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Thread: Best Affordable Solar Cover

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    Best Affordable Solar Cover

    I have a 12mil solar cover from In the Swim, it was on my pool for 2 months and the bubbles are filling with water. It is covered under warranty, but a major PITA to submit paperwork remove the old one from the reel and even a bigger PITA to installed the replacement blanket. So where online can I get a solar cover that will last at least 5 years and not pay a fortune? I'm looking for one that is 18X36. I am wishing I asked this question last year on this forum Thanks
    21,500 Gallon Vinyl liner pool Eastern Pennsylvania
    Hayward 2 HP pump 2" Pvc pipes Full Sun Pool
    Hayward sand filter, Compupool CPSC 48 SWG
    12mil solar cover and reel

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Best Affordable Solar Cover

    As long as it floats, it works. The bubbles don't do much but keep the cover from sinking. I have the same cover as you and it's been the best I've found.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Christian's Avatar
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    Re: Best Affordable Solar Cover

    If you want one with a bit more longevity go with a 16 mil cover.

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    mikespoolfl's Avatar
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    Re: Best Affordable Solar Cover

    Ive had 12 and 16 mil covers and the most I managed to get out of either is 2 to 3 years. If you have a clear and the bubbles start to delaminate keep a eye on your skimmer. They will collect in there and they are hard to see and will clog it.
    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.
    Stenner peristaltic pump model 45MPHP10, 15 gal storage tank. TF 100 with Speed Stir.

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    MikeInNH's Avatar
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    Re: Best Affordable Solar Cover

    Quote Originally Posted by mikespoolfl
    Ive had 12 and 16 mil covers and the most I managed to get out of either is 2 to 3 years. If you have a clear and the bubbles start to delaminate keep a eye on your skimmer. They will collect in there and they are hard to see and will clog it.
    This is what I have found too although it seems if I bring it in for the winters it seems to do better. I bought my 3rd cover this year, it doesn't seem to matter what the thickness is. The issue with the 16 mil is it's heavier and cumbersome for a large oval pool like ours. Get water in the bubbles and the wife cannot move it when rolled up.
    Mike
    2007 1st full year with AG pool~15k gallons 18'x33' JW
    6/2010 added 2 button Intex SWG-painless except for when reset
    Switched to BBB from Baquacil (couldn't pay me to go back)

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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: Best Affordable Solar Cover

    Also, placing an opaque cover over the rolled up solar cover on the reel, will eliminate UV breakdown from the sun while it's rolled up. This is a big killer of any sort of cover.
    The sun's UV rays breakdown just about everything.

    I'll add too, that the consensus of forum members has been to buy the cheaper, thinner covers. They last just as long as the heavier, thicker ones and cost less in the end. Since you'll be replacing it in just the same amount of time as the more expensive ones.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    Re: Best Affordable Solar Cover

    Quote Originally Posted by y_not
    Also, placing an opaque cover over the rolled up solar cover on the reel, will eliminate UV breakdown from the sun while it's rolled up. This is a big killer of any sort of cover.
    The sun's UV rays breakdown just about everything.

    I'll add too, that the consensus of forum members has been to buy the cheaper, thinner covers. They last just as long as the heavier, thicker ones and cost less in the end. Since you'll be replacing it in just the same amount of time as the more expensive ones.
    I lay old pool towels about 5 of them soaked with pool water over top of the cover each day, right after I roll up the cover. They work great for protecting it and won't blow away if splashed with pool water. I concur with the cheaper cover strategy. I guess I will buy cheap and claim the warranty each year. When I talked to the lady on the phone at IN THE SWIM, she said the bubbles should not be filling with water at all. At the end of the season, I hang my solar cover and reel all rolled up and attached together, to the ceiling of my 2 car garage above the garage door on chains coming out of the ceiling. This year with all the water in the cover it was near impossible to get the cover up there because of all the weight.
    21,500 Gallon Vinyl liner pool Eastern Pennsylvania
    Hayward 2 HP pump 2" Pvc pipes Full Sun Pool
    Hayward sand filter, Compupool CPSC 48 SWG
    12mil solar cover and reel

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    kenandshari's Avatar
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    Re: Best Affordable Solar Cover

    I should expect any cover to last longer than 2 months so perhaps you got a defective cover from the start. We bought a mid grade clear solar cover (made by Midwest Canvas) and left it rolled up and stored outside all summer long in direct sunlight most of the day after the first spring we used it. Well that caused the bubbles to come apart when we tried to use it again after summer. To my surprise Midwest sent us a new one totally under warranty. This year we followed their advice and cleaned the cover and rolled it up as smoothly as possible, then we bungeed a tarp around the cover for the summer (silver side of tarp out) and stored it in a mostly shaded part of the yard. When we began using it again the cover was in excellent condition. My understanding is that direct sunlight on a rolled up cover has a magnifying effect on the inner rolls of the material and greatly speeds up the breakdown of the cover.
    Ken & Shari
    Savannah, GA
    16' x 40' freeform fiberglass inground (Pacific model, mfg by Tallman Pools), 23k gal, 2" plumbing throughout, Intellichlor IC-40, Easy Touch controller, Intelliflow VS 3050 pump, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Quad Cartridge filter. 4 Jandy deck jets (3/4" plumbing), Fiberstars color changing lighting, SR Smith salt friendly diving system, Interfab Wild Ride slide, Aquasol Solar Heat (5 panels 4'x12' DIY install automated with ET) RIP Nitro Wall Climber Mar 2011-Aug 2012, Nitro is survived by a Polaris 360.

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    MikeInNH's Avatar
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    Re: Best Affordable Solar Cover

    Just adding some more info to this old-ish thread on pool covers. My 16 mil pool cover seems to be taking in water within the bubbles already. The cover is heavy in the first place and now with extra water it is so heavy that the aluminum tube for my pool reel broke in the middle. Cheap covers for me from now on.
    Mike
    2007 1st full year with AG pool~15k gallons 18'x33' JW
    6/2010 added 2 button Intex SWG-painless except for when reset
    Switched to BBB from Baquacil (couldn't pay me to go back)

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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: Best Affordable Solar Cover

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInNH
    My 16 mil pool cover seems to be taking in water within the bubbles already.
    Was this the one you bought last year, when you posted in November?
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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