Automatic Pool Covers Pass The Durability Test

October 5th, 2015 by

Automatic pool covers use some of the most durable parts that are available in their construction. It makes this one of the longest lasting devices you could possibly put on your swimming pool. Many of their parts will last beyond 10 years or more and they also tend to come with outstanding warranties to back them up too. Let’s take look at some the of the parts on automatic pool covers that take a lot of wear and tear and must be replaced from time to time.


The ropes on the automatic pool cover are what pull the cover on and off the pool. The covers fabric is extremely heavy and it makes for a lot of stress and strain on the ropes. Do automatic pool cover ropes stretch? Yes, a little bit of stretching is an integral part of how they work, but overstretching is a bad thing and may ruin them or cause the pool covers fabric to bunch up when moving it. Redundant backup systems built into the system help to eliminate some of the tension and stress on the ropes, but they can still break or become frayed over time and need to be replaced. The pool cover owner does not have to worry though because these ropes are inexpensive and easy to replace when it does happen. As a matter of fact, most automatic pool cover manufacturers have specially made rope replacement kits readily available.

Cover Fabric

The automatic pool cover fabric itself is another part of the pool cover that is vulnerable to being worn or needing replacement from time to time. The pool cover is usually deployed over the swimming pool more than 90% of the time and it’s subject to the exposure to the elements that come with this. Mother Nature herself can wreak havoc during snow storms, period of high winds, and other naturally occurring events. Chemicals, the very thing that makes the swimming pool look nice and properly sanitized so it’s safe to swim in, if not adjusted properly can be very harmful to the pool cover fabric and shorten its useful life. Spraying off the cover and keeping it free from debris will help to extend its useful life. If the pool cover fabric should get some holes or tears in the cover from falling branches or accidents then these must be patched right away; small holes or tears are really not a problem once they are patched. Larger holes and tears may necessitate replacement of the swimming pool cover fabric.

Automatic Pool Cover Motor

Whether the automatic pool cover system has a hydraulic or electric driven drive mechanism on it makes no difference, they both use an electric motor and are subject to all the things that can affect electric motors. Electric motors when they come on and off go through heat cycles; they build up a lot of heat when running, and then cool down when not running. This causes some expansion and contraction that can sometimes be harmful. Although motors are designed to handle these heat cycles, they still sometimes throw bearings or seals which will necessitate the repair or replacement of them.

Drive mechanism

Technology has come a long way when it comes to automatic pool cover drive mechanisms. Not only do they not break very often, but they are backed by some of the longest warranties of any part on an automatic pool cover system; some companies even offer a lifetime warranty on their drive mechanism components. No matter what their warranty though, it does not mean that they won’t have a problem and break from time to time. They are subject by the very nature of how they work to have problems once in a while; when metal parts come into contact with other metal parts it does not always mesh smoothly. Drive gears can become misaligned which can cause their teeth to grind up against each other. Eventually the gear teeth will break or round out and become useless and need to be replaced.

A pool cover owner can avoid a lot of problems by having an automatic pool cover technician come out once or twice a year and do any routine maintenance they feel is necessary; think of it as a tune up for automatic covers.

For more information about automatic pool covers, please feel free to contact an independent Latham Pool Builder.


Meet Our Expert

Written by

With more than 15 years of experience at Coverstar, Mark is the autocover expert and Product Manager for Automatic Safety Covers at Latham. In his free time he enjoys camping, hiking and exploring the nation's beautiful national parks with his family.

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