A big snow storm pelted the northeastern U.S. this weekend, and dumped 2 feet of snow on several million pools.
What to do with snow on the pool cover? As a previous blog post of mine states, the best thing to do is usually no-thing. Just let it melt on it's own, and for solid covers, pump off the snow melt as it turns to water.
The more important issue with snow on the cover is this - is the water level in the pool holding? I mean, has the pool lost water during previous months, due to a leak in the pool or from pumping pool water out from holes in the pool cover? The water level in the pool is the most important thing to check during winter. All pool covers, even safety pool covers, rely on the pool's water level to support the pool cover.
If the water level gets too low, safety cover springs and straps can become damaged, and can fail altogether. Solid pool covers can be pulled into an inground pool with low water level, and for aboveground pools, this can damage the walls, although in most cases the cover will rip first.
Secondly, check on the pool cover itself. Solid pool covers can become slack and saggy, and it's a good idea to "tighten-up" the pool cover. This helps cover pumps to pump off the water more easily. Safety pool covers do not usually require much maintenance, but occasionally may need to have the straps tightened to keep the cover drum tight. Springs should be about halfway compressed, for best tension. Loose covers sag into the water, causing a teabag effect come spring.
Air Pillows on aboveground pools are important to prevent a solid ice sheet from forming across the pool, which puts lots of pressure on pool walls. If your Air Pillow has deflated, replace it as soon as possible, using a wet/dry vac to inflate them quickly.
Next most important thing? Check your pool pH, Total Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness levels, especially for pools with mesh covers that allow rain and snow melt to pass through. You may be surprised at how precipitation can change your pool water chemistry, which can lead to pool stains and algae growth (when the water warms up).
Of course, if your pool is frozen over and topped with snow, there's not much testing you can do at the moment. But when the pool thaws out, pull back the pool cover in one corner, and test the pool water. If you need to add adjustment chemicals, open the cover along one side, add your chemicals and then brush that side of the pool to help distribute.
Fourth is to keep an eye on the pool equipment - pump, filter, heater, etc. Check to be sure that the pool has not become un-winterized. There should be no water in the equipment of course. Also check that fallen branches have not caused any damage, or small mudslides, or anything out of the ordinary. And, of course make sure that the power is still off - you do not want the pump running without water.
Your pool equipment is probably OK if it looks OK - no need to dismantle and look inside, but scan the equipment for any signs of cracking, or anything out of the ordinary. Should you dig out a pool pump covered in snow? I would, but there's probably no real need to. As long as melting snow won't cause flooding, or small mudslides, which is the real concern to your pool pump.
SPP Pool Expert