Opinions on pool covers please!

busboyOctober 24, 2010

As I had the inground vinyl pool completely redone this summer (liner,pump/filter, salt) it is time to add a cover. Leaning toward a safety mesh style-not cheap route but don't want to go overboard with more than neccessary. 20X40 grecian looks to be around $1500 do it yourself. Any tips or brands pro/con appreciated. Thanks

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poolguynj

Top 3 brands I feel are Loop Loc, Merlin and Meyco. There are cheaper covers but you get what you pay for. The market is competitive as it is and the the cheaper covers cut corners by not having double thickness webbing, thinner thread used when the covers are sewn, the lack of wear strips at the perimeter and wear pads at inside corners and sharper curves.

Up to 4 pads are included with Loop-Loc's. A Grecian usually needs 4, two for the steps and 2 for the rope anchors. Lesser covers won't include/charge extra.

Use a good sized hammer drill. If it uses a spline or SDS-Max drill bit, chances are pretty good the drill will be able to quickly and efficiently drill the holes. The smaller shanked SDS bits usually pair up with smaller drills that tend to be underpowered for this task although the Bosch Bulldog seems to work OK.

For concrete decks, you'll drill 3/4" holes. For pavers, it's a 1" hole and drill between the pavers. For travertine, use a wet core drill on a stand.

Scott

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 5:03AM
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mongoct

I DIY'd a Loop-Loc for my 20' x 40' pool.

Popped two rebar pins along the side to take the measurements. When the cover arrived it took about a half-day to do the lay out, drill the holes, and insert the sleeves.

I've had the cover for 8 years now and have had zero problems. While it shows no real wear and tear from use, I have a couple of small 1/4" holes from campfire embers landing on it, we have a fire ring out in the pool area. No big deal, they don't affect performance.

I install it solo and remove it solo. I'll be putting in on in a week or two.

When this one dies I'll get another.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 8:00PM
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busboy

I appreciate the input folks. I'm not against paying an extra $400 to have it installed, but my regular service wants $1900 to put in a $900 cover. I realize we all have to make a living and there's overhead but cheeez! The deck is concrete so I guess a new hammer drill is going to be required. Does Loop Loc include detail DIY? Any particular problems getting the correct measurements? I have descent DIY skills but I have never done nor seen a cover installed.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 3:05PM
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poolguynj

How did the cover go from 1500 to 900?

Is this for a brand I mentioned or one of the others?

Scott

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 11:04PM
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busboy

I did a little research and the $900 was about the price for a catalog in stock, lowest price Merlin that they are quoting. So they are trying to tack on about a grand for their price. They have several stores so I understand they have to pay the bills. I'm also going to see if there are some individual installers in the area. Still undecided as to which grade to go with but leaning toward mid-range quality/price. Thnks for your opinion on brands.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 12:51PM
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mongoct

Plenty of Loop=Lok instructional material on this site.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 1:22AM
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busboy

Thanks mongoct. I found this info on the web yesterday and I feel MUCH better about DIY. Pretty sure now LoopLoc the way to go.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 7:44AM
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mongoct

FWIW, I put my 20' by 40' cover on this afternoon solo. Took 40 minutes.

Unscrew the hold downs out of the sleeves with the hex wrench. Lay out and unroll the cover on the patio. Realize even though it's a 50-50 shot, for what seems like the 5th year in a row I have it backwards, so I flip the cover end-for-end. lol

Clip down one clip at one end, then one at the other end, then go around one-by-one doing the remainder of the clips.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 12:05AM
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busboy

Thanks..Still trying to decide which brand...I believe one outfit might have a stock cover that will fit..Another wanted all the measurements before giving a price. RATS! It is Sunday and I probably won't get anything done on it today. Good news is I have a 1/2" hammer drill that will take a 3/4" bit. The chlorine generator has basically shut down for the season because of the temperatures.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 9:24AM
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bobinbaltimore

I had a black Merlin Dura-Mesh covered installed a few weeks ago (professionally...didn't have time to do it myself) and am VERY please with the result. Quality seems very good and their stitching seems very consistent for a custom cover. The mesh is tighter than I expected, which should bode well for relatively clean water in the spring.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 7:46PM
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