auto cover used as winter cover?

niblickchickOctober 22, 2013

hello community - anyone out there use your auto cover as your winter cover? Locally, if I ask pool service vendors, I'm getting answers like, "I've seen it done, but it's not recommended..." or "get a winter cover" which sounds like they just want to sell the winter cover.

Our snowfall is less than 5-8 days a year and it's usually less than an inch of snow that melts by the afternoon. We do have the rare years where we get feet of snow but that happens every 10 years and the last one was three years ago.

My plan is to put our big pump on the cover and if we get a big snowfall, open up the cover to let the snow in. If we get our usual snow, it will be less than an inch and then melt. I'll close the cover back up and put the pump back on.

My auto cover is Cover Pools Save-T 3 auto pool cover and we live in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The Cover Pools Save-T 3 Owner's Manual says that it can be used as a winter cover but to keep all water pumped off the cover so "you can go through the winter with as little weight as possible on the cover."

So, anyone use their auto cover as their winter cover? what have you experienced? can you please tell me how much work you do throughout the winter to deal with snow accumulation? Any pros/cons?

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You'll be fine using your auto cover as a winter cover. As long as you have either a severely watchful eye or an automatic cover pump (search : "LittleGiant 1,700GPH submersible pump"), it will do an excellent job at keeping the weight off the cover. Obviously a cover pump isn't going to pump snow off the cover, but if all the snow does is melt by the evening time, it'll have the water pumped off quick. Make sure to open/close the cover periodically throughout the cover to help prevent seizure during the static months :)

My rebuttal to their suggestion is that even IF you purchase a solid safety cover to place over the the automatic cover, it's still going to sag with all the snow and place weight on the automatic cover. Will it be less? Yes. Will it be worth thousands of your dollars? Meh, I wouldn't.

My prognosis? I've seen household after household use their automatic covers for winterization purposes.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 8:25PM
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We use our automatic cover as a winter cover and it has been fine. We were told that having an additonal cover would increase the life span of our automatic cover by a few years but decided it wasn't worth the additional cost. We installed the pool and the cover 6 years ago and had no problem until very recently...the cover is now showing some signs of wear, but keep in mind that we live in New York where we have harsher winters than you describe and our cover also took a beating from Hurricane Sandy last year. I think you will be fine with the automatic cover.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 9:32AM
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Lori B

I don't want to hijack your thread, but we have a Coverstar automatic cover in Texas. We don't have to really worry about snowfall here, but we are keeping it closed. We open it on the weekend so my husband can check chems and sweep leaves that fall through gap into pool bottom (they land on the sun deck). We have changed the polaris to only run on weekends, since in theory the pool should stay pretty clean since closed.

My question is -- today, I opened the pool after a storm and now that leaves are really coming down. And I was surprised how many leaves are in the pool, even with cover closed. There is a small gap where the cover's bar and the bullnose coping meet. The cover was just recently adjusted, so I don't think it can be any tighter. It could be a slight warping on the bar. Do you do anything to cover this type of gap from debris entering? I'm wondering about using window screen netting on a roll, but not sure what to secure it with on both the decking side and the cover side. We want to be able to simply open the cover in the case of a bad storm. People have told us it's better to leave it open if there is a risk of violent storm (so a limb doesn't puncture).

We do have a pump to get water of the cover.

This is our first year as pool owners, so we are newbies!! Thanks for the tips!! I would love to hear what other's processes for storm season and cool weather.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 4:51PM
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