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Thread: DIY Solar Cover Roller

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    mas985's Avatar
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    DIY Solar Cover Roller

    Someone in another thread had asked about how I built my own solar cover roller. So here it is.

    Initially, I had purchased a SolarRoller and it worked pretty well for about three years after which the aluminum pipe corroded through. So I looked at several alternatives and came up with the following:

    The design is based on a 1 1/2" ABS DWV pipe which because it is foam core floats unlike PVC or the original aluminum which tended to make the center of the cover sink. I used 10' pipe with a coupler but it would be better to use a continuous piece of pipe if you can find it that long.

    To attach the cover to the pipe I used a faster with a 2" long 1/4 piece of the pipe in a clamp configuration (see pictures). I used the fasteners that came with the original solar roller but you could also use automotive panel fasteners with a hole drilled through the clamp and the pipe.

    To roll up the cover, I reach under the cover for the pipe and just twist the pipe and the cover rolls up on itself. To unroll, I partially unroll the cover on the deck before pushing it all the way in and then simply unroll or pull on the ends of the cover to unwrap it.

    Here are the pictures of the parts

    Cover clamp and fastner


    Cover Rolled Up


    Cover Unrolled



    Pipe Close Up
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    Great idea mas

    Where did you get the foam core pipe...did you fill it?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    It is standard ABS DWV pipe and they call it foam core pipe because the pipe walls are made from a very ridged foam core product but it is still a pipe (i.e. not filled with foam). Like this:

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Charlotte-Pi ... ZaDI7W87BI
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Join Date
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    Yakima, WA
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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    Thanks again Mark. I have ordered all the parts, I'll let you know how it turns out! You have a very pretty pool and deck, BTW. I love the brick coping.
    Dave
    Yakima, WA (the Palm Springs of Washington!)
    IG kidney 14k gal, 33 x 18
    vinyl liner
    200 lb Sand filter
    3/4 HP pump
    First time pool owner

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    Thanks! Although a bird did a number on one of the bricks in the picture.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakiman
    Thanks again Mark. I have ordered all the parts, I'll let you know how it turns out! You have a very pretty pool and deck, BTW. I love the brick coping.

    Hi Yakiman, just wondering how it went with making the reel. I'm deciding whether I should make my own or just buy the original. If I make my own, where would I buy the clamps? Mas used the original clamps from the solar roller split reel.
    JonnyBonz
    24,000 gal, 17x39 freeform, Plaster, Zodiac DE filter, 1.5hp Jandy HP Plus pump, Fusion Nature 2. Installed June 2012.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    I made part of the clamp from the ABS pipe. 2" long and cut into quarters. The fastener was original, however, I think you could use plastic auto panel clips like you can get at Lowes like these:

    http://www.lowes.com/SearchCatalogDispl ... 7C0&page=1
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    The pictures are not showing up for me. Is there a setting I need to check?


    Thanks
    Rod

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    What browser are you using?

    Does anyone else have trouble seeing the pictures in the first post?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    Mas. I don't see the pics. I had to right click and show picture. Also, your lowes link doesn't work. I am using safari....
    JonnyBonz
    24,000 gal, 17x39 freeform, Plaster, Zodiac DE filter, 1.5hp Jandy HP Plus pump, Fusion Nature 2. Installed June 2012.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnybonz
    Mas. I don't see the pics. I had to right click and show picture. Also, your lowes link doesn't work. I am using safari....
    Do you have another browser you could try? It might be the default for Safari to treat these images that way.

    Regarding the Lowes link, did you click on it or copy and paste? Only a click will work.

    [EDIT] I just tried both on Safari and seemed to work ok.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    I am using firefox and can't see the pics either and have been brainstorming how to build such a thing...
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

  13. Back To Top    #13
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    I just tried Firefox too and can see the images fine. I am thinking this is a setting issue. Check one of the settings in Firefox:

    Options: Content: Load images automatically (should be checked)

    Otherwise, it might be a firewall issue.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    Bizarre...I do have that option checked and still nothing.

    I can see pics in all threads i've checked as well so far...weird.
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

  15. Back To Top    #15
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    Quick question. Do you have a google account and are you logged in? I just found out that people with google accounts that are not logged into google may have issues viewing these images. If this is the case, log into google and see if the images appear.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    BINGO - I do have a google account and it was not logged in.

    This is totally CRAZY! - But hey I can see the pics now and love the idea.
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

  17. Back To Top    #17
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    Ya gotta love Google. Do me a favor and log out of Google and then try to view the pictures again. I changed the permission on the photos and I want to see if that works.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Join Date
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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    Yep, logged out and I can see them....great job!
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

  19. Back To Top    #19
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    Thanks!
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: DIY Solar Cover Roller

    This looks fantastic!! Love the idea of not having to get in the pool to put the cover back on.
    24 Ft Sharkline Matrix , ~15,200 Gallons
    Pentair SD60 w/ 2 speed 1.5 HP Dynamo pump
    Taylor K-2006 --- BBB

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