Pool water bags always break every winter, forcing you to buy new ones. Looking for opinions about the best pool water bag alternatives to hold down your winter tarp cover?
We conducted extensive research and identified five of the best alternatives to pool water bags, which everyone uses to keep their tarp down.
Aqua blocks are a more convenient alternative to the traditional pool cover water bags.
It is very easy to fill and empty them, and they can be stacked when not in use.
Aqua blocks are constructed from thick, black polyethylene to resist cold temperatures. UV inhibitors prevent the blocks from fading and cracking.
Aqua blocks are easily installed by placing them around the edge of your pool tarp, filling them with water, and then close the top lid. Unlike water bags, they’re much easier to empty during spring.
You can fill it with 3/4
✔️ With water to allow room for expansion due to freezing.
✔️ Use concrete blocks
✔️ Or, you can use sand
The hard plastic material of aqua block makes it more long-lasting than vinyl water bags, which can crack or leak.Tip: For better results, add rocks at the bottom and fill them with either water or sand.
Another alternative to a pool water bag is to use sandbags.
You can buy a sandbags cover and fill it with sand for greater holding power on your cover. Depending on the length of your pool, place the sandbags 1 meter apart.
These bags are made to withstand heavy use. Holds 50 pounds of sand. Using the string you can secure these bags properly as winter begins.
Use sandbag made from polypropylene, a premium quality material. The bottom of this cover comes double-stitched for added strength to hold the adverse conditions.Tip: Make sure you use a quality sandbag to avoid having trouble getting it out at the end of the season.
You can use this method if you have a lot of milk jugs, bleach jugs, and water containers lying around.
It’s much cheaper than pool water bags and aqua blocks, but you need a lot of them for a good hold.
✔️ Fill the bottles with water or sand and space them 2 inches apart.
✔️ Fill them 3/4 and it’ll have some extra room to expand when frozen.
✔️ Place them on the pool cover about 1 meter back from the edge of the water.
Ensure they are tied so they can stay together.Tip: Add some borax and bleach together on the middle of the cover, as rainwater lowers the pH and kills any algae on the cover.
PVC Pipe With Sand or Cement
For those of you who have trouble with pool water bags, aqua blocks, sandbags, or jugs holding the wind, this is your best option, but you need to do it perfectly for it to last.
It involves connecting PVC pipes around your pool cover. The pool cover is then wrapped around the PVC pipes in order to hold them down.
To use this method,
✔️ Use 1 to 1 1/4 inch PVC pipe.
✔️ With pipe fittings, you can connect each pipe according to your pool’s directions
✔️ Once you have added the sand or cement mixed with water you can then seal the ends with a silicone sealant.
✔️ Once everything is in place, roll the pool cover over the pipe.
✔️ With a slip knot, tie the cover to the pipe using the rope.
Since they are all linked together they hold the cover firmly in place.Tip: Since water accumulates at the center of the cover, it can pull out from under the pipes. You can prevent this by connecting a couple of pipes to the center of the pool cover.
Concerns with Tarp Covers
❌ Oftentimes, the tarp cover needs to be examined to ensure it’s held down properly.
❌ The use of pool water bags and other alternatives can require a lot of maintenance and replacements.
❌ A tarp does not have much strength, which makes it dangerous if animals or small children wander onto it
❌ When torn or damaged, it is difficult to repair and requires a pump to remove water
Best Alternative: Pool Safety Cover
There is an increasing preference among residents for safety covers over tarps. Many pool owners prefer these covers because they are durable, easy to use, and, most importantly, safe.
The safety cover is made from a solid material and is tightly secured by spring-loaded straps attached to the concrete around your pool.
Benefits of Safety Covers
✅ Safety covers are very durable; last till 15 years
✅ They can handle heavy snow loads, making them ideal for winters
✅ Strong enough for children and animals to walk across
✅ If damaged, it is easy to repair
✅ The safety cover can be easily removed at the end of each season
Best Pool Safety Cover
As opposed to tarps where you need a pool water bag, pool safety covers are designed to have a spring tension that enables them to stay tight to the surface.
Comparing Tarp Cover vs Solid Safety Cover
Pool Safety covers come in two types; mesh and solid.
Solid pool safety covers are those that you need to buy that block out light and water and thus preventing algae growth.
They are heavy, durable, and rugged require extra effort to install. Since snow and water stay on the top, you should regularly pump water off the cover.
Depending on your needs, you can choose either a mesh or solid pool safety cover.
Despite their higher initial cost, safety covers can last longer than tarps. They are more difficult to install, but once installed they require no maintenance.
Tarps are cheaper initially but have to be replaced every few years, which makes them more expensive over time.
While tarp covers should be protected from strong winds lifting your pool water bags or any other alternatives, the pool safety covers are secured to the concrete deck by springs.
Sagging can be preventable with safety covers where you can use the buckles to tighten up the cover.
In the long term, safety covers are more cost-effective than tarps where you don’t have to depend on pool cover water bag alternatives.
If you analyze how you intend to use the pool and how much maintenance you will need, you can decide which is right for you.
Feel free to share your experiences using pool water bags and other alternatives for weighing down your pool tarp.