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Thread: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

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    Glock30's Avatar
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    Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    All,
    I live in New England and am looking at purchasing a solar cover to keep in heat gained during the day.
    The sun is on my pool from @8:30 until about 4 pm.

    Questions:
    *Is thicker better (more heat or heat retention) other than the warranty or longevity?

    *Anyone in New England with a similar setup as mine get good heat retention from solar covers?

    *Has anyone had good luck with the ones from In The Swim or should I look elsewhere to buy?

    *Does color matter?

    *who invented liquid soap and why?

    Thanks
    18' X 36' Inground Pool 26,000 gallons. SuperMax 27mil/27mil Vinyl Liner-Installed Fall 2011
    Pentair Intellipro Programable Pump (Model 011018) // Pentair S8M 500 Cartridge Filter // Circupool RJ45 Salt Chlorinator
    2 Hayward Skimmers // 3 Returns // 2 Savi Melody Pool lights // TF-100 Test Kit.

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    duckhunter27's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    I live in Nebraska I bought the clear one 12mil from Blue wave products last year and I loved it lasted all summer no problems dried and put it away looks in good shap still .
    24ft x 52in Round AGP Heritage pool Aquamaster 19 in sand filter & 1 hp pump. Clear Solar blanket 12 Mil. TF-100 Test Kit. Pool filled June 3rd 2013 well water.

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    peterdaly's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    The liquid soap (as you call it) forms a layer on top of the (still) water, and prevents water evaporation, which is how a lot of heat is lost. I hear it works, but have not tried it myself.

    Thicker covers are harder to handle...I have one myself. We get good heat retention in Upstate New York unless it gets super cold at night. I'll leave the other cover questions for others to answer.

    Fayetteville, NY -17K gal, IG vinyl, Hayward SP2300VSP Max-Flo Variable Speed Pump, FlowVis Flow Meter, Sand filter
    Self designed Arduino powered automation for pump and solar control, Solar Attic Pool Heater, AutoPilot Digital SWG, TF100

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    Glock30's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    Sorry peterdaly...the liquid soap question was a joke from a movie....thanks for responses...keep em comin'
    18' X 36' Inground Pool 26,000 gallons. SuperMax 27mil/27mil Vinyl Liner-Installed Fall 2011
    Pentair Intellipro Programable Pump (Model 011018) // Pentair S8M 500 Cartridge Filter // Circupool RJ45 Salt Chlorinator
    2 Hayward Skimmers // 3 Returns // 2 Savi Melody Pool lights // TF-100 Test Kit.

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    peterdaly's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    Well, no joke, there are a couple liquid products that are supposed to perform the role of a pool cover. Never heard them called soap, but joke or no, you are pretty close to what really exists to fill this purpose.

    Fayetteville, NY -17K gal, IG vinyl, Hayward SP2300VSP Max-Flo Variable Speed Pump, FlowVis Flow Meter, Sand filter
    Self designed Arduino powered automation for pump and solar control, Solar Attic Pool Heater, AutoPilot Digital SWG, TF100

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    peterdaly's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    Well, nobody else has answered, so I will restate what I have heard here before.

    A cover is a cover is a cover. The primary purpose is to prevent evaporation. No matter how thin it is, it will do that.

    The primary benefit of thicker covers is they should last longer...in theory. In practice, there is little meaningful difference in cover life. Thicker ones are heavier, so thinner ones are easier to manage, the "the experts here" tend to think thick covers are not worth the effort or cost.

    Not sure on the color question.

    You WILL get good heat retention from a solar cover.

    Others here...feel free to tell me I am wrong on any of the above, if I am. I am basically parroting what I have previously read on this site.

    Fayetteville, NY -17K gal, IG vinyl, Hayward SP2300VSP Max-Flo Variable Speed Pump, FlowVis Flow Meter, Sand filter
    Self designed Arduino powered automation for pump and solar control, Solar Attic Pool Heater, AutoPilot Digital SWG, TF100

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    ^^This is exactly how I would have answered.

    I'm actually in the same boat this spring. Solar cover that came with the house finally fell apart last fall. This year I'm going to look for the thinnest, cheapest cover I can find, and see how long it'll last.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    I will third what they said ... find the cheapest cover you can. Color and thickness make little difference in performance. On a calm day, you will actually get more heating to your pool from the sun with NO cover on it. The cover primarily prevents heat loss due to evaporation at night or due to wind/low humidity.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    + 1 ^^^^^
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    Two years back I got a 12 mil blue from www.solarcovers.com - going into the third season and I think it will make it just fine - at the time is was $79 and free shipping........dramatic decrease in overnight heat loss, as well as lowers my chlorine demand.
    24 foot AG Vinyl, 10 year old wall, 1 year old liner
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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    If you store a cover on a roller, be sure to cover it up. The sun will "cook" it while its rolled up. And don't be lazy like I did last winter and leave the cover on the roller, outside. I'm buying a new one this year.
    40 x 16 IG Vinyl. Goldline SWG
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    Glock30's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    Thanks all for the help, I appreciate it.
    18' X 36' Inground Pool 26,000 gallons. SuperMax 27mil/27mil Vinyl Liner-Installed Fall 2011
    Pentair Intellipro Programable Pump (Model 011018) // Pentair S8M 500 Cartridge Filter // Circupool RJ45 Salt Chlorinator
    2 Hayward Skimmers // 3 Returns // 2 Savi Melody Pool lights // TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    Quote Originally Posted by peterdaly View Post
    Well, nobody else has answered, so I will restate what I have heard here before.

    A cover is a cover is a cover. The primary purpose is to prevent evaporation. No matter how thin it is, it will do that.

    The primary benefit of thicker covers is they should last longer...in theory. In practice, there is little meaningful difference in cover life. Thicker ones are heavier, so thinner ones are easier to manage, the "the experts here" tend to think thick covers are not worth the effort or cost.

    Not sure on the color question.

    You WILL get good heat retention from a solar cover.

    Others here...feel free to tell me I am wrong on any of the above, if I am. I am basically parroting what I have previously read on this site.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
    This is super insightful, thanks!

    I just moved into a house that has a automatic safety cover. Presumably its a thick vinyl. I was thinking of getting a solar cover to enhance the heating properties of the cover (e.g. I was under the impression that a transparent cover would allow light the pass through and warm the water, vs the opaque cover which just prevents evaporation and limits algae growth). Am I off base on this? Is there any benefit to having somethings transparent that lets the light through?

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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    I've owned both blue and clear covers and I would say there is not much difference between the covers to make a noticeable difference in temperature. The clear cover might even lead to a little more chlorine loss than the blue cover. On sunny days it is best to leave the cover off so the water absorbs more heat from the sun and then keep it covered at night. Being that you already have an automatic cover I would think it would be a lot of extra work dealing with a solar cover. If you want to experiment with a solar cover I recommend buying the cheapest one that will fit your pool, they all seem to last for two seasons or so before the bubbles break down. By the way, welcome to TFP!
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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    peterdaly's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    Ping, thank you for sharing your personal experience on the color difference.

    Fayetteville, NY -17K gal, IG vinyl, Hayward SP2300VSP Max-Flo Variable Speed Pump, FlowVis Flow Meter, Sand filter
    Self designed Arduino powered automation for pump and solar control, Solar Attic Pool Heater, AutoPilot Digital SWG, TF100

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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    I just bought a 16x32 12mil on ebay for 70$. Seems like a good deal to me.
    About my pool: 15x32 IG Gunite, 16.2k gallons, SWG, Solaxx PureChlor, Cartridge filter

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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    I have a thin cover (cheapest I could find) that is on its fourth year. After I open the pool (21'x41' vinyl liner) and the water is balanced and clear (and 50F this year!) I put the cover on and leave it until mid-late May when I turn on the heater. When the temp gets up to a comfortable level I take the cover off for the summer.

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    smforte's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    Are these solar covers tied down or just lay on the top of the water?
    Montgomery, AL
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    Lay on top of the water
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    smforte's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers-The Ins and Outs

    No threat of them blowing off? May have to check into one. My pool only gets about 4 hrs of sun
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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