Three Essential Accessories for Above Ground Winter Pool Covers
Winterizing your above ground swimming pool involves a number of important steps such as giving the pool a good cleaning, ensuring proper balance of chemicals in the water, and lowering the water level to below the returns and skimmer. Beyond this point, there are any number of additional accessories that could be used to keep your pool in good shape until next season. The sheer volume of products available can feel daunting and confusing. In essence, once the water has been prepared properly and you are ready to top it all off with a winter pool cover, there are really only three winterizing accessories about which you should be concerned.
If you live in a climate where winter air temperatures drop below freezing, the first accessory you’ll need is an air pillow. Air pillows absorb the pressure created by freezing water and protect your pool’s walls and liner. As the water in the pool freezes and expands, it will freeze inward on the air pillow rather than outward on your pool walls. Air pillows are placed under the winter pool cover on top of the water in the center of the pool. To ensure that the air pillow doesn’t move out of place over the course of the winter, you’ll want to use durable string to tie it to two sides of your pool wall.
Next, you’ll want a pool cover pump to drain the water that collects on your pool cover throughout the winter months. If accumulated water is not regularly removed by a cover pump, the weight of that excess water can damage your winter pool cover or pull the cover into the water below. Either way, you’ll have a messy situation to clean up. Cover pumps are available in manual models and automatic models. Manual cover pumps require that you monitor the pump’s progress and unplug it when the water is drained. Automatic cover pumps, often preferred by pool owners, sense and automatically start when water is detected on the cover and turn off automatically once the water has been drained.
Bags, Seal, or Clips
Finally, you’ll want to consider how to keep your winter pool cover from being blown around on breezy days, exposing your pool to the elements and ruining the hard work you put into winterizing. There are many options available for keeping a winter pool cover in place, including pool cover wall bags, winter cover seal, and cover clips. Pool cover wall bags are designed especially for above ground pools and are positioned around the inside perimeter of your pool, fastened to your pool cover’s cable. Wall bags should be filled only three quarters full with water to make room for the water to expand should it freeze. Winter cover seal is another way to keep your pool cover in place, and while it looks very much like a large roll of plastic wrap, it’s really a tough poly blend film packed with UV inhibitors. Winter cover seal is wrapped around the covered pool several times to create a tight seal, which prevents wind as well as dirt from getting under the cover and causing damage and premature wear and tear. Cover clips are a third option for securing your winter pool cover. Cover clips are exactly that — handy fasteners that hold your pool cover in place. They grip your top rail like a clothes pin and hold securely throughout the winter season.
Keeping the winterizing of your above ground swimming pool as simple as possible will make the process less tiresome and time consuming. A good quality air pillow, a manual or automatic cover pump, and a means of securing your winter pool cover to the pool are really the only necessary accessories you need to go along with your winter pool cover. You’ll find that you don’t need any more than this to prepare your pool for winter and ensure that it stays in great shape until next season.