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Thread: Longetivity of thicker covers - a differing experience

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Tucson, AZ

    Longetivity of thicker covers - a differing experience

    Hi gang,
    It's time for a new solar cover for us, since ours started to shred late this fall. The wisdom shared on this site is that cheaper covers work just as well and last just as long, right? I thought it had been 2 seasons since I replaced mine. When I checked my old emails to see what I had ordered, I noticed the order date was 9/13/2011

    It has been used a LOT, from March or April through October/November each year. My wife likes it 90+ degrees, so it's often on the pool even in the height of summer. It's stored out of the sun on a reel when not in use, and a couple winters I actually wrapped the whole reel in a big tarp and put it out of the way.

    So, 4+ years on a clear 16mil cover vs. almost 2 on the blue 8mil I had before. I know what I'll be ordering again!

    here is what I got last time - Crystal Clear Solar Cover 18' x 36' Rectangular 16 Mil - Free Shipping -
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    DFW, TX

    Re: Longetivity of thicker covers - a differing experience

    Well heck! First, thanks for the feedback, we need that kind of info. It is especially impressive that you used it most of the summer and in AZ and it lasted that long.

    But, 2 days too late! I ordered my first solar cover ever 2 days ago and I went with 8mil based on our conventional wisdom. I only plan to use mine April/May and late Sept/Oct so that should help it last longer.
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    mas985's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: Longetivity of thicker covers - a differing experience

    So far 2 years on my 5 mil cover! But I paid less than 1/2 of what the 16 mil costs. Plus I have to carry mine out of the pool so it is much easier to do with a 5 mil.

    But my question is, are you sure it is the thickness and not the material that made the difference?
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    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Long Beach, CA

    Re: Longetivity of thicker covers - a differing experience

    Chem Geek covers it pretty well in this thread, Solar Cover Question.

    In my short experience I've had 8 mil, 12 mil, and 16 mil covers. The 16 mil cover was clear and the others were blue opaque. The 16 mil cover kept the pool warmer and it did not have any problems with wind or sinking from water on top of the cover. The 8 mil cover would have problems with wind and water on top of it. The cover would get blown around or start to sink. I've only had the 12 mil cover for a short time, just put it on this week, so I can't comment too much on that cover.

    The weight of the 16 mil cover could be a problem if you only have one person handling it, but we find that it is easier to deal with on our reel as it does not fold over itself when reeling it up.

    I've found the thing that degrades solar covers the most is sun exposure. If it is drying out on in the sun it will degrade quickly no matter the thickness. If properly cared for such as Melt In The Sun explains it should last more than a couple of seasons.
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    chiefwej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: Longetivity of thicker covers - a differing experience

    I've got one of the heavier clear ones now and it's a few years old and has held up very well, but the thin ones are much cheaper, lighter and hold the heat nearly as well. Due to the extra weight it's a PITA to move my roller around and put the cover on and off. I think next time I'll just go back to the cheaper one.
    Tucson, AZ
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