Become a TFP Supporter Welcome to our new server and new forum software. If you have problems logging in to the new system, you should try resetting your password. Click HERE to do that. Pool School
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 39 of 39

Thread: DIY solar cover reel?

  1. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SE WI
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by Axl
    Thanks for the thoughts Bob! I would rather use a bearing of some sort ... I just dont have access to a welder etc. The binding issue will probably hinder me... you are most likely right on the money there. I just wish I knew of some way to make this with 4x4's and the rigid conduit that I already have. If I could find something like pillow block bearings that could be attached to the top of the 4x4's, I think Id be in business.
    I've seen pillow block bearings at the farm stores around me (farm & fleet, TSC). Also, McMaster Carr http://www.mcmaster.com/ sells them too, but they are not cheap. In the end still better & less expensive than a commercial reel. You could probably bolt a flat piece of lumber to the top of the 4x4 & then bolt the pillow block to that. No welding needed.

    How much deflection do you get with that 1" rigid in the middle loaded & unloaded?

    Bob
    30' AG Round, Sand filter, Sta-Rite Aquatools 2HP pump, 4G LQ

  2. #22
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Burlington, North Carolina
    Posts
    27
    Erm, Im just guessing that deflection is the same basic thing as 'bowing'. Loaded, it sags a good bit but holds together fine. Without the cover on the rod, its fairly straight with minor amount of bowing in it. There again, Im not really sure if that answers your question.

    Thanks for the link! Ill check out the bearings! Now I need to figure out what size bearings would be needed because the 1 inch size is most likely the measurement of the inside diameter. Ill post some follow ups as I work on this.
    18x33 agp. 1 1/2 hp pump with sand filter.
    AKA pool noob.

  3. #23
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SE WI
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by Axl
    Erm, Im just guessing that deflection is the same basic thing as 'bowing'. Loaded, it sags a good bit but holds together fine. Without the cover on the rod, its fairly straight with minor amount of bowing in it. There again, Im not really sure if that answers your question.

    Thanks for the link! Ill check out the bearings! Now I need to figure out what size bearings would be needed because the 1 inch size is most likely the measurement of the inside diameter. Ill post some follow ups as I work on this.
    Deflection == bowing. Pipe size is typically discussed from an inner diameter perspective.

    I think I might look around for an 8 mil cover. The one I have is a 12mil. It's actually the second one since the pool store gave me a new cover when the reel they sold me failed. It actually deflected so much that you couldn't turn the crank. I might just sell the still "in the box" cover I have. I never even bothered putting it on since I knew my wife & kids had no chance of getting it off the pool w/o me.

    Bob
    30' AG Round, Sand filter, Sta-Rite Aquatools 2HP pump, 4G LQ

  4. #24
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Burlington, North Carolina
    Posts
    27
    There is no doubt what I would do if I could get a "do over". I would have purchased an 8 mil clear solar cover instead of the 12. I couldnt imagine trying to use a 16 mil on any sort of reel. Now that I have the 12, I wish I purchased the 8.

    Anyway, live and learn I suppose.
    18x33 agp. 1 1/2 hp pump with sand filter.
    AKA pool noob.

  5. #25
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Sudbury, ON
    Posts
    28

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    Sorry to bring an old thread back to life...but I'm curious Axl, if you had any luck building a reel system? Do you have any pictures if you did build something? I'm trying to figure something out for my own pool. Thanks
    15' AG - 48" walls and center dished out 8", 1 HP Hayward , Jacuzzi 225 sand filter, and Taylor K-2006 kit.

  6. #26
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Burlington, North Carolina
    Posts
    27

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    I never did sink the 4x4's in the ground... because the more I pondered over it, the more my idea was flawed. There is no way possible for the rod to turn inside of the 4x4.. Im sure it would bind up. There has to be some sort of bearing system involved. I havent ruled the pillow block bearing idea out totally, but I was hoping to figure out some other way.

    The way I take my cover on and off is to just simply roll the cover onto a 20ft rod. It takes 2 people everytime it has to be put on or taken off. It doesnt take long, but Im like you... I wish there was an easier way to do this.
    18x33 agp. 1 1/2 hp pump with sand filter.
    AKA pool noob.

  7. #27
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SE WI
    Posts
    25

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    I decided to try something called a solar saddle which are essentially hooks which hang on the side of the pool. The cover folds into the hooks accordion style. You can find my thread here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/anyon...solar%20saddle

    I haven't put it on yet, but another member is using it successfully.

    Hope this helps.

    Bob
    30' AG Round, Sand filter, Sta-Rite Aquatools 2HP pump, 4G LQ

  8. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    308

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    Do those of you with home-made reels have to fiddle with the cover a lot to get it started? My hubby made me one. It is wonderful and turns beautifully. Then we hooked up the cover with the straps and it didn't work too well. Really disappointing after all the hard work he put in to making it. My cover keeps getting caught on the plastic caps between the sections of rail and I have to keep unbinding it. Any suggestions?
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

  9. #29
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Bedford, TX
    Posts
    31

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    I read all topics for DYI. I did have a question. I have a 12x24 oval, and I can't find aluminum in the area. Is there any other material that might work to span the 12' plus overlap? 2 3/4" fence posts. 1 3/4" galvenized? 3" PVC?
    12x24 AGP, 10k, 1 hp 2 speed Waterway pump, Hayward C900 Cartridge filter, Polaris 65, maintained by Walmart's 6% Bleach.

