Pool Safety Covers have incredible warranty periods, but they don't last forever, and at some point every pool safety cover owner will need a replacement safety cover. So that you are prepared, let's talk about some tips and tricks to save you time and money when it comes time to replace a safety pool cover.
How to Order a Replacement Safety Pool Cover
SAVE TIME AND MONEY: Hopefully you have some paperwork and information relating to the purchase of your current, existing cover? Most safety covers are manufactured with a unique serial number that will identify the original layout with the manufacturer. This information is usually sewn along the perimeter of the cover. Also, note which manufacturer produced your cover. With these two pieces of vital information, we should be able to contact your manufacturer and obtain a price and plan for your original cover, so you don’t have to measure again!
In order for a replacement safety cover to fit most of the existing anchors in the pool deck, it is important to reference the original design, so a clone can be made which will align with the original strap (and anchor) placement.
If you don't have any information about the cover, or even who made it, but you have the old cover still - don't throw it away! Many manufacturers offer what’s known as a template safety cover replacement. These companies will receive your cover (without springs attached), and make an exact replacement by using the original. Clean the cover and remove the springs. Attach a tag to the cover, and write on the box, your name and contact information, and the name of your favorite safety cover dealer (poolproducts.com!), so they know who to contact with the price quote. Roll your pool cover very tightly and place in the smallest box you can fit it into. Contact us for the factory shipping address. This method will save you time, but will cost to ship your pool cover.
Any cover, from any manufacturer can be used as a template. Our cover manufacturers will not turn away a template just because it was originally made by another company!
The next way to have a replacement safety cover fabricated will favor the saving of money rather than time. You can provide us with new A-B measurements of your pool, and the existing anchor points. Measuring the pool as well as measuring to the existing anchor points can be enough information for the manufacturer to create a computerized layout of your pool. When doing this, keep in mind that the more accurate you are in your measurements, the more accurate the design & fabrication will be, resulting in a better fit. We have safety cover measurement form that you can print out, and mail, fax or email to our safety cover team.
Another way to save money is to not order the springs and anchors with the new cover. It's not a full retail discount, but some manufacturers will ship the cover "without hardware". This means no springs, anchors or cover tools. You may decide that you need a few springs and anchors, or decide to replace all of the springs, and keep extra brass anchors on hand.
STOCK SAFETY COVERS
If you have a rectangle or rectangle plus step section of a common size, can't you just buy a new "stock" cover? Probably, if you are sure of the manufacturer. But to be certain, if you can dig up the original paperwork, it would be best to check with us on your manufacturer's current strap placement and anchor plot layout.
Otherwise, when you purchase a new stock cover, there will be less certainty that all of your anchor points will line up to the straps on the new cover. Most customers get lucky and get a good match, however I’ve also seen customers have to re-drill a third of their anchor points when they weren't sure, or the manufacturer had changed panel spacing or layout.
When it comes time to replace a safety cover, you may be hard pressed to save both time and money. If you were able to document the unique identification on the cover then you could have the luck of saving both!
How to Replace a Safety Pool Cover
When your cover comes in, spread it over the pool and begin to attach all of the springs onto the straps. Matching the previous strap length perfectly sometimes will take time and many adjustments.
First, make sure that the cover is oriented properly, and you don't have it turned around. Rectangles and modified rectangles can be tricky in this regard. Start loosely with the springs, and once the cover looks fully centered on the pool, begin to tighten the straps evenly around the pool. The springs should be about 1/3 - 1/2 of the way compressed. If some of the seams or the straps look stressed and stretched, adjust the tension in opposite directions to compensate and pull seams and straps straighter.
If you have a solid safety cover with drain panels, you may need to loosen the springs that are closest to the panel. This helps rain water pitch toward the drain and prevents puddling. You can test the pitch by laying a hose on the cover in different areas while small adjustments are made.
If you need to replace some of the anchors because they are non-functioning, try removing the old anchor by chiseling the concrete around the top of the anchor, until you can loosen it with large pliers or vice grips. Pry and pull hard enough, and it should come out!
If some of the new straps don't line up to your old deck anchors, don't get upset - get a hammer drill, for a half-day rental on a Saturday, and you'll be done by lunchtime. So that you don't get confused later on when installing the cover, remove the old anchor bolt and fill the old anchor body with caulking or a mortar mix.
I hope my tips on replacing your safety pool cover will save you either time or money - and hopefully both!
SPP Pool Expert