl232

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 7:17PM
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cdavmd

Hi all, so they have to drill anchors into the deck, what if you have a paver deck...is it possible to use one of these?
David

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 7:49PM
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ducter

Yes you have to drill and alot of holes but the anchors are flush with the deck when not in use. You can use them with pavers as long as those pavers are in solid.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 12:49AM
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canaligator

So I see a Loop-Loc Ultra mesh, a Merlin solid cover, and a cantar pro mesh from backyardcity. Everybody is happy with their cover, which I suppose is a good thing. But I am still confused as to which way to go. The pool company I'm dealing with is very reputable and they deal with Loop-Loc and Merlin. So I'm more inclined to go with one of those two. They claim the Loop-Loc people are somewhat difficult to deal with, where the Merlin people are much more customer oriented. I'm just not sure which way to go. Anybody else?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 8:20PM
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ducter

I have also heard that the LoopLoc people are difficult with their warranty. the loop loc ultra mesh is the same as pro mesh. Are you going to install or the builder? They all install the same. If paying for install calculate the total cost to see if you will save money by ordering the cover yourself. As far as a solid or mesh safety, I see no reason to go solid when comparing to the promesh. The solid usually have 2 drain panels where water drains but the mesh is all draining, I suppose the 2 drain panels could get clogged. If you drag any of these covers on say concrete, the warranty is void since they all can rip. Also since the mesh is much lighter, easier for you to open and close pool.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 1:20PM
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canaligator

I just received the price for my cover from the pool company. It is a Merlin smart mesh with 5x5 panels, which I hear doesn't lay as flat as the 3x3 panels. Another concern. Should I go with the 3x3 panels? The only problem. More money and more anchors. Anyway. The price was $2800 which includes installation. I was told the cover was 1122 square feet. Does anybody know if this is a fair price or have any input into the 3x3 panels? Any help would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 9:02AM
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muddy_water

No question theses covers are great.But go with Merlin I quit selling LoopLoc because of there poor customer service...For that size of pool I would go mesh and the price seems fair ..I'm not at the store right now so I can't look at the price sheets...

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 1:39PM
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canaligator

Thanks for the advice. Do you prefer the 3x3 panels over the 5x5? Or are the 5x5's sufficient? I was told the 3x3's gave a tighter fit, had more anchors, and was more costly.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 11:08AM
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eastpt_verizon_net

I have a Merlin solid now and it needs replacing. Can someone give the pros and cons of going with mesh? I like opening a crystal clear pool.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 12:41PM
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lynn_starnet-media_com

I have a loop loc ultra mesh, however water pools up in the area where there are no 3 x 3 panels, and sags drastically. I'm afraid it's going to tear. Is the water level in the pool too low? My pool company said they took out 18" as recommended. Should there ever be pooling of water on this type of cover? Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 2:16PM
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poolguynj

Loop Loc has Mesh II and Ultra-Loc, their solid cover.

The Mesh II lets the water drain in. If you have water line tile, a step pump is a good idea to keep the water off the tile.

The solid covers come in two styles, with and without drain panels. Those without drain panels must have a cover pump to remove standing water. Those with drains should be tensioned evenly but softly as the cover material doesn't stretch. The springs and water take the load.

All brands of safety covers should not let the water level be more than 18" from the cover bottom.

The only pools that need to be lowered are those with waterline tile. It is rare that they need to go 18" down to get there. Keeping the water level off the tiles ensures that when the surface freezes, the expanding ice won't crack or pop tiles. That is the only reason to lower a pool. Using a step pump will ensure that when a snow load presses down, the step pump will remove any rising water.

I have never had a problem with Loop Loc's customer service, ever.

I have had issues with Merlin. They don't like to listen when I tell them not to put a strap within 12" of a particular location. I have sent covers back because of this.

Scott

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 7:27PM
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