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Thread: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

  1. #1
    Member gullzway's Avatar
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    How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    I have an 18' x 36' inground and was fortunate to have a friend give me his 20'x40' solar cover he no longer uses.
    Would it be best to cut it as one piece and be about 6" short on each side., or cut it as two pieces where it would cover the entire surface of the Pool?

    I attached a picture for reference. Thanks for any input!
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    17,500 gallon in-ground 18x36 gunite pool
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  2. #2
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    Re: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    Cut it to fit and leave the 6 inches. I'm not a fan of cutting a solar cover in half.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  3. #3
    Senior Member LauleaHere&There's Avatar
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    Re: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    I experimented with multiple pieces of solar cover because I had them, and because the one big circle is a hard for a small person like me to manage. But I found that the wind blows the pieces around.

    A little exposed water surface won't diminish the effectiveness of the solar cover.
    12' round above ground pool. 3,500 gal. Vinyl liner. Waterway Supreme Hi-Flo 48 frame pump. 1.5 hp. SWG. Sand filter with Zeobrite.

    Thanks, members of Trouble Free Pool, for being so friendly and informative!

  4. #4
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    Re: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    I would vote for one piece also.
    If it were me I would take it as you have it there and just go along with a marker to decide where to cut.
    25k gal vinyl AquaRite T-15 Raypak RP2100 Heater

  5. #5
    Senior Member X-PertPool's Avatar
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    Re: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    You can get a bag of solar cover buttons and use it to attach pieces of solar cover together
    -Kevin
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    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

  6. #6

    Re: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    Can't wait to see how yours turns out. This is a project I will be taking on in a few weeks.
    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

  7. #7
    Senior Member dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    Either your pool is not an 18x36 or the cover is not a 20x40? Anyhow...I'll vote for the one piece as well and I do love the shape
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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  8. #8
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    Re: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by dmanb2b
    Either your pool is not an 18x36 or the cover is not a 20x40? :
    Actually, the pool and cover are most likely the size stated. For the cover, that extra 2 foot width and 4 foot length isnt enough to cover the ends of the pool. With a kidney, the pool has a rounded end at both ends, and a large U-shape in the middle. The rectangle cover has to be turned at an angle to fit over the kidney shape. When you do that, even a bigger recatangle cover will not be quite long enough or wide enough to cover ever sq foot of the top of the kidney shape. In order to do that, you would need a cover 25x 45 or 50. Hard to explain just in a typed post like this. Hopefully, you get the idea of the issue.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  9. #9
    Senior Member dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    I'm even more confused now ..But I will take your word for it. Let's just say, it is what it is...I didn't want to call it out just looked funny in the post as I was figuring any shape that is 18' wide x 36 long would surely fit in a 20x40 rectangle...but I think I understand what your saying
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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  10. #10
    Member CRG_80cc's Avatar
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    Re: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    I have a free-form pool and cut mine in half to make it easier to add/remove. Some things I learned that I will do on my next cover when I have to replace this one are:
    1. Leave some overlap at the ends of at least 1.5-2ft. so you can place water jugs on them to keep the wind from blowing it off. This also helps prevent leaves from getting under the cover and into the water if you were to cut it to fit. You can then sweep the leaves with a broom easily.
    2. Also leave a 1-2 ft overlap on the cut in the middle so that you can place an old pole to keep the flaps from blowing in the wind.

    For a rectangular pool, a 1 piece would be easy since you could use a reel, but free-forms just make it difficult to use one
    30K gal. IG Free form
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  11. #11
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    Re: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    I just ordered a 20 x 40 to fit my 16 x 35 kidney shaped pool, should be here this weekend. I'm not getting a reel for now, not sure if you can even use one on a free form pool like this?

    I'm considering cutting the cover into 2 or 3 pieces as I've heard others have done this to make remove/replace easier. Anyone else have experience with this?

    As for cutting the cover to fit, I've read a few instructions online and one mentioned positioning the cover at a 45 degree angle coming from the water's surface up to the coping, and then cut at exactly the coping all the way around. I assume the premise is that when the edge of the cover lays down flat it will then come right up to the edge of the water, considering most copings overhang the edge a little bit. Another said to cut it slightly big the first time, then come back around and make the final cut. Suggestions?
    16,000 gallon
    6 - 4'x12' Aquasol solar panels
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  12. #12

    Re: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    i cut mine in 4 pieces and had no problem. It is now easy for the kids and wife to remove. If I had to do it again, which I will do next year, I will cut in only 3 pieces. No downside at all to this. I didn't leave any overlap and the cover went all the way to the liner. The only tip I would give is don't have a seem (cut part) close to a return jet if you can avoid it.
    2008 23K IG Liner, Hayward Northstar 1.5, 48DE filter, Heatpump, SWC, aquabot turbo T, K2006 Testkit

  13. #13
    Senior Member 4JawChuck's Avatar
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    Re: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    My kidney shaped solar cover is one piece but is made out of two pieces plastic welded together with a heat sealer type device, they don't have these down south? Have you checked your local PS?
    55 Kilolitre in-ground 18'X36' vinyl lined kidney shape, 1HP pump, Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter, RayPak Delta T 200K BTU natural gas heater. New PoolWerks "Blue Diffusion" liner on May 26th-2011
    Avatar is my pool!

  14. #14
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    Re: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    gullzway: A gap is no big deal. If you cover 95% of the surface you get 95% of the benefit.

    CRG_80cc: If the wind generally comes from one direction, and your seam is perpendicular to that direction, then an overlap will probably help keep things in place. Otherwise probably not.

    dwichman: I don't see any reason to do the 45-degree-coping trick, that's just to keep the scissors from getting wet. If I'm out there whacking a pool cover, it's not with the nice scissors and I don't care if they get wet.

    Re cutting to fit: I put my first cover on in very early spring, then had to cut a couple inches off when it expanded in the summer heat. Then it didn't cover completely the next winter. It already didn't cover the pool completely so big whoop.

    For a kidney, I wonder if two rounds would work better than trimming a rectangular. It could be worth experimenting.
    --paulr
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  15. #15
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    Re: How to Cut Solar Cover to Fit Kidney Pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by dwichman
    I just ordered a 20 x 40 to fit my 16 x 35 kidney shaped pool, should be here this weekend. I'm not getting a reel for now, not sure if you can even use one on a free form pool like this?
    See what I did for mine.. it works great but the folding part is a bit annoying the first few times.

    solar-cover-for-odd-shaped-pool-coverstick-solar-factory-t20587.html?hilit=rocky

    My post from may 6th is exactly what I did.
    19.5k gallons in ground, P4 panel with turbocell SWG, 1hp Hayward superpump II, sand filter, Heater low nox 250k btu heater, solar cover on rocky roller

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