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Thread: Saltwater Solar Blanket Deterioration

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    Sastocky's Avatar
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    Saltwater Solar Blanket Deterioration

    When we purchased our Swimming Pool two years ago the installer surprisingly had included a solar blanket in the package.

    We use it religiously in the early spring, fall, and cooler summer nights. It is used in correlation with our Solar Heat Panels & Heat Pump. The blanket is removed and installed via a manual reel system. It is stored in an un-heated garage in the winter months.

    I also want to mention the pool is saltwater. FC, pH, etc. are maintained in the TFP ranges.

    Now to the problem....

    The Solar Blanket has become very brittle and is tearing and bubbles are falling apart. I am not sure of the Brand, type, or other specs.

    On my previous chlorine non-saltwater pools they would last 4-8 years.

    Has anyone had this issue so early into ownership?
    Is this related to the saltwater setup?
    Are there specific blankets for saltwater pools?
    Southern Ohio, 18'x36', 8'x3' deep, Vinyl, Hayward 1hp Super Pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward AquaRite 25k SWG, 5-3'x8' Solar Panels, Hayward AquaSolar, Aqua Pro 137k Heat Pump

    Taylor K-2006, Taylor K-1766, Taylor SpeedStir, hth 6-Way with OTO

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    Re: Saltwater Solar Blanket Deterioration

    Just like the guy at the car dealer says..."They all do that"
    16 x 32 17500 gallons
    Vinyl in-ground
    Hayward 250# Sand Filter
    1 HP Pump
    Hayward SWG

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    Saltwater Solar Blanket Deterioration

    It's not that surprising that it was included. Here in Pima County, it was mandated by county regulations that all pool builders include a solar cover in new installations after 2012.

    As for deterioration, hard to tell unless you can give a brand and manufacturer. I don't use my bubble cover much but I did notice it got brittle along the cut edges (irregular shaped pool). I also had a nylon wall brush completely disintegrate (brittle bristles) after less than a season of use. I attributed it to the strong AZ sun but now I'm thinking it's more than that.

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    Sastocky's Avatar
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    Re: Saltwater Solar Blanket Deterioration

    Bump...anyone else have input?
    Southern Ohio, 18'x36', 8'x3' deep, Vinyl, Hayward 1hp Super Pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward AquaRite 25k SWG, 5-3'x8' Solar Panels, Hayward AquaSolar, Aqua Pro 137k Heat Pump

    Taylor K-2006, Taylor K-1766, Taylor SpeedStir, hth 6-Way with OTO

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Saltwater Solar Blanket Deterioration

    2 years is the most I ever get out of a cover. I have never heard of anyone getting 4-8 years out of a bubble cover. Other covers perhaps but not the plastic bubble covers.
    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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    mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: Saltwater Solar Blanket Deterioration

    I have a long and narrow pool so can never find a pre-made size that fits. I order a larger size and cut it lengthwise so I have 2 solar covers. The first half last about 3 years. Last year we put the other half on and unfortunately while it was stored in our garage on its reel over the winter, some critter chewed threw it. I think these solar covers don't last that long and of course care probably makes a difference. It also may be that the free one your PB included wasn't of good quality.
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG T-15 - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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    Re: Saltwater Solar Blanket Deterioration

    Both of my solar covers lasted 2 years before all the bubbles started to show up in the pool water. One cover was 16 mil thick and the last one was 12 mil thick. The next one will be 8 mil thick as that is the cheapest and I will expect to toss it after two seasons.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: Saltwater Solar Blanket Deterioration

    I've never seen anyone else say this, but I don't want my cover to last that long. After a couple seasons it looks ratty anyway, just from being outdoors and covered with dust, pollen, bird poop, etc. I get the cheap, thin cover and am glad when I get to replace it after two years. When I see people buying the extra thick ones with 7 year warranties I just shrug.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Saltwater Solar Blanket Deterioration

    Quote Originally Posted by ping View Post
    Both of my solar covers lasted 2 years before all the bubbles started to show up in the pool water. One cover was 16 mil thick and the last one was 12 mil thick. The next one will be 8 mil thick as that is the cheapest and I will expect to toss it after two seasons.
    I am going with 5 mil (even cheaper than 8 mil) this year just to see if there is any difference. Sure makes a big difference in weight though and much easier to use than the 12 mil I use to have.
    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: Saltwater Solar Blanket Deterioration

    I would expect a cover to last more seasons in Ohio than in California as in Ohio, they ate only used 5 months of the year. Seems reasonable to expect 4-5 years under such usage. We'll see - I'm in my first year of pool ownership.
    16' wide ~20,000gal IG vinyl lazy L shape pool circa 2002, 1hp Hayward Super Pump, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward H250ED2 gas heater, Hayward eVac Pro robot, Stenner pump for chlorine, TF-100 test kit
    2008 Gulf Coast 864 LEi hot tub

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    amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: Saltwater Solar Blanket Deterioration

    I have been using solar covers since day 1 of my pool- 6 years now. I use the cover to start my swim season earlier and eke out a bit more in the fall. In the summer and winter it is dried, cleaned, and stored in our shop in big rubbermaid containers. I started with 12 mil on my 28 ft dia round AGP-that first cover lasted 3 years. I cut it in half so that I could handle it alone. This is Texas and the weather is brutal and I was not kind to the cover so I was not too surprised it only lasted 3 years. The bubbles started popping and were everywhere, and then the material between the bubble started to tear when I touched it. The cover was from Midwest Canvas.
    Next I bought 14 mil from the same company thinking more is better. I had to cut it in 3 pieces to handle it, and was much gentler thinking I would get more time out of it. Instead it lasted 1.5 years. I made a warranty claim on it and they made good on the warranty and sent me a 16 mil replacement. I thought woohoo! This thing will last forever. Wrong. One year is all I got out of it and it was such a stinking sodden mess I just threw it away. Plus, even cut into 3 pieces, iI hated taking it in and out of the pool.
    I suppose I could have tried to make claim on the claim, but I have read that the warranties are now only covering the seams. The seams are extremely heavy duty and were the only thing still intact on this last one. I was going to escalate again on this Fall's blanket, but after reading many posts here I have decided to go with the cheap disposable method. I am getting a 12 mil clear from solarcovers.com (order site many people on this forum use). It cost half what I was expecting and I won't be disappointed when it dies in two years. I am not going to 6 or 8 mil because the winds where I am average 15-20 mph with higher gusts (30 or even 40 mph) in spring and fall, and I have had my fill of chasing solar covers across the pasture.
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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