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Thread: Solar cover observation for those considering heating the pool

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    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Kent, Ohio
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    Solar cover observation for those considering heating the pool

    In the spirit of sharing our knowledge, I'd like to share my observations for those that are building a pool now or considering what equipment/products to use for their pool.

    Our pool is a 42,000 gallon, inground and it is new. We finished it late in the fall, and filled it with water May 31st. We installed a heat pump, but it has been broken from the beginning. Yesterday, the company finally installed a new one. So, until yesterday we've had nothing to heat the pool with other than the suns rays. We do get 12 hours of direct sunlight on the pool, and it is not very windy where we live in NorthEast Ohio.

    From the day we filled it, we have been very diligent about keeping our clear 12 mil solar cover on. Our pool took about 10 days to warm up to 75-80 degrees, and not much longer to be 82 or higher every day. We feel this is a comfortable swimming temperature where we can stay in the pool for hours. I notice that we typically lose 3-4 degrees overnight, and gain it all back every day.

    This has been the coldest summer I can remember, and our nights have been in the 50's, whereas typically this time of year it might still be above 80 degrees air temp at night.

    My conclusion- I wish I would not have bought a $3500 heat pump, nor paid to have it wired and installed. It seems I'm going to heat the water up 5 days quicker at the beginning of the swim season, and that is about all I will gain. It seems that even with this mild summer the water temp has been perfect, and using the solar cover with the roller has been pretty easy.

    I hope someone can learn from my experience.
    26' X 45' peanut shaped 42,000 gallon non- SWG polished marble (Hydrazzo) IG outdoor pool 5/2014.
    Pentair Intelliflo 3HP variable speed pump. Pentair Clean and Clear Plus cartridge filter
    Pentair Ultratemp heat pump
    Pentair model 320 chlorine feeder. Ultra Pure Ozonator. Pentair Easy Touch.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
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    Central Minnesota
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    Re: Solar cover observation for those considering heating the pool

    Thanks for sharing the information! I've been delaying pulling the trigger on a solar cover this whole summer and my pool while very refreshing at 76-78 degrees would be better to enjoy longer if it were over 80. I'll get one some day...
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Jul 2008
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    Seacoast, NH
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    Re: Solar cover observation for those considering heating the pool

    We also have a solar cover and we have a propane heater. We rarely use the heater June-Aug. the value is in May and Sept. We are able to extend our swim days by about a month, 2 weeks on either end. No matter what, the solar cover alone isn't going to cut it in May or Sept in NH. I predict you'll be happy to have the heat pump at the end of the season when you get one 90 degree day after a week of 50's and you want to get in one more swim before you have to face winter.
    19,000 gallons, Well Water
    Stay-Rite System 3 Cartridge filter
    IG vinyl, MasterTemp 400 Propane heater
    Intellichlor 40 SWG, 2006 Taylor Test Kit with Speed Stirrer
    1.5 HP Pump

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    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Northern Virginia
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    Re: Solar cover observation for those considering heating the pool

    Quote Originally Posted by ltfdrebbin View Post
    we have been very diligent about keeping our clear 12 mil solar cover on.
    .
    Where did you get a clear cover?
    Does it have little bubble "pouches" all over it?

    The only ones I've been able to find are blue (with bubbles). It works fine but I'd rather have a clear one for better light transmission.
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

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    mas985's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Pleasanton, CA
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    Re: Solar cover observation for those considering heating the pool

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/Swimming-Poo...=Clear&_sop=12

    I have used both but haven't seen a big difference between blue and clear as it relates to water heating. Probably because clear does not stay clear for very long.
    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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    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Mendon/MA
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    Re: Solar cover observation for those considering heating the pool

    I have used my propane heater a total of 4 times here in central MA. It's been a consistent 78-82deg come June through now. I only use it when we have parties. I got a smokin' deal on the heater and I like having propane tanks for other uses, so it's totally been worth it to me.

    I don't have a solar cover, but kind of wish I had one now. That way if I did decide to turn the heater on, the warmth can survive a bit longer due to the cold nights we've been having. I wouldn't have wanted to use it at all in June through early Aug.
    21k gallon IG vinyl with sand filter and single speed pump. Propane Hayward heater installed with no bypass valves.

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