We have all seen those amazing photos that swimming pool safety covers like to show all the time. Things like elephants standing on top of them being fully supported and barely making them sag down. There are photos of groups of people standing on them and even an occasional motorcycle or car being fully supported. Are they real photos and if so just how much weight can a pool safety cover support; or more specifically an automatic pool safety cover?
Let’s talk about those crazy photos that seem so unbelievable.
They are actually real photos and they better be because false advertising is a pretty serious crime when it comes to safety issues in modern thinking countries, like those that swimming pool safety covers are sold in. There are things to be considered about these photos too.
There is a standard weight set by ASTM that the cover material must be able to hold as far as static weight goes. Under laboratory conditions each automatic pool cover manufacturer’s material must be able to hold up to the test without ripping, tearing, or any other sign that the material is failing. The current static weight that is required for the pool cover fabric to hold is 485 pounds. Why did they choose this figure? Because it is the average weight of two adults and a child; that would be the same amount of weight they figure that the cover material would need to hold to simulate two adults going onto it to rescue a child that had accidentally fallen onto the cover.
The material that goes into an automatic pool cover fabric in reality is a lot stronger than the ASTM static test it has to pass. It is made up of very strong woven polyester fibers which are either then laminated, coated, or heat molten with PVC resin to give it additional strength and durability. Many manufacturers also treat their automatic pool cover fabric with products that give the material UV resistance, chemical resistance, fade resistance, and abrasion resistance among others. That is the reason why it can hold up such things as entire families and motorcycles so those valuable crazy photos can be taken as sales aids.
First, don’t ever try to duplicate them at home; not that you can readily find an elephant with which to recreate them anyway or would risk something happening to a $20,000 Harley Davidson. These photos are taken under ideal conditions as far as the weight supporting capabilities of the automatic pool cover go and are also done with the utmost regard to safety; your automatic pool cover at your home may or may not be in the same state of readiness for this extreme weight. Just be comfortable in knowing that they will work well when handling the weight of a person or pet that has accidentally fallen into them. Let the experts handle the stuff that makes for great publicity and advertising photos.