San Diego, California - Shown In Image: Brick Coping, Standard Autocover Lid, Top Track

San Diego, California - Shown In Image: Brick Coping, Standard Autocover Lid, Top Track

The Many Different Functions of an Automatic Pool Cover

September 28th, 2021 by

In your backyard are many fun tools and toys that perform different duties. However, on your swimming pool is a jack-of-all-trades, an important safety tool that performs many different functions. This amazing apparatus is the automatic pool cover. Let’s take a look at the many benefits it offers for pool owners in protecting your backyard swimming pool.

Pool owners can see dramatic savings in the operating costs of their pool in the following areas by adding an automatic cover to their pool.

Prevent Evaporation

An automatic pool cover acts as a VAPOR BARRIER that almost completely stops evaporation from happening. An automatic pool cover is designed to have 85% of it resting on the swimming pools surface when it is deployed over the pool. This leaves very little space for evaporation to occur. When the pool cover is over the pool it will save you a lot of water, and in turn, also save you some money.

An automatic cover also reduces water evaporation by up to 90%. Keeping the pool covered when not in use eliminates the need to constantly add water to the pool

Reduce Pool Chemicals

An automatic cover actually helps you save chemicals in two ways when deployed over the pool.
It stops evaporation from taking place: a lot of chemical loss is due to the chemicals being lost as the pool water evaporates. Experts believe that by covering the pool with the automatic pool cover fabric resting on the water they can save as much as 90% of the water that would have been lost due to evaporation if the pool was uncovered. This adds up to literally thousands of gallons being saved that normally would have just evaporated away. And what was in those thousands of gallons of water? You guessed it, hundreds of dollars in valuable chemicals that you saved by not having to replace the chemicals that were lost in evaporating water.

A major cause of chemical consumption is chlorine being lost due to the sun’s powerful UV rays. Studies suggest that the sun’s powerful UV rays wreak havoc on a swimming pools chlorine demand, especially if the pool owner is using unstabilized chlorine (such as Calcium Hypochlorite) or the pool’s Calcium Hardness level is out of balance (most test strips do not even take a reading for calcium hardness). Automatic pool cover fabric is a thick woven polyester fiber that has applied PVC resin in it and often also comes with added UV inhibitors. With the pool cover deployed over the swimming pool, a large percentage of these UV rays never make it to the pool water, so the sun cannot act on the chlorine. So if the sun cannot act on the chlorine, you won’t lose the chlorine that is normally lost in that process.

Sunlight also causes algae and organic matter to grow faster and chemicals are used up combatting this process. This growth process is called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is described as the process used by mainly plants and some other organisms to turn light energy (normally from the Sun), into chemical energy that can be later released to fuel the plants or organisms’ activities. Simply said, it makes organic matter grow faster and the chlorine gets eaten up in the process of getting rid of it. With the pool cover deployed over the swimming pool, it once again blocks the sunlight so this photosynthesis cannot take place, and in turn, less photosynthesis saves chlorine because it does not have to work so hard. So once again your automatic pool cover has just saved you even more money on chemicals.

Save Electricity

Automatic covers reduce the amount of energy needed for the filtration of the pool. Electricity is required to run the pool pump and filter. An automatic cover keeps dirt and debris out of your pool, saving up to 50% on electricity because the filtration equipment can be operated much less frequently.

Keep Heat Inside the Pool

An automatic pool cover also performs the function of being a THERMAL BLANKET. When it covers the swimming pool it traps the heat in the pool much like a regular blanket does when you cover yourself on a cool night. If you are a swimming pool owner who likes to extend the swimming season by heating the pool, this can save you a whole lot of energy; as a matter of fact, with the energy you save you can pay for the automatic pool cover in as little as three years.


Undertrack autocover on vinyl liner pool

Automatic Pool Cover Benefits: Protect Your Pool From the Elements

Automatic pool covers also act as a PROTECTIVE COVER when on the swimming pool. They keep such things as leaves and other organic matter out of the swimming pool; this is important because when organic matter gets into your pool and starts to decay it can wreak havoc on the pool water chemistry, not to mention it looks bad. It also blocks blowing sand, dirt, and other things from getting into the water so it is ready to use the next time you want to swim.

Acting as a WINTER COVER for when the swimming pool is closed during the colder months is another function that an automatic pool cover provides. It helps block the sun’s rays from eating up the chlorine in the swimming pool and this keeps the pool water from looking like pea green soup when you open up after the winter. If you live in an area with a lot of snow accumulation, consider adding a manual safety cover over the winter. Either safety cover will also keeps leaves, branches, pine cones, and other debris from getting in the pool water over the winter; this too makes the pool much easier to start up the following season.

Automatic Pool Cover Benefits: Safety

An automatic pool cover is also an astm certified safety device when it is deployed over the swimming pool because it acts as an ISOLATION BARRIER. What this means is it seals off all the sides of the pool from accidental entry into the water. It will prevent children, toddlers, non-swimmers, and pets from accidental drowning.

It performs the function of a SAFETY NET should someone accidentally fall into the automatic pool cover while it is on the pool. What could have been a tragedy has been avoided and the person who fell in is no worse off than a person who falls onto a water bed. And just like that trapeze artist that falls into the safety net during the circus show, they simply crawl off the device totally unharmed and ready to get on again with what they were doing before they fell.

But maybe outside of safety its most important function may be that of a THERAPIST. Its ease of use makes it so convenient that it completely takes the stress away from worrying about keeping your swimming pool safe. Knowing your pool is safe when you are not around is extremely comforting and really makes owning a swimming pool worry free too.

In order to reap the many benefits of an automatic pool cover, you need to keep your cover in good working order. Follow these automatic pool cover maintenance tips to increase the longevity of your auto cover.

So now you see that an automatic pool cover truly is the master of disguise when it comes to swimming pool equipment. It’s multifunctional role is the main reason why they are becoming such a popular add-on for inground swimming pools.

Learn More About Automatic Pool Covers

Automatic pool covers can be added to pools of different shapes at any time. Learn more about automatic pool cover benefits and how to choose the best pool cover for your pool. Contact an independent Latham Independent Builder to answer all your questions about automatic safety pool covers.





Editor’s note: Originally posted 8/2017. Updated for accuracy and relevance. 

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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