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Thread: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/mil?

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    SLand's Avatar
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    Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/mil?

    I'm looking for a solar blanket to help keep my lap pool warm and keep the heating costs down. Any recommendations on brands, material or the mil thickness? I will be swimming almost daily, so I want something that will be easy to remove and replace by myself. (pool size: 6' X 75')
    One 18k gal 6'X75' IG plaster/gunite lap pool w/ 6 sheer decent waterfalls; Delta UV Sanitizer, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 520; 400k BTU gas heater; Glacier chiller; Pentair Intelliflo VS pump; Robotic Cleaner

    One 16k gal 15’X35’ IG plaster/gunite pool + 7’X7 spa w/ 3 sheer decent waterfalls and 3 pencil jets; Delta UV Sanitizer, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420; 400k BTU gas heater; Pentair 2hp pump; Polaris Cleaner

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    Re: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/m

    Welcome to TFP! Someone with some solar blanket experience should be along shortly.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/m

    I've had the best luck with 12 mil blankets made by Midwest Canvas. I believe In the Swim and Poolcenter.com both handle them. I ordered my last one via Amazon from In the Swim and got it delivered the next day in an area rural enough that Fed Ex and UPS won't accept next-day shipments.
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    Re: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/m

    I like the 12 mil clear with bubbles. The clear diamond ones trap to much water when wound on a reel and will void the warranty on most reels.
    Screen enclosed 17K gal 16x30 IG with Diamond Brite finish, elevated 4 jet spa with spill over, Twin dolphin fountain, Hayward Ecostar pump[ Pentair intelliflo VS, Filter Sta rite Posi-Flo PTM 100, Aqua Cal heat pump, Tiger Shark QC robotic cleaner.
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/m

    6x75 will be a hard size to come by. You'll probably have to order a larger rectangle and cut it into strips.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    SLand's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/m

    Yes indeed, the 6' X 75' size will either require a custom order, or some cutting. If I cut it, is there a good way to "attach" the pieces together so that it could be removed with a reel?

    I actually need 3 blankets. One 15' X 35' for the "cocktail" pool, a 7' X 7' for the attached spa, and the 6' x 75' for the lap pool. So I was thinking I might just get 2 of the 15' X 35' (if they come in that size) and cut one for the lap pool and use the excess for the spa and other odd shapes like the stair entries. Having the spa blanket in pieces wouldn't be a problem.

    Since the lap pool cover will be removed daily, if not twice a day, is it best to have a reel for that size blanket (6x75)? The "cocktail" pool blanket would only be removed occasionally, so I was hoping I wouldn't need a reel for that one, but this is my first pool, so if you veterans tell me otherwise, I'll heed your advice.

    Thanks for the help thus far.
    One 18k gal 6'X75' IG plaster/gunite lap pool w/ 6 sheer decent waterfalls; Delta UV Sanitizer, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 520; 400k BTU gas heater; Glacier chiller; Pentair Intelliflo VS pump; Robotic Cleaner

    One 16k gal 15’X35’ IG plaster/gunite pool + 7’X7 spa w/ 3 sheer decent waterfalls and 3 pencil jets; Delta UV Sanitizer, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420; 400k BTU gas heater; Pentair 2hp pump; Polaris Cleaner

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    Re: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/m

    From what I have seen there are sizes up to 30 x 60 readily available. But 75 ft would be hard to find. You can chose your sizes and figure how to cut the covers you need. But attaching pieces together never seems to work out well.

    I would suggest buying a rectangular blanket, say 16 x 40 and cutting two strips 6 x 40. Then use two reels, one at each end of the pool. That would make covering and uncovering the pool quick and easy. The covers are cheap enough. It's good reels that might be a bit of an investment.

