How to Install a Winter Pool Cover

Follow along as Jay points out the right way to install a winter pool cover.

Jay Backer Whether you're covering your swimming pool with a solid or mesh cover or a leaf net, there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. Any cover can add a significant amount of weight to the pool's frame and can damage the pool wall if placed incorrectly. To get the most out of your cover and keep your pool clean all winter long, be sure to follow these simple instructions.

  • Drain the pool... then drape the cover

    After draining the pool to the proper level, place the cover over the entire pool and let it rest on the water. The cover should drape vertically down the inside walls of the pool and lie directly on the waters surface. The cover should never be suspended in any area. These same principles apply to leaf nets installed over a winter cover. If the cover is suspended above the water at any point, your pool's walls will have to bear the brunt of the weight from rainwater, snow, leaves and other debris that accumulates during the winter.

    InGround pool covers are sized for a maximum water drop below the deck of 18 inches, and covers for Above Ground pools are sized for a maximum water drop of 12 inches. If you normally drain your pool water more than this in the Fall, be sure to buy a cover large enough to accommodate the depth needed for the cover to rest on top of the water and still have plenty of material left along the outside of the pool to anchor it securely.

    InGround pool covers should have enough material left to overlap the deck and Above Ground covers should hug the sidewall of the pool while laying on top of the water. If you find that your cover or leaf net is too small, don't stretch it across the pool in an attempt to make it fit. Your cover should fit your pool as shown in the diagram below.

  • Work with the rain... not against it!

    Solid covers are made to have rainwater accumulate on top of them all winter long. Mesh covers will allow the water to slowly drain through. This water will not damage the cover in any way. Do not pump off the cover during the Fall. Water on top of the cover will hold it in place and help protect it from wind damage.

    The time to pump rainwater is in the spring just before removing the cover. Don't worry, we've got cover pumps to make the job super easy when the time comes!

  • Tie it down... but not too tight!

    Never use bricks or sharp blocks to weigh down a cover as these can cut and scuff the cover. We always recommend using water tubes for cover installation on InGround pools. On Above Ground pools, use a cable and winch by threading the cable through the cover loops and using the ratchet to tighten it.

    If you tie your cover to a fence or other permanent structure, be sure to use a flexible bungie cord. Using flexible cords will allow the cover to shift as snow and ice accumulates without pulling out the corner tabs or straps. Water tubes should still be used.

Properly installing your pool's winter cover will help keep the pool cleaner and make the cover last longer. Winterize your pool the right way with our full line of winter pool covers and accessories.