Fiberglass | Olympia 14 with Automatic Safety Cover by Brooks Malone (TN)

Fiberglass | Olympia 14 with Automatic Safety Cover by Brooks Malone (TN)

How To Open an Automatic Pool Cover

May 18th, 2022 by

Automatic pool covers are to a swimming pool as a gas engine was to the automobile. They make it more convenient to use your pool, meaning your investment is enjoyed more often. Automatic pool covers offer a lot of benefits; keeping out unwanted dirt and debris, reducing evaporation and reducing heating costs. However, many future and current pool owners are plagued by common misconceptions related to automatic pool covers. Keep reading to learn more about automatic safety pool covers and how they’ve revolutionized recreational pool usage.

Automatic Pool Covers: Easy Open

How long does it take to open an automatic pool cover? Opening an automatic swimming pool cover takes about the same amount of time it would take to sing the alphabet song, it’s that quick. It fits the very definition of convenience. Many homeowners are adding automatic covers in part because of the ease in use.

Not only do these motorized pool covers slide on and off your swimming pool quickly, but the process to initiate the movement could not be more convenient. As with a lot of devices these days, improved electronics make a lot of difference. An automatic pool cover usually contains an electronic data pad, a touchpad, a key operated mechanism, or another easy type of switch to use to activate the automatic pool cover motor and slide it on or off the swimming pool. Most other types of pool covers are cumbersome and take a long time to put on or take off the swimming pool, but that is not the case for an automatic pool cover!

How Does an Automatic Pool Cover Work?

Obviously the automatic pool cover fabric does not just magically appear on and off the pool. The leading edge of the automatic pool cover is hooked on to what is appropriately called the leading edge tube. The sides of the cover fabric are guided on and off the pool by two parallel and identical length tracks that are placed along each side of the pool. These tracks can either be mounted to the top of the pool deck or hidden along the top edge of the inside of the pool. The cover attaches to a much bigger aluminum tube at the back. The cover conveniently rolls up and rolls off this heavy aluminum tube when it is being put on or taken off the swimming pool.

Automatic Pool Covers Explained: Drive Mechanisms

The cover tube is moved by something called a drive mechanism,  which allows the cover fabric to roll on and off of your pool. The drive mechanism features a series of interlocking gears that are extremely durable and long lasting. When these gears are activated they spin the heavy aluminum cover tube and the automatic pool cover fabric is slid on and off the swimming pool.

Automatic Pool Covers Explained: Motors

While the automatic pool cover tube is moved by a drive mechanism, the mechanism still needs to be powered.  This power source is either hydraulic or electrical, and is powered by the automatic pool cover’s motor. More specifically, this motor makes the gears of the drive mechanism turn, moving your automatic pool cover from closed to open (and vice versa). If you have an extremely large sized swimming pool or the motor is not located next to your pool, then a hydraulic driven drive mechanism will be used. For all other automatic cover applications, slightly less expensive electric motors are used and conveniently located next to your swimming pool. Whichever method is used, they both open and close your automatic pool cover quickly and efficiently.

Open and Close Your Pool Quickly with an Automatic Pool Cover

Automatic pool covers are truly a wonderful innovation for the swimming pool industry. With the fast way they roll on and off a swimming pool at the simple activation of an electrical switch or by keying in a code on a touchpad, no other type of pool cover comes even close to being used as often as automatic pool covers.

With an automatic safety cover deployed over the swimming pool, you get to enjoy money saving benefits, safety benefits, and enjoy a nice clean pool inviting you to take a dip.



Editor’s note: Original post 10/2015. Updated for relevance and clarity. 

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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  • I have a rectangular pool that is 60′ long by 18′ wide. I am completely renovating it and the patio area. Is there an automatic pool cover that would work for me? I realize my pool is BIG and a cover would be heavy!

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