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Thread: Solar Cover versus Solar Rings

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    Solar Cover versus Solar Rings

    I am in the market for a solar cover or solar rings to help maintain my pools temperature. I do not currently have a heater, so want to keep it as warm as possible without the heater investment. Iunderstand the main concept behind the covers are to preven heat loss, not to heat the pool, so night time covering is the key to their use.

    What are some thouhts in comparison to the two, has anyone had any bad experiences, or prefer one over the other?

    I could get a full custom cover from teh PB including stair cut out for under $300, the solar rings I have priced are over $300.
    22,300 gallon Inground Vinyl Liner pool
    Hayward DE 3620 filter Hayward Ecostar Variable Speed Pump
    1 Skimmer, 2 Main Drains, 2 Returns, 2 step Jets, 8 ft x 3ft waterfall

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover versus Solar Rings

    The solar rings will not give you as complete coverage and we have heard reports that they do not stay in place and that the wind can make them all stack up to one side.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Solar Cover versus Solar Rings

    Thanks for the input Jason.
    Also another question. With the cover on, will it allow the sun to warm the pool when left on during the day, or will it act as a barrier and not allow for optimal heating?
    22,300 gallon Inground Vinyl Liner pool
    Hayward DE 3620 filter Hayward Ecostar Variable Speed Pump
    1 Skimmer, 2 Main Drains, 2 Returns, 2 step Jets, 8 ft x 3ft waterfall

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    Jenischmeni's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover versus Solar Rings

    I realize this is a couple of months after you've posted but we've had wonderful look with solar covers. (The blue thing that looks like heavy bubble wrap.) It's my experience that on a hot, sunny, day you can really raise the water temp. Left on overnight, it helps reduce the amount of temperature lost.

    So, yes, left on during the day will increase the water's temperature. (It also helps you not lose so much chlorine.)
    Central Indiana, 7200 gallon, IG fiberglass, L250 Jacuzzi sand filter, Hayward H150 gas heater, Pentair fiber optic light - installed '06. AOSmith 1.0hp pump, CPSC-24 SWG - installed '13. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover versus Solar Rings

    Actually if there is sun on the pool and little wind, you will gain more heat in the pool during the day with the cover off. The covers really are best at reducing heat loss due to evaporation ... they really should not be called "solar covers".
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Solar Cover versus Solar Rings

    urbanjaybird, what did you decide to go with? I'd love to get feedback on the rings... I am trying to weigh the pros/cons of full cover vs rings... full cover is a pain to get on and off and no place to put it when off. Rings may not be as efficient, but they are more efficient than an unused cover...
    Would be interesting to hear some real world feedback from someone who is using the rings.
    32K gal, gunite, French Gray DB, IntelliFlo VF, IntelliFlo, WhisperFlo, Quad DE 100 filter, IntelliTouch, IC-60 SWG, IntelliChem, Dolphin M5

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    Re: Solar Cover versus Solar Rings

    Unfortunately I have not gone with either of the options yet, although I am me leaning towards the rings for the reasons you actually specified. I currently don't have a place to store the cover, yet the rings can be transported easier to an empty shelf in my garage. I am however collecting some data in regards to pool temp in the evening, evening weather situations and morning pool temps. That way when I do pull the trigger I will actually have some data to show effectiveness on either option I choose.
    22,300 gallon Inground Vinyl Liner pool
    Hayward DE 3620 filter Hayward Ecostar Variable Speed Pump
    1 Skimmer, 2 Main Drains, 2 Returns, 2 step Jets, 8 ft x 3ft waterfall

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    Re: Solar Cover versus Solar Rings

    Quote Originally Posted by urbanjaybird
    Unfortunately I have not gone with either of the options yet, although I am me leaning towards the rings for the reasons you actually specified. I currently don't have a place to store the cover, yet the rings can be transported easier to an empty shelf in my garage. I am however collecting some data in regards to pool temp in the evening, evening weather situations and morning pool temps. That way when I do pull the trigger I will actually have some data to show effectiveness on either option I choose.
    If you do not want to pull the trigger yet, you can find used covers on craigslist!!! I am picking one up today for $50. A solar cover reel would make life much simpler, and they do make them for round pools too!!! Some swing over the pool and swing out of the way!! Here is a search to get you started and it has images: http://www.bing.com/search?q=Pool+cover ... round+pool
    24' round AG 15K gals. DIY solar heater. SolarChlor Max producing free chlorine!!. Pool is crystal clear!! Doing my best to use natural products or processes.

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    Jenischmeni's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover versus Solar Rings

    I keep my solar blanket folded up at the end of the pool. (Pic attached - you can see it down by the skimmer.) We z-fold it as we pull it off. After it's off, we fold it into thirds and cover it. I can do this by self, but it takes a bit longer. Since it's z-folded, I can pull it back over the pool without any assistance. (Just by walking along the sides)

    I won't lie and say it's a breeze. It's kind of a pain to have to pull it off each time I want to use the pool. Since it's on the pool more than not, I have to deal with it. It's better than the alternative of a cold pool. The solar cover can keep my water at, or above, 86 for much of the season. The only times we don't use it is when the nights are above 80. I know someone posted above that they don't warm up the pool, but I would argue this point as I've seen the cover warm up the pool. For the most part, this cover is on my pool constantly except when we're swimming. (And except for those ridiculously, freakishly, hot periods.)

    This is the third solar blanket in 3 years. When it wears out, I'll buy another. I figure the $100-$150 that we spent every other year is well worth the enjoyment factor and the savings to running the heater.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Central Indiana, 7200 gallon, IG fiberglass, L250 Jacuzzi sand filter, Hayward H150 gas heater, Pentair fiber optic light - installed '06. AOSmith 1.0hp pump, CPSC-24 SWG - installed '13. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Solar Cover versus Solar Rings

    With a solar cover reel and a long rope, you could do it all by yourself in half the time!!!
    24' round AG 15K gals. DIY solar heater. SolarChlor Max producing free chlorine!!. Pool is crystal clear!! Doing my best to use natural products or processes.

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    Jenischmeni's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover versus Solar Rings

    I've talked to hubby about making a reel for it, but he'd rather not have that down at that end of the pool. There's just not that much room there and when we want, we can place the folded cover in the shed or pool box.

    In the grand scheme of life, a folding up a solar blanket isn't such a problem
    Central Indiana, 7200 gallon, IG fiberglass, L250 Jacuzzi sand filter, Hayward H150 gas heater, Pentair fiber optic light - installed '06. AOSmith 1.0hp pump, CPSC-24 SWG - installed '13. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Solar Cover versus Solar Rings

    You could make a really neat one that swung out of the way...
    24' round AG 15K gals. DIY solar heater. SolarChlor Max producing free chlorine!!. Pool is crystal clear!! Doing my best to use natural products or processes.

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