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Thread: Any benefit from bubbles-up solar blanket?

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    MirellaJoe's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
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    Any benefit from bubbles-up solar blanket?

    I was just wondering since i just bought myself a cheapie 8mil dark blue solar blanket? I've been reading mixed reviews on the net but not sure since i just put my solar blanket bubble up not knowing i put it upside down

    any thoughts??
    Intex Ultra Frame 16'x48" sand filter w/intex SWG.
    Pool Blaster Max Vacuum
    3rd year with Intex and no problems
    Pentair Mastertemp BTU 125/ propane
    Taylor K2006 Complete FAS-DPD

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    Orland Park, Il
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    Re: Any benefit from bubbles-up solar blanket?

    I really don't think there's going to be much of a difference in results (up or down), the main benefits from a solar cover are keeping in the heat, reducing evaporation and it also decrease chlorine usage. I would not worry if it's up or down you'll still benefit from having it on, although I do put mine down but mostly from habit.

    Enjoy
    16 x 32 ABG

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Any benefit from bubbles-up solar blanket?

    Bubbles go down. I know of only disadvantages to having the bubbles up:
    • Lower insulation value due to not have the trapped quiescent air.
      More rapid failure of the thin bubble membrane from the sun.
    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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    MirellaJoe's Avatar
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    Re: Any benefit from bubbles-up solar blanket?

    thanks guys well i got hubby to help me turn over the solar blanket. Now it's on right.

    but seriously how effective are solar blankets?
    Intex Ultra Frame 16'x48" sand filter w/intex SWG.
    Pool Blaster Max Vacuum
    3rd year with Intex and no problems
    Pentair Mastertemp BTU 125/ propane
    Taylor K2006 Complete FAS-DPD

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Any benefit from bubbles-up solar blanket?

    Very effective when used a night. They prevent heat lost due to evaporation. I probably keep my pool 5F warmer just due to having my cover on at night.

    Being used during the day and getting any heatt advantage is more complex. Some combination of low air temp, low humidity, high wind and having it on will retain heat during the day. But if the air temp is above the pool temp, if the wind is low, and at normal/high humidity (in your climate and mine), it is usually better to leave them off and let the sun do the work of heating the pool.

    By the way, it is unfortunate they are called "solar covers" since they tend to reduce how much the sun is able to heat the bulk pool water...although as mentioned in the "during the day" comments above, in certain instances they may have a small advantage.
    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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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Any benefit from bubbles-up solar blanket?

    How much more effective is a solar blanket over a simple blue tarp and some pool noodles? I have always wondered...
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Any benefit from bubbles-up solar blanket?

    We don't have a pool tarp, but have a relatively thin opaque electric safety cover and I can tell you that the heat loss from it is roughly double that of an insulating bubble-type solar cover. So having the thickness and air insulation does make a difference. Though my cover cuts out evaporation, it doesn't do very much for reducing conduction which is what a bubble-type cover additionally does.

    Roughly speaking, the use of a cover that cuts out evaporation reduces heat loss to around half while using a typical insulating bubble-type cover cuts the loss in half again, to 25% of uncovered losses. Obviously the exact amounts depend on things like wind and humidity levels -- we don't have wind at night and not too much during the day and typically have moderate (40-60%) humidity.
    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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