It is said that maintaining a pool costs more than building one. While this claim is mostly untested, you can be sure that without a pool cover, water filtering and replacing costs will soon catch up with the investment you made getting your pool built. But covering your pool isn’t a matter of throwing a cloth on it and calling it a day; you need a resilient cover that can handle relatively heavy impurities.
A pool cover weighs 12.7 oz to 20 oz for every 10 square feet. Since a medium-sized family pool is 600 sqft, your pool cover should weigh 762 oz (47.6 lbs / 21.6 kg) at minimum and 1,200 oz (75 lbs / 34 kg) at maximum. You can adjust this calculation for pools smaller or larger than 600 sq ft.
Below you’ll learn how to adjust the calculation in three steps without turning into a mathematics professor. You will also discover questions worth asking yourself if you’re planning on buying a pool cover so you can cover any blind spots you may not have considered yet.
How to Calculate Pool Cover Weight?
If your pool cover is too light, it can give way to heavier objects that fall on it. Sometimes an animal (like a pet or even a stray) might jump on the cover and cancel the weight of the water bags holding it down.
On the other hand, if the cover is too heavy, it might be a chore to remove and might launch dust and impurities into the air upon uncovering. To calculate the ideal weight, you must first keep in mind the following:
- The minimum weight is indicative of covers that keep out leaves, dust, and insects.
- The maximum weight is indicative of covers that keep out heavier impurities like snow, pests, and following branches.
Step 1 – Find the Area of Your Pool in Square Feet
Figure out the area of your swimming pool by simply multiplying the width with the length. This can be tricky if you have a vinyl resin pool that takes on an unorthodox shape. If you’ve got your pool built by a third party or even gotten a zoning permit for one you’ve personally built, you should have an idea of what the pool’s area is.
Step 2 – Divide the Area by Ten
Since the smallest indicative weight is measured against every ten square feet, you must divide your answer from step one by ten. We will call this the scaling number because you use this to scale how many 12.7 oz (or 20 oz) worth of pool cover you need
Step 3 – Multiply 12.7 With the Scaling Number to Get the Minimum Cover Weight
Now that you have the scaling number, you can multiply it by 12.7 to get the weight of your pool cover in ounces. You can use the ounces to pounds calculator like Rapid Table to then get the same answer in lbs or even in kilos.
Step 4 – Multiply the Scaling Number by 20 to Get the Pool Cover’s Maximum Weight
For a sturdier cover, you’ll need to multiply 20oz with the scaling number and get the maximum weight of the cover in ounces. Once you have this, you can convert it to kilos or pounds using an online converter like Ask Numbers.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a Pool Cover
Getting a pool cover is a personal process that can vary from region to region and even from homeowner to homeowner. And that’s because many decisions we make regarding our pools make us increasingly unlike our neighbors and strangers on the internet.
The following questions will help you understand what material, size, and weight decisions you should make regarding your pool cover after acknowledging the key factors regarding your pool (like its location and your region’s climate).
Is Your Pool Above Ground or Inground?
While this might seem obvious to some, many do not understand that pool covers come in two broad varieties: covers for inground pools and ones for above-ground pools and tubs. Above-ground pool covers are often smaller with plenty more fold overflow attachment areas, whereas inground pool covers are larger and use a flat surface attachment to keep the cover in place.
You do not need to spend time figuring out which one is which when the sales page (or the salesperson, if you’re shopping in-store) tells you the kind of cover a certain specimen is. Just make sure to make the inquiry.
How Big Is Your Pool?
It is true that getting a bigger cover is more practical than getting one that is too small for your pool. Still, bigger isn’t always better in the case of pool covers, and if your pool cover’s overflowing borders are too big, it will look unappealing at best and be downright dangerous at worst.
Imagine your pets or toddlers getting too comfortable with the cover actually covering the ground because a few yards of it is on solid ground. They keep walking, and suddenly they’re atop your inground pool. Having a cover that only reaches a few inches beyond the pool boundaries is best for inground pools.
For above-ground pools, you can go as big as you want as long as the overflowing cover doesn’t cover more than half of the pool’s height. Let’s suppose your pool is two 6 feet tall.
If your overlapping cover area is 6 feet or more, it will touch the ground and drag the impurities into the pool as you attempt to remove it; doing the opposite of what it is supposed to do. Going for a pool cover that overarches the pool area by 2.5 to 3 feet in every direction is the best goal to aim toward for above-ground pools.
What Kind of Warranty Does the Pool Have?
This is one of the most critical questions that is overlooked to the buyer’s detriment. Pool covers can be flawed or ill-fitting. A cover that comes with a buyer-friendly return policy is better than one that is a “buy and risk” type of deal.
You also want to be able to hold the manufacturer accountable if the pool cover doesn’t hold up as it should. That’s why it’s also useful to know the difference between a guarantee and a warranty. A warranty has to do with general service and repair, whereas a guarantee is about the promise that the manufacturer decides to remain accountable to for a specific period.
You ideally want a one-year warranty, so the pool cover gets tested across the whole year, and a three-year guarantee because that’s the maximum lifetime of the pool cover.
How Far Are You From the Shipping Location?
This is more of a consumer intelligence question than a cover-specific one. Since pool covers can weigh a lot, you want to make sure you’re purchasing from a center that’s close by.
This is true if you’re shopping internationally, which is why I recommend making your purchase from Amazon.com if you’re in the USA and your country’s version of Amazon if you’re elsewhere.
What Are You Using the Cover For?
In some regions, a pool cover is meant to keep dust, sand, and small particles out. That means you need a cover that is tarp-like and keeps everything out, whereas, in the areas where bigger things like leaves are the key issue, a translucent net-like cover can work as well. When it comes time to close the pool for the season, you might need an entirely different cover if your area experiences heavy snowfall.
Pool covers are essential and save you a lot of money by reducing the water recycling burden and pool cleaning costs. However, the wrong buying decision can lead to regret and wasted money. Make sure to use the calculation guide above and the buying questions to determine the pool cover that suits you.