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How To Install A Winter Cover On An Above Ground Pool August 14, 2012 03:28 PM

In most areas of the United States, winter covers are a crucial product for properly closing pool at the end of the swimming season.  Whether it’s an above ground or in ground pool, winter covers prevent leaves, dirt, and debris from falling into the pool during the winter.  Depending on your selection—i.e. if you select a solid instead of a mesh cover—they also keep out water and other precipitation.  Regardless, all covers inhibit bacteria and algae development.  This reduces the amount of work required to clean up the pool upon re-opening in the spring.  Their benefits, therefore, are unquestioned.  Here’s how to install them on above ground pools:

  1. Unfold the cover and place it on the ground.  Spread it out so you have a chance to inspect it for any rips or tears.  If you own an Arctic Armor winter cover place it black side down, as this is the proper configuration for when the cover is actually installed on the pool.
  1. Lift the cover and place it over the entire pool surface.  Depending on the size of the cover you may need a second or third person to assist with this step.  Remember to install the Air Pillow before putting on the cover if you have this accessory for your pool. 
  1. Allow the cover to rest directly on the pool water.  Note that your cover is sized for a maximum water drop of about 12" (if the water line is more than 12" below the lip of your pool order a larger size cover).
  1. Distribute and flatten out the material across the water and up the sides so that it is flush against the pool walls in the area above the water line.  It should "hug" the sidewall as depicted in the "Correct" graphic included below.
How To Install An Above Ground Winter Pool Cover
  1. Ensure the excess material/overlap is hanging over the toprail of the pool, but do not stretch the cover to accomplish this.  Stretching the cover will shorten its useful life, or worse, immediately damage it. 
  1. Thread the plastic coated, steel cable included with the winter cover through the loops or metal grommets attached near the cover’s edges.  Use the winch/ratchet provided with the cover to tighten the cable around the pool’s edge, securing the cover.
  1. Depending on the severity of the weather in your area consider additional accessories such as wall bags, cover clips, a cover seal, or a cover loc jr.  These may improve the function of the cover or extend its useful life. 

Note that most above ground pool covers are designed to hold rainwater or other precipitation throughout the winter.  This water will not damage the cover.  In fact, the weight of the precipitation helps hold the cover in place and protects it from wind damage.  For this reason, do not pump all precipitation off the cover during the Fall.  Consider a leaf net if your swimming pool is located in an area with significant leaf abscission.