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Thread: Will a Solar cover work?

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    Sep 2013
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    Will a Solar cover work?

    Okay, stupid question.
    Our water temp has dropped from the 82-90 we enjoyed at the height of our first season.
    (No chemical issues thanks to this site).
    The fun seems to be over now, with the temps falling. We're at about 75-76 now.
    That does not appeal to anyone at my house!
    We have the auto cover and we keep it mostly closed to keep the winds from blowing stuff into the pool.
    We don't expect to actually "close" the pool as we don't get cold weather typically, and it's always above 32 by 9am each morning.
    So for the real question: what are the chances that a super good quality solar cover, floated on the surface with the auto cover open, will extend our use?
    I guess I'm asking what kind of heat gains do folks get with their solar covers in the spring time?

    Would putting the solar cover on top of the closed auto cover do anything?

    Right now, daytime temps are 80-85 with drops to mid 60's or so at night.
    Being in the Mojave Desert, we get plenty of sunlight.
    These ranges seem to be what springtime openings might be like with the temps and sun times, hence the request for spring results.

    A good bet or a fruitless waste of time?

    Thanks.
    13.5k gal, IG plaster, DE, Pentair 4060, 6lbs DE, 3 hp Pentair Vari-flow, Auto water make-up, Cover Pools Automatic Safety cover, Hayward Navigator vacuum, LED light.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Will a Solar cover work?

    Generally a so called "solar" cover's biggest benefit is reduced heat loss at night due to evaporation ... your auto cover also does this.

    Assuming zero wind, you gain the most heat into the water by having no cover while the sun is shining on the pool and then retain the most by covering the pool when the sun in not shining on the pool.

    BUT, some members claim to get more heat by using a solar cover even in the sun. This would be especially true if there was some wind or you are in a very dry climate where heat loss to evaporation is high.

    You current cover should be doing a pretty good job retaining the heat at night, but a solar cover during the day "may" help you gain more heat from the sun.

    That said, it is hard to fight the air temperature. With only covers, you will never get the water temp > high air temp and generally the water temp is going to settle near your average air temperature I think.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Will a Solar cover work?

    Thanks for your quick reply.
    From talking to other local pool owners around here, they all say that they use floated solar covers during the day in the spring to raise the temps more rapidly than without. Since these comments were my only source of information at the time, I assumed everyone did this, and was in fact, the sole reason for a solar cover.
    Thanks for getting me straight on this.
    13.5k gal, IG plaster, DE, Pentair 4060, 6lbs DE, 3 hp Pentair Vari-flow, Auto water make-up, Cover Pools Automatic Safety cover, Hayward Navigator vacuum, LED light.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Will a Solar cover work?

    "Solar cover" is a bad name in my opinion. With one of the bubbled covers, the top layer of the water certainly gets warmer and thus people think they are warming the pool (which they are some) ... BUT the water down at the bottom of the pool is much colder. With no cover, the sun is able to better penetrate the water and actually add more heat to the entire pool ... but the top of the water will not feel as warm as if you had a bubble cover on.

    The bubble covers allow some of the sun to pass through (unlike your auto cover), so you add some heat, but not as much as with no cover.

    Again, this all assumes no wind and not very low humidity. If these are not true, then no cover may result in a net loss of heat even in the sun. So, they can certainly help, but they are not going to result in some huge temperature increase for you I do not think since you already are using a cover at night.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Will a Solar cover work?

    Well, we have both wind and low humidity, so it seems to be a fruitless journey at this point.
    Thanks for your help with great answers.
    13.5k gal, IG plaster, DE, Pentair 4060, 6lbs DE, 3 hp Pentair Vari-flow, Auto water make-up, Cover Pools Automatic Safety cover, Hayward Navigator vacuum, LED light.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Will a Solar cover work?

    So, with wind and low humidity, the solar cover during the day may help some ... just do not expect a miracle
    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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    Pysiek's Avatar
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    Re: Will a Solar cover work?

    I just installed a new above ground pool. There is not much sun yet. Should I keep pool uncovered then? Or it is better to place solar cover over the water?
    30'x54" Quest Above Ground Round Pool , About 21,000 Gallons , Hayward Perflex EC50 D.E. Filter System 1.5HP Power-Flo Pump , TF-100 Test Kit , Two Hayward Main Drains on the Bottom , Hayward CL200 In-Line Above-Ground Chlorinator.
    77"x77"x21.5" Hot Tub

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    Re: Will a Solar cover work?

    I would cover it but have your pump recirculate the water at least 2-3x during the day to avoid the hot
    Water just sitting on the top.
    ~22,000 gallon inground plaster pool, 1 skimmer, 3 return jets
    Irregular pool sized approximately 19' x 40' 9' deep, Color Splash 3G pool light
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Will a Solar cover work?

    There is now a thread on solar covers under further reading in pool school.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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