    I bought my last cover from solarcovers.com. They seem to have a good selection decent prices and free shipping.
    chiefwej
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    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/m

    There really isn't any good way to attach two pieces of cover. A custom one may work well, since the material seems to come in ~6' widths and they just weld the edges together to make larger widths.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/m

    Thanks for the suggestions. So 12 mil clear bubbles (not diamonds). I was contemplating getting 8mil, so it would be lighter and easier to handle, but it sounds like they don't hold up very well, nor do they provide the same level of warming or heat retention. Would that be an accurate assesment?

    Does anyone think I need a reel to remove the 15' X 35' solar blanket if it would only be removed occasionally.
    One 18k gal 6'X75' IG plaster/gunite lap pool w/ 6 sheer decent waterfalls; Delta UV Sanitizer, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 520; 400k BTU gas heater; Glacier chiller; Pentair Intelliflo VS pump; Robotic Cleaner

    One 16k gal 15’X35’ IG plaster/gunite pool + 7’X7 spa w/ 3 sheer decent waterfalls and 3 pencil jets; Delta UV Sanitizer, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420; 400k BTU gas heater; Pentair 2hp pump; Polaris Cleaner

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    Re: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/m

    I don't think there is a huge difference in heat retention between the different thickness. I have a 16 mil on my pool, but thats because I just try to buy the one with the longest replacement warranty. The sun will destroy any cover here in a couple years, and I can usually get a couple replacement covers for free during the warranty period.
    chiefwej
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    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    SLand's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/m

    Ah ha.... Good strategy Chief! Do they give you any trouble at all on the replacements? I've heard some people say they've had trouble with warranty coverage. Do you think I need a reel to remove the 15' X 35' solar blanket if it would only be removed occasionally?
    One 18k gal 6'X75' IG plaster/gunite lap pool w/ 6 sheer decent waterfalls; Delta UV Sanitizer, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 520; 400k BTU gas heater; Glacier chiller; Pentair Intelliflo VS pump; Robotic Cleaner

    One 16k gal 15’X35’ IG plaster/gunite pool + 7’X7 spa w/ 3 sheer decent waterfalls and 3 pencil jets; Delta UV Sanitizer, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420; 400k BTU gas heater; Pentair 2hp pump; Polaris Cleaner

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    Re: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/m

    I've had 16 mil covers and 10 mils covers and i cant tell any difference. Like Chief said, they only last 2 seasons, so buying an expensive cover is a waste of money, IMO.
    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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    SLand's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Blankets - Will a single reel hold 75'?

    Okay, great info. Next question is will a reel hold the 75' length? This may be another reason to get the 8-10 mil.
    One 18k gal 6'X75' IG plaster/gunite lap pool w/ 6 sheer decent waterfalls; Delta UV Sanitizer, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 520; 400k BTU gas heater; Glacier chiller; Pentair Intelliflo VS pump; Robotic Cleaner

    One 16k gal 15’X35’ IG plaster/gunite pool + 7’X7 spa w/ 3 sheer decent waterfalls and 3 pencil jets; Delta UV Sanitizer, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420; 400k BTU gas heater; Pentair 2hp pump; Polaris Cleaner

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/m

    At 6' wide a reel should support the 75' length. I would go with the 10mil cover though.

    I would recommend a reel whatever size your cover is. Maybe if it were just a spa cover you may not need one but any size at all and I recommend one.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    SLand's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/m

    Thxs Dave!
    One 18k gal 6'X75' IG plaster/gunite lap pool w/ 6 sheer decent waterfalls; Delta UV Sanitizer, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 520; 400k BTU gas heater; Glacier chiller; Pentair Intelliflo VS pump; Robotic Cleaner

    One 16k gal 15’X35’ IG plaster/gunite pool + 7’X7 spa w/ 3 sheer decent waterfalls and 3 pencil jets; Delta UV Sanitizer, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420; 400k BTU gas heater; Pentair 2hp pump; Polaris Cleaner

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    Re: Solar Blankets? Any recommendations on brand/material/m

    Hi SLand... I was wondering what solution you eventually chose?

    I am in Austin and am in a similar situation -- pool will be 7' X 75' and I'd like a solar cover with reel.

    Thanks!

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