What does the TX pool code say about pool covers?

Nov 17, 2021 | Blog

Pool Cover

Do the 2021 Texas heated pool and spa cover requirements apply to me?

If your property has a new or renovated heated outdoor pool or spa, Texas pool code has specific requirements for pool covers that do apply to you!

Pools and spas constructed on or after January 1, 2021, and pre-existing pools and spas replacing heaters need to comply with the following requirements. The provisions of the heater rule section §265.197 were adopted to be effective January 1, 2021.

  • Outdoor heated pools and outdoor permanent spas should have a vapor-retardant cover or other vapor-retardant means that are as effective as a cover.
  • Where more than 70 percent of the energy for heating, computed over an operating season, is from a heat pump or solar energy source, covers or other vapor-retardant means are not required.

Here is the full text of the Heater rule section §265.197 of the Texas Administrative Code.

If you manage a pool or spa that requires a cover, take a look at your options below.

What are the three main pool covers in use today?

Pool Blankets:

Pool blankets are designed to float on the pool surface and insulate the water. These blankets also act as vapor barriers. They are easily removed when the pool needs to be used again. While these covers are easy to remove for a professional facility operator, they should not be used in unmanned facilities. Poolsure does not recommend pool blankets unless a facility has fully restricted access to the pool when it is not in operation.

Liquid Pool Covers:

Imagine this as an “invisible pool blanket.” Liquid pool cover is a chemical additive for your pool. It creates a molecular barrier on the surface of your pool that insulates the pool water and helps it retain heat. The addition of liquid pool cover can be automated. Reach out to us here if you would like more information.

Safety Covers:

Safety covers are another type of pool cover. However, they are not designed as vapor barriers and would not fulfill the requirements of this code. Safety covers are designed to secure the pool from use and to stop debris from entering the pool, and they are often used when winterizing the pool.

What can pool covers do for your pool?

Temperature regulation:

Pool covers can help stabilize or even slightly increase pool temperatures, which helps in lowering your heating bill during the winter months.

Water Loss:

Pool covers can help prevent water loss from evaporation. Having a consistent water level can protect your pool’s overall health by keeping the pumps and filters functioning.

Chemical Balance:

During the off-season/colder months, it’s still important to maintain chemical balance in your pool. Covers help to protect your pool from UV rays, which means adding less chlorine to your pool.


Covers protect your pool from physical elements and debris – stick, leaves, and other pollutants will not affect your pool.

Are there risks associated with pool covers?

YES: Physical pool covers pose a dangerous drowning risk! If your property uses a physical pool cover, here are some precautions to follow:

  • All covers should be removed before swimmers are allowed in the water.
  • No swimmers should be allowed in the pool while covers are being put back on.

Poolsure does not recommend pool blankets at all unless a facility is able to fully restrict access to the pool when it is not in operation.

Which pool cover does Poolsure recommend?

Every pool is different. Poolsure’s Service & Repair team can help to select and size the right pool cover for you. If you would like a quote for help from Poolsure’s Service & Repair team, fill out our general diagnostic form at the link below!

About Poolsure

Poolsure provides water management services for commercial pools and spas along the Gulf Coast. Let us bring safe swimming to your property and help you keep your pool beautiful and safe!

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Houston, TX 77043


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Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Arizona

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