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Thread: Solar cover irregular shaped pool

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    Solar cover irregular shaped pool

    I know that the topic of solar covers has been covered here quite a few times, but my situation is a little different and I'd appreciate some insight.

    Im in the North East. At first I didn't even consider a solar cover because I didn't think that I'd actually put it on and off each day. Now, I'm leaning towards getting one simply because the pool isn't as warm as I'd like it (despite recently having a solar system installed).

    First question - this is a vacation home. Aside from maybe 2-3 times during the summer when we'll spend a week out here, we're only here for the weekends. Can the cover stay on during the week? I seem to recall reading that it was bad to leave it on for an extended time (more than a couple of days) but I searched and can't find that thread.

    Also, the pool is an irregular shape. I am going to post an image. I understand that it is recommended to buy a rectangular shaped cover and cut it. How many individual sections would you suggest? I'm thinking 2-3 plus 1 for the spa.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL

    Re: Solar cover irregular shaped pool

    Big pool! I would go with a few and cut to fit, easy to handle that way. I would also consider using bleach jugs filled with water to sit on top to hold in place if