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Thread: Solar Covers -worth it even with a warranty?

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    Solar Covers -worth it even with a warranty?

    Hi,
    I'm about to replace my 12 mil clear bubble solar pool cover for about the 5th time in the 8 years we've had this house. It's about the thickest cover that my Aluminum pool reel will take.

    I've been purchasing them, so far, from PoolSupplies.com/SolarCovers.com/LeisureLiving.com (all the same company) in Tonawanda, NY.
    They currently cost about $125. new including shipping.

    They have all had an '8 year warranty' (2 years full warranty, 6 years limited warranty).

    In real-life that has meant that after 1.5 years when the cover starts disintegrating I put in a warranty claim and get a new cover (after sending in photos and sometimes a small section of cover) but I have to pay a $60. shipping fee.; Then after the 2nd cover starts disintegrating after 1.5 years I am told that I will have to pay 50% of the cost of a new cover and the $60. shipping fee -WHICH ENDS UP COSTING ME ABOUT THE SAME AS A BRAND NEW COVER (but would not have any warranty coverage on it).

    So, of course, I choose to buy a NEW solar cover after the full warranty has expired because it has RENEWED 2 year full warranty coverage on it (and the initial shipping is free).

    If I continue to follow this plan, new solar covers will cost around $185. every 3 years.

    *************Questions:
    1) Will my Los Angeles pool lose more than $185. worth of water every three years if I am currently paying $.007/gallon for water?

    2) Are there any better deals for solar covers out there RE: durability and/or warranty coverage and total costs? (My quick research seems like they're all about the same).

    I want to be a good citizen RE: the drought here, but as times are getting tighter financially, I need to make the best decisions for my family.
    We have been constantly considering filling-in this aging, needy pool, but it seems that it would cost us a few thousand to do that too....
    Thanks for any illumination other owners can provide!
    18,000 gal In-Ground 50's/60's-era (Gunite?) pool 18'x36' Grand-Piano-Shape w/ original 1HP Pentair/Spira-Mite 2000 series DE filter and Teledyne LaarsLite Natural Gas Heater

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers -worth it even with a warranty?

    Every situation is different because of the amount of sun and wind exposure. But if you lost a year-round average of 1/2" per week and your average depth is 60" that's around half your water, 7500 gallons, $52. Consider chlorine loss as well. At an extra 2 ppm FC loss per day through 6 months, that would be 56 ounces of 8.25% per day times 183 days at $3 per gallon is $240 per year. If it only went up 1 ppm per day, or chlorine is half that much, then $120 pa

    If it was me, and I wasn't heating it, it's close enough to try it for the rest of the season and track the difference. At least I'd be looking at a prettier pool!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Almost forgot... you'd have to see also how close you are to your water quota if you have quota penalty where you are.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766 Salt, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Pentair Rebel pool cleaner; FlowViz flow meter; prior pool AG 10k - Be Safe - FC / CYA Chart - Become a TFP Supporter - Read Before Posting

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    Re: Solar Covers -worth it even with a warranty?

    Go with a cheaper one, they all seem to last 2 years anyhow.
    16 x 32 17500 gallons
    Vinyl in-ground
    Hayward 250# Sand Filter
    1 HP Pump
    Hayward SWG

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers -worth it even with a warranty?

    The cheapest 8 mil cover you can find will last just as long.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Solar Covers -worth it even with a warranty?

    First, do you cover the cover (with a tarp etc) when it's off the pool? That's the biggest cause of deterioration; I didn't realize my tarp blew off over a few days and the section that was exposed is now brittle and will probably fall apart next year.

    Second, check this: Amazon.com : Blue Wave 18-Feet x 36-Feet Rectangular 12-mil Solar Blanket for In Ground Pools, Blue : Solar Pool Cover : Patio, Lawn Garden

    The 18x36 is $39.99 with free Prime shipping, while some other sizes (even smaller ones) are much more expensive. Must be some odd stock imbalance or something. My pool is the same size so I bought one even though I could get another year out of my current cover because that price is good. It came in a couple days; I can only imagine shipping cost them a good chunk of that price! I don't know what the shelf life is if stored in the box; I'm thinking of getting another to replace in a couple of years.

