Manual Pool Cover or Electric Pool Cover, which one is the better swimming pool cover? This question is a lot like picking pedals of a flower in the old lovers game, ‘does she love me or does she not’, because the answer can be a bit random when the question is asked vaguely like this. They are very similar in the benefits they have when the pool cover fabric is deployed over the pool; it is the ease of which they go on and off the pool that sets them apart. Let’s take a look at the two covers and maybe it will help decide which one is best.
Manual Pool Cover
These type pool covers, as the name implies, are a hand cranked pool cover that rolls along two straight pieces of track, one on each side of the pool (pictured above). A manual pool cover is a nice little addition to a backyard pool. Speaking of little, they are really not designed to be put on pools larger than 18’ x 36’ because the cover would get too heavy to roll up. They use a hand crank gear that turns the large aluminum cover tube that in turn allows the pool cover to roll on or roll off the pool.
These handy devices do a great job of keeping the pool clean when you are not using it and they have some other great benefits too. A manual pool cover is a pool cover that has solid cover fabric. When the cover is hand cranked over the pool it stops water loss from evaporation, saves on chemicals, saves on energy costs, and of course the most important thing it does is function as an ASTM approved safety cover. When the cover is in place over the pool it seals off all the sides of the pool from accidental entry. Because they have no drive mechanism or expensive electric motor, they are extremely cost effective for the many benefits you get from them.
Automatic Pool Covers
A fully automatic pool cover is very similar in terms of tracking and cover fabric to that of a manually operated cover; as a matter of fact, some people will purchase a manual pool cover and then convert it to an automatic pool cover some time in the future. Also just like a manual cover, automatic pool covers will save water, save energy, save chemicals, and it is also an ASTM approved safety cover. They also do an excellent job of keeping the pool clean and ready to use by keeping dirt, leaves, and other debris out of the pool when the cover fabric is closed over it.
For an automatic pool cover it all starts with its complex and durable drive mechanism and electric motor. The drive mechanisms and motors can either be mounted on the pool decking or conveniently recessed in a specially designed encapsulation module at one end of the pool. They are powered by electric motors which move the drive mechanism by either electric or hydraulic means. The process to take the cover on and off the pool is initiated by means of an electric switch. This switch can be either activated by a button, a specially designed electronic keypad, or a key activated switch that has a removable key for safety reasons.
Because of the fact that the automatic pool cover is simply activated by an electrical switch, it is the most convenient type of pool cover to use by far. It is this very same ease of use that makes it the most utilized type of pool cover also, and because of that, the owners get to receive the many benefits that these type of covers offer on a more regular basis than the owners of other types of pool covers. That is also why these types of covers are highly recommended for purchase and subsequent use by several independent and government sponsored studies.
So which type of cover is better between an automatic pool cover and a manual pool cover? As far as pool cover fabric function goes, there is very little difference between the two types of covers as far as the benefits you receive from them. The big difference is the ease of use of the automatic pool cover makes it used more often. So the Automatic pool cover pulls away from the manual cover in the stretch run and takes the victory as the better type of cover.