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Thread: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

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    Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    12,000 gallon pool. What's best color to use for a solar cover? Thickness, etc.?

    They go bad every 2-3 years anyway..

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    Lots of discussions about this if you search.

    Find the cheapest one you can. There is no "best" color because there are trade-offs between protecting the FC and allowing the sun to heat the water.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    Thanks. So, which would heat the water the fastest? I usually have just a think blue one, but now the decisions are crazy with all the options.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    If you don't have relatively low humidity and have little to no wind, the sun will heat more with NO cover on the pool.

    Really all these covers do it reduce heat loss due to evaporation and radiation. "solar" is a really bad name.

    The more sun you let into the pool, the more heat added to the water, but also the more chlorine that will be broken down.
    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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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    In pa, decent amount of wind. I grew up around a pool for 20 years, and now have my own and it's funny. I didn't start using a solar colver on it, until 2 years ago, and thought the pool got pretty warm without one. I do know they do help putting one on a night, to help reduce temperature drop of the water. Do you think that's the main benefit, at night?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    Yes. Or if it is windy and/or you have very low humidity.
    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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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    Yep, that's exactly it. Cover on during the day -> less chlorine breakdown but less heating. Cover off during the day -> better heating, but faster FC breakdown.
    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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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    I've used both clear and blue and two thickness 8 mil & 12 mil and the 12 mil definitely seems to last longer.

    Also, I like the clear better than the blue for a couple reasons. First I have a SWG so when salt dries on the blue cover it is much more noticeable than the clear cover which mostly hides the salt. Second, it doesn't seem like I need to run solar as much with the clear cover as the blue cover although this is by no means a scientific study because I am sure the seasonal weather contributed some.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    The color blue blocks light, thereby blocks that heat from making it to your water. Clear, on the other hand, does not block the light, so more makes it INTO the pool and thereby into your water. So if you want some solar benefit, clear wins.

    A friend used a blue one for several years and when he replaced it with a clear one he says he noticed a signifigant improvement in his water temps. He relies 100% on the sun for heating.

    When I replaced our cover (on short notice) last fall I really wanted a clear one but couldn't find one of suitable size so I had to replace with another blue one, but my next one WILL be a clear.
    Mark
    -- Courtice, Ontario, Canada. "Cabo San Backyardo"
    12x16 3/4 inground - Hayward 3400VSP, Sand Filter, Rooftop 4x20 solar w/ Hayward GL235 automation.
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    Technically, neither cover lets all light through and neither blocks all light either. Remember too that most of the heat that the pool absorbs from the sun is in the infra-red part of the spectrum. But clear should allow more total energy to directly transmit through the cover than the blue. However, blue would also absorb more light/heat and then re-transmit that heat through conduction and through re-radiation which is why a blue cover will still allow the sun to heat the pool. Logically, it would seem that clear should be better than blue but it is difficult to confirm.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    I have a black one, blue on the bottom. Blocks a lot more of the UV rays. I have a heater, so I'm using to maintain heat at night, and minimize FC loss during the day. I can go days without adding chlorine if the cover is on and I'm not using pool.

    However, that being said, Its my perception it breaks down faster than typical. It's 12 mil but the bubbles are breaking quicker than with other covers I've used. I'm not sure what the cause is, really. It's NOT my water chemistry, LOL I suspect it maybe from sitting in the sun when the pool is used. I'm not diligent about shading it when its sitting on the deck.

    It's about the same cost as regular covers so I'm not worried about that. I do like being able to skip a day or 2 of chlorine worries.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    My guess is that it is the color that makes it hotter so the plastic breaks down faster. The blues covers I have had seem to break down faster than the clear clover and I thought it had to do with thickness but it might also be because of color.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    Another thing, over the years with blue covers. When left on during the day for a few hours. After taking it off, the first 5-6" of water is piping hott.... That makes one think it can warm it during the day. I wonder if it makes it warmer or without it if its just more "evenly" warm... Hmm.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    The cover is getting hot from blocking the sun and thus transferring that heat to the top of the water. Without the cover, the heat would be evenly distributed in the water.
    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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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    Thanks... Interesting stuff. High humidity here in PA, and decent amount of wind. SO, seems best to leave on at night, and get the thickest cover I can get for the best price.

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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    Blue cover falling apart. Now gotta decide on blue or clear.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    How long did it last and what was the thickness?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    2 years. Forget thickness.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    That has been average for me.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Best color for solar cover? And thickness? And....

    We mostly use the pool on weekends. I would want to leave the cover on anytime not in use. Is this counter productive considering it's blocking the sun during the week?

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