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Installing Automatic Pool Covers On Fiberglass Pools



Installing Automatic Pool Covers On Fiberglass Pools

The demand for pools has indisputably increased with the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the demand for fiberglass pools has been on the rise due to their simple installation process. Likewise, there was an increased demand for automatic pool covers. Most homeowners are now looking to improve their outdoor living area. Nevertheless, installing both a fiberglass pool and an automatic pool cover can be a challenge. 

Installing Automatic Pool Covers On Fiberglass Pools

Tips for installing automatic pool covers include:


Occasionally, pool professionals end up requesting wrong-sized automatic covers for their fiberglass pools. Typically, finding the correct automatic cover will need you to determine the fiberglass pool’s inner measurements. The inner measurements of fiberglass pools are often smaller. For example, if you have a 17 feet pool, the inside measures 16 feet wide. Thus, a 17 feet automatic pool cover would be too big. It would be best if you ask your fiberglass manufacturer for the inside measurements of the fiberglass pool. This way, you will buy the right sized automatic pool cover.


Maintaining a consistent width from the top to the bottom of a fiberglass pool can be difficult. Since fiberglass pools vary in width, they may be 16 feet in the deep end and 17 feet wide in the shallow section. It is critical to note that automatic pool covers can only accommodate a difference of one inch. Consequently, installing APCs on fiberglass pools is not a walk in the park.

Usually, fiberglass pools tend to bow along the length of the pool due to pressure.” One way to keep the width consistent is by filling and backfilling the pool.

Pool patrol owner in british columbia, ALLAN HORWOOD

Tip for installation

Simplifying the installation process entails put up the track on both sides. Horwood says, “Often, we spread out the track over the pool. We ensure all sides and corners are equal. Simply put, what you do on the right side should be done on the left as well. It will help if you start dealing with the corners first. Then, spread it out proportionally. Before you start cutting any track, it is best to layout the coping first. The good thing with aluminum extrusion tracks is that they offer both excellent functionality and beauty. Also, it is essential to let your cover manufacturer know that you have a fiberglass pool. This way, they’ll be able to get a cover with the correct dimensions.


It is challenging to install an automatic pool cover on an elevated surface. By nature, an automatic pool cover requires that the cover be installed on a completely level plane. Horwood says that the solution for this is to use an automatic pool cover made for a vinyl pool. From there, you can adjust it to complement the pool’s landscape. You would need to use such covers for pools with built-in spas and raised tiles on the pool’s shallow end. Pool experts should identify the elevation angle to get a clear picture of the most suitable automatic pool cover to purchase.

Polybox housing challenge

The automatic pool cover should get attached to the deep section of the pool before you finish backfilling. Start with supporting the slide on the poly box using an encapsulated coping. Horwood states, “We use a vinyl liner retainer and support the polybox by free-staking into the ground.” When doing this, always ensure that you level the poly box to boost the cover’s functionality. All this should happen before you pour the concrete.

Dealing with the corners 

When installing APCs on fiberglass pools, it is always challenging to deal with the corners since they have a radius. The best thing to do would be to inform the fiberglass manufacturer to prepare the cover installation corners. This will make the work much more manageable.

Lid challenge 

Typically, the poly box has to boost proper functionality. In most instances, the manufacturer gives you a walk-on lid to promote quick and straightforward installation. Even so, there is a wide range of lids that you can use for this. Horwood says, “Since there are many lid options to choose from, some customers always want finishing options that don’t complement the lid tray. And this makes the installation process challenging.”

Outsourcing is a better solution

In this present age and time, pool contractor can always outsource cover installers during pool construction. This way, they don’t have to go through the installation challenges or spend hours training their staff on cover installation. Horwood has a specialty in automatic pool cover installation. And most pool contractors make their work easier and faster by hiring him. Nonetheless, it is always essential to communicate with the pool contractor from the start of the project to avoid misunderstandings. Chris Hunt, an auto cover specialist in Wichita, says, “Professional automatic cover installers know particular tricks that help them install the covers much faster.”

Increased demand

Due to the fast and straightforward installation process, fiberglass pools are increasingly becoming popular. Likewise, the demand for automatic pool covers is on the rise. Combining the two products is a plus for pool companies, especially in the middle of this global pandemic. It means more sales, revenues, and profits.

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Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email your story idea.

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Claffey Pools Acquired by Riverbend Sandler Pools



Claffey Pools Acquired by Riverbend Sandler Pools

The pool industry has seen a spate of recent acquisition announcements. The latest, being the recent acquisition of Claffey pools by Riverbend Sandler Pools. Backed by Chicago-based Concentric Equity Partners, they are continuing efforts to consolidate the swimming pool construction and maintenance industry in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.

The acquisition agreement was signed on December 31, 2021 but only made public on Thursday. Full details about the exact terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This marks the third major pool builder purchased by the holding company, after acquiring Pulliam Pools back in November. The acquisition of the Fort Worth-based firm made it one of the nation’s largest pool construction companies.

This recent acquisition of Claffey Pools which is ranked within the nations top pool construction companies with about $32 million in reported residential construction revenue in 2020. A builder of high-end inground swimming pools, Claffey’s average pool project costs around $142,000.

