It is vital to remove excess water from solid tarp style winter covers, commonly used on above-ground and some in-ground pools, to avoid damage to the cover and the pool. This can easily be done with a submersible pump on your pool cover whenever temperatures are above freezing, and liquid water is present. This frequently occurs in fall before freezing temperatures arise, during winter when unseasonably warm temperatures exist for several days in a row, and in spring as temperatures begin to rise.
Above-ground Pool Tarp Cover: The typical tarp style cover is secured to your above-ground pool wall and top ledge with a steel cable that is tightened around the pool. As water accumulates on the pool cover, unless the water in your pool is frozen, the water weight on the cover displaces water from inside your pool, out through the return hole and/or skimmer. As this occurs, stress increases as your pool cover strains against your pool wall and top ledge.
Consider that water on a 24’ round pool weighs about one ton per inch deep. So, six inches of water on your pool cover, weighing over 6 tons, can put a fair amount of strain on the cover and pool.
As stress from water weight on your cover increases, first, your cover starts to stretch. This can lead to thin spots, pin holes and tears in your pool cover. As the cover pulls the steel cable up against your pool’s top ledge, the top ledge can be broken and even pulled off the pool wall.
In extreme instances, especially if the water level in the pool is low (possibly due to a liner leak), the cover can pull the pool wall inward damaging the pool wall.
In-Ground Pool Tarp Cover: The typical tarp style cover is secured to you in-ground pool by water bags, or other weights, holding the cover onto your pool deck. As water builds up on your cover, it can pull the water bags, or other weights, into your pool which will allow excessive dirt and debris to enter your pool, making spring clean up more difficult.
Whenever temperatures allow, simply place a submersible pump onto the pool cover, preferably on something solid like a Frisbee to prevent water form be sucked through the cover and remove excess water. Be sure to remove the pump before temperatures fall below freezing and drain all the water out of your garden hose so it does not freeze up.
In spring, drain the water off your cover early to allow any remaining water a chance to dry up.
PRO TIP: fill your pool through the skimmer prior to removing your tarp style cover (on an above-ground pool you will need to connect the pool equipment first). Then, once the pool is full, you can easily float your cover off of the pool making cover removal easy while preventing debris from falling into the pool.
Contact your pool professionals at A-1 Pools with any questions or for specific instructions!