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Automatic Cover Care
- Published on Monday, 30 July 2012 20:37
Maintain the water level at the middle elevation of the skimmer opening. If the water drops below this level, the cover may operate under stress. Never cover the pool without the proper water level under the cover. The water supports all weight on the surface of the cover. if the water level is low and water builds op on the cover, severe damage may be done to the coping and/or cover system.
Coverstar suggests, as all automatic cover manufacturers do, that you only cover pool water that you would swim in. If the water is temporarily out of balance due to chemical additive, covering the pool will shorten the life of the fabric. Use a good test kit frequently to maintain proper chemical balance. You must avoid a build-up of chemicals in the pool water that can result in serious damage to pool walls and equipment. Such build-up can also create an improper water balance which may cause deterioration of the vinyl cover. After adding any chemicals to your pool, allow the chemicals to circulate before closing the cover. If you are unsure if it is safe to close the pool cover, test the water at the surface with your test kit. Some pH adjusters may create harmful levels of alkalinity (high pH) if not allowed to mix with the water before the cover is closed. The same is true with chlorine shocks.
Some chlorine shocks require as long as 12-24 hours to return to swimmable range. Since safety is often the major reason people purchase a cover, we recommend the use of a non-chlorine shock. With this type of shock the cover may be closed in 30 minutes or less. Check with your pool service company for proper usage. The use of floating chlorine feeders is not recommended because they vent chlorine gas that can burn the cover fabric and often remain trapped in the same location.
Cleaning the Cover
When you uncover the pool, the water in the pool is transferred from the pool to the top surface of the cover. The sun then dries it, causing high concentrations of chlorine on top of the cover that may damage the fabric. You can wash the cover with a mild hand dish washing liquid every 3-6 months to remove this accumulation. However, do not use laundry detergent or any other chemicals to clean the cover.
Retract the cover completely off the pool and clean the cover guide rope and slider channel. Use a high pressure nozzle on a garden hose to spray directly into the slots of the aluminum deck guides to remove built-up dirt and debris. Repeat as often as necessary to keep the guides clean. Spray into the pulley housing at the end of the guides at close range to remove debris from within the housing. In windy and dusty areas with blowing dirt, covers may become inoperable until the debris has been hosed from the guides. In these areas, guides will have to be flushed clean more frequently. A build-up of sand and/or dirt will grind the webbings causing them to fail prematurely. The webbings used on our covers have been proven over many years and thousands of covers to last beyond the life of the fabric if the cover guides are kept clean. Premature webbing failure due to abrasion from debris in the guides is easily preventable and is not covered under the warranty.
On recessed systems, frequently check the drain(s) to be certain they drain the housing completely and do not allow water to stay in the housing area. If water is allowed to stand in the mechanism area over periods of time, the system may become damaged by the constant moisture. Damage to either electrical or mechanical components resulting from standing water or extended submersion is not covered under the warranty. Clean leaves and debris from the housing as necessary. Run the cover over the pool, prop the housing lid open or remove it, and remove the debris in the housing. Accumulated debris can hinder the proper operation of the cover or damage the cover material.
Mechanism & Pulleys
Clean all rotating surfaces and pulleys by spraying with a hose nozzle every 3 months or more often in sandy or windy areas. Use a hose nozzle to completely wash all surfaces of the mechanism to prevent fine dust or sand from accumulating on the moving surfaces of the mechanism.
Winterizing the Cover
Although during the winter your pool cover requires less attention, water and/or snow will build up on the cover. If the water level in the pool is not properly maintained, serious damage to the cover can occur. Properly maintaining a pool’s water level prevents excess weight on the top surface of the cover that can cause damage to the cover system.
During the winter, make at least monthly inspections of the pool’s water level and make sure the cover pump is operating properly so that water on top of the cover does not build up. Even a few inches of water on top of the cover is an enormous weight and can pull the cover and guides into the pool. In situations where the water level is too low, you should add water to the pool immediately to better support the water or ice that are on the cover. Your cover will survive any normal winter if these simple precautions are taken.
Make sure your water is chemically balanced before covering the pool for extended periods of time. Double check the water after the chemicals had a chance to mix completely. This may require checking the pool water a day or two after chemicals have been added. When covering the pool for long periods of time, turn down ozone generators and chemical feeders to their lowest level. Constant long-term build up of ozone can damage the fabric. Place the cover pump on the cover to remove melted snow.