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AutomaticCovers APR 2012 SPN


71


Automatic pool covers answer all the standard questions about how to keep a pool safe, clean, warm and eco friendly. New, more efficient products for 2012 look like strengthening a market where the message to ‘cover up’ and save money still needs to be forced home to large pool owners and managers


By Alan Lewis


The message to ‘cover up’ swimming pools will never go away and nor should it for any pool owner who hasn’t thought about automatic pool covers not just for cost savings and heat retention but also the equally important safety aspect is throwing away money.


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Significantly, the big change to the 30 year old market in pool covers has come more recently as strapped-for-cash commercial pool owners and managers have finally got the message that pool covers save a lot of money. For local authority pools, private clubs or hotels the benefits and the message of a well installed hideaway automatic cover has finally arrived. Many in the specialist pool trade believe the arrival of the Part L building regulations which set new standards and procedures for energy savings in walls and floors should have included more regulatory use of pool covers.


“We were amazed they haven’t been made a legal requirement,” said one leading pool cover distributor. “It seems just batty.”


Automatic covers may not however fall within RIGHT: Aquatrac’s under coping automatic cover


t is a statistic worth repeating – an uncovered pool will lose between 85 and 90% of its heat through evaporation.


everyone’s budget but there are a number of very efficient automated covers around today that offer a good price spectrum. Automatic covers come in a variety of materials and colour choices and are equally at home on an indoor or outdoor pool.


Many people feel that the new regulations should also gently persuade commercial operators to cover their pools whenever they are not in use. Simply, if you stop heat evaporation you save on heat and water loss, save on pool chemicals, and most of all save money. A good quality heat retention cover used on indoor pools will also reduce humidity and almost stop condensation completely, reducing the damage around the pool. Safety may well be a concern if small children and family pets can access an owner’s pool area. A fully automatic system which will close the pool down in a matter of minutes by simply pressing a remote control switch from within your sitting room for example brings with it huge amounts of re-assurance. The more elaborate safety covers


are made from a tough membrane and are supported by a track system that is installed at the side of the pool or in the case of new installations, incorporated into the pool wall. The actual cover when not in use will either be stored in a specially constructed storage box at the end of the pool or in a purpose built housing which will have been designed for it at the time that the pool was being built.


PVC slatted covers are fully automated and considered to be very much top of the range, a fact which is perhaps reflected in the price. Most versions are available as a retrofit unit or as an integral part of the pool, usually being installed in a hidden pit or trough that is specially designed at the planning stage. The slats are available in a choice of colours, solar or translucent. It is not normally considered to be a safety cover, but as an optional extra, it can be supplied with a safety ledge which would offer a degree of safety should a child or household pet fall on it. Another alternative at the planning stage of your pool would be to include a built in ledge to support the slats.


AQUATRAC’S NEW SEE-THROUGH VISION INDOOR COVER


Aquatrac Stream is surface mounted to the paving and is suitable for shaped and rectangular pools


Aquatrac’s new Vision cover for 2012 has been specially designed for indoor swimming pool installations and is an exclusive transparent automatic pool cover which allows the pool to be seen clearly, even when the cover is closed. It allows owners to make the most of pool tiling and decorations at all times. Aquatrac have also moved into the world of customised covers which gives pool owners the opportunity of adding almost any motif of choice, from favourite football team emblems to company logos or any designs which will enhance the surrounding decoration. Aquatrac’s position in the market place is beyond question. The Essex company started manufacturing and installing pool covers 30 years ago. The Aquatrac Automatic Safety Cover was developed in the UK over 20 years ago and was designed primarily to provide safety for the growing number of domestic pools built in the late 80s. The now famous Rolls Royce photo was a genuine test to prove the strength of the cover


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