  10. #30
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    20,595

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    Your best bet spanning 12' with the least deflection is going to be 3" chain link fence posts or top rail. It'll be light enough to handle and strong enoigh to work. PVC would be a good idea but it has a lot of deflection especially with any suspended load on it. Aluminum conduit might be good too if that's available close to you. An industrial electrical supply house shoud have, or be able to get, it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 1.5hp Dynamo pump. 24" Pentair Sand Dollar Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit
    You can stop SLAMing your pool when you pass the OCLT (You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & You have .5ppm CC's or less) & your water is clear.

  11. #31

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    Has anyone come up with a version which does not require welding? I'm still trying to decide between the saddles, or the DIY reel, using Matt's example (but prefer the reel).

  12. #32
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    308

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    Quote Originally Posted by MeSue
    Do those of you with home-made reels have to fiddle with the cover a lot to get it started? My hubby made me one. It is wonderful and turns beautifully. Then we hooked up the cover with the straps and it didn't work too well. Really disappointing after all the hard work he put in to making it. My cover keeps getting caught on the plastic caps between the sections of rail and I have to keep unbinding it. Any suggestions?
    Follow up, it was mostly just a learning curve on rolling it up. I have to go to the edge with the straps and pull the cover over the edge, then I can reel it. Once or twice I have to walk to the other side and straighten it out, but it works pretty well.

    Looper, I don't think my hubby's design required welding. He's busy now, but I can ask him about it later if you'd like. I think he used some kind of bearings from a tractor.
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

  13. #33

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    Definitely would be interested in his design, thanks!

  14. #34
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    308

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    Quote Originally Posted by looper
    Definitely would be interested in his design, thanks!
    I just asked him about it and he says he did do welding to make it. He also used a metal working machine that most people wouldn't have.
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

  15. #35
    Senior Member NWMNMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Waaay NW MN
    Posts
    1,572

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    The actual welding required to make ours was less than 5 mins total - most people know someone with a small portable welder - they sell them at Home Depot, Menards, Lowes for under $200 - go to your local "rental" store. Got a local high school student in auto shop? They can operate these things if you can't. Offer him/her $20 to spot weld those bearings - The conduit we purchased at Menards, the bearings at the local hardware store. We've had ours for years now through winter weather, etc. and it still works great. My quick tip to prevent hanging up on the end caps when reeling up is to quick flip the sides over about 8" or so so they aren't under the rails when I begin to reel. It falls back flat once over the end of the pool before it gets on the reel.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Pool Rover Jr - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

  16. #36

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    So I started to give this some more thought, and I am thinking that instead of bearings, I might be able to use 2 wheels/casters mounted upside down on each side in order to make this a smooth process. The only thing I can't figure out is how to get such a long piece of conduit home. Cutting it, and coupling it, would create more flex, wouldn't it?

  17. #37
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    20,595

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    Your likely to find that the max length for a stick of conduit is 10' so I don't think it'll be that big a deal to transport it. If you're going with aluminum just use a coupling to join them together and it won't add to the overall flex of the conduit itself.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 1.5hp Dynamo pump. 24" Pentair Sand Dollar Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit
    You can stop SLAMing your pool when you pass the OCLT (You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & You have .5ppm CC's or less) & your water is clear.

  18. #38
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    10

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    Resurrecting this old thread because it's got a few good ideas that I drew inspiration from.

    I've been toying with the DIY idea since I spent 200 dollars on a piece of junk that never worked right.

    My idea involves bearings. And no welding.

    I am planning to permanently mount it on the ground.
    So far I have come up with these materials:

    Two steel rods 3ft each.
    Aluminium tubing cut to length or possibly telescopic if I can find it.
    Two S shaped metal hooks.
    Two mounted bearings.
    Some sort of crank.

    Construction:

    Steel rods must go in the ground at maybe 2/3 foot. So you've got 2.3 feet to work with.
    Curve steel rods inwards at one end to form a ring. Maybe 6-7 inches. Measure about a foot and a half from the straight end, then bend the rod at a straight 90 degree angle.
    Stick both rods on the ground. the weight of the blanket and the rest of the materials should be enough to keep it stable. Or maybe pour a little concrete.
    The outer diameter of the tube should be slightly smaller than the bore of the bearings for a tight fit. Cut to size of pool and hammer in the bearings. for the crank end a tube with a smaller outer diameter than the inner diameter of the main tube should be used. Hammer that inside the aluminium tube which is inside the bearing. I was thinking, like that guy with the wooden construction, to use plumbing pipes with screwable elbow couplers. Mount everything using the hooks then the blanket and you're done.

    Mounted bearings can be found on the net. Amazon seems to have a few, haven't done any measurements yet. Main tube seems to be a bit of an issue with the size requirements i anticipate to have. Rods and hooks are at isle X and Y in your neighbourhood Home Depot, Lowes or what have you.

    Now, that having been said and built, in my head of course, I do not have any sort of engineering degree, nor do I have much building experience. A concept is all I have, so feel free to chime in and tell me if I'm going to be wasting my time or does this feel somewhat solid.
    18' x 36' Vinyl Kidney 24,000 gallons
    Soon to have Salwater system up and running.
    Intelliflo pump, Colorlogic LED Light and a lot less money in the bank

  19. #39

    Re: DIY solar cover reel?

    Tried my hand at a cheap solar blanket reel. Here is what it looks like. Used two sections of top rail fence post $20, 10' piece of deck board, four u-bolts and four gate elbows for the cranks.Sorry the pics are so small, wouldn't upload the full size versions. [attachment=1:3rp0xnlc]GetAttachment.jpg[/attachment:3rp0xnlc] & [attachment=0:3rp0xnlc]GetAttachment2.jpg[/attachment:3rp0xnlc]
    Attached Images Attached Images

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •