Inground Pool Cover | Mesh, Safety, Winter and Electric (2023)

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An inground pool cover will retain heat, reduce heating costs, reduce evaporation, provide a safety barrier for children and protect your pool from harsh weather during the winter months. A wide variety of pool covers are available in just about any shape, color, size or material which we'll go over in more detail below. The most common mesh cover will increase the safety of your pool while a quality solar cover will keep the pool clean throughout the pool season while also regulating the water temperature.

Inground Pool Cover | Mesh, Safety, Winter and Electric (1)

The benefits of inground pool covers range from increasing the heat of the pool water to reducing the amount of water lost through evaporation. You will need to fill your pool less while reducing the amount of time spent balancing water chemistry. We'll compare the different types of covers so you can make an informed decision about purchasing a new cover for your pool. If you live in a climate where your pool water gets too hot in the summer and you want to keep it cool be sure to read all about pool shade coverslike sun sails, pool umbrellas and pergolas.

Types of Inground Pool Covers

There are 4 main types of inground pool covers and each has their own specific purpose when it comes to providing a protective covering. It's also common for pool owners to use more than one type of cover throughout the season as needs change. A solar cover is great during the swimming season when you want to quickly place and remove the cover during but isn't practical for the winter time where a winter cover provides a semi-permanent barrier that keeps just about anything while providing an added layer to your overallpool safety.

Mesh Pool Safety Covers

There are 3 types of covers that are considered safety covers; mesh, solid and hybrid. A safety cover adds a layer of safety by preventing anyone or anything getting into your pool during the off-season. In addition, it's designed to keep your pool water clean, protect pool hardware, prevent algae growth and set your pool up for easy pool opening in the spring. An inground pool cover ensures the safety of your pool by fastening to your pool deck typically with stainless steel hardware that resists damage from the elements.

Mesh Inground Pool Safety Cover

The Happybuy Pool Safety Cover is prefabricated to fit a variety of inground pool sizes. The soft yet tough material is durable, resistant to high temperatures and will prevent everything from leaves to rain and snow from ending up in your pool. The size of the cover should exceed the size of the pool to allow for fastening to the pool deck. These covers come with installation hardware and tools to allow for drilling into just about any type of pool deck. The tight mesh membrane will prevent water evaporation, protect pool equipment and keep children and pets out.

Inground Pool Cover | Mesh, Safety, Winter and Electric (2)

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Mesh Inground Pool Cover Installation

Mesh safety covers are designed to be stretched tight and anchored securely around the perimeter of the pool and the entire installation process can be completed in as little as a few hours with a drill and hammer. The first step is to install the anchors into the concrete around the pool, marking and drilling your holes in accordance with your cover manufacturers instructions. You may need to anchor into other materials that require specific hardware to drill into like poured concrete fittings for additional stability.

Winter Pool Covers

A winter inground pool cover is designed to protect your pool during the winter months from the sun, rain, snow, ice or extremely cold temperatures. They are an alternative to installing a mesh or safety pool cover and in some cases they are adequate. Since winter covers are not permeable they do tend to accumulate debris and water that should be removed. You may want to consider using a submersible pool pump to remove standing water from the cover for increased safety and cleanliness.

Blue Wave Inground Winter Pool Cover

The Blue Wave Winter Cover can be purchased in a variety of sizes ranging from 20 to 60 feet in length. This style of cover is designed to work with water tubes that are placed around the outer perimeter to keep the cover in place during the harsh winter months. When choosing the right size for your pool make sure to allow for about 5 feet overlap to allow proper securing with water tubes on the pool deck. Allowing extra slack will ensure the cover isn't stretched beyond it's capacity which could lead to ripping or tearing especially when the temperature drops below freezing.

Solar Inground Pool Covers

Solar pool covers have the ability to convert solar energy into heat for your pool water and also keep water cool in hot southern climates. A properly sized solar cover blanket can increase and maintain warm water temperatures with adequate sunlight hours in some climates. In addition to heating the water, solar covers prevent evaporation, reduce chemical usage and lower energy costs when used regularly.

Solar Inground Pool Blanket Cover

The Blue Wave Solar Pool Blanket comes in a variety of sizes that can even be customized by cutting to fit any size or shape of pool. Conserve energy with this 14-mil blanket that can increase pool water by up to 15℉. The insulating thermal bubbles will minimize heat loss and provide effective heating all summer long so you can enjoy warmer water temperatures in the evening or when the sun isn't shining. The superior durability is built into the fabric and is designed withstand deterioration caused by ultraviolet rays and pool chemicals. This inground pool cover is backed by a 6 year manufacturers warranty for added peace of mind.

