The Pool Pillow Pal makes closing and covering your swimming pool easy! Also, with The Pool Pillow Pal attached to the center of the cover, it helps to hold the cover down during windy times. You can see The Pool Pillow Pal attached to the pillow underneath the cover in this photo as the wind blows. Cover manufacturers also recommend adding a couple inches of water on top of the cover after you cover it to prevent the wind from blowing the cover. When the wind lifts the cover, it pulls on the sides and over time can damage and tear the cover. The photo below was taken after adding the water, and you can see how much more stable the cover is in the wind! Use this tip with The Pool Pillow Pal when you close your pool!
It's not Just for Above Ground Pools!
With above ground pools, the cover and the walls of the pool take a lot of pressure from the accumulating snow and ice over the winter. That is why you need to use an air pillow (ice compensator) underneath the cover. This helps distribute the pressure of snow and ice accumulation inward towards the pillow rather than out towards the cover and pool walls.
In-ground pools have the ground for support so they don't need ice compensation. However, in-ground pools have a LOT of surface area which accumulates water and debris over the winter. Using an air pillow under the cover sheds the water and debris to the SIDES of the cover and pool, making spring clean-up and opening a "snap!" Check out our info and video on using The Pool Pillow Pal for in-ground pools here: http://thepoolpillowpal.com/in-ground-pools-too/
One of the most important things to do when using The Pool Pillow Pal is to make sure the surface area on the air pillow and winter cover is clean & dry. This will greatly increase the adhesive ability giving you lasting results! For best results, clean the area with a little rubbing alcohol on the cover where you will place The Pool Pillow Pal and let it dry before sticking it on. This worked GREAT this year, even with the crazy winter in the northeast with tons of snow and ice, freezing & thawing several times, and nasty wind! Look at the photos below on how strong the bond is even in the wind! You can see the connecting point on the pillow holding firm.
Media and News
- We were interviewed on Swim University's Podcast in April 2012 as the inventors of The Pool Pillow Pal, and we were honored to be the FIRST to be interviewed by this well-renowned professional within the pool industry! To hear the podcast about the the development and marketing of The Pool Pillow Pal, click HERE.
- We also attended the Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show in 2012 which attracted close to 12,000 visitors within the pool industry. There were more than 500 exhibitors with thousands of products on display. We subsequently found out that The Pool Pillow Pal was highlighted as one of the "stand-out" products at this show by a Canadian pool and spa resource, www.poolz.com! Click HERE to read the blog about The Pool Pillow Pal and the other products that were featured by this Canadian company!
Pool Pillows; Purpose, Process and Placement
There's a lot of P's in that title, and we usually try to avoid "P" when we talk about swimming pools, although there are three additional P's at the end of this article you won't want to miss, so keep reading. Many pool owners, especially people who have above ground pools and live in climates that get below freezing, have to use a pool pillow under their winter covers when they close their pools for the season. If you ask them why they use them, many won't know and will probably say it's just something they were told they have to do (that was us for several years). Others may say it is to keep debris to the side of the pool so the cover can be easily cleaned off, or to keep water off to the side so the cover can be easily drained. Those are side benefits, not the purpose of pool pillows.
The purpose of a pool pillow, or the technical name of "ice compensator", is to compensate for the accumulation of rain, snow and ice over the winter months which will inevitably build up over time. By placing an air-filled pool pillow under your winter cover you create a void in the water and on the top of the cover, so when rain and snow falls, and ice accumulates and pressure builds on the cover, the ice will have a place to expand, which is inward toward the pillow. Without having the pool pillow, the ice will expand outward placing pressure on your pool walls causing potential damage to your cover, liner or pool walls. The pool pillow is cheap insurance policy for your expensive pool. Make sure you inflate the pillow to only 60% to 80% of its capacity to allow for compression. Using tire tubes or exercise balls won't perform the same function as a specifically designed pool pillow which is meant to compress.
The process of using a pool pillow when closing above ground pools has been a very frustrating part of pool ownership for many people over the years. Inflating the pillow, tying strings to two ends on the flimsy grommets, trying to get the pillow in the center of the pool then tie the strings to the sides of the pools is usually a 2-person job, often with a similar conversation each year; "Is it centered yet?"..."NO!"..." How about NOW?" "NO, over to the right more!" Assuming you eventually get it centered and tied in place, you now have to drag the winter cover over the top of the pillow which is a very difficult process. You need at least two people and sometimes have to wait for a nice breeze to help lift the cover over the pillow, or use a pole to poke the pillow under the cover while lifting the edge of the cover with another pole, etc. Often times what happens, the grommets on the pool pillow tear or the string breaks, and the pillow floats freely to the side of the pool.
This is not good, because the placement of the pool pillow is an important aspect of its function. Having the pool pillow centered in the pool provides for an even distribution of ice and snow, which is better and more effective throughout the winter as well as in the spring when the ice melts, minimizing large chunks of ice. Also, the side benefits mentioned above, having the pillow centered makes it easier to remove debris, ice chunks and water from the cover.
The three additional P's I mentioned at the beginning of this article were born out of this frustrating process; The Pool Pillow Pal. It is a device which connects and centers the pool pillow to the winter cover without the hassle of ropes or ties. Simply attach the white cover patch to the center of your winter cover (round or oval) and the black pillow patch to the center of your pool pillow. Inflate the pillow between 60% to 80% of its capacity, connect the pillow to the cover, and float the cover and pillow in place as one integrated unit! It's that easy!
(This article initially appeared on Swim University's blog, August, 2011)
Helpful Links and Information
- Swim University is a great place to learn about all things related to pools and hot tubs.
- Need to replace your above-ground pool liner? Get the information you need to make sure it's done right. Get Dave's Guide to Above Ground Pool Liners to have the information you need!
- For more information on replacing your pool liner, check out Swim University's blog post by David Mispilkin.
- Concerned about pool safety? Of course you are! Click Poolsafely.gov for information about keeping your pool a fun, safe environment for everyone!