All mechanical equipment needs a certain amount of preventative maintenance. This can be complete overhauls to simple replacement of worn parts. In an industrial or commercial setting, regular maintenance is an ongoing procedure in order to maintain regular operations. When equipment breaks down, there can be unrecoverable losses of revenue as well as man hours. Regularly scheduled preventative maintenance keeps these losses to a minimum, even preventing them altogether.
This article discusses the importance of preventative maintenance on automatic swimming pool safety covers, as well as long term replacement items.
All automatic safety covers consist of the same basic components: drive mechanism, tracking system and cover fabric. Today's cover manufacturers use high-grade materials for their pool cover systems, allowing for improved warrantees. More information on the components of automatic safety covers can be found in, "Operating Principles of Automatic Swimming Pool Safety Covers."
The most often replaced components on an automatic pool cover are the sliders and guides which hold up the leading edge of the cover fabric and guide the cover fabric into the tracks, respectively. These sliders and guides are made from high-density molecular plastic for strength and durability. As the cover fabric is opened and closed, these parts gradually wear down. After two or three years this wearing can lead to breakage which will generally leave the cover system inoperable. Replacing sliders and guides before breakage, generally every two years, is always recommended.
The second most commonly replaced part is the pull ropes. There are many reasons that ropes break on automatic swimming pool covers. An excessively worn or broken slider can cause a rope to break, as well as a worn or frozen pulley. There have even been cases where evidence of rodents gnawing through a rope has been present. When a rope breaks, the covers cannot be used to cover the pool, creating a safety hazard. Ropes should be inspected yearly for fraying and stretching, and replaced as needed.
Worn or frozen pulleys put undue stress on the pull ropes and drive mechanisms. If a pulley is completely frozen, the rope will simply snap due to the strain from pulling around a stationary point. Motors have to work harder, which can lead to overheating. Inspecting pulleys on a yearly basis is recommended.
Excessive dirt, debris and pool chemical build-up can shorten the life of these serviceable parts, while regular cleaning and inspection can extend their life. The actual point at which these parts will need to be replaced is dependent upon the size of your cover, the amount of use that it gets and the surrounding environment. Contact your cover service company for inspection and service. Shop Here