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Automatic Pool Cover Design Guidelines

To design a pool that will include an automatic pool cover, it is important to consider the following guidelines:


Drag: It takes marginal force to push or pull an automatic pool cover across water. However, covering dry surfaces can create a lot of drag or resistance. Drag can affect the efficiency and speed of the cover's movement, and it is important for pool owners to choose a cover that is designed to minimize drag to optimize the operation of the pool cover system. This occurs frequently on wide, lowered-end walls, spa walls and large radius corners.


Streamlining the design: One approach to reduce drag when using an automatic pool cover is to ensure the cover has a streamlined design. This can be achieved by incorporating aerodynamically optimized shapes and reducing any protruding elements that may create turbulence. By minimizing drag-inducing features and making the cover as smooth as possible, the resistance to motion caused by air or water flow can be reduced.


A blower is used in conjunction with an automatic pool cover system to reduce drag caused by air trapped beneath the cover. The main purpose of the blower is to inflate the pool cover slightly, creating a cushion of air and allowing the cover to float on the water's surface. In addition to reducing drag, the blower also helps maintain the structural integrity of the cover. By providing a slight lift ensures that the cover remains taut and flat, preventing it from sagging or gathering water, which could lead to damage or the formation of algae.


Switch location: The switch location for an automatic pool cover plays a vital role in ensuring convenience, safety, and durability, while also contributing to the overall aesthetics of the pool area. It is required that you see the entire pool from the switch while covering and uncovering your automatic pool cover.


It is recommended the switch be aligned with the leading-edge bar when the cover is in the open position so you can see that the cover is running straight. Your electrician should place the switch along the length of the pool halfway between the middle of the pool and the mechanism end, not more than twelve feet from the water’s edge. Poorly located switches are one of the largest contributors to cover failure and costly repairs.


Drop-to-Water: The drop-to-water feature is an essential component of an automatic pool cover system and plays a crucial role in its efficiency. When the automatic pool cover is designed to drop-to-water, it means that when closing, the cover will extend all the way down to the pool water surface.


Drop-to-water is an essential feature of an automatic pool cover system that ensures maximum safety, energy efficiency, reduced chemical usage, minimized water evaporation, protection against debris, and convenience for automatic cover owners. When the cover extends all the way down to the water's edge, it reduces heat loss through evaporation. This significantly minimizes energy consumption required to heat the pool water, resulting in energy savings and reduced heating costs.


Drains: Drainage systems in and around the pool cover help prevent stagnant water from accumulating. Rainwater or other forms of water buildup on the cover can create additional weight that strains the motorized mechanism when operating the cover. Proper drainage ensures that water is effectively channeled away, reducing stress on the automatic pool cover, and promoting its longevity.


An automatic pool cover operates by rolling and unrolling along tracks. If water collects on the cover, it can create friction and resistance, making it challenging for the cover to glide smoothly. This additional resistance can strain the motor or rollers, affecting the overall efficiency and lifespan of the pool cover system. Adequate drainage prevents water from obstructing the movement of the cover, ensuring seamless operation.


Lack of sufficient drainage is the most frequent cause of cover failure. The best way to protect your automatic cover is to have proper drainage. We recommend at least one 3” drain. Increasing the size of your drain to 4” can offer additional protection. Additional drains can be added to further prevent the possibility of flooding. Any drainpipe smaller than 3” is not recommended.


Large & Free Form Pools: If the pool you are designing has a pool-in-pool application, extreme cantilever coping or wider than twenty-two feet, please consult your PennCovers Client Experience Manager.


By following the guidelines, we are confident that your automatic pool cover project will be a success. Thank you for choosing PennCovers. We look forward to working with you.

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