How to Install Any Type of Pool Cover

Written by Michael Dean
June 9, 2023

installing a swimming pool cover

Pool covers are an excellent way to keep your pool clean and debris-free. They can also help reduce evaporation and save on chemical costs. Many different types of pool covers are available, so it’s essential to choose the right one for your pool.

Whether you choose a solar blanket or a safety pool cover, the next step is installation. In this article, I will go over the proper way to install these pool covers and will even go over the steps to install a roller for your cover.

Main Takeaways

  • Installing a pool cover is a reliable and affordable way to keep the pool clean and reduce evaporation.
  • There are many different types of pool covers available, so it’s important to choose the right one for your pool.
  • Installing a pool cover, whether a solar blanket or a safety cover, is straightforward.
  • You should install a roller for your pool for easy access to your pool cover.

How To Install A Solar Pool Cover

Solar blankets are all the rage these days with pool owners. They are a reliable way to keep your pool clean and your energy bills down. It is also a great way to keep your pool warmer and reduce evaporation. Solar covers look almost like bubble wrap but are much more durable and made of vinyl. These covers are not secured to the decking, as you will be removing them often. The main purpose of a solar pool cover is to keep the pool warm and prevent evaporation.

Solar covers are pretty easy to install, with installation possible in just a few short steps.

If you want more background on solar covers, visit my top picks for solar pool covers.

Supplies Checklist

  • Razor blade
  • Pool cover reel (optional)
  • Tape Measure
  • Test kit

Step One: Choose the Right Size Blanket

Properly measure your pool’s surface area (length X width) and get the correct-sized blanket to fully cover the pool’s surface. Don’t worry if you can’t find a solar cover that perfectly matches your pool size. Most solar blankets can be cut to size. So, when in doubt, pick a larger size. You can use a razor blade to cut the pool cover to size. Above ground pools are generally circular or rectangular, so make sure to get a solar pool cover in the proper shape with the right dimensions.

Step Two: Clean Your Pool

You need to ensure that your pool is clean and free of debris before you place the blanket on top of it. Use a testing kit (or testing strips) to make sure your chemical levels are balanced as well.

Step Three: Unroll the Solar Blanket

Installation of a solar blanket is as simple as unrolling it onto the surface of the water. Just ensure that the blanket is unrolled with the bubbles facing down.

Step Four: Smooth Out the Blanket

Smooth out the blanket by pushing down the edge of the blanket up the edges of the pool and removing any air bubbles underneath.

With these steps, you can easily install a solar blanket pool cover. Just be sure to follow the instructions that come with your particular product.

Using a pool cover roller will also help to protect your pool cover and make taking it off and putting it on much easier. More on installing a pool cover roller below.

For more information on solar pool covers, read my guide on how to use a solar pool cover.

How To Install A Safety Pool Cover

Pool safety covers keep your family safe and reduce the risk of accidents. In addition to keeping pools clean and reducing evaporation, safety pool covers reduce the cost of chemicals and serve as an effective winter cover during the offseason.

Installing a safety pool cover is more difficult, but it can be done DIY and should only take a few hours. The first step is to select the right cover for your swimming pool. There are many different sizes and shapes of pools, so it’s important to measure your pool and choose a cover that is the right size. Once you have the correct size safety pool cover, you can begin installing it.

To see more options other than solar and safety pool covers, check out all the different types of pool covers.

Supplies Checklist

  • 3/4″ concrete drill bit (if you have a concrete deck)
  • Heavy-duty hammer drill
  • Chalk
  • Hammer
  • Scrap wood
  • 4-10 buckets
  • Tape measure
  • Test kit
  • Allen wrench set

Step One: Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Carefully read the instructions that come with your pool cover before installing it. Installation may differ according to the make and model of the safety pool cover chosen, so it is important to read the instructions for your specific model.

Step Two: Clean the Pool and its Surroundings

Clean the pool and make sure the water is chemically balanced before you begin actually installing the cover. You should also ensure the area around the pool is clean and free from obstructions, such as ladders or diving boards. This will make it easier to install the cover and ensure it fits properly.

Step Three: Measure Your Pool And Pool Cover

Measure the dimensions of your pool. If your pool is an irregular shape, measure the maximum length and the maximum width. Your pool cover should be around 2 feet longer and 2 feet wider than your pool. However, these measurements can differ depending on the cover. Place your cover over the pool and adjust it so that it is centered.

