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Thread: The Solar Blanket / Cover Debate; which Color ?

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    The Solar Blanket / Cover Debate; which Color ?

    Solar Cover Colours

    I'm confused about all the solar-cover-colour choices available.

    Every website seems to say something different about what the types of covers, will actually achieve.

    (ie: some say "black" is good for heat retention, others say it's bad because only the cover gets hot and not much tansferance to the water, especially since it blocks out U.V.)

    I was unable to find an independent study of the various types of solar blankets.

    clear vs light blue vs dark blue vs blue with silver backing vs blue with black backing vs all black

    and then there is diamond shape vs round bubbles

    and how about how thick the blanket is .. the different MMs...
    is there really that much difference in performance?


    Plus I read about shrinkage. about how it's a good idea to get a few inches overlap all the way around because the blanket will shrink. ( one source even said, if you cut it again, it will shrink past the new cut ? )
    Does the measurements listed for sizes sold include that overlap?

    ( ie: a 40ft pool length buys a 40ft blanket, then it shrinks & is now not touching the sides anymore?)


    Help (lol)

    signed,
    very confused

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Only thing I know will cause shrinkage is cold water...oh, wait, that was a Seinfeld episode.

    Seriously, I've never seen anything like that. If it did shrink, so ? What's an inch or two out of
    18 or more feet? You're not going to lose a lot of water to evaporation or CL or heat with that little
    expsoure.

    We' ve had a few blankets over 12 years or so.

    First, on thickness (viz weight)...
    I prefer thicker. Less likely to blow and scrunch up in light to moderate winds. More resistant to hail
    (we had a thin cover that was destroyed by a hail storm). So far, is holding up much better that
    lighter weight blankets ( more than 3 years). Tradeoff: it is heavier, so if you ever have to worry about
    one person working with it, well, make sure they can deal with it.

    Color/pattern - have to admit, haven't given it much thought. Currently have dark blue with diamond pattern.
    Wouldn't get black, it would just look ugly/unnatural to me.

    You almost have to look at a solar cover as luggage: as a consumable. Sooner or later you're going to have
    to replace it. Get the best for your current conditions, knowing that you will be able to try something else, likely
    better, in 5 years or so.
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    I have and swear by the clear covers...I had a blue one at first, and am now on my second clear cover...it heats the water much more evenly (the blue just heated the top few inches).

    The cover I just bought was extruded and has stitched seams...seems really heavy duty (much more so than my last clear which was a 12 mil diamond). My 16x32 rectangle was about $100 shipped. I don't think the bubble shape has a huge impact on its effectiveness, and no cover will last forever, so I'd be inclined to go cheap and just expect to replace it every few years.

    My water temp yesterady evening was 93 (central MD, hot sunny days recently)...however, I also have a dark colored liner, so I'm sure the cover/liner combo helps greatly in getting the temps up quickly.
    Using BBB successfully for over 5 years!

    16x32 vinyl grecian, Hayward EC65, 1hp super pump, Clear solar cover, Loop-lok winter cover, "The Pool Cleaner" 2 wheel suction cleaner

  4. Back To Top    #4
    KurtV's Avatar
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    I understand that the covers stretch over time rather than shrink. I think I read in one thread that someone's 40 ft cover had stretched two feet or more in a year or two.

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Bump

    I still haven't heard from anyone who has used the dark covers

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Maybe a good reason for that.....
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    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    IMHO, the medium weight covers are the best value for the money. The thin ones just don't last more than a seaon or two and the heavyweight ones don't last that much longer than the medium weight ones to justify the extra expense.
    As for color, well, best way to heat the pool and keep it warm is to uncover it during the day and cover it at night. That way you get maximum heating from the sun and lose minimun heat from evaporation at night so , IMHO, color becomes a moot point.

    Personally, I use a medium weight blue/silver cover on my pool and spa in the cooler months. Right now my water is staying about 88-90 degress so the pool is not covered at all.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    i agree with waterbear. at the price of a medium weight cover, i could buy one every year if i need to. i'm in my second season with a medium weight and it is standing up well to the wear and tear. when it's off the pool, it goes in shade so i don't pop any bubbles. last winter was the test as it can get to -25C where i live in canada for a week or 2. i left it on the reel for the winter, let the water drip off before putting a double cover on it for the winter time. the only thing i've noticed is it definitely did shrink over the winter. from a tight edge last summer, it's shrunk about 2 inches all the way around but yes, 2 inches over an approx 500 square foot pool is nothing i'm concerned about..it's heat/water retention capabilities seem unaffected by that shrinkage. i've said since day one if i get 3 years out of a 100 dollar cover, that's a good cheap investment.
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  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Okay it sounds good
    what do you consider "medium weight"

    is that like 10mms? ( or less maybe?)

  10. Back To Top    #10
    i wish mine was a 12mm bought at intheswim.com. your basic dark blue cover and it works great.
    • 15K IG gunite/plaster pool • Pentair: Whisperflo EE 1 HP • Nautilus FNS + 48 DE Filter • IntelliChlor IC40 •
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  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    IMHO, the medium weight covers are the best value for the money. The thin ones just don't last more than a season or two and the heavyweight ones don't last that much longer than the medium weight ones to justify the extra expense.
    As for color, well, best way to heat the pool and keep it warm is to uncover it during the day and cover it at night. That way you get maximum heating from the sun and lose minimum heat from evaporation at night so , IMHO, color becomes a moot point.

    Personally, I use a medium weight blue/silver cover on my pool and spa in the cooler months. Right now my water is staying about 88-90 degress so the pool is not covered at all.
    Should you keep the cover on during the day when the air temps are lower than the water temps?

