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Thread: Solar Cover dimension recommendations

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    Catanzaro's Avatar
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    Solar Cover dimension recommendations

    My pool (without the steps) is 17 * 33. It is 17 wide and it comes to about 13' in the center and 16 feet near the diving board. I have read that as long as 80% of the pool surface is covered that should be sufficient.

    What dimensions should I get?

    Swimming Pool and Spa Solar Cover Blankets


    Should I also cut out the liner or just rest on the pool? Does it make a difference if the cover rests against the liner or can that cause problems with the heat?

    I was looking the at 14' by 28', which would mean that the middle of the cover would be slightly bent upwards, or even downwards. This would provide me with at least 80% coverage. Thank you.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover dimension recommendations

    You want the cover to be slightly smaller than the pool so it is floating from edge to edge. If the cover curls up onto the liner, wind will catch it and fold it over or even pull it off the pool. They are easy to trim with scissors.
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    Re: Solar Cover dimension recommendations

    I am also looking into a solar cover, I looked at the price from your URL and you can get it cheaper from solarcovers.com Although I do not have definitive answer I would think the more coverage the better, the cover, from what I read and a video by bobodaclown, it is easily cut with scissors, so why not get one a little larger and cut to size? From what I understand if you do not have it laying on the water vs up on the side of the pool the wing will pick up the edge and blow it off the pool. Also, if not cut to size it may blow around and bunch up inside the pool, see this thread, I also am in NJ and am trying to figure out if I should get 8mm blue or 16mm clear. From what I understand the covers do not really heat the pool but prevent heat loss. But the 16mm is heavier and may be more difficult to put on and remove, I need 1 person operation. I am also looking at a removable reel. The question for me is it worth it to pay $104 for a blue 8mm or $178 for clear 16mm. Will 16mm increase heat retention significantly more in our climate to justify increased cost and increased work to put on and remove and does the portable reel make it an easy 1 person operation? I have also seen on this site a DIY system to cut the cover into sections then attach a floatable PVC so it will roll up in sections by Mass895. Maybe someone with much more expertise will comment on this for us.
    28,000 gals (20 x 40), IG, vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, old Hayward
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    Re: Solar Cover dimension recommendations

    My pool is only 14,700 gallons and I would prefer the 8 ml. I have a darker liner and with the circulation system, my pool has a tendency to heat up pretty quickly. We were already at 85 degrees on Sunday and 82 this morning (not bad). I only need the cover to provide a slight advantage. I doubt that the pool will heat up 15 degrees. I would be happy with 4-6 on a normal day. The issue is the air temperature. Once it cools down and you are out of the water, it gets cold.

    Thank you for your help. I will be looking at other sites and order a larger cover and cut to the shape of the pool so the wind does not take it away.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Solar Cover dimension recommendations

    If you are using a reel, there is very little difference in how difficult it is to put on and take off the cover. Makes no real difference if it 8 or 16 mil. The primary difference will be how long it will last and how easily it tears. I have a heavy weight clear one that is about three of four years old now. My previous one was a lighter weight and didn't even make it through two years. But without the reel this cover would be a task to put on and take off. I have never seen any difference in how efficient any solar cover is. It seems to make little difference if they are blue or clear, 8 mil or 16. They all retain the water temp about the same. So I would go light weight if not using a reel, and heavy with a reel.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Solar Cover dimension recommendations

    Thanks chiefwej, Do you use a bag/cover around the reel and rolled up solar cover when cover is not on pool. It seems your 16 mil cover lasts longer than others who report 2 years for 8 mil and 3 for 16 mil. If thicker cover lasts 1.6 times longer or greater, than it is worth it to get the thicker cover, at 1.3 times longer the thinner cover wins. Also I am looking at buying the Stainless Steel Solar Reel from solarcovers.com. Does anyone have any experience with this especially if the reel moves from its position when donning or doffing the cover. It appears it would be an easy way for 1 person to move the cover away from the pool area when not in use.
    28,000 gals (20 x 40), IG, vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, old Hayward
    Super pump (not sure of HP secondary to corrosion of label),

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    Re: Solar Cover dimension recommendations

    Yes, I do have a cover I put over it when it's stored along side the house. It's actually the bag it was shipped in. I just slit it down the side and drape it over the cover and snap a couple bungie cords on. It keeps the UV light from destroying the cover.

    That looks like a good choice for a reel. I like the big wheels. Mine has four casters, which are fine on the pool deck, but it has to be lifted anytime it's off the deck. PITA!
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Solar Cover dimension recommendations

    Most on this forum report similar life span for covers (which is usually 3 seasons, but a season in AZ is much longer than a season in Chicago) regardless of the thickness. Chiefwej is giving good advice. Personally, I bought my 8 ml almost exactly 3 years ago and it is still in pretty good shape. I leave it on the pool quite often, but I am in the north so my seasons are only about 3-4 months.

    I would definitely go with the thinner one if you are going to be manually taking it on and off. Mine is not easy to handle as it is, I get in the pool and roll it on a pvc pipe. If it was twice as thick (or thereabouts) I don't know what I would do.
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    Re: Solar Cover dimension recommendations

    Consider that, although our pool season is longer, a solar cover is only in use a very brief time at the beginning and end of that period. It's use is to extend the pool season. Mid season many here are often looking to cool the water. Most of the year the cover is just stored on its reel along side my house with a cover protecting it. This may explain the longer lifespan.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Solar Cover dimension recommendations

    Thanks everyone some good info. I called the company that sells the reel and asked if a 40 ft long 16 mil cover would fit on the reel, they said it would not and it would also bend the reel tube as it is too heavy the max size is 12 mil. They said that only rocky reel would support 16 mil which is quite a bit more.
    28,000 gals (20 x 40), IG, vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, old Hayward
    Super pump (not sure of HP secondary to corrosion of label),

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