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Thread: how to install off-poolsolar cover reel on pool with railing

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    how to install off-poolsolar cover reel on pool with railing

    hi! so glad i found an active pool forum! we have an oval above ground pool that has a deck one side and one end, and white pvc railing on the rest of it. we bought the pool used, it came with a solar cover reel that is set up to attach to the pool's top rail, about 6' from one end of the pool. we don't want to attach it there because it cuts down on the amount of useable pool, and we don't want to have to move the reel every time we want to swim.

    the obvious solution to this would be to mount the reel brackets on 4x4 posts outside the pool, and reel the cover on and off from there, right? the problem i have is that because of the pvc railing, there are supports in the way that would n't allow the cover to pass thru to the pool. my solution would be to slit the cover accordingly, into sections that would feed under each fencing section. to cover the entire pool edge-to-edge, the cover would need to be split about 5 times, and the 2 edges would be only about 18" wide. will those be hard to keep straight as the cover is reeled up? how have other people handled this, i can't be the first one to have this problen, LOL.

    we don't want to remove the railings because they are needed to meet code.

    please help me! right now we've been manhandling the cover off and leaving it in a giant heap on the deck..which leaves almost no deck left haha. thanks!

    martha

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: how to install off-poolsolar cover reel on pool with rai

    Welcome to TFP, Martha!

    Can you post a picture of your pool and deck so we can see what you are dealing with?
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    Re: how to install off-poolsolar cover reel on pool with rai

    hi! i can when i get home, i'm at work right now. but i can post these ones, which show the same railing on different pools. hope that helps!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: how to install off-poolsolar cover reel on pool with rai

    more specifically, this is our set-up (i do have photoshop at work, lol). the pool is 16x28, there is a 3' arm of deck connecting to a 10x12 deck on one side/end. the pink area is where i'd like the reel, the orange spots are where the fence supports will be in the way. i thought maybe we could simplify it and cut 3 sections, ignoring the thin outer ones. but that would leave about 18" on each side uncovered, and my husband is concerned that will significantly lower the effectiveness of the cover.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: how to install off-poolsolar cover reel on pool with rai

    The pictures are very helpful.

    I think putting the cover on the pool through the railing is going to be a real struggle.

    With an oval, the reel will work better mounted over an area of the pool that is full width. That would mean mounting the reel about where your deck ends at its left-most point on the bottom. Mounting at the end will require very long straps at the edges, and the cover tends to bunch as you reel it in. Mounting out in the middle means the straps attach away from the end of the cover and the cover rolls from both sideds.

    The only simple solution I can come up with is to mount the roller on posts higher off the water than usual. That or build a deck all the way around and then you can move your reel like you would for an IG pool.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: how to install off-poolsolar cover reel on pool with rai

    the place you mention installing the reel is where the previous owners had it, the brackets are still there. we may have to compare the pain-in-the-a*s factor of reeling cover in, then moving the reel with our current method of just dragging it all off and piling it in a corner. extending the deck all the way around isn't an option for $ reasons, at least not in the near future.

    my plan to try to make unrolling it easier was to make a hem in the free end, since the cover is longer than needed. then we could feed the pieces thru the fence, then slide a pole into it, connecting all 3 pieces and pull it by the pole out straight over the pool. sounds good in theory (to me anyway!) but maybe not so good in practice.

    also thought of trying to bridge those fence sections somehow so the supports weren't needed, but haven't come up with anything that will make that curved wide span without sagging.

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