Step Four: Place Full Buckets On the Pool Cover To Hold It In Place

Fill the buckets with water and place them on the corners of the cover to hold it in place while you adjust measurements and anchor the cover down.

Step Five: Measure and Drill Anchor Points

Extend each strap of the pool cover and measure 4″ past the end of the strap. Mark this point with chalk. Drill a 1 and 5/8″ hole in the concrete and insert the metal anchor included in the pool safety cover, place a piece of scrap wood over it and use a hammer to secure it. Continue this for each strap of the pool cover.

Step Six: Connect The Straps to The Anchor

Once the anchor points are drilled and the hardware is placed, connect the straps to the springs and attach the hooks on the end of the spring to the anchor point. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure the cover is adequately secured. For more information on this, feel free to check out my article on how to secure your pool cover.

Step Seven: Test It

Once the cover is in place, test it to ensure it is secure and will not come loose. If there are loose anchor points or straps, correct them.

How To Install An Above Ground Pool Cover

Above ground pool covers are typically more straightforward than inground pool covers and don’t usually require drilling into the decking. Here is my step-by-step guide on how to install a pool cover for an above ground pool.

Supplies Checklist

  • Pool cover winch with wire
  • Testing kit

Step One: Clean Your Pool

The first step to installing an above ground pool cover is cleaning your pool and removing the ladder and any other obstructions. Test your pool water to ensure the chemicals are balanced.

Step Two: Place The Cover Over The Pool

Place your pool cover over the pool so that the edges are evenly spaced around the edges. If you have a large above ground pool, you may want to recruit an extra set of hands for this step.

Step Three: Thread Your Pool Cover Winch Through the Eyelets of The Cover

Take the cable of your pool cover winch and weave it through the eyelets of the pool cover. Once the winch is threaded through the entire circumference of the pool, there will be some extra cable length, don’t thread this through the eyelets. You’ll need this to tighten the winch.

Step Four: Tighten The Winch

Ensure that the wire of the pool cover winch is placed under the edge of the pool and begin tightening the winch. It should tighten pretty quickly, and the above ground pool cover should be secured.

How To Install a Roller For Your Pool Cover

A roller for your pool cover can make the covering process even easier during the summer and the off-season.

The roller will help you keep cover secure while installing and using it. You can find one at any hardware store or online. Make sure to get one that’s the right size for your pool.

Here are some tips on how to install a roller for your pool cover.

Step One: Clean the Surroundings

First, you’ll need to remove any objects around the pool that might get in the way of the roller. This includes things like chairs, toys, and pool noodles.

Step Two: Secure the Roller In the Brackets

Start by attaching the brackets that come with the roller to the side of the pool. Then, place the roller in the brackets and use the provided hardware to secure it in place.

Step Three: Roll Up the Pool Cover

Once the roller is installed, place your pool cover on top of it. Start at one end and roll up the cover, making sure to tuck it under the roller as you go.

Step Four: Secure the Cover

Once the cover is fully rolled up, secure it in place with the provided straps. Make sure to tighten the straps so the cover is snug and won’t come loose.

And that’s it! You’ve now successfully installed a pool cover roller. With this in place, you can easily keep your pool clean and protected all season long.

Do You Need a Pool Cover Roller?

You may be wondering if you need a pool cover roller. Although not absolutely necessary, a pool cover roller can make replacing and removing your pool cover much easier. It is also helpful in keeping the cover tight and secure. A pool cover roller can definitely be a huge help. You can purchase cover rollers at most pool supply stores.

Can You Install An Automatic Pool Cover On Your Own?

You can absolutely install an automatic cover on your own, especially if you have an above ground pool. These covers come with easy-to-follow instructions and require no special tools or skills to install.

In most cases, all you’ll need is a drill and some basic hand tools. The entire process should take less than an hour to complete.

However, if you have an inground pool, you may need a professional to install your automatic pool cover. This is because inground pools often have custom concrete decks that need to be cut to accommodate the cover.

Overall, automatic pool covers are a great investment. Not only will they keep your pool clean and safe, but they will also save you time (and maybe some money) in the long run. If you want to learn more about automatic pool covers, here is my automatic pool covers 101.

Need Some Maintenance Help?

Send me a message! I can answer any of your pool maintenance, equipment, or other questions.

Bottom Line

You can easily handle a DIY pool cover installation with a little effort. Just make sure to purchase the correct size cover for your pool and follow the instructions carefully. With a pool cover in place, you will save time and money and enjoy peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are protected. To learn how to save even more money on your pool cover endeavor, visit my pool cover cost analysis!


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