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How A Solar Pool Cover Works

Are solar pool covers worth it and do they work? The answer is yes. A solar cover is a very affordable way to save every pool owner money and time in a few different ways that some pool owners might not even know.

  • Energy Savings. Every ray of sunshine that hits the cover is amplified as it enters the water. This conversion of free energy can keep a pool comfortably warm in some climates or reduce heating costs in pools that require a pool heater.
  • Reduce Evaporation. A solar inground pool cover can reduce up to 6 feet of water evaporation in a single season. As water evaporates out of a pool it costs a pool owner money in two ways; heat energy loss and chemical usage. An uncovered pool can lose up to 90% of its heat from water loss caused by evaporation.
  • Keep Debris Out. A properly fitted solar cover will keep out unwanted dirt, bugs and anything mother nature blows into your pool area. Enjoy a clean pool more often with less time spent skimming and vacuuming while increasing the lifespan of your filter system.

Solar Pool Cover Bubbles Up or Down?

Solar pool cover bubbles up or down? The bubbles on a solar pool cover should be face down on the water. The purpose of the bubbles is to keep the cover afloat and creating a layer of air or thermal blanket between the pool water and cover. The pockets of air created by the bubbles is heated by the sun and in turn helps retain heat.

Blue vs Clear Solar Pool Cover?

Blue vs clear solar pool cover? The differences between blue and clear are not big enough to make a choice based on science, however there are a few facts worth considering that lead us to highly recommend a colored solar cover.

  • The darker the cover the more heat it will retain. A dark cover will absorb more heat and transfer that heat into the pool water. It will also create a better thermal barrier to heat loss from the water to the surrounding air.
  • A blue or black solar cover is more visible. On the topic of pool safety it is arguably better to have a solar cover that is more visible. A bather jumping into a pool that can't see a clear cover on it, is a potentially very dangerous situation.
  • A clear solar inground pool cover allows more radiant energy through. The main argument for choosing a clear solar cover is that it allows more solar energy throughinto the water. It's impossible to say if this is more advantageous than more heat being held by a darker cover.

Solar Pool Cover Installation

Installing the cover on your pool is self explanatory just ensure that the cover is bubble-side down to maximize the thermal blanket effect. The bubbles also keep the cover afloat and when the cover starts to lose its floatation it's a great indicator that it's time to purchase a new cover. If you have a unique or custom shaped pool you can easily trim the cover to size with scissors.

A solar inground pool cover is most effective when the edge of the cover is perfectly flush with the edge of the pool with no gaps and no overlap. It's worth taking your time to trim the cover so it hugs the edge of the pool and in the long run you'll find a properly fitted cover will save cleaning headaches, retain heat and reduce evaporation better.

A solar cover reel might be worth considering if you have a large rectangular pool. A reel can make it a lot easier for some pool owner's that find they are putting on and taking off the cover frequently. It's just not ideal for odd shaped pools and not worth the hassle or space for smaller pools or above ground pools.A solar cover should be used both day and night to reduce costly evaporation and to retain or increase heat.

Solar Pool Cover Maintenance

A solar cover should not be left on the surface of the water in the off-season. It should be removed, cleaned and stored properly as part of a thorough pool winterizingor closing. If the cover accumulates a lot of dirt during the season you should also clean it before storing. The cover should be removed and laid out flat on a surface that won't damage the sensitive air bubbles on the underside of the cover. A large grassy area is ideal for giving it a good clean with a garden hose, mild soap and a soft broom or something similar.

Solar Cover Alternatives

If the thought of removing and replacing your inground pool cover every time you use your pool seems like a hassle there are alternatives. While the alternatives are easier to use they are unfortunately are also less effective. We don't recommend using these products on their own because of their limitations, but they are beneficial compared to not using a solar cover blanket at all.

Liquid Solar Cover

A liquid solar cover or liquid solar blanket is a cover free way to achieve some of the benefits of a typical solar cover. The invisible and harmless barrier helps conserve water and retain heat energy by preventing up to 50% of normal water evaporation versus not using a cover.You won't see, feel or smell the liquid cover and it shouldn't cause any problems with filtration if used properly.Liquid solar covers are completely safe to use with salt water pools. It is worth noting that the effectiveness of the liquid cover is reduced if your pool is prone to windy conditions.

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How does a Liquid Solar Cover Work?

It works by forming an invisible, lighter than water barrier or blanket that floats on the surface of the water. The ingredients; isopropyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol form a mesh at a molecular level that prevents water and heat energy from escaping.The advanced mono-layer will constantly reform so it's safe to swim in and you won't even notice it, however it needs to be reapplied every 7-10 days under normal conditions.

