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Thread: Solar blanket, no reel?

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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Solar blanket, no reel?

    We have a 16 x 35 in-ground pool. I live in Georgia which gets quite warm but it would be nice to use a cover to help retain heat this time of the year when we heat the pool. My only issue is that I don't care much for the look of the cover reel at one end of the pool. The reel would have to be low enough to sit under our diving board. And with the weather here, I would only use it in march and april. Probably not at the end of the season.

    My question is, how much of a pain would it be to use a cover without the reel? Im sure its not a 1 person job. Have any of you tried it?
    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    It is a major pain. The wet cover is seriously heavy, wet and often dirty. I don't think anybody would put up with the look of a reel if they weren't a major convenience.
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    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    You can reels with wheels to stow them away but that is dependent on having the clearance to move it around the yard/deck.
    Josh Ulfers - josh@saltpoolguys.com - 888-725-8766
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    I currently use this roller although now with some modifcations.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    Carlos 31820 in Midland

    We use a solar cover for about 4 -5 months out of the year on a 20 x 40.

    We don't use a reel, but have two teenagers who are very "skilled" at removing the solar cover; however, they need some "supervision" when reinstalling the cover.

    Is it easy? No.
    Can 2 average healthy adults manage the task? Yes

    A solar cover will save more than it's purchase price in reduced energy costs within the first season if you are heating your pool.
    If you are heating with Propane, your reduced energy costs will pay for the cover in the first 2 weeks of use.
    poolschoolgrad

    20x40 free-form IG vinyl, 1hp Hayward superpump, Hayward pro grid DE filter, Raypak heatpump, Goldline Aquarite SWCG, Polaris 280 with booster, and tested using a Taylor K2006.

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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    It can be done! I have a 21X40 freeform pool. I cut the solar cover down the center. I pull each pieces out of the pool and fan fold it all by myself. Then roll it and put it to the side of the pool. Yes, it can be a PITA but it can be done. I do it all the time all by myself. I personally don't like the look of the "reels" and when I'm not using the solar cover I store it in the garage. And I carry it to the garage myself too!
    28,000 IG Free Form Gunite with quartz finish
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolschoolgrad
    We don't use a reel, but have two teenagers who are very "skilled" at removing the solar cover; however, they need some "supervision" when reinstalling the cover.
    I expect the reel would be cheaper than the teenagers
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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    Thank you for all the responses. Mark (mas985), I like that roller you posted a link to - looks very interesting. What exactly did you need to modify?
    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
    Jandy Stealth 1hp pump - Jandy CS-150 filter
    Jandy Legacy 250k heater - Jandy Ei SWCG
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    The tubes are aluminum and for me, they lasted about 3 years before corroding ala salt from SWG so I replaced them with pvc.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    The tubes are aluminum and for me, they lasted about 3 years before corroding ala salt from SWG so I replaced them with pvc.
    So could I save some money and skip the middle man? Could I just make something that will work with PVC and a handle of sorts? My pool is basically rectangular (Grecian, actually). Seems like I could just cut the cover in half and attach the two halves to the PVC pole. Sounds too easy so tell me what I'm missing. What keeps the pole/pvc afloat?
    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
    Jandy Stealth 1hp pump - Jandy CS-150 filter
    Jandy Legacy 250k heater - Jandy Ei SWCG
    Jandy Watercolors LED light
    Paramount Vanquish in-floor cleaner

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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    Just my 2cents, we have a solar cover, cut into two pieces, no reel. When I say "can you help me pull the cover?" or "I need help replacing the cover" Everyone runs!
    Looking to build a new POOL

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    I used 3/4" PVC with 3/4" backer rod stuffed in the middle to make the PVC float. The PVC bends a lot so you could go with a larger diameter which might help. I also used automotive interior clips to attach the cover to the PVC and I made a crank out of PVC which threads into one end for wrapping up the cover. It won't unwrap because of the thread direction but I find it is easier to just pull on both sides of the cover to unwrap. This comming season will be my first season with the PVC pipe so I don't quite know how well it will work but I have wrapped and unwrapped it a couple times successfully. The only downside is that it bends a bit too much when wet but I can still hold it above the ground.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyBad
    Just my 2cents, we have a solar cover, cut into two pieces, no reel. When I say "can you help me pull the cover?" or "I need help replacing the cover" Everyone runs!
    So it's still a pain even with the two halves... hmmm... I just hate heating the pool with no cover but sure do hate the look of that reel.
    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
    Jandy Stealth 1hp pump - Jandy CS-150 filter
    Jandy Legacy 250k heater - Jandy Ei SWCG
    Jandy Watercolors LED light
    Paramount Vanquish in-floor cleaner

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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    Quote Originally Posted by carlos31820
    Quote Originally Posted by MyBad
    Just my 2cents, we have a solar cover, cut into two pieces, no reel. When I say "can you help me pull the cover?" or "I need help replacing the cover" Everyone runs!
    So it's still a pain even with the two halves... hmmm... I just hate heating the pool with no cover but sure do hate the look of that reel.
    The look of the cover and reel may not be pretty (the Rocky Roller isn't too bad though) but I like the look of money in my wallet so I find the cover well worth it...
    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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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    Quote Originally Posted by mart242


    The look of the cover and reel may not be pretty (the Rocky Roller isn't too bad though) but I like the look of money in my wallet so I find the cover well worth it...
    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.

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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    I have a 20x40 solar cover, but no roller. It is very difficult for one person to handle and still difficult with two people. It is very effective at retaining heat in the pool. I'm planning on having a heat pump installed this spring so cost savings are important. A friend of mine cut his into 4 sections. She told me it is much easier to handle. I was thinking about doing the same.
    20x40 inground 3 1/2'-8', vinyl lined concrete, salt water chlorine generator, DE filter, 2hp pentair pump , Hayward heat pump

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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    Am I right that the cover is made to float on the water and will not be lifted by the wind (which we get a lot of)? And, I think I read that this will help with chlorine loss? I'd have to do this (40x20) by myself so the cutting in half/quarters seems a good idea.
    Cedar Island NC (Southern Outer Banks)
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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket, no reel?

    It definitely helps with chlorine loss since it keeps the direct sunlight off the water.
    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
    Jandy Stealth 1hp pump - Jandy CS-150 filter
    Jandy Legacy 250k heater - Jandy Ei SWCG
    Jandy Watercolors LED light
    Paramount Vanquish in-floor cleaner

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