How to Keep Pool Cover from Sagging

It’s that time of the year when all things swimming pool and filter must be winterized and put away for the winter. The chemicals skimmer brushes and vacuums are stored until next season and, most importantly, cover the pool with a reliable Pool Cover that won’t sag, collecting rain and snow over the winter, eventually causing it to tear and fail. How do you keep a Pool Cover from Sagging?

  • Keep the Cover’s center higher than the sides
  • Use a Pool Pillow underneath Cover
  • Secure outer edge with H2O Bags/Blocks
  • Fill H2O Bags or Blocks 3/4 full
  • Adjust sagging on cover fast
  • Use a Portable Pool Cover Pump
  • Switch to a Pool Safety Cover
  • Build a Pool Cover Support Structure for the Above/Inground Pool


Pool covers, especially for Inground swimming pools, can get very expensive. My pool is huge, oddly shaped more narrow with steps at one side. I had problems finding a cover that fits properly and because of the size sagging from the cover, collecting rain and snow was always a problem. This article can give you solutions to this problem that affects everyone during the cold winter months when the last thing you want to mess with is your swimming pool.

How to Get Water Off Pool Cover Without a Pump


There are a few different ways to keep water off the top of your pool cover if you have an Above Ground swimming pool, and it might work on an In-ground if it’s sitting higher in elevation than the surrounding area around the pool. If your pool cover is sagging and is full of water, you can siphon it off the cover or pump it off but act fast, so it doesn’t freeze.

To Siphon it off: Use a hose or a wet vac suction or discharge hose and weigh one end and fill the hose from the other end or fill it with the garden hose and prime it that way.

Throw the weighted end towards the middle of the cover where most of the water is collected and drop the other end on the ground, and natural suction will flow out towards your yard away from the pool. This will work best if you own an above-ground pool and your yard sweeps out, so the water has someplace to go. 

Hopefully, you won’t have ice or snow on top of the pool cover because eventually, if you don’t get that water off, it will freeze and rip the cover, and you’ll have a big mess. So the object here is to keep the water from collecting on the cover in the first place. 

Keep the center of the Cover high than the edge of the pool; doing this will automatically drain any water that falls on the cover from collecting on top. There are all kinds of devices that you can buy that will stay on top of the water level in the center of the pool.

Attach the Pillow or whatever device you decide to use, so it stays dead center and doesn’t move. You can buy them in any shape and size, no matter how big your pool is, for less than $25.00 bucks online or at a Pool Supply Store.

You can buy one or two of these pillows underneath the pool cover and not worry about anything until Spring, or you can stand out in the cold fiddling with hoses and cold water while the football game is every other weekend. Just saying!

As an alternative to the Pool Pillows for bigger pools, you can use Bradley Heavy Duty Truck Inner Tubes that are even more durable and will keep the pool cover up higher than the edge of your pool. If your pool cover is on correctly, then it won’t ever sag, and if it doesn’t sag, it won’t ever collect water.

Keeping the center of the cover higher than the edge of the Above ground pool is the secret to good slow draining into the area surrounding the pool. 


How to Keep Water Off In-Ground Pool Cover


Using a standard, reliable pool cover is even more important when you have an Inground Pool. There are a few ways to go about it. Once water, ice, and snow collect in an Inground pool cover, the Sagging gets worse and more water and snow collect, overwhelming the problem.

Things can get out of hand and even destroy the most reliable pool cover. With an above-ground pool, you have a better chance of catching it and fixing the sagging problem and adjusting the cover than with the usually bigger and heavier Inground cover.

The most important ways to prevent a Sagging Problem for a Standard Inground Pool Cover are:

  • Keep the middle of the pool cover higher than the sidewalls of the pool (as much as possible). The Big Inner tubes we mentioned above work great!
  • Secure the Pool Cover Use proper heavy gauge water bags for the entire width and length of the pool cover to secure the cover on the pool (I recommend using these Buffalo Blizzard Blocks 6 Pack | Secures Winter Pool Cover to Oval or Rectangle Swimming Pools with Ultra Strong Water Blocks  They are easier to deal with than the normal water tubes). You can adjust them soo much easier and open and fill them and, in the Spring, store them away without all the headaches of dealing with cleaning the slime and removing the water from those old-style water bags. If you notice some sagging starting to happen in the cover-you have a better chance of moving the Water Block than the Standard Water Bag and pulling it out. Don’t try and save money here; overcompensate and secure every inch over the cover. Always fill the Water Bags or Water Block 3/4 full to allow for freezing, or they will break.
  • Check it every now and then for sagging or movement, especially after a storm.


Best Pool Cover Pump


Little Giant LG5MSP 1/6 HP Submersible Hydroponic Pump, 5-MSP, 115V, GPH-LG5MSP, 1200 GPH, Blue & 599008 Piggyback Diaphragm Switch

Of all the tools I bought over the years for my Inground Pool, a Little Giant pump is the very best investment I’ve ever made. If you have an Inground Pool, there are 100 reasons to buy this puddle pump. They are so durable and versatile and can last and be repaired easily if needed. The parts like the impeller are readily available and easy to find. The pump safeguards pool covers from a prolonged accumulation of rain or melting snow.

The automatic switch will turn on when the water level is at or above 3 1/4″ and turn off when the level drops to 1 3/4″. It can pump down to 1/8″ of water in manual mode. The electrical cord is very long and easy to use. These guys run forever if you clean them and take care of them. You can move them around the pool cover with a skimmer pole wherever the water is located on the cover. Truly the Best Pump for a Pool Owner!


Last but not least, the easiest way to keep water from collecting on your Inground Pool Cover is to let it pass on through to the inside of the pool through a mesh material used in Safety Covers. This cover sold through Amazon is at a great price and comes highly recommended WaterWarden Inground Pool Safety Cover,

Every Water Warden cover features top-of-the-line, Complete 2-Ply strap webbing throughout the cover for unparalleled strength. The fine, lightweight mesh material allows rain to seep through into the pool but screens out leaves, twigs & other debris.

Pool Cover Support Structure


 Above Ground Structure Pool Cover

These days pool owners, just like a lot of DIY kinds of folks, are coming up with different types of solutions to problems that exist that manufacturers haven’t come up with.  The pool covers are new. I’ve seen a few of Dome type Covers, which are structures that look like tepees, or a better way to describe it is the inside of an umbrella. They cover your Aboveground Pool and any snow or rain that comes down over the Winter simply slides over the top of the structure that is normally made with PVC or aluminum and keep it from getting into to pool.

  • Use two 1 1/2 inch PVC pieces screwed together to make the Center Piece
  • Cut to adjust the height for the pool
  • Measure and cut cross pieces that run to the outer edge of the pool’s perimeter
  • Soften up the PVC with a Butane Torch and insert it into the Centerpiece
  • Trim the overhang ends on the edge of the walls of the pool
  • Cut lengths of PVC from the 90’s to the ground for more support


Inground Pool Cover Support Structure

This DIY Pool Cover Support Structure uses thinner PVC piping with PVC fittings and an inexpensive Tarp that you can buy at the Home Improvement store. It will act as a frame that will support the tarp over the In-ground pool and keep it from falling back into the pool, failing to provide protection from the harsh elements of Winter. This was my favorite since I have an Inground Pool, and it’s the simplest design.



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JimGalloway Author/Editor



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