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Thread: To Cover or Not to Cover??

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    Question To Cover or Not to Cover??

    With the cool weather we are having I am wondering if we should invest in a solar cover. I am concerned with a couple of things and I am hoping that someone can help steer me in the right direction. My first concern is how much of a pain is it to get the cover on and off? We have an above ground pool with NO decking around it, just the ladder to get in and out. Is this something my 13 year old daughter might be able to do on her own, or is it more of a two person job? I have read a few posts about reels, but not sure how that would work in our situation....where would we mount it on a round AG?? My biggest concern is whether it will cause or contribute to algae. Following the methods here and using my FANTASTIC TF-100 Test Kit we have had no issues and I am a bit afraid to rock the boat!
    7600 gallon AG with a Waterway Premium Blue (150 sqft) Cartridge Filter, Waterway 1/2 hp 2 speed pump. Installed on 6/25/14. Raypak 156 Heater. TF-100 Test Kit

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    northrn's Avatar
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    Re: To Cover or Not to Cover??

    I think solar covers are a personal preference. I will tell you that I don't care for mine just because it is a pain to me to put it on and take it off. It did help to cut it into two pieces but I still don't use it.
    27' AG 18K Gallons ~ Cartridge Filter ~ Pentair 1.5 HP Pump

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    To Cover or Not to Cover??

    I recommend a solar cover. They are great at retaining heat that you would lose at night due to evaporation. I see you have a heater so it would work great at retaining the temp.
    They can be a bit cumbersome to handle. Since your pool is smaller, your 13 year old may be able to handle it. What I did with mine was cut it in half and that made it a lot more user friendly ! I also have solar saddles attached to the underside of the top rail to store it when it's off. It just lays in the saddles.
    You won't have any problems with algae with it as long as you keep your FC in range. I've never had algae problems with mine.
    I've been able to maintain the water temp in the 84-90 range with it. No heater or solar panels. 😎
    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: To Cover or Not to Cover??

    My solar cover was a great investment. It reduces the amount of heat lost overnight dramatically and also reduces FC consumption by the sun during the day if the pool is not in use.
    12' Intex Metal Frame Pool, 1500 gallons, Intex 2800gph Sand filter/pump, AquaPro PRO1100 HP, K-2006 Test Kit

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: To Cover or Not to Cover??

    I have my cover cut in 4 pieces, right up the seam so it's super simple for me. I roll it up and then unroll it across the pool. As far as algae is concerned, if you leave it on for too long and don't add chlorine, or brush or sweep your pool as you should, yeah, you'll get algae.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: To Cover or Not to Cover??

    Thanks everyone! I'm not familiar with the saddles...so I am off to to investigate!
    7600 gallon AG with a Waterway Premium Blue (150 sqft) Cartridge Filter, Waterway 1/2 hp 2 speed pump. Installed on 6/25/14. Raypak 156 Heater. TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: To Cover or Not to Cover??

    I personally do not like my bubble cover. However, I have an irregular shape in ground pool and nowhere to put a reel so for me it's just too much hassle to put on and take off.

    I'm toying with the idea if using floating plastic balls as a method of evaporation and heat control but I'm still working out the math on what the optimal ball size would be given you'd have to fish them out and store them in a drum somewhere.

    I have seen bubble covers develop algae spots on them particularly when they are not regularly used, so they are not maintenance-free in that sense. You do have to wash and properly store them if you intend to leave it off for more than a few days.

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    Re: To Cover or Not to Cover??

    I put mine on and off daily. I bought a GLI whirlwind cover reel and so far I am very happy with it. I just roll it up and leave it in place if I am taking a quick dip but I can pivot it off to a stand when we open up all day. I roll it up in less than a minute and roll it back out in just a couple of minutes.
    24'x54" AGP 13,500g AquaLeader Sentinelle | Hayward Voyager CC150 sqft cartridge filter | Hayward 2hp 2spd pump | Hayward Aquaray Cleaner

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    Re: To Cover or Not to Cover??