Solar Cover Rings

Solar Cover Rings are an innovative way to passively heat any pool. They are constructed of UV resistant vinyl and create heat by directing the suns rays to the bottom blue layer that absorbs about 50% of the suns energy and converts it to heat. The warming discs also prevent heat loss from escaping that commonly occurs at night when temperatures drop. The rings inflate and attach together with the built in magnets along the outer edge of the floating disc. These rings do not act as a solar blanket and should not be used as a replacement for a solar cover.

Leaf Net Pool Covers

An inground leaf net pool cover is arguably one of the smartest things you can add to your pool if you live around trees that shed their leaves throughout the year and in the fall. There is nothing worse than cleaning rotted, decaying leaves out of your pool in the spring. Keep leaves out of your pool with a cover especially made for the job of trapping leaves.

Blue Wave Leaf Net Inground Pool Cover

The Blue Wave Leaf Net Cover comes in many rectangular sizes. The biggest advantage of using a leaf net is you will eliminate the mess caused by decaying leaves and other organic matter. The durable woven polyethylene will catch debris and make is super easy to roll up and remove leaves and anything else that lands on the cover during the wintertime or a freak windstorm. The black mesh fabric is made to last so you can enjoy the benefits of a leaf net for many years. When sizing the cover be sure to allow for at least 4 feet of overlap so it can be secured using water tubes or attaching to the winter cover.

How to use a Leaf Net Cover?

After measuring your pool purchase a net that is slightly larger than your pool so you have excess overlap. The overlap can be weighed down with water tubs or strapped in using rope and stakes similar to a winter cover. You may also want to tie it down to your winter safety cover as long as you aren't compromising the integrity of the cover.

The leaf net can be emptied anytime by rolling the corners up towards the center and discarding the leaves in a garbage can. Simply re-install the leaf net if you still see leaves left to be shed before winter. Leaf net inground pool covers are designed to withstand being outdoors but they should not be left on the cover over the winter, or used as the only means of covering your pool.

If you are in the market for an inground pool cover there are many options that will suit the needs of your pool. Keeping in mind safety, weather and your budget, you should be able to find something that is just right for your pool. We hope you found this page informative and best of luck choosing the right cover for your inground pool.


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Should you put cover on pool for winter? ›

Fundamentally, swimming pool covers protect your pool from falling or blowing debris and can protect against pool related accidents. Covering your pool will also protect the shell of your pool in colder weather, making it less likely to crack than it would without a cover.

Can you walk on an electric pool cover? ›

The automatic pool cover can be walked on, but for the main purpose of rescuing someone or removing fallen leaves, twigs and other debris. However, it is not meant to be jumped on or played on. Putting the weight on the cover excessively or frequently can damage it over time.

Will pool heat up with cover on? ›

When the water in your pool evaporates, it carries with it the heat, consequently cooling down your pool. So, if you can prevent evaporation, then you can significantly reduce the amount of heat loss. As such, covering your pool will help to warm the water up.

What do I put under my pool cover for winter? ›

Sometimes also called an ice compensator, a pool air pillow is used to compensate for the accumulation of rain, snow, and ice that may build up on the pool cover over the winter months. By placing an air-filled pool pillow under the winter cover, you create a void in the water and on the top of the cover.

How do you keep the wind from blowing the winter pool cover? ›

Pool Sandbags

Placing water-resistant sandbags at an even distance around the edges of your pool cover will deter even the strongest winds. You can make this option even more secure by adding some pool clips to the edges of your cover as well.

Is it better to keep pool cover on or off? ›

In dry and/or windy conditions, the evaporation rate of the pool increases. Therefore, it is generally beneficial to have a transparent or bubble cover on during daylight hours. In warm, humid conditions the evaporation rate decreases. In this case, it may be more beneficial to leave the cover off during the daytime.

Can you leave a pool covered all year? ›

A pool isn't designed to be stagnant during the warm months of the year, and pool covers deteriorate faster in strong summer sunlight. Leaving the pool closed all summer is a guaranteed way to end up with a green, smelly mess and permanent stains or damage to the pool surfaces.

How long does an electric pool cover last? ›

Most automatic safety pool covers on average last 4 to 6 years if you maintain them properly. We recommend that you buy a pool cover that comes with a pro-rated warranty. That way, you can always ask for a replacement if you notice issues within a few weeks of purchase.

How safe are automatic pool covers? ›

"Automatic covers are a fantastic layer of protection because when they're closed, there's no way a child will drown in the pool, barring some highly unusual situation. It's really just common sense."

How much weight can an electric pool cover hold? ›

Automatic pool covers are rated to hold around 2,000 pounds, which is a lot of weight. However, snow, ice, and water can be very heavy, too, especially if it becomes concentrated in one area.

Does leaving a pool cover on cause algae? ›

Keep it covered. Covering the pool is a good way to prevent algae growth. The right cover keeps algae from entering the pool, but it also keeps leaves, bugs, bacteria, and dirt from decomposing in the pool, providing algae with food.

How much warmer is a pool with a cover? ›

On average, a fully covered swimming pool could increase your swimming pool water's temperature by 10-15 degrees. This is, of course, presuming that the days have been sunny.

Should you cover your pool every night? ›

Using a pool cover overnight can reduce evaporation. Plus, the cover will trap accumulated moisture, and it'll naturally go back into your pool. You'll be rewarded with a more consistent water level and maybe even a lower water bill.

Should you put a pillow under your pool cover? ›

Do I Need A Pool Pillow? While they're not 100% necessary, winter pool pillows are incredibly helpful. They help protect your pool from expanding ice and promote even weight distribution, which is why we highly encourage them for pool owners.

Does pool water evaporate under winter cover? ›

Studies confirm that covering a pool can reduce evaporation by up to 95%! That's big water savings! A swimming pool cover traps the vapors and the heat from escaping. Not only can a swimming pool cover can keep more water in the pool, but it can also keep more heat inside the pool.

Should I shovel snow off my pool cover? ›

It's extremely important to get the snow off your pool cover as soon as possible and here's why… If you have an above ground swimming pool, all that snow weights down on the cover pulling the pool walls in towards the center. This could damage the top rail, fence and walls of your swimming pool.

Should a pool cover sit on the water? ›

Allowing water to pool on the top of your cover can cause damage to both the cover and your pool, depending on the type of each. This is because pool covers are not made to withstand the weight of water (or anything else) on top of them.

What is the best way to cover an inground pool for winter? ›

Standard winter pool covers are held in place using sandbags, blocks, or water bags, which can easily move if enough weight is exerted on the cover. For this reason, you'll need a cover pump to keep water drained off the top so that it doesn't accumulate too much weight and collapse into the pool.

What does scrim mean in pool covers? ›

*Note: The scrim usually refers to the number of thick, loosely woven threads, per inch, that are sandwiched between the top and bottom layers of the cover that give the cover its strength. Typically, the higher the number, the better the cover.

What type of inground pool cover is best? ›

Both types of security covers do a good job of keeping out leaves and debris. Security covers are probably the most popular pool cover for inground pool owners. They are more expensive than standard covers but typically perform better.

Should you walk on pool covers? ›

The important thing to make sure that a pool cover is able to hold that much weight is that it should float on the water and evenly distribute any weight that is put on it. Saying that, it is NOT ADVISABLE to stand or walk on the pool cover, however durable it is, except in cases of emergency.

What happens if I dont cover my inground pool? ›

They Keep Your Pool Clean

Your pool will quickly become very dirty, and it may even be unsafe to swim in if you leave it uncovered for more than a day or two. It also makes it much easier to keep your pool clean since the pool cover will catch all this debris.

What happens if you don't close your pool in the winter? ›

Without winterizing your pool, the water could turn green with algae—or worse, bacteria called pink algae can grow. If the chlorine system stops functioning, you'll say adieu to the beautiful blue pool you know and love. Come spring, your pool will be a homely sight and cause a real dent in your wallet.

Do covered pools lose water? ›

If your covered pool loses water in the winter, you probably have a leak. You need to roll back the cover occasionally and check the water level. If it is lower than usual, you should check for leaks and fix them immediately to avoid further damage.

What is the average cost of an automatic pool cover? ›

An average automatic pool cover costs between $6,000 and $15,000, depending on the size and build of your pool. Every pool cover is custom-made to fit your pool's size and shape with measurements based on a free onsite estimate conducted by a local professional.

How much is a pool cover electric? ›

Automatic pool cover: $10,000 – $20,000

With endless possibilities to choose from, additional custom features may increase the cost of an automatic pool cover above $20,000.

Which is better mesh or solid pool cover? ›

Mesh covers typically last longer than vinyl covers. I've found the average lifespan for a mesh cover to be 10–15 years. Mesh covers do not need a pump on top because they just let the pool water pass through. Since there's no pump, mesh covers generally require no work during the offseason.

Are automatic pool covers safer than a fence? ›

First, it is a pool safety device, creating an unpassable barrier which acts much better than a traditional fence (which can be breached) keeping children & pets safe in your yard.

Can an automatic pool cover be opened manually? ›

Can the cover be opened/closed manually? Yes, it can .

Can you open an automatic pool cover with water on it? ›

A.NO! The cover can run only with the water level at least at the bottom of the skimmer. The fabric must be supported by the water in the pool.

Is it normal for pool to be green after winter? ›

However, when you return to your pool as the weather gets warmer, you might find that your pool water has, worryingly, turned an unsightly green colour. If this is the case — don't worry. A green pool is a normal occurrence and can be cleaned relatively easily.

What color pool cover is best? ›

“A UV-protected, translucent blue color offers a better balance between heat retention and pool chemical protection,” Dobrica told us. Dobrica said that a clear cover will warm the pool water the most, but it will also allow more UV rays, which can make chlorine less effective as a disinfectant.

How often should you shock your pool in the winter? ›

On a monthly basis throughout the winter, you'll need to perform some routine chemical maintenance. Never use chlorine tablets during the winter: you'll want to opt for Assault 73 Shock or Quick Shock granular chlorine once a month (1 pound per 10,000 gallons.)

Are thermal pool covers worth it? ›

The short answer is yes. It has been scientifically proven by at least 3 studies that solar blankets help to warm swimming pools. They also help to retain pool heat at night, help to reduce humidity and help to save on energy costs.

Does a pool heat up quicker with the cover on or off? ›

An uncovered pool will lose about 2-3 times more heat than a covered pool. Covering the pool is particularly important at night as the air temperature will drop causing a temperature difference between the pool water and the air.

Do automatic pool covers retain heat? ›

An automatic pool cover is one of the best ways to prevent pool heat loss because it keeps the warm water inside your pool and keeps cold air out so the water maintains a consistently comfortable temperature. Pool covers can reduce your pool heating costs by up to 70% by reducing evaporation.

Why did my pool turn green after I shocked it? ›

Pools can immediately turn green after shocking when they have metals like copper in the water. These metals oxidise when exposed to high levels of chlorine which makes the pool water turn green. Adding a metal control product such as Zodiac Metal Remover will help to restore the pool water.

Are pool blankets worth it? ›

They do work really effectively. If you're using your pool and you're maintaining heat, be it with an electric heater or a gas heater, or even if you want to capture the solar heat from the day so that the next day it's still there, then you need to put a blanket on your pool.

Can you use a tarp as a pool cover? ›

A tarp is an oversized waterproof cover used to protect swimming pools during harsh weather conditions. It's fixed with water bags placed in each corner, allowing it to stretch over the entire surface of the pool. While cost-friendly and easy to set up, tarps are typically less durable than pool safety covers.

What can I use to hold pool cover down? ›

Water bags are the easiest and most effective way to hold down your winter pool cover. Built from heavy-duty vinyl designed to withstand sub-zero temperatures, water bags provide peace of mind. Once installed, you know your pool cover will be secure all winter long.

How much weight can a winter pool cover hold? ›

The standard that the pool cover industry references is from ASTM, a company known and referenced widely for safety standards for many industries. The ASTM standard for pool covers requires the ability to hold at least 435 pounds.

Should I put holes in my pool cover? ›

For safety reasons; if someone should end up under the pool cover, air will come in through the holes. These small holes prevent a large pool of water from getting on the pool cover. All Intex pool covers have these safety holes, except for the covers for the Family Swim Center Pools.

How do you install an inground pool winter cover? ›

How to Install a Winter Pool Cover
  1. Drain the pool... then drape the cover. After draining the pool to the proper level, place the cover over the entire pool and let it rest on the water. ...
  2. Work with the rain... not against it! ...
  3. Tie it down... but not too tight!
5 Sept 2013

Should a pool cover be tight or loose? ›

You want to ensure that your cover is tight across the surface of your pool. If your cover is too loose, leaves and debris can make their way into your pool.

Can you run pool pump with winter cover on? ›

Absolutely! A cover does nothing to interfere with the water circulating through your system. It doesn't touch your pump or any other piece of equipment you have. When your pool is covered during these winter months, you can run it less, thus protecting the pump from premature aging.

How tight should inground pool cover? ›

Pool Cover Safety Information

The cover must be kept tight enough to the deck to prevent a small child from reaching the water by crawling under the edge of the cover or through any area of the cover such as a raised wall or ladder cutout.

Should you cover pool every night? ›

Using a pool cover overnight can reduce evaporation. Plus, the cover will trap accumulated moisture, and it'll naturally go back into your pool. You'll be rewarded with a more consistent water level and maybe even a lower water bill.


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