Can Automatic Pool Covers be used as Winter pool covers?

Automatic pool covers are very durable and can be used as a winter pool cover when proper precautions are taken.  If you plan to use your automatic pool cover as a winter cover, following these precautions will help prevent accidental damage to your cover system.

How to Use your Automatic Pool Cover as a Winter Pool Cover

Water Level

Proper water level must be maintained through the Winter. The pool water supports the weight of ice and snow accumulation – if the water level drops below the recommended level, it poses the risk of the cover tracks being pulled from the pool coping.

Please follow these recommendations for pool water level:

Gunite / Shotcrete swimming pools – The pool water should be lowered to 1” down from the bottom of the pool wall tile. This should be no more than 7” from the pool cover track.

Vinyl / Fiberglass swimming pools – The pool water should be kept at the normal water level height. The skimmer lines must be plugged to keep water from entering the pool plumbing. Precautions must be taken to either block off the mouth of the skimmer or to place material in the skimmer that can absorb the force of the shifting ice. This is commonly done by placing two empty 1 gallon jugs in the skimmer with the caps lightly attached.

Cover Pump and Snow Removal

The cover pump must be left on the cover and plugged in the entire Winter season. This helps to remove excess water as ice and snow begin to melt. Excessive amounts of snow or ice on the cover should be avoided if possible. Do not attempt to break or remove snow or ice from the cover – let it melt and be pumped off of the pool cover before attempting to open the pool. It is extremely important that the hose from the pump be put into the pool so that the pool water that was displaced by the ice and snow is replenished.

Fallen leaves or other debris should be removed from the cover before snow and ice begin to accumulate.

Fabric Slack

An automatic pool cover should only be used as a winter cover if it has the proper slack. All covers are installed with a small amount of extra fabric, or slack, which enables the cover to be flexible and movable when weight is added to the surface. Actual slack requirements may vary based on local conditions.

In summary, automatic pool covers can be used as winter covers if proper precautions are in place to prevent accidental damage. If you choose to cover your pool with an additional winter cover, the automatic cover should be cleaned and rolled up in the cover box. The cover is not warranted against damages due to winter use, falling trees, or other natural causes.

We offer a variety of automatic pool cover services – installation, seasonal maintenance, repairs, and system or fabric replacements. Browse all of our services online here. For even more information, please visit or call us at 866-746-8444.

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram
Follow us on Twitter

Ready to find out more?

Our customer care team is available to answer your questions.