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Well, its getting close to closing time for us folks who don't have heaters. Question, what is good hook-n-lock pool cover. I have 2 young kids and I'd like it to be able to withstand the weight. The previous pool owner just had the blue tarp with the water bags. I read that there are two types of the stretch-n-lock pool covers...one that lets in air and light and the other which lets in almost no light and air. Can anybody give some info on the pros and cons of each?

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I have a mesh cover. I think it works good because the water does not pond on the top of the cover, it goes through it. This is good for safety reasons. The mesh cover I have (Anchor) could also support a person if the walked over it (not recommended, however). Also, the pool slowly fills up over winter to where I don't have to add water at opening time. This could be dangerous with toddlers however as if the pool was near full, a toddler would be knee high in water if they walked out to the middle.

The bad side is some small stuff and light (for algae growth) does get through. I manage this by adding a couple gallons of bleach under the cover in November and March. I live in Maryland, colder states probably don't have to worry too much about the water getting warm enough during the off-season for algea to grow.

My cover has been used for 6 seasons and still looks pretty good (except for where my sisters dog ran across it several years ago and his nails punched small holes in it...argh).

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Bugman,

The covers you are referring to are typically called safety covers.

There are really 3 standard types of pool safety covers: standard mesh, high shade mesh, and solid

STANDARD MESH:

Pro - The standard cover will be the most economical

Con - The high amount of light that makes its way into the water column turns the water green with algae in the spring

HIGH SHADE MESH:

Pro - provides substantial shade to nearly eliminate algae growth in the spring AND is light weight

Con - a little pricey

SOLID:

Pro - The solid cover will completely block any light from entering the water column; therefore, the water should be crystal clear upon opening in the spring

Con - a solid cover is much heavier than a standard mesh or high shade mesh

All pool covers are required by code to hold the weight of a typical 4 person family in a small area (I think it's a 9 square feet). Anyway, most of them can support the weight of a car (and have) without failing. When shopping for a cover you should be most concerned with with the quality of materials. Before you commit to a cover, ask the manufacturer (not the dealer) a few questions:

1) "Do you use cotton or polyester fillers in your webbing?" The webbing is the black straps that are sewn to the cover and attach to the pool deck. Fillers will reduce the life of the cover.

2) "What country does your hardware come from?" The hardware includes the springs, buckles, anchors, etc. From my understanding and experience US metal is higher quality than metal from India, China, etc. Also, in these tough times, I'd rather my money stay local (but that's just an opinion)

3) "What gauge is your thread?" Remember--the higher the number, the thinner the thread

4) "Is your thread chemically treated with UV inhibitors? Treated thread will last much longer than untreated thread.

Many dealers won't know the answer to these questions, that's why I suggest you contact the manufacturer directly. Also, I suggest you contact via email instead of telephone to ensure a honest answer.

If you are looking for reputable installers in your area, I may be able to help you get in contact with them--just send me a private message.

disclaimer: I'm in no way advocating walking on your safety cover. Please do not walk on your safety cover.

Good Luck,

Jeff

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Well, its getting close to closing time for us folks who don't have heaters. Question, what is good hook-n-lock pool cover. I have 2 young kids and I'd like it to be able to withstand the weight. The previous pool owner just had the blue tarp with the water bags. I read that there are two types of the stretch-n-lock pool covers...one that lets in air and light and the other which lets in almost no light and air. Can anybody give some info on the pros and cons of each?

Loop-Lock

Merlin

Anchor

All make very good safety covers

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I prefer a solid cover with no drain panel. This will give you the best results. A solid cover with no drain panel requires an automatic cover pump.

Tip: Use a piece of 3/4 inch schedule 40 PVC pipe for the installation tool. Cut a notch on one end to remove the springs. Use the other side for installing springs. Cost: Less than two dollars.

Loop-Loc, Meyco, Anchor, Merlin.

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I prefer a solid cover with no drain panel. This will give you the best results. A solid cover with no drain panel requires an automatic cover pump.

Tip: Use a piece of 3/4 inch schedule 40 PVC pipe for the installation tool. Cut a notch on one end to remove the springs. Use the other side for installing springs. Cost: Less than two dollars.

Loop-Loc, Meyco, Anchor, Merlin.

If he buying a new safety cover, the tool comes with them and will lost longer than any PVC tool. If he gets a cover with rubber straps, then a tool is not needed

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The tools can get lost or broken and they cost a lot to replace. You can get plenty of PVC pipe at any hardware store. I don't like the tools that come with the covers. The springs do not slide well down the metal tools and the plastic ones have too much flex. I prefer the PVC pipe. The PVC pipe holds up very well.

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The tools can get lost or broken and they cost a lot to replace. You can get plenty of PVC pipe at any hardware store. I don't like the tools that come with the covers. The springs do not slide well down the metal tools and the plastic ones have too much flex. I prefer the PVC pipe. The PVC pipe holds up very well.

Our replacement tool for cover installs is $14.99, thats not bad. The metal bar might bend over time but it will not shatter like a piece of PVC can over time

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does anyone know if Arctic Armor Ultra Light Solid Safety Cover any good? http://www.backyardcitypools.com/pool-cove...-Pool-Cover.htm

Also, is there any problem with having too much overlay? I can't find any cover with my step configuration so is there a problem getting rectangular cover and just covering up steps and adjacent concrete with full width cover? I would custom order it but they have long lead time in this time of year.

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[Our replacement tool for cover installs is $14.99, thats not bad. The metal bar might bend over time but it will not shatter like a piece of PVC can over time

(1)10-foot piece of PVC costs about $3.00. Cut it into 3 pieces and you have 3 tools for $1.00 each. Why should I spend 15 times as much for one of the replacement tools that is not as good? I have used PVC for over 100 installations and I have only broken one. Anyway, it's just a tip; people are free to do what they want.

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Bugman: here's my long rant.

My pool and I are in the Saint Louis area. Had an inground pool installed late summer 2007. I wanted a micro/shade mesh safety cover, but my builder supplied me w/ a regular ol' safety cover. Fortunately, it was from Anchor, which (as others have noted) makes great safety covers.

I wanted a safety cover for the very reason the name suggests. With 2 kids, I never had an interest in a solid cover: 1) safety covers are incredibly strong and offer great peace of mind; 2) they are definitely easier/less time consuming to install (and remove, for that matter) than solid covers.

The biggest downside to a safety cover - especially a non micro/shade variety - is the fact that they do allow both sunlight and dust/dirt into your winterized pool. Micro/shade safety covers greatly reduce the amount of sunlight reaching your water, which in turn reduces the likelihood of algae in the spring (and increases the likelihood of finding a fairly clear pool in the spring). I don't know if they offer better resistance to dust/dirt penetration.

That said, my experience is thus. Our pool was completed in mid-August 2007. At that time, I didn't know squat about pools - water chemistry, maintenance, opening or closing. Our builder included the first closing in our contract. When the builder closed the pool in early October 2007, he did everything right re: lowering the water level, blowing out the lines, adding RV/Marine antifreeze, plugging the returns, installing a gizmo in the skimmer, etc. But the only thing he did to treat the water was to add 2 jugs of Vertex (10% bleach) to the pool. When I opened the following April, I found a deep green, murky swamp full of long tendrils of algae. Managed to clear it up within a week.

I closed myself last year, and when I peeled the cover off this April I found my water was clear enough to see the leaves in the deep end. Tips re: opening/closing w/ a safety mesh cover:

CLOSE LATE AND OPEN EARLY

The less time your pool is covered and pump is off, the less time algae has to bloom - period. I aim for a mid-late October closing and a mid-April opening (these timelines will vary depending upon your location). Mind you, I'm not swimming in late September or October, but the pool still provides visual interest, my SWG (Pentair IntelliChlor) keeps producing chlorine until the water temp reaches ~55F, and I've found you can reduce pump run times by roughly a third.

WINTERIZE PROPERLY

Clean the pool thoroughly - brush the walls, vacuum the bottom and skim the surface the day before closing. Shock the pool to 40% of CYA level 3-4 days before closing day, which allows the FC (free chlorine) level to drop down toward normal limits. Add the proper amount of a good algaecide (I use polyquat) the day before closing and allow the pump to run overnight. Vacuum/skim as necessary before draining/blowing or vacuuming lines/capping returns/gizmo/etc.

