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Thread: New Pool Cover Idea

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    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, East Coast.
    Posts
    34

    New Pool Cover Idea

    Hi all

    I have been looking for a new pool cover and have a 'new' idea - might have already been done, but it's new to me, and I have not seen any pictures - looking to see if anyone has any pros, cons, or advice.

    We have an outdoor in-ground pool, 8 x 4 meters ( 26 x 13 ft ), and rectangular in shape.

    We had a safety net installed when we moved in, just over 4 years ago. It is now starting to perish and needs replacing.
    We also live on a windy hill, line of sight 900 meters ( 0,6 miles ) to the ocean, and 80 meters ( 260 ft ) up, so we get a lot of wind over the pool.
    This creates a problem with dust being captured by the water, as well as turbulent water ( we even get swells in the water at high wind ) which I think increases evaporation and loses heat.
    I believe the dust particles in the water are contributing to the 'not perfectly clear' quality, and also increases chlorine demand.

    As we have 2 kids ( 7 and 5 yrs ), my main goals are :
    1. safety
    2. dust prevention
    3. chemical reduction
    4. reduce evaporation and heat loss
    5. solar heating effect of a cover would be a 'nice to have'

    I considered replacing the net, but does not solve the dust and other problems, and I really hate the hassle of dealing with all the clips.

    I considered a solid PVC cover ( material like a roll-down blind ) but these tend to have poles extending on to the top of the coping tiles ( not sure if you call it the same - the last row of paving tiles around the edge of the pool ). The walk-way around the pool is narrow, and the kids use it a lot, so would not want a tripping hazard there. Also has no solar benefit, and can't see the water ( pool is 6 ft from the living room glass doors, so it is very visible ).

    The automated polycarbonate slats are just far too expensive, and would cost more than building a new pool.

    The solar bubble-wrap blankets have no safety at all, and a very short life span of around 3 years. Also the wind would take it out the pool very easily.

    So here's my idea :

    Using clear fiberglass or polycarb corrugated roof sheeting ( has a square-ish hills / valleys profile something like this --\__/--\__/--\__/ ).

    It is easily available in 6m ( 19,5 ft ) lengths, and not too expensive.

    Each length would be cut in half, with the 2 halves overlapping about 3 ft. This would create a panel 13 ft long, to fit the width of the pool.
    The outer ends of the panels have a rubber trim ( like where the car door seals to the bodywork ), so that they do not scratch the fibreglass pool lining at the top edge of the pool, and this will also increase boyancy. Additional foam blocks could be mounted under the hills of the panels if additional lift is needed.
    The panels then sit flat on the surface of the water.
    Each row overlaps the previous row by one corrugation.
    A simple 2 rope mechanism could, once the panels are in place, push the 2 sections of each row away from each other ( locking them to the inside edge of the pool ) or pull the 2 sections together ( away from the edge of the pool ) so they can be lifted out. Distance of movement here only needs to be 4 inches max.

    The fact that the panels are on the water surface should mean that they would have about the same strength as if they were on firm ground ( that's the safety feature ), the panels are in contact with the water for solar heat transfer, they are not dependant on the water level as they can be locked-in at any level, and the rubber edge trim would keep dirt from getting blown into the water.
    The sliding of the 2 sections so it pushes against the edge of the pool would prevent them from being removed by kids or blown out by the wind.

    I do play with Arduino boards and electronics as an occasional hobby, so it shouldn't be too hard to design a mechanism to hook some eye-rings on the panels and lift them out the pool, keeping them flat - if someone can get the Shuttle to automatically dock to the space station, I think we can lift some panels out the water. They can then be hosed off to remove the dust / debris buildup. Automated, it should be possible to remove ( 26ft pool / 3ft per panel row = ) 9 rows of panels within 2 or 3 minutes.

    Any thoughts, comments, concerns or reservations ( I have to soon 'sell' this idea to my wife ) ?
    Fiberglass lined pool 37,000 liters ( 9775 US gal ), In-ground. Outdoors.
    Equipment : Speck 0,75 kW pump, 2 bag sand filter, Cartridge filter ( large 90,000 liter ( 23,775 US gal ) capacity ).
    T-Piece split with 2 ball valves - 1 to the pool return inlet, other to a 7 coil solar system on flat carport roof ( total area 11.49 sq.meters - 55 sq.ft ), and that to a second return inlet. Each inlet gets about equal flow, but can be adjusted using ball valves.
    Pool temperature 24 Celcius ( 75 F ) in winter, 32 celcius ( 90 F ) in summer.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Yukon, Oklahoma
    Posts
    220

    Re: New Pool Cover Idea

    Sound like it could be done, however, might I suggest you get one panel, cut it (OK, maybe two now that I think about it).....make a trail test to see if it really will work well.