    How important is it for the cover to lay completely flat on the water? My some of my returns sit above the water so I have to fold part of the cover under to keep the returns from flooding the top of the cover with water. That in turn causes the cover to bunch up in the middle. I also get air pockets under sections of the cover.
    ~30000 GAL In-Ground 26'x50' Kidney Shaped Pool
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  12. Back To Top    #12
    jmills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    ... best way to heat the pool and keep it warm is to uncover it during the day and cover it at night. That way you get maximum heating from the sun and lose minimun heat from evaporation at night so ...
    I wonder about having the pool uncovered during the day. I read somewhere that the biggest loss of heat comes from evaporation. That would indicate that you should keep the cover on whenever the pool isn't in use. On the other hand I have been using a fairly thin blue translucent cover that way a few weeks and I am not sure it has had any effect on my temperature. My temperature range is usually from about 72 to 80 lately a little north of Boston.

    The cover IS keeping the pool cleaner; especially since I started using it bubble side up so the debris stays on it as I remove it.
    12' x 20' Intex Oval Frame Pool, AG
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  13. Back To Top    #13
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    During the day the cover prevents some of the sunlight from heating the water, which needs to be balanced against the heat savings from preventing evaporation. Depending on how humid it is and how much wind there is you might be slightly better with it either on or off depending.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  14. Back To Top    #14
    Jmills
    I think solar covers are put bubble side down. The bubbles hold in heat and transfer it to the water. Most people do not get the temps a blanket states that it is supposed to but they do get at least 50% of what is promised.
    20x40 24,000 gal IG plaster/CircuPool RJ45 SWG/2 skimmer/2sp 2.5hp Jandy Stealth/340sq ft cart filter/600sqftHeliocol Solar Panels/6ft semi circlr tanning ledge/25ft deep end bench/5ft sheer descent/2 lion head water features/1300sqft travertine paver/2 Colorlogic lights/Hayward Navigator/3step 2ft raised bond beam

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    Kinguni's Avatar
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    I get best results cover on with the pump running to circulate the warmed top layer to the bottom. It's generally somewhat windy here so there's more evaporative cooling than what the sun can heat. Now if we'd just get some midday sunshine and seasonal to above seasonal temperatures here. Been a cool August.

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: The Solar Blanket / Cover Debate; which Color ?

    Your not alone! We live in the Midwest and don't get more than 3 months of use out of our pool( that's another discussion, lol) and had always had a dark blue solar cover. Well we have gotten our use out of the original and one we got for free! I did " a lot " of research before purchasing and reviews were all different! One main retailer had the dark blue one on sale no warranty. The other main retailer didn't have them on sale but if ANYTHING happens in 3 years u get a totally free one! But it was clear.hmmm! Checked it out and black crumbles from to much heat w/ chemicals and the blue and clear were pretty even! Should of gone with my instincts! We had purchased a new liner 5 yrs. ago in good shape , beautiful blue design . I became disabled and didn't spend a lot of time by the pool last summer. But at closing time I noticed something was really wrong!my liner was white! The UV rays penetrate and beached my newer liner! The water looked unappealing without that turquoise look that the liner had once produced! I knew it was the liner because we took the stairs out and under the stairs the liner was blue! I have a warranty on the solar cover but I want them to replace my liner. They specifically told me and my husband that they tested the two and there was zero difference!! Wrong!! I use to install up ground pools when I was healthy in my 40's and I knew there was a difference but went with the salesman! Poor choice on my end! FYI DONT get the clear one!! Go blue!! Wish me luck, might have to go to small claims on this one!



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    Re: The Solar Blanket / Cover Debate; which Color ?

    Quote Originally Posted by robrinker View Post
    Should you keep the cover on during the day when the air temps are lower than the water temps?

    How important is it for the cover to lay completely flat on the water? My some of my returns sit above the water so I have to fold part of the cover under to keep the returns from flooding the top of the cover with water. That in turn causes the cover to bunch up in the middle. I also get air pockets under sections of the cover.
    If your cover does fit perfect which most don't. I've installed looks for 5 years in the side with a pool co. Hard work for a 45 yr. lady ! But you can take your dicots and trim your solar cover a bit smaller around it, so it spins and moves freely. People who have a staircase instead of a ladder have that problem with the cover catching. Give it a haircut! Good luck



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    Re: The Solar Blanket / Cover Debate; which Color ?

    Quote Originally Posted by robrinker View Post
    Should you keep the cover on during the day when the air temps are lower than the water temps?

    How important is it for the cover to lay completely flat on the water? My some of my returns sit above the water so I have to fold part of the cover under to keep the returns from flooding the top of the cover with water. That in turn causes the cover to bunch up in the middle. I also get air pockets under sections of the cover.
    U must live where it's warmer! I live in the Midwest! 3 months that's it for pool time! I always used a blue cover on my up ground pool ! Is yours an I ground w/ without liner? Because I purchased against my instincts and got a clear one because it had a warranty. I have a 5 yr. old liner that got completely bleach out due to the lack of UV protection! Very upset and will b dealing with it shortly. For those that have unground plaster pools it's not a huge difference then. But for ones that have liners. Stay away from clear solar covers!!



  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: The Solar Blanket / Cover Debate; which Color ?

    If you're heating your pool with an electric heater, which color retains the heat better? Does it make a big difference?
    Kampala

  20. Back To Top    #20
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    Re: The Solar Blanket / Cover Debate; which Color ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomlar View Post
    If you're heating your pool with an electric heater, which color retains the heat better? Does it make a big difference?
    Does not matter. Heat retention is really mostly a reduction in evaporation.
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