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Thread: Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

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    Aleforge's Avatar
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    Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

    Pretty simple question, but I am having people over tomorrow evening to swim and BBQ. My pool water is pretty cool right now as we had an unseasonably cool week with lots of rain last weekend. So I have until tomorrow evening to warm the pool up as best as possible. Now I know without a heater I will not get far, and "warming" the pool up to an extent is kind of a silly question. But I want to make sure I do everything I can to save a degree or two. So should I turn off the pump until then? Or let it run during the day? I wasn't sure if running the pump during the hottest part of the day (mid 90s this afternoon) would help or hurt? I will put the solar cover on tonight. But would it help if it was just left on until tomorrow evening (without pump) or will the pool warm more during the day with it off?

    Thank you!
    In ground (installed 2000), fiberglass, cartridge filter, Pentair Super Flo Single speed pump (2014).

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    Re: Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

    Put the solar cover on until just before the party. Run the pump as usual, it doesn't make much difference.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    mikemass's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

    Not sure I completely understand the question. Why wait till tonight to put the solar cover on? Put it on today and get 2 full days of the sun heating it. It will also hold the heat in if left on. Then remove it when it comes time to swim.

    As far as the pump running. If you don't run the pump you are going to create a thermocline (top foot or so of the water will be hotter than the deeper part.) If you do run it you will get a more uniform heat throughout the depth of the pool.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
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    Aleforge's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

    You answered my question.

    I just wanted to use the best procedure to retain / gain as much heat as I can by tomorrow evening. I was under the impression however that the solar cover does not heat the water, but helps stop evaporation at night to hold warmth in? And I understand what you are saying about circulating the water to evenly warm it. Is it normal to run the pump with a solar cover in place? I am going to go put it on now, thanks for the help!
    In ground (installed 2000), fiberglass, cartridge filter, Pentair Super Flo Single speed pump (2014).

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    mikemass's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

    It does both. The solar cover magnifies and intensifies the rays. Then it also traps in the heat when the ambient temp cools down (at night). I don't know what the "normal" practice is, but I certainly would do it that way. Also, aim your return eyeballs down.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
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    Aleforge's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

    Will do, thank you very much!
    In ground (installed 2000), fiberglass, cartridge filter, Pentair Super Flo Single speed pump (2014).

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    Re: Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

    A lot of people here say that if it's humid and not windy, get the cover off when the sun is high in the sky so the energy can get in and heat the full body of water. Your forecast is for sun and high humidity with light wind, so I'll go against the grain
    Getting the most heat gain. Solar cover on or off?
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by needsajet View Post
    A lot of people here say that if it's humid and not windy, get the cover off when the sun is high in the sky so the energy can get in and heat the full body of water. Your forecast is for sun and high humidity with light wind, so I'll go against the grain
    Getting the most heat gain. Solar cover on or off?
    This has been my experience, too.
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    Re: Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

    Needsajet and PAgirl have it right. For most of us, Cover off during high sun and cover on when the sun is off the pool will yield the best results. The Desert Southwest can be an exception

    Solar covers do not magnify the sun's rays....that would be free energy.
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    Re: Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

    After a quick Google search and reading a few articles on the topic, I stand corrected on the Magnification comment. There are plenty of references however that the solar cover converts solar radiation into usable heat. Not sure I fully understand what that means or how that works. But it appears it would have to do this during daylight hours.

    One thing however that all articles seem to agree upon is it's primary function is to hold in whatever heat has been created. So in that regard the biggest benefit would be to have it on at night as mentioned by others above. Apparently from my new found learning, 60 - 75% of heat is lost from evaporation and most of the rest from radiation. Evaporation loss will be less with a solar cover on and wind contributes to evaporation as well. So having it covered in windy periods is a benefit.

    Based on this information I can certainly see how both methods can have credence. It's always good to hear the various theories to be armed with the most knowledge you can in making one's own decision. I'm glad this cover off during high sun came to my attention. Was not something I was aware of.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

    I am actually experimenting with solar cover heating.. I had a black/blue cover that was...eh...Just bought a clear one cuz the scientific side of my brain says more light will allow more heat to be generated below the cover. Im also running the thermocline principle and only running my pump about 10-15 min every couple of hours during direct light. I only get about 5-6 hours of direct light a day and the "stirring" seems to be helping even on cooler days
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    Re: Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

    Personally I would not cycle a pump like that as the starting and stopping will shorten the lifespan of the motor.

    Your choice of a clear cover for the most heat gain is the way to go.
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    Re: Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

    I have a blue solar cover. Looks almost like bubble wrap. Works really well in full sunlight. I left it on two days in a row in 100+ degree weather. Ended up with a 94 degree pool. That was way too hot. I use it to keep my pool in the 82-84 degree range. Feels awesome!!
    13K gal, inground, pebble, 3HP Pentair Intellipro VS pump, Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge filter, A&A infloor cleaning system, Taylor K2006 test kit. Build date 06/15.

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    Re: Best way to warm the pool as much as possible?

    I did a lot of research and decided to use a clear cover. I usually see a six degree rise from morning to noon. Barely use the heat pump this season other than the spring.
    16'x34' Kidney 17000 Gallon IG Vinyl liner. Pentair IntelliXF vs pump, Sta-Rite System 3 DE filter. Liquidator, TF-100 Test kit w/ speed stir. Aqua Comfort heat pump, Dolphin Apollo robot, clear solar cover, stamped concrete deck.

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