Riverbend Sandler intends to make considerable advancements by acquiring existing service and maintenance companies, in addition to focusing on construction. Consequently, they hope to become a key service provider in the state’s pool service and maintenance sector.

This in itself appears to be a key decision point for the Claffeys who are looking to expand their pool service and maintenance divisions. Last year’s Texas Pool freeze caused unprecedented amounts of damage across the Lone Star state and saw Claffey perform over 1,000 repairs as a result.

In regards to any restructuring of the organization, the Claffeys, along with their 95 employees, will remain with the company. Riverbend Sandler has announced its intentions to continue its expansion. It will continue to concentrate on Texas, for the time being, looking seriously to expand into the Austin, Houston, and San Antonio markets after having established the predominant marketshare in the Dallas area.

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GENESIS Announces Newest Platinum Sponsor: Pool Magazine




GENESIS Platinum Sponsor - Pool Magazine

(Alexandria, Va.) – GENESIS is pleased to announce its newest Platinum Sponsor, Pool Magazine. The GENESIS sponsorship program showcases companies that are dedicated to the highest standards of best practices, quality, and ethics in the pool and spa industry.

“We look forward to collaborating with PHTA and expanding our relationship as a Platinum Sponsor,” says Joe Trusty, CEO & Editor-in-Chief. “We are excited for this next chapter and look forward to making a positive impact on the industry.”

As a Platinum Sponsor, Pool Magazine will have the opportunity to maximize its brand visibility, connect with thousands of engaged industry professionals, and unlock valuable opportunities.

“We are delighted to add Pool Magazine to our distinguished list of Platinum Sponsors,” says Janay Rickwalder, Vice President of Communications and Public Relations of PHTA. “Pool Magazine has everything we look for in a partner: quality services that can benefit our members, an understanding of the importance of continuing education, and a finger on the pulse of industry trends. I am excited for this collaboration and to working together in 2022.”

For more information, please contact Janay Rickwalder, PHTA’s Vice President of Communications and Public Relations, at or 703.357.3918.


About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance 

The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with nearly 3,500 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $36.5B pool, hot tub and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge and profitability. Additionally, PHTA facilitates the expansion of swimming, water safety and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit

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Pool Contractors Gift New Pool To Grandma After Disaster



Pool Contractors Gift New Pool to 80 Year Old Grandmother in Indianapolis

A group of pool contractors are the answer to one homeowners prayers. For years, Kitty Smitth, an 80-year old resident of Indianapolis, had dreamed of having an inground swimming pool for her 29 grandchildren and great-grandchildren to enjoy. Smith had just recently used her life savings to purchase a home and property in South Indianapolis that she was hoping would allow her to finally realize those dreams.

Smith acknowledges that the home she purchased needed a lot of work inside, but held out hope of enjoying the backyard with her family. For Smith and her grandchildren, the backyard pool meant a safe haven from the dangers of the pandemic that was sweeping across the country last summer.

“They were here, swimming and playing. I can’t tell you how great that was. This has just been my dream my whole life,” she told reporters.

Smith’s pool collapsed after a snowstorm this February. Photo Credit: WTHR

Future summer dreams would be put to an end this February when a winter storm caused her pool to collapse into a heap of disintegrating concrete and collapsed fiberglass walls. Smith was horrified to find that her backyard pool had collapsed in on itself in the night. “My whole body just started going numb and shaking. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” she told reporters.

An engineering report was conducted to determine the cause of the failure. Analysis determined that a leak may have contributed to its collapse. A new pool cover, which had just been installed, combined with the inadequate water level in the pool may have contributed to adding stress on the walls of the pool.

To add insult to injury, Smith quickly found out that her homeowners insurance would not cover the damage. Despite being a customer of the same company for over 40 years and having a policy that includes the replacement cost of an inground pool, her insurance company refused to pay a cent. They claimed her policy excluded any leak in the structure of the pool.

Smith was faced with an impossible problem. The cost of installing a new inground pool would be at least $60,000 plus an additional $20,000 for hauling away the debris from the old pool that had collapsed. “I just put everything into my house”, Smith told reporters, indicating that she didn’t have the financial resources to rebuild the pool. She stated that she felt like her insurance company had left her high and dry.

Smith contacted investigative reporters and discussed her problem with them. The reporters shared her story with some folks they knew in the pool industry that could help lend a hand. Ultimately, eight separate Indiana companies came together headed up under Automatic Pool Covers owner, Michael Shebek. Shebek pooled his resources and network to help put together a team that will help rebuild Smith’s backyard.

What is truly incredible about this story is that although some of the companies on this list are competitors, they are all united in the single goal to help one local resident recover the usage of her pool.

Shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday, Smith was greeted with the surprise of a lifetime. The contractors who have agreed to rebuild her pool at zero cost, showed up at her house along with the 13news team to break the good news. Overwhelmed with emotion, Smith hugged them all and said “I don’t know your names but I know your hearts,” telling the contractors, “I love you.”

A team of local pool contractors has vowed to help Smith rebuild her pool. Photo Credit: WTHR

Smith will hopefully have a new pool to enjoy with her grandchildren this summer. The contractors have all assured her that the unsightly mess in her backyard will be removed and a new pool installed. The entire cost of the project is estimated to cost approximately $90,000.

“Just no words. There aren’t words big enough to thank everyone,” Smith said. “I’m just so thankful.”

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