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Thread: Solar they really work?

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    Join Date
    May 2011
    London, UK

    Solar they really work?

    Hi All,

    Do solar covers really work? They appear to me to be heavy duty bubble wrap. I do understand that we will always lose heat through the wooden sides of our above ground pool but would love to see if a solar cover really does help heat the pool during the day. I have a 9 kW heater which costs an absolute fortune to run during the short UK summer and would appreciate any feedback or advice on how to minimise these heating costs. The other issue I have is that my wife and daughter want the water heated to 84 degrees!!!!


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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Solar they really work?

    They absolutely work! Whether or not it will get you to 84 nobody can guarantee...but it will keep the pool warmer.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    peterdaly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Fayetteville, NY

    Re: Solar they really work?

    Yes, they are indeed super heavy duty bubble wrap. Their primary purpose is not really solar, but rather to prevent heat loss from evaporation, which is how a huge amount of heat leaves most pools. I believe they actually help more at night than during the day. In direct hot sun, you are usually better off without the cover on.

    With an electric heater, I suspect you could make back whatever you spend on a cover very weeks or months.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
    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

  4. Back To Top    #4
    WestSidePool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Cincinnati, OH

    Re: Solar they really work?

    I think they work.
    We have had a blue and clear one over the past few years. We left ours on when not in use, and we've seen temperatures rise upwards in the 90's.
    That's too warm for my taste, so we would just leave it off a few days and the temp would drop.
    Given this information, my pool is in the sun almost all day, so that does have a lot of effect on the water temperature.

    IG 17x33 Grecian - Vinyl Liner (21k gallons), Hayward Pro-Grid DE 4820 filter, Hayward Super Pump, CompuPool SWG CPSC36, TF-100 Test Kit

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: Solar they really work?

    Like others said they greatly slow heat loss from evaporation, I used one for the first time over the winter dormant months when I do not use my indoor pool due to the cold water temperatures this year (I only have solar heat), and the result was much lower humidity in the building and ambient air temperatures were several degrees cooler than without the cover on.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from
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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Newcastle, Oklahoma

    Re: Solar they really work?

    do solar covers also help protect the liners from UV at all? Im thinking about getting one for our new pool we are about to put in, not only to heat up water earlier in the season but to maybe provide some UV protection to our liner.
    Partially buried Doughboy Desert Spring 16 x 32, sport pool, with 7 ft deep middle, 20,000 gallons, Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1.5 HP 2 speed pump, 250 lb sandfilter, 2 Doughboy skimmers and 2 returns. 2 cascade fountains.
    Taylor K-2006 kit. Zodiac Barracuda Ranger suction side cleaner.
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  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Orlando, FL

    Re: Solar they really work?

    Mine does not protect the part of the liner that is above the water line because my cover is cut into strips and fits very nicely directly on top of the water. I did not like when it came over the top of the pool, it seems to cause more stuff to get caught on top. I am not sure of the relationship but very little get trapped on top of the cover now and I am happy this way
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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