Automatic Safety Cover Do's and Dont's
Your automatic pool cover represents a sizeable investment. It will help save you money from chemical loss, heat loss and water evaporation as well as provide an additional safety barrier for your pool. Your pool cover needs care and maintenance for you to see the maximum life and return on your investment.
Like an automobile your automatic cover may seem to run OK...until it doesn't. If you were to purchase a new car with a great warranty the manufacture would still require you change the oil and fluids to maintain that warranty. It may even be possible for you to drive tens of thousands of miles without an oil change and the engine seem to run OK right up to the point that your engine seized.
The three most common damage points on a cover include the fabric, the ropes, and the tracks. Note that these components (like your car) are not covered under warranty when damage is a result of not caring for your cover. Each of these components can be protected by following some simple do's and don'ts.
DO: Always keep your cover pump on the cover when the cover is closed: Summer AND Winter. Your cover pump should be kept on the cover all year round when the cover is closed. Excess water, snow, and ice can stretch the cover and put undue stress on the fabric, webbing, and tracks and will not be covered by the warranty. The pump is made to run even in freezing conditions and will shut off as needed. In the event of heavy snow accumulation it may be necessary to shovel the cover clear of snow. Failure to keep the cover clear can cause track, fabric, and even pool deck damage.
DO: Keep your water at the proper level. Your water should be kept at the mid-skimmer level during the swim season and no lower than 5" from normal water level during the winter. The water helps support the fabric at all times. Failure to keep the cover clear can cause track, fabric, and even pool deck damage.
DO: Make sure that both sides of the cover open and close at the same time and are within 1.5" of each other. If there is 1.5" or more space when one side of the cover closes OR the cover is rough and 'jumpy' it is time to adjust your ropes. The ropes stretch with use and need periodic adjustment to maintain smooth operation. If the cover is left out of adjustment the ropes WILL break and are not covered under warranty.
DO: An annual cover inspection and adjustment. Typically spring is the best time to clean debris from your cover vault such as leaves as well as adjust the ropes and inspect the entire system (fabric, tracks, sliders, ropes, pulleys) for wear and replace components as needed.
DO: Keep your water chemistry properly balanced. Improperly balanced water will weaken your cover fabric and ropes and will not be covered by the warranty. High chlorine is the most common way the fabric and ropes will be degraded. The cover may appear fine from the top but chemical burn will develop on the bottom and make the cover brittle and week. High chlorine and unbalanced water can also affect the ropes causing them to become weaker and lead to premature breaking.
DON'T: Open the cover with water on it. Not only can this cause a tear in the fabric on a 'deck on deck' install but it also causes stress on the ropes in particular as well as system mechanics and mounting hardware. This damage is fairly easily identified and will not be covered by the warranty.
DON'T: Continue to open or close the cover if it hesitates or stops. Continuing to do so will damage the ropes and will not be covered by the warranty.
DON'T: Walk or step on the cover lid. The aluminum lid is a long-lasting cosmetic cover for the housing. It is not intended for anyone to walk or step on. It can be slippery when wet and walking on it can loosen the support brackets under it and will not be covered by the warranty. Please instruct children not to step on the lid.
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