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How Much Does An Automatic Pool Cover Cost?

Covering your pool is important. Not only does it help regulate the temperature, save you money, and keep your pool cleaner, but it also helps to keep people safe. However, manually placing and replacing a pool cover can be a hassle. If you use your pool often, the idea of an automatic pool cover may be very appealing. But, how much does an automatic pool cover cost? It depends on several factors. 

What is an automatic pool cover?

An automatic pool cover is exactly what it sounds like. It is a pool cover that reels and unreels to cover the surface of your pool. Automatic pool covers provide users the most convenient, hands off experience possible.

The function behind most automatic pool covers is typically uncomplicated. Leading edge tubes attach to the deck or lip of the pool at one end. A thick, weight bearing cover unfurls from this leading edge tube along tracks. Depending on the shape of the pool, tracks run parallel to the edges, feeding the cover along the surface of the water.

Location of the tracks will vary based on model, shape or the pool, and time of installation. When incorporated into the initial pool design, it is easier to achieve a seamless look. Automatic pool covers can still be added to existing above ground pools, but it may be more difficult. 

How much does an automatic pool cover cost?

The cost of an automatic pool cover is summed up nicely in two words: not cheap. However, the actual price of your system is contingent on a few factors including the size of the cover, the shape of your pool, and the level of integration of your system.

In general, you can expect an automatic pool cover system to cost you about 10,000-20,000 dollars. This includes the cost of the system and integration. This does not include possible replacement, repair, and any expenses stemming from monthly electric bills.

Size of Cover

In general, you can expect larger covers to cost more money. Smaller pools have a smaller surface area. Smaller surface areas mean less water to cover. Less water to cover means less material is required. The larger the surface area of the water, the more expensive the system will become. 

It is often more difficult to install automatic cover systems on larger pools. A larger installation process means more design and mechanical work is needed to integrate the system. For example, smaller automatic pool covers can run on electricity. Often, larger pools require a hydraulics system to be integrated. This will raise the cost of the entire system, and is not a cost that can be cut without compromising the system’s function. 

Shape of Pool

Automatic pool covers can be designed to fit any pool shape, from rectangular to free form. However, while you may be able to install an automatic cover on a freeform pool, it will not be a cheap ask. Covering abnormal or irregularly shaped pools will always be more expensive than covering standard, rectangular swimming pools.

If your existing or planned pool has several outcrops, additional features, or other irregularities, expect to pay closer to the $20,000 dollar mark before the project is completed. Creating custom sizing, fitting a more complicated track system, and higher effort design work all come with a price tag. If you’re really committed to the idea of an automatic pool cover, keep costs lower by asking your designer to create a simpler shape.

Materials and Brand of System

When it comes to automatic pool cover systems, the old saying holds true--you get what you pay for. While some companies may offer budget systems, it’s unlikely that quality will be on par with pricier units. For those aiming to use automatic pool covers as a replacement for a pool fence, this can be a problem.

Cheaper systems may trap heat and do a sufficient job keeping out debris. However, they may not offer the level of protection given by other units. Cheaper systems are unlikely to bear weight at the same level as more expensive systems. This is a safety hazard, but also an operational hazard. For families living in areas with higher amounts of precipitation, you may find yourself uncovering your pool at every rain or snow storm to avoid weight-bearing complications.

Repairs and Replacements

The cost of an automatic pool cover doesn’t stop once the system has been placed. From there, you need to consider future expenses. Automatic pool covers often function for years without issues. However, when problems do arise, fixing them is not cheap.

Homeowners can expect to pay up to $2,000 to repair their unit. Depending on the company, brand, and warranty of your model, the price of repairs will vary. This cost is why taking care of your automatic pool cover is important.

Ensure you are completely yearly cleanings, wiping it free of debris, and checking to make sure the system components are in good order. A bit of foresight will keep larger issues from developing and becoming money pits down the road.

Is an automatic pool cover worth my money?

There’s no arguing, automatic pool covers are a pricey investment. Knowing whether or not they are right for your pool comes down to how often you use your pool, and the importance of convenience.  For families who seem to live in their pool most of the year, they can be a great, worthwhile investment. Similarly, families with small children may appreciate the safety automatic pool covers offer without the necessary installation of a pool fence. At the end of the day, the value of an automatic pool cover should be assessed on a family by family, and pool by pool basis

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