    Also, check your water district's rebates -- mine will rebate up to $100 on a solar cover.

    The primary reason to use a solar cover is to retain heat at night -- are you okay with the temperature of the water if the cover has been off for a week or so? Reducing evaporation and chlorine use are just bonuses to me rather than primary cost-benefit analysis. But to do the math, measure the water loss over a week with and without the cover on.

    Let's say it's about an inch a week, or 4" per month. 18x36x(4/12) = 216cf of water per month (1600 gallons). Multiply by your water rate to get the cost. However, up here at least that loss only occurs for the 5-6 summer months when the water and air are warmer; from Nov-April I don't usually have to add water because the rains are just enough to keep it up or require a bit of draining in some storms. Even with higher water rates than I have I suspect the payback period is longer than these things generally last. But again for me, it's about keeping the water warm for swimming first.
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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    Re: Solar Covers -worth it even with a warranty?

    Thank You Jmastron!
    That's an unbelievable deal! I just ordered one.

    That price definitely brings the cost of H2O conservation below the financial break-even point. makes me feel even better about it now.
    18,000 gal In-Ground 50's/60's-era (Gunite?) pool 18'x36' Grand-Piano-Shape w/ original 1HP Pentair/Spira-Mite 2000 series DE filter and Teledyne LaarsLite Natural Gas Heater

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    Re: Solar Covers -worth it even with a warranty?

    My 12 mil cover has lasted two years. I covered it the first summer, I didn't cover it this year. It is getting brittle and I have been thinking it may not last through this year. Thanks for the tip on this bargain. I will need to do some "trimming" but it's much cheaper than a smaller cover.Go figure . This is my first two years with a pool. I heat it in the winter and I got the cover for heat retention. I don't know if it helps with evaporation.
    14x28 in-ground plaster, ~ 15000 gal, Hayward C9002 cartridge filter, 1 HP Flotec pump, Heat Siphon heat pump. 12 Mil blue solar cover, liquid chlorine.

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    borjis's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers -worth it even with a warranty?

    Another place to look is Ebay. They are usually lower than amazon and have free shipping.

    The same company selling on ebay usually have retail websites where they cost more....I think they use ebay to move inventory.

    I got my new cover this year for $ 75 but it was more than $ 100 on amazon and the ebay company retail website.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Jandy Lite2 LJ250N gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    foobert's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers -worth it even with a warranty?

    My cover lasted 2+ years. In that amount of time, it absolutely payed for itself in water savings, never mind the added enjoyment of a warmer pool.

    At an average fill of 1" every 2 weeks (more in the summer, less in the winter), 550 gallons per inch --> over $250 in water in 2 years for me. With the cover, I come out of spring rains a bit over filled and I'd have to add an inch or so in the middle of the swim season.
    ~john
    24.5K G, pebble, SuperFlo VS 1.5, 48sq DE filter, Hayward H250FDN, Autopilot RC-52, Poolvergnuegen & 3 daily swimmers in season.

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    Re: Solar Covers -worth it even with a warranty?

    7520
    It seems like whatever cover I get lasts only about 1 1/2 to 2 years max but it saves loosing a bunch of water (live in NorCal and we can have more than a few 100+ degree days). I used to have to refill 2+ inches a week. Now it's more like 3-4 inches a season. It does make the pool REALLY warm (which isn't necessarily a good thing) but the wife enjoys the pool being hot. So, IMHO a solar heater is a necessity (if only for the water savings) but I just realize the warranties mean nothing and I just buy the cheapest one I can find (usually EBay).
    30x15 Grecian shaped monster, 15200 gal, with a bunch of outdated, undersized Jandy pool equipment waiting to be transformed into something beautiful.

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