Poolside Chat Episode 54: Do I need an air pillow under my pool cover?

PSC Ep. 54: Do I need an air pillow under my pool cover?

31 thoughts on “PSC Ep. 54: Do I need an air pillow under my pool cover?

  1. I did not like them. No matter what we did the wind would blow them over to one side.. We got this drain that you put in the center of your cover and attach to the return opening. When the water fills it up it drains outside of your pool into the yard.

    1. Marie, where di you get the drain? That sounds like an excellent choice for me here in California where I have no snow but winter rain when we aren’t in a drought! Thanks in advance!

      1. I got one last year that worked great. Got it at my local pool supply store. It’s like a mini-sump pump. You attach a garden hose to the end of it. It’s electric so need to plug in to outside plug and then run the pool over the edge of deck. It would automatically stop when water went down. I would have to bring it in during extreme cold but personally I think air pillows are for extra money and not really helpful. Sorry just my personal opinion.

        1. I thought that too but I’ve haven’t use a pillow for a few and now my liner is straight anymore doesn’t lie flat inside! So I just always use in a pillow
          Now!! Before it gets worst

  2. There has got to be a better way! Every pool pillow I have paid good money for, centered in my pool and covered has popped or deflated before the ice even starts! Waste of money, they’re not made very strong. Have used an inner tube, but would like to have something that works as it should. Suggestions?

      1. Look on YouTube for above ground pool drain, you just install a drain at the return inlet that penetrates the top of your pool cover.

    1. Tom

      I put a string of one gallon plastic jugs (Bleach jugs work great) about half filled with stones to make them sink about half way. Run a line through them and tie off each jug then run the jugs length wise down you pool and tie each end of the string to a rock. Close your cover. If your pool freezes the jugs will collapse and absorb the pressure. Been doing this for years without a problem.

  3. I’ve had really good luck using a blow up exercise ball. They are pretty sturdy. I’ve used the same one 3 years in a row.

  4. I don’t know how they were made back in the days, but today’s pillows are just a scam. $5 or $25 ones act the same: they pop or deflate before the weather gets really cold. Is it possible to replace the pillow by a floating ring made of a dozen of empty jugs for example?

  5. My pool pillow broke already. First time in 9 years this happen. It’s only November in Illinois should I replace it?

  6. Pool pillows are a scam. How are they to prevent the ice from expanding outward against your pool wall when they float on top of the water?? When the rain and snow accumulate on top that pool pillow will not prevent the cover from sinking, just where the water may be. I have not used one in Wisconsin on 28′ above ground with no problems.

  7. Water will freeze and expand. Once it totally freezes outward, it can only freeze downward, where there is unfrozen water.

    If the pool totally freezes downward, it can only expand upward. And since the pool is completely open on top, any other expansion will occur upward and not outward. Put a glass of water in freezer and it will not crack.

    I havnt used a pillow in 3 years with no issues, except for accumulated leaves and rain/snow water. This is the only consideration I would give for pillow use.

  8. The previous owner of our house/pool had four 33-ish gallon plastic drums under the deck. I had no idea what they were for the first year and I went through a number of useless and expensive air pillows. Once I figured out that the gallon barrels were all tied together in a line, the light bulb finally clicked on. So now I have a train of four large plastic jugs that are tied off at each end of my 18 x 33 foot pool. And these things will NEVER wear out like those awful pillows.

    I just closed my pool yesterday, because I try to get every single day out of it that I can each year, and today I noticed it on one of the barrels has partially sunk. So word to the wise – make sure that your barrels are sealed tight each year. 🙂

  9. Message: My name is Tom, interested in ordering
    so i wanna know if you accept master card or visa card payment over the phone, and also i will recommend a shipping company to you for pick up at your location too delivery address. i hope to hear from you soon Tom

  10. Use trashbags with old 2L Soda bottles with small slits in most. They don’t pop like air pillows, ice compresses them, but they’ll rebound. They’ll last the entire winter. Some may take on water, all of them won’t. Random bottles floating around the edge and stairs offers additional protection. Free.

    1. Essentially, you’re just filling a bag with trash and putting it in your pool. I’d go with the inner tube solution before this. I understand the bottles would be cleaned before putting them in the bag, but I can’t get past knowing it is a bag of trash (recyclables) floating in my pool.

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