    I quit fussing with covers last year and use Cover Free, a liquid additive that retards evaporation and heat loss. I heat to about 85-86 degrees by day, and the other night when temps dropped to 62 overnight, I still had 80 degrees the next morning. You won't find a lot of support for it on this forum, but it works for me.
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Re: To Cover or Not to Cover??

    Mine seems to be quite maintenance free. I'm not sure how people get algae on their covers. The top is always dried up by the sun and the bottom has water circulating. I have a blue cover. It was cheap and that's what most recommended here.
    12' Intex Metal Frame Pool, 1500 gallons, Intex 2800gph Sand filter/pump, AquaPro PRO1100 HP, K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: To Cover or Not to Cover??

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeElGee View Post
    I quit fussing with covers last year and use Cover Free, a liquid additive that retards evaporation and heat loss. I heat to about 85-86 degrees by day, and the other night when temps dropped to 62 overnight, I still had 80 degrees the next morning. You won't find a lot of support for it on this forum, but it works for me.
    Yeah, I definitely would not put that in my pool. If you read the MSDS, you'll note that the main ingredients are not toxic but can cause GI distress if ingested. It's essentially a long-chain fatty alcohol that is immiscible in water and dissolved in propylene glycol. It creates a thin organic layer on top of the water's surface (assuming the water is still).

    I'm guessing the stuff works until you turn on your filter pump at which point it all gets sucked up into your filter (assuming the filter can capture it which I doubt). Eventually the stuff has to react with the chlorine in your water which means a higher organic load for the FC to oxidize, greater level of CCs and, eventually, higher chlorine demand....

    Hey, but if you like it, I ain't gonna argue with it....

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    To Cover or Not to Cover??

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsondr View Post
    Mine seems to be quite maintenance free. I'm not sure how people get algae on their covers. The top is always dried up by the sun and the bottom has water circulating. I have a blue cover. It was cheap and that's what most recommended here.
    Depends on your situation. My pool is near a tree that sheds a lot, so the cover picks up a fair amount of debris that gets wet and turns to muck. When pulled off, all that muck typically goes straight into the pool.

    Also, when you pull the cover out, you drag out water with it. If you roll it up, that little bit of water becomes trapped and stagnant. Perfect ecosystem for gunk to grow in. The bubbles can also break open and hold water which becomes stagnant as well.

    Not saying covers are bad, just saying they take work to properly maintain just like anything you put in your pool.

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    To Cover or Not to Cover??

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsondr View Post
    Mine seems to be quite maintenance free. I'm not sure how people get algae on their covers. The top is always dried up by the sun and the bottom has water circulating. I have a blue cover. It was cheap and that's what most recommended here.
    I've never had any algae problems with mine either. Like you said, top gets dried by the sun and the other side sits in pool water with chlorine in it.
    It does the job for me, retain heat ! 😎
    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: To Cover or Not to Cover??

    Has anyone tried to roll a length of, say 1" or 1 1/2" PVC onto the free end of a cover on a reel?
    Make it a foot or so longer on each side of the cover.

    It would provide a "handle" for pulling the cover off the reel.

    Big Q: how to secure the pipe to the cover? Tape is prone to sunrot and wouldn't last a summer in Sacto, sewing is out, and I know of no cement for the stuff.
    Dave
    Sacramento
    1980's 15,000 Gal IG Plaster; 1 1/2 hp Hayward Northstar; Hayward Swimclear C3025 Cartridge Filter (325 sq ft, nom.); Pentair Legend; Polaris PB4-60; Equipment 40' from pool. p.s.: it's an aye-aye.

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    duckhunter27's Avatar
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    Re: To Cover or Not to Cover??

    We love our solar cover. The warm water is well worth alittle hassle. And why take it out of the pool? we just fold ours up maybe half way then just push to the side and use bungy cords to hold it in place very easy I put three clips on far side so when we put it away you just pull it back across the pool If we are just taking a quick dip we may only fold back half way and swim in half the pool.
    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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