Benefits of Having an Automatic Pool Cover

automatic pool cover

You may have noticed in your area that more and more people are getting inground swimming pools.  Furthermore, you might have noticed that more of these pools are designed with automatic pool covers (auto covers).  So, you may be wondering what benefits do automatic pool covers contribute to your pool.  Well, as a pool builder I know some of the added benefits of an auto cover.  One of the most important advantages, to me anyway, is that an auto cover adds an exceptional layer of safety to your pool. Before I get into all that, I first want to give you all some background information to give you a better idea of how an auto cover works.

Automatic pool covers use a system of tracks, ropes and pulleys to unfurl and retract the cover from a pool.  They operate by using a key switch or touch pad and a motor attached to a drum. While the operator holds down a button or turns a key,  the motor turns and either winds up the ropes to drag the cover over the pool, or it turns the drum to reel up the cover and remove it from the pool. With these components working together you experience several benefits.

One advantage is that the cover can not be removed from the pool without having the key or knowing a code (depending on which type of cover is installed).  This will prevent children and others from having unpermitted access to the water, allowing the owner peace of mind and reducing the risk of accidental drowning of loved ones and liability as a homeowner. Some other types of covers, such tarps, solar covers, etc., are not designed with safety in mind. These cover designs can become entangled should a heavy object fall on top of them, and quickly submerge under the water. An automatic pool cover is fully capable of supporting hundreds of pounds without the risk of entrapment.  Most manufacturers of automatic pool covers will advise against walking across the covered pool unless in a case of emergency, but there is a certain level of assurance knowing that if something or someone steps out onto the cover that they could step off again.

Be sure to check the pool safety standards set by your location when deciding on a cover or a fence. Different areas have different codes when it comes to swimming pools.  Most places will require that a fence be installed around the swimming pool area.  Some locations state that a fence is not necessary if a pool already has an automatic pool cover.  In my opinion, there is no such thing as too much protection.  So, if the means are there, building a fence in addition to having an automatic cover would only provide more safety.

Having an automatic pool cover also affects the pool directly, making maintenance easier and more cost effective. An auto cover helps to keep debris, such as leaves, dirt, stones and mulch, out of the pool.  The wind contributes to this quite a bit, but having an auto cover will greatly reduce the amount of debris that falls into a pool.  Auto covers also allows the homeowner to save on chemicals, and reduce pool water evaporation.  A pool sitting in the hot summer sun without a cover is susceptible to losing water and chemicals through evaporation.  A pool with an auto cover over it will lose much less because when the pool water evaporates, it will be trapped and condense under the cover only to fall back to the pool again.  Another advantage is that having an auto cover will reduce the cost of heating the pool. Heat rises, and swimming pools lose a lot of warmth on cool evenings. An automatic pool cover acts as a barrier, trapping the heat in and keeping the cold out, especially at night.  Another benefit of automatic pool cover is that it can actually extend the life of pool equipment.  Pumps, heaters, heat pumps, and filters are required to keep a pool clean and heated.  If a pool is constantly losing water, chemicals, and heat, the owner will have to run the equipment more frequently, especially if the pool is in a high debris area.  Heating, cleaning, and filling the pool so often will increase time spent on maintenance, as well as the costs of water, chemicals, and electrical service.

If you are thinking about getting an inground swimming pool, I would highly recommend getting an automatic pool cover.  The cost of maintaining a pool without one would soon outweigh the cost of getting the auto cover to begin with.
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