The Facts on Pool Covers
All swimming pools must be correctly fitted with a pool cover to help conserve water by reducing evaporation. In addition, a cover will also reduce heat loss and chemical demand while keeping out dirt, dust, airborne micro-organisms and even sunlight that promotes algal growth. Some covers also actively warm the pool while others aid in heat retention.
There are some facts related to pool covers that you should keep in mind to ensure your pool, equipment and water quality are properly maintained in accordance with pool builder specifications. These include:
- Avoid overheating the pool water
For chlorine based sanitisation systems, the pool water should not be allowed to exceed 28oC. In high summer it may be necessary to remove the pool cover (particularly at night when the air temperature drops) for the pool water to cool naturally. The cover should not be continually left on for more than 7 days continuously.
- Excessive levels of pool chemicals
Pool covers are very effective at reducing chemical usage. Make sure you continually monitor the water quality and quantity of chemicals required to maintain water chemistry within the recommended levels. You can do this with a chemical test kit or taking a sample to your local pool shop. Particular care is needed when the pool is super-chlorinated and it is necessary to leave the pool uncovered for 48 hours or until the normal recommended chlorine level is achieved.
- Excessive build-up of chloramines
Chloramines are formed when chlorine combines contaminants in the water and has no sanitisation value. It is usually burnt out by the reaction of sunlight on water but if allowed to build to excessive levels may damage rubber based solar heating collectors and automatic pool cleaners. To prevent this from happening, pools with solar heating systems should be uncovered every 7 days choosing bright, sunny days whenever possible.
- Fitting the pool cover
It is essential to correctly fit a floating bubble style pool cover. Make sure you trim the cover so that you have a minimum of 25mm clearance between the pool cover and the wall of the swimming pool. If the cover is too big it will ride up over the edge beam or headers and cause a pocket of super-heated air that may cause damage to the pool’s surface. Bubble style pool covers must not extend over the fibreglass edge beam or pool headers as damage may occur due to excessive heat that is past the effective operating temperature.
Never partially take off a pool cover. While the structure of your pool will not be impaired the specialist surface coatings may be damaged and your warranty voided. If your pool cover is not stored on a roller, it must be stored in a shaded area below 45oC.