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How to Remove Snow From a Pool Cover

If you live on the east coast (or anywhere else in the country for that matter) then you may be left with a bunch of snow on your swimming pool cover. It’s extremely important to get the snow off your pool cover as soon as possible and here’s why…

Why It’s Important To Remove Snow From a Pool Cover

If you have an above ground swimming pool, all that snow weights down on the cover pulling the pool walls in towards the center. This could damage the top rail, fence and walls of your swimming pool.

Snow on Above Ground Pool Cover

If you have an inground swimming pool, the heavy snow can cause the cover to stretch, to the point of damaging your cover.

Snow On The Pool Cover

If you have an expensive mesh or solid safety cover, it’s important to make sure that the snow doesn’t pile on and rip the cover. It could also pop out the cover anchors or even your pool’s coping.

If you have a cheap or general plastic cover, then chances are it will be destroyed if you don’t quickly remove the snow.

Let’s think about how much snow weighs. There are 7.48 gallons per cubic foot of water – that’s about 62.4 pounds of snow!!!

Wet Snow

Assume wet snow would be equal to 1 inch of rain or 5 inches of snow. This means you would get a resulting 62.4/5 = 12.5 pounds!

Light, Powdery Snow

This snow would be equal to 2.5 inches of water and 12 inches snow, you would get 62.4/12 = 5.2 pounds! Thanks wiki!

Once the snow melts it will turn into water, and now you will need a pool cover pump or siphon to get the water off the cover. If you have a mesh safety cover, you will still need the pump to get the water out of your now overflowing pool.

pool-cover-pumps-feature

5 Best Pool Cover Pumps For Winter Maintenance

A list of both automatic and manual pool cover pumps that I recommend for draining the water on your cover during the winter.

Click here to learn more »

How To Remove Snow From a Winter Cover

Here are a couple of quick tips on how to remove snow from a pool cover properly. Remember, that you don’t have to do this, but you risk pool damage otherwise.

  • Use long broom and pushing the snow off the cover.
  • DO NOT use a shovel or anything with sharp edges cause this can damage your winter cover by putting holes in it allowing the dirty water to leak through.
  • As it snows, use the broom to keep the snow from collecting
  • If the snow is light in the beginning and you have a leaf blower, use that. If you use a leaf blower while it snows, you won’t build up all that snow weight.

If you have any more tips that you would like to share with us, please feel free to add them in the comments section below.

Happy Snowing?

(Photo Credits: pat00139)

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  • JJ

    I live in NJ… we have received over 4′ of snow so far this season with much of it sill around since it hasn’t been warm enough to melt. The pump is now frozen solid at the bottom of all of the snow on the cover and my loop lock cover has now broken off on one side and the line is exposed. It looks like im totally sh$& out of luck here. thoughts?

    • http://www.swimuniversity.com Matt Giovanisci

      Try to get as much snow off the cover as to not cause any further damage. As soon as it’s warm, I would try to fix the cover. Hopefully it’s just your anchors and not the cover itself.

  • Lisa Hampton

    Hi! Recently I have pumped off the water off of my pool cover. The next day I went to check on it, it seemed like it also pumped half of the water from under it as well. I thought at first that I have a leak in the pool somewhere, but my husband mentioned that there’s probably a hole in the cover and that’s why it drained the pool water also. My question is how do I siphon the rest of the cover water off without instead of the pool water? Thanks!

    • http://www.swimuniversity.com Matt Giovanisci

      This is actually pretty common. In this case, you just need to keep an eye on it while you’re siphoning the water off. I don’t have any tricks or tips to prevent this from happening. If anyone else does, feel free to comment.

  • rich

    My winter cover is well below the water surface. How can i get the cover to the top without letting the debris in? Do i have to pump water from the surface? Thanks

    • http://www.swimuniversity.com Matt Giovanisci

      Yes, I would definitely invest in a small cover pump or sump pump to get as much water off the cover as possible. It will be lighter and easier to get off without dumping a bunch of debris in the water.

  • jason

    what about laying a bunch of those electrical heating wires they sell for putting on the edge of your roof for ice build up.

    • http://www.swimuniversity.com Matt Giovanisci

      I’m thinking that may melt the cover itself. Probably not safe.

  • jason

    i found the kit at lowes its called easyheat i plugged it in and i can hold the wire in my hand so it will definatly not hurt the cover.they stress not to overlap the cables so im going to wire tie them to 1/2 inch pvc pipe in a zig zag pattern the length of the pool. it should work wish me luck.

    • http://www.swimuniversity.com Matt Giovanisci

      Let us know how it works out. Take pictures and video if possible and we’ll post it up on the site.

  • Jason Miller

    I run a pool company in Wisconsin. Pool advice is dictated by climat zone. If the water is frozen in the pool it will hold up the cover and the snow; then when warm weather arrives, snow on the cover will melt before the water under the cover does – at that point pump it off. If you have the type of cover that may allow your pump to pull water through, set the pump on an upside down frisbee on your cover. You ar not going to have much luck moving hundreds of pounds of wet snow with a broom without hurting yourself or damaging the cover. If you have an above-ground pool where the water under the cover is not frozen and you have severe load on the cover, release the cable and let the cover fall into the pool to relieve strain on the walls and top ledge – better to have some clean up in spring vs. losing the pool.

  • KJ

    I have one of those MEYCO safety covers on mine. It has been on for over 15 years (past warranty) and still going strong. I love it. Makes everything so much easier than when I used a vinyl cover and all those water bags that broke in the winter. Have not had one bit of trouble with it (knock wood) with the snow or the rain. We probably have not had more than 18 inches of snow at once but I have never cleaned it off. Not goingi to start now either. It holds an elephant…just sayin’ Worth the investment. Larger snow areas, I don’t know. But for Iowa, it works well!!

  • Sandi Maki

    HI Matt – we don’t actually recommend that our customers do anything with the snow load on either a plastic cover or a safety cover. The covers we sell and install (safety) are designed to handle the snow load, and can handle the weight of the snow, and then the covers do spring back up when the snow melts in the spring. It would be more of a safety issue for them to try to remove the snow.

    We also ask our customers not to remove the water from the top of their plastic covers. The snow can melt and fill the pool, even to overflowing. (We service inground pools in Michigan). We have had customers try to remove the water from their plastic covers in the past – if they take too much water out they can cause the liner to float if there is not enough water holding the liner in place. We also had an experience with a fiberglass pool owner taking out too much water, causing his pool to pop out of the ground, resulting in a repair estimate of as much as it would cost to put in a new pool.

    Our advice is to leave the pool and cover until it’s time to open the pool in the spring, unless something out of the ordinary happens.