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Thread: Best solar pool cover for heating up pool and retaining heat

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    Brentr's Avatar
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    Best solar pool cover for heating up pool and retaining heat

    What are the differences between clear vs colored pool covers? What are the differences between diamond bubbles vs round bubbles? Thickness, does this matter? Does anyone have any data? I want a cover that will heat pool faster and keep the heat in. Thanks
    6,000 gal, IG free form,Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish,Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues,Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump,Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15,Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers,Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Pentair IntelliBrite, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer Our New Poolbuild, Jacksonville, FL yr 2009 Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    Re: Best solar pool cover for heating up pool and retaining

    "The cover independent of whether it lets light through will cut down carbon dioxide outgassing so will reduce the tendency of the pH to rise if the TA is already high enough for that to be happening in your pool. With an opaque cover, you eliminate the breakdown of chlorine from the UV in sunlight. So you should see a far lower chlorine loss for the days you have the pool covered (sound like just the weekend days in your case). There should be no change with regard to any other chemicals or water parameters (except temperature, as noted below).

    As for whether you will get any additional net heat gain, this depends on the color of the cover and the amount of evaporation in your pool. A very dark cover will add some heat to the pool during the day while a light or reflective cover will not add any noticeable heat. The cover will help retain heat, especially at night.

    I have a mostly opaque pool cover on my pool and it is on all the time except 1-2 hours every day when the pool is used for swimming (somewhat longer on the weekends). The main effects are to reduce the amount of temperature loss at night and to reduce chlorine loss during the day. You will benefit from the former, but not so much from the latter except on the weekends."

    The above is text I copied on this site-can't remember the author. Hope it helps.
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    Re: Best solar pool cover for heating up pool and retaining

    That was from my post in the middle of last year. A clear cover will let more light into the pool which will heat it more during the day but will also break down more chlorine. So that's the tradeoff choice you'll have to make. I don't think the diamond bubble shape helps very much. The thickness mostly affects how long the cover will last, but some people say it doesn't extend the time that much so may not be worth it if the thicker covers are too much more expensive. The heat retention is more of a function of the thickness of the air layer (the bubbles and the air gaps between them).
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    Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: Best solar pool cover for heating up pool and retaining

    So is there any data/ comparison on clear vs opaque. Like how much increase in temp to expect with a clear cover? Are we talking 1-2 dregees or are we talking as much as 5 degrees?
    6,000 gal, IG free form,Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish,Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues,Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump,Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15,Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers,Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Pentair IntelliBrite, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer Our New Poolbuild, Jacksonville, FL yr 2009 Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    Re: Best solar pool cover for heating up pool and retaining

    I've had both and noticed no difference. You wil find a cover doesnt do much to heat the pool, really. It does a great job of keeping heat in the pool, but not much to heat it. 1-2 degrees? Maybe if your lucky. Dont you have a roof over you pool as well?
    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: Best solar pool cover for heating up pool and retaining

    bk406, yes I have pool screen enclosure. I posted the question for a friend who also has a pool and is in the process of purchasing a new solar pool cover. I too will be needing one soon as I have noticed some of my bubbles are coming apart. It is 3 years old and I bought mine at Lowes.
    6,000 gal, IG free form,Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish,Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues,Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump,Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15,Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers,Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Pentair IntelliBrite, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer Our New Poolbuild, Jacksonville, FL yr 2009 Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    Re: Best solar pool cover for heating up pool and retaining

    As described in the thread Water Absorption and Heating from Sunlight, a white plaster pool exposed to direct sunlight will absorb around 60% of the sun's energy. This can increase the pool water temperature at peak noontime sun by around 0.7ºF per hour. The counter to this is evaporation where a loss of 1/4" is a drop of around 5ºF. So a pool cover stops this cooling from evaporation and if the cover is clear enough it can let some light in though as bk406 noted the difference between clear and blue may be small. I know from reports of chlorine loss in a clear vs. blue cover that there must be some difference, but it's probably not large.
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    Re: Best solar pool cover for heating up pool and retaining

    Quote Originally Posted by Brentr
    bk406, yes I have pool screen enclosure. I posted the question for a friend who also has a pool and is in the process of purchasing a new solar pool cover. I too will be needing one soon as I have noticed some of my bubbles are coming apart. It is 3 years old and I bought mine at Lowes.
    There is a new bubble design out, biggest advantage is longevity. The design of the bubble means no molded corners (always the weak point) which is responsible for all those little circles. The new cover also alows for expansion in the bubble cost is only slightly more but with a longer life span. Very important to keep a cover protected from the sun when on a roller with a reflective protector.

    http://www.geobubble.co.uk/

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    Re: Best solar pool cover for heating up pool and retaining

    Quote Originally Posted by van
    Added: opaque solar cover can prevent the growth of algae.
    Welcome to TFP!

    I can personally attest that unless the solar cover is COMPLETELY opaque, that algae can indeed still grow. My cover is mostly opaque, but some light still shines through it and when I had very high phosphate levels (3000+ ppb) and I let the chlorine get too low so it got to zero for a number of days I had bacteria grow and convert CYA into ammonia and had algae start to grow as well making the pool cloudy and just starting to show some green. So even a cover that seems opaque as shown here is not enough to prevent algae growth. In fact, some types of algae, such as yellow/mustard algae, prefer shady (low-light) areas and grow behind light niches and under wedding cake steps and removable handrails. Though some light is needed for algae growth, it doesn't have to be very much, at least for some species.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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