Just over 10% of the pools we look after have covers. The most common objection from people we speak to is that they either don’t like the look of them or don’t have space on their pool deck for the roller. You can see from our analysis of swimming pool water temperature they offer a significant temperature gain – more on average than heaters often provide. Let’s have a closer look at the pros and cons of swimming pool covers.
- We’ve measured a very real gain in temperature in some cases as much as 4 degrees.
- This is a significant saving of money and energy when compared with generating the same increase via gas or electric heaters.
- The more direct sunlight your pool gets the more temperature benefit it can offer.
Reduced consumption of chlorine
- Chlorine is the most common water sanitiser, but it degrades under UV light.
- Covers reduce the amount of UV hitting the water meaning you don’t consume as much.
- If you have a salt water pool this means your chlorinator uses less energy.
- If you use liquid chlorine (manually or via a pump) this means you will consume significantly less, saving you time refilling and money buying.
- Water loss due to evaporation is substantial. A floating cover virtually eliminates evaporation if kept on when the pool is not in use.
- If the water level drops below the height of the skimmers due to evaporation and your pumps suck in air you will quickly damage them. A cover mostly stops this from happening.
- You will no longer have the chore of putting the hose in the pool to top up the water level.Your water bill will go down.
- You will waste less drinking quality water.
Reduced leaf load
- Leaves that land on the surface of the cover remain dry and often blow off again.
- Those that don’t can be swept off or collected with a leaf blower.
- Even if you don’t do either of the above, the leaves that land in the pool at the time you remove the cover can now be easily collected by a skimming net rather than sinking to the bottom.
- Less leaves in the pool means the leaf collector on your automatic cleaner needs emptying less often.
- Most importantly – less leaves in your pool means less organic matter in the water, this reduces consumption of chlorine (see above for benefits), keeps your pool water cleaner and lessens the load on your filters and pumps.
Less chance of flow blockages
- As leaves remain on top of the cover they don’t end up in your skimmer basket where they can cause flow blockages if left unattended.
- Flow blockages reduce the efficiency of your filter and chlorinator – resulting in poorer quality water and more chance of green pool events. They can also place extra load on your pumps leading to equipment failures.
Create a more self reliant pool
- With reduced evaporation, chlorine consumption, less chance of flow blockages or water level becoming too low – your pool will get away with less regular supervision.
- This means you’re less likely to encounter problems if you’re away, on holidays, or just busy.
- Many people don’t like the look of pool covers.
- Jumping in for a quick swim is a little more work and less spontaneous.
- You need to roll the cover off before your swim and replace it afterwards.
Space for the roller
- You need to have space for the roller on your pool deck to store the cover when it’s not on the pool.
- Space within the pool fence is often limited and so the roller can restrict access to the pool.
A cover for the cover
- Bubble covers themselves should have a cover over them to keep the sun off them whilst they’re on the roller.
- This is another chore if you’re keeping the cover off the pool for any length of time on a sunny day.
Increased salt consumption and other (non chlorine) chemical consumption
- In a salt water pool, salt is only removed from the pool when you drain water from it.
- Annual average evaporation in Sydney is about the same as annual average rainfall. Whilst the two don’t happen exactly in synchronisation, being roughly equal in volume means that not having a cover you loose about as much water as you gain.
- By using a cover you keep all of the rain water which means you need to pump it out, along with it your salt and other chemicals.
More frequent reduction of the water level
- For the same reasons as you’ll go through more salt, you’ll have to lower the water level in your pool more frequently with a cover.
Irregular shape swimming pools
- Covers can be difficult and impractical to use on irregular shaped pools. They work best on rectangular pools.
- If your pool shape is curved or kidney bean for example it may not be possible to use a cover on a roller.
How can you make a cover more tolerable?
Given the relatively low frequency of pool covers we’re seeing amongst our customers despite the benefits – here’s a few thoughts on how you might make living with one a little more tolerable:
- Whilst pool covers are most commonly blue, green and white floating variants are also available. Rigid covers come in even more colours alternatives.
- If you don’t like the idea of putting a pool cover on and off but have a large budget, motorised rigid covers can be installed.
- A covered pit can be installed at the end of your pool to house the cover roller if layout permits.
Water level control
- A number of automatic overflow devices are available for draining excess water from your pool.