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Thread: To cover or to solar?

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    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    To cover or to solar?

    Hey all. I am currently researching between 2 options. Option one is solar heating. We are thinking between Fafco and Heliocoil and both have quoted us 80% coverage for around $5500. The other option is getting a solar cover on a power assisted reel which I am estimating would cost around $1700. Just the cover alone is not an option, we have one now and it is way too much to mess with on our length of a pool. I am in N. Cal east of Sacramento, so about 10 degrees cooler than the city. My pool gets some shade during the day but the roof stays pretty sunny. Last year we ran no cover and even on a 100+ day the water temp was too cold for my wife. I don't mind splurging for the solar panels if it meant we can actually use our pool, but if I can get by just fine with a blanket for 1/3 of the cost, of course I would rather do that. If I do get panels, I do plan on getting rings for the evening to slow heat loss. Any advice? Thanks.
    Jeff || 19,000g IGP || SwimClear 3025 Cartridge Filter || Hayward TriStar 1.39 THP pump || K-2006 Test Kit || 80% Surface Coverage Heliocol || Hayward Controller || Hayward Phoenix 4X4 || "Solar Rings" || PoolSkim

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: To cover or to solar?

    What if you're not home n she wants to use the pool? Is she able to take the cover off? I have an above ground pool and that blanket can get ridiculous if you ask me. If she can't handle it on her own, I'd opt for a better system. Jmo
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: To cover or to solar?

    As I see it this is not an either or unless you are in a fringe area, it is often a matter of needing both, at least at the beginning and end of the season. See Sacramento, California Solar Pool Heater Performance

    Ike

    p.s. please put your city or region of state in your location, California spans many climate zones and it helps to know this to provide accurate advice
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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: To cover or to solar?

    how high does just the solar cover on your pool now raise the temp? If it is enough use that if not go with the solar option

    Test using your solar cover for a week and see what temp's you get then make your decision...
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    Re: To cover or to solar?

    Casey, my wife could not do it on her own, it takes me a great deal of time to do it myself. If I did a blanket it would be an powered reel for this purpose.

    Isacc, great link, thank you. If I do do solar panels, I plan to also use the anchored solar rings to prevent heat loss at night. I know they are a not the best system, but I think coupled with the panels it will suffice. Buying both the panels and the powered blanket reel would be most ideal, but is not feasible right now.

    CC, I haven't tested the cover yet in season. Honestly I didn't even know I had it until after season and I found where the previous homeowner hid it! In any case, it is cut in 3 pieces and even at that it is a huge pain in the butt. That is a good suggestion though, after SLAM is done I think I will try to see how it works. The cover is filthy so it needs a good spray down before it goes in the pool.
    Jeff || 19,000g IGP || SwimClear 3025 Cartridge Filter || Hayward TriStar 1.39 THP pump || K-2006 Test Kit || 80% Surface Coverage Heliocol || Hayward Controller || Hayward Phoenix 4X4 || "Solar Rings" || PoolSkim

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    Re: To cover or to solar?

    I don't yet have experience with this as it will be our first season with the pool but I plan on trying the DIY cover roller created by mas985. DIY Solar Cover Roller. The thing I like the most about it is you can cut the cover into manageable sections. I imagine most of the time when using the pool after work we will just leave it in the water rolled up pushed to the side and only completely remove it on weekends. If it becomes a pain then solar next year
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