Automatic pool covers are a growing trend for owners of inground pools. Also known as retractable pool covers or electric pool covers, automatic pool covers are just that – automatic. The ease of use allows you to cover your pool any time that it is not in use, which protects the pool and prevents accidents.
Automatic pool covers are powered by an electric motor, and run on a set of tracks installed along the pool’s edge. A set of pulleys at each end of the pool connected by cables allow you to set the pool cover in motion with the flip of a switch or press of a button. The same goes when you want to retract the pool cover.
Here at Woodfield Outdoors, we get a lot of questions about automatic pool covers. We’ll address some of the pros and cons here.
The Benefits of Automatic Pool Covers
Beyond the fact that you won’t have to wrestle with a conventional pool cover or find a place to store it, automatic pool covers have several benefits, including:
- They are great solar pool covers and will heat your pool naturally.
- Automatic pool covers provide constant protection against accidental drownings and unwanted guests. They require a key or PIN code to operate.
- They keep leaves and other debris out of your pool.
- Keeping debris and rainwater out means these covers decrease the amount of time you spend cleaning and maintaining your pool.
- You can reduce the need for sanitizers and chemical adjustments.
To get all of these benefits, you will need to get in the habit of closing the automatic pool cover any time your pool is not in use.
The Drawbacks of Automatic Pool Covers
So all of those benefits sound really great, right? But there are several drawbacks to automatic pool covers that you should take into consideration. These include:
- They’re expensive. Automatic pool covers are much more expensive than other inground pool covers. Depending on the size and shape of your pool, and other factors, the price can range from $12,000 to $22,000.
- The heavy duty vinyl these automatic pool covers are made of can break down, and you may need to replace the cover every 2-5 years..
- The motor, cables, and pulleys will require maintenance.
- Since they are such good solar covers, they can actually heat the pool too much – up to 95 degrees!
- You will have to open the automatic pool cover before a heavy snow, because they cannot withstand the weight. Either that, or get a separate pool safety cover for winter.
Before purchasing and installing an automatic pool cover, do your research. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you decide an automatic pool cover is right for you, we recommend Automatic Pool Covers, Inc.
Automatic Pool Cover Installation
Automatic pool covers should be installed by a pool contractor. Most manufacturers require professional installation as part of the warranty. Trying to cut corners by installing it yourself could void the warranty.