    I believe it will become very obvious one you put one of the half panels in the water that you will have to add foam insulation (or some type of foam) under each panel for bouyancy. That will add significant cost as you will want a foam (or whatever) that will not fall apart on you. In addition, may I suggest you consider locating/building a holder that you could (or wife?) take said panels out, then store them while the pool is in use. If wind is an issue, panels out of the water I feel will be a real issue and hazard blowing around (hint: been there done that). You need a good storage method/location while they are not in the pool.

    If you are good at "inventing" things, then how about fabbing up a manual "thing" at the end of the pool you want to store the panels at...this "thing" would have a couple (like 3) arms that would be submerged in the water and with foot power (cheap) or hydraulic would lift each section up, out of the pool so you could either then grab it an put it in a storage device OR perhaps this device could hold all the panels, as in store them while also being able to lift them in and out of the water. It would operate much like a fork lift or perhaps the lifting action would be better visualized by saying, think of one of those garbage trucks that pick dumpsters up.....you don't need that much lifting action, but I think you get the idea.....

    Good luck,

    Bob E.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    linen's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    Twin Cities, MN
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    Re: New Pool Cover Idea

    I am still pondering your cover idea, but I thought I would mention this:

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveOB
    I believe the dust particles in the water are contributing to the 'not perfectly clear' quality, and also increases chlorine demand.
    I think your high cya and low FC as stated in your other thread may be your primary problem. My guess, is much of the "dust" may be dead algae.
    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.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Location
    Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, East Coast.
    Posts
    34

    Re: New Pool Cover Idea

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    I am still pondering your cover idea, but I thought I would mention this:

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveOB
    I believe the dust particles in the water are contributing to the 'not perfectly clear' quality, and also increases chlorine demand.
    I think your high cya and low FC as stated in your other thread may be your primary problem. My guess, is much of the "dust" may be dead algae.
    Hi Linen

    I fully agree with you, but even before we ( I ) changed to dichlor and unknowingly raised the CYA, we had the dust problem.

    I have just completed a full drain and re-fill this afternoon, so will be using all my new knowledge that I learned here to control the chemistry with some real science, and not guesswork and gut-feel.
    Fiberglass lined pool 37,000 liters ( 9775 US gal ), In-ground. Outdoors.
    Equipment : Speck 0,75 kW pump, 2 bag sand filter, Cartridge filter ( large 90,000 liter ( 23,775 US gal ) capacity ).
    T-Piece split with 2 ball valves - 1 to the pool return inlet, other to a 7 coil solar system on flat carport roof ( total area 11.49 sq.meters - 55 sq.ft ), and that to a second return inlet. Each inlet gets about equal flow, but can be adjusted using ball valves.
    Pool temperature 24 Celcius ( 75 F ) in winter, 32 celcius ( 90 F ) in summer.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, East Coast.
    Posts
    34

    Re: New Pool Cover Idea

    Quote Originally Posted by Safetybob
    I believe it will become very obvious one you put one of the half panels in the water that you will have to add foam insulation (or some type of foam) under each panel for bouyancy. That will add significant cost as you will want a foam (or whatever) that will not fall apart on you.
    Very true SafetyBob.

    I was thinking along the lines of a long 'pool noodle' fixed under the 2 outer hill channels of each section. If these don't last with long exposure to the water, I have a friend that works a lot with different types of 'closed cell' rubberized foam, and am sure he would have something suitable.

    Am off to get 2 panels over the weekend and will do some preliminary tests.

    Regards
    Dave
    Fiberglass lined pool 37,000 liters ( 9775 US gal ), In-ground. Outdoors.
    Equipment : Speck 0,75 kW pump, 2 bag sand filter, Cartridge filter ( large 90,000 liter ( 23,775 US gal ) capacity ).
    T-Piece split with 2 ball valves - 1 to the pool return inlet, other to a 7 coil solar system on flat carport roof ( total area 11.49 sq.meters - 55 sq.ft ), and that to a second return inlet. Each inlet gets about equal flow, but can be adjusted using ball valves.
    Pool temperature 24 Celcius ( 75 F ) in winter, 32 celcius ( 90 F ) in summer.

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