OPEN EARLY WITH BLEACH

Again, after doing the above last October, I opened to a pretty clear pool this past April - a bit hazy, but no green at all and could clearly see the leaves and other debris on the bottom. Made sure the water level was ~2" above the normal level, then unrolled my vacuum hose and vacuumed the debris on the bottom to waste (and backwashed/rinsed my sand filter toward the end). Then added enough bleach (my notes say 5 jugs of 6% generic unscented from Walmart) to clear the pool. Pool was pretty close the next day. Then added calcium, adjusted the TA, adjusted the pH and added CYA. I don't recall, but don't think I even bothered to add a clarifier. Pool was sparkling the next afternoon. I highly recommend opening/closing yourself.

WINTER TREATMENTS

An experiment on my part, I mixed small amounts of regular "quat" (not polyquat, which is really thick/viscous and is almost impossible to dilute unless your pump is running) w/ water in a 5-gallon bucket and added to the pool a few times during the winter. No controls, no way to tell if it added any beneficial value. So you can probably disregard this.

IN SUM

Safety covers are a great option. If nothing else, they encourage you to close as late as possible, close properly (clean, shock, wait, algaecide, clean once more) and open as early as possible. Not a bad practice. Even if the pool is too cold (or you're not willing to spend the $ to run your heater) in Sep/Oct and April/May, the pool still offers visual interest. I hate the thought of filling/lugging/draining water bags, and would never trust a solid cover w/ kids.

Just my opinion.

Go Cards!!!

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Note for jkusmier:

The solid cover I was referring to is a solid safety cover with springs, not waterbags. The solid safety cover is just as strong as the mesh. I don't think that anyone was recommending a waterbag cover.

The solid safety cover usually comes with a center drain panel that allows water to drain into the pool. The center drain panel is a micro-mesh that filters out fine dirt and debris while allowing water to drain through so the cover stays dry.

The solid safety cover can be ordered without a center drain panel. In that case, an automatic cover pump is used to automatically drain the water as soon as it gets on the cover, so the cover stays safe. Here is the cover pump that I prefer http://www.lgpc.com/Product/ItemDetail.aspx?ProductID=932

The solid safety cover with no drain panel provides the best overall protection for the pool. It does not allow light, water or dirt to enter the pool. Of course, some minor amounts of dirt will blow in under the cover as with any cover.

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Again...thanks for the info. I somewhat decided on the Merlin SafeMesh cover. It does not allow light or debris, but does allow water to go through. It also has their highest warranty....15 years. I'm sure Loop-Loc and Anchor have something comparable, but it was just a coin toss for me. Hopefully, I can find a dealer close to me here in Charlotte, NC. I am confident that I can install the unit myself if I need to. My pool is 16' x 36' with 2' grecian corners (chamfered).

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Again...thanks for the info. I somewhat decided on the Merlin SafeMesh cover. It does not allow light or debris, but does allow water to go through. It also has their highest warranty....15 years. I'm sure Loop-Loc and Anchor have something comparable, but it was just a coin toss for me. Hopefully, I can find a dealer close to me here in Charlotte, NC. I am confident that I can install the unit myself if I need to. My pool is 16' x 36' with 2' grecian corners (chamfered).

They are not hard to install at all. Merlin give pretty good instructions. One thing get a good or new drill bit, it will make the install much easier.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey gang,

Well I received my Merlin Smart-Mesh cover and hardware kit today. There are no instructions for installing this thing, however, it did come with a draft layout drawing. I think I could figure this out myself, but I would like to solicit any helpful instructions or tutorials if they are out there. The kit included a Y-strap to anchor around the diving board. I have a plug-in impact drill (Milwaukee) with several bits. Any helpful guidance will be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!

Thanks in advance.

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Hey gang,

Well I received my Merlin Smart-Mesh cover and hardware kit today. There are no instructions for installing this thing, however, it did come with a draft layout drawing. I think I could figure this out myself, but I would like to solicit any helpful instructions or tutorials if they are out there. The kit included a Y-strap to anchor around the diving board. I have a plug-in impact drill (Milwaukee) with several bits. Any helpful guidance will be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!

Thanks in advance.

Note to Bugman1400:

There are installation instructions available on Merlin's website: www.merlinindustries.com

Hope that is helpful!

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One of the most important things that I can recommend is to be very careful not to cause chips in the cement around the holes as you are drilling. Start the drill on rotate only, no hammer action until the bit is well below the surface. Use a bit that has 4 cutting blades instead of just two. The bits are more expensive and you will use more of them, but I think that it is worth it.

If there is any chance of the deck material cracking due to the hammer action, then you should use rotate only and no hammer action at all.

Slightly bevel the edges of the hole with a conical grinder bit. The anchors often come with ridges that are too large. The large edges can cause chipping of the holes around the edges. Lightly sand down the edges by putting a straight Allen-wrench in a drill and use that to spin the anchor while using sandpaper to smooth down the edges. Be careful that you don't overdo it or the anchor will be loose in the hole.

The anchor should fit snugly into the hole without having to be hammered excessively hard.

For any anchors in a straight line, install the two outside anchors first, run a string line between the anchors and then line up the straps perpendicular to the string line.

Get some closed cell foam to use as padding for anchor cups, corners or other protrusions that could damage the cover. Camping pads for use under sleeping bags work well. You can get a 30-inch X 6 feet foam roll at Wal-mart for about $7.00.

Here is an installation instruction from anchor that may be helpful.

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  • 3 years later...
  • 4 years later...
  • 1 year later...

Just my two cents...

There are really 3 standard types of pool safety covers: standard mesh, high shade mesh, and solid STANDARD MESH: Pro - The standard cover will be the most economical Con - The high amount of light that makes its way into the water column turns the water green with algae in the spring HIGH SHADE MESH: Pro - provides substantial shade to nearly eliminate algae growth in the spring AND islight weight Con - a little pricey SOLID: Pro - The solid cover will completely block any light from entering the water column; therefore, the water should be crystal clear upon opening in the spring Con - a solid cover is much heavier than a standard mesh or high shade mesh All pool covers for example like Buffalo Blizzard https://thehomedweller.com/best-pool-covers/ are required by code to hold the weight of a typical 4 person family in a small area (I think it's a 9 square feet). Anyway, most of them can support the weight of a car (and have) without failing. When shopping for a cover you should be most concerned with with the quality of materials. Before you commit to a cover, ask the manufacturer (not the dealer) a few questions: 1) "Do you use cotton or polyester fillers in your webbing?" The webbing is the black straps that are sewn to the cover and attach to the pool deck. Fillers will reduce the life of the cover. 2) "What country does your hardware come from?" The hardware includes the springs, buckles, anchors, etc. From my understanding and experience US metal is higher quality than metal from India, China, etc. Also, in these tough times, I'd rather my money stay local (but that's just an opinion) 3) "What gauge is your thread?" Remember--the higher the number, the thinner the thread 4) "Is your thread chemically treated with UV inhibitors? Treated thread will last much longer than untreated thread. Many dealers won't know the answer to these questions, that's why I suggest you contact the manufacturer directly. Also, I suggest you contact via email instead of telephone to ensure a honest answer. If you are looking for reputable installers in your area, I may be able to help you get in contact with them--just send me a private message. disclaimer: I'm in no way advocating walking on your safety cover. Please do not walk on your safety cover.I like to watch YouTube videos of a similar theme when I'm looking for information about the right product. I hope this helps someone in the future. Good luck!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwd_g7AR5lU

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

As per your question i found two best cover which satisfied your need. 

This Loop-Loc safety pool cover is constructed with a new thicker weave that nearly blocks all sunlight. However, it still allows melting snow and rain to easily drain through. If you want less debris and light in your pool, this is the right choice for you. It still offers exceptional protection as it is durable enough to support the weight of not only a small child, but also an adult.

Green Mesh is the best pool safety cover because it protects an in ground swimming pool from severe winter in just one simple step. The lightweight mesh and the two-ply webbing allow rain to seep through into the pool. However, it does not let twigs, leaves, and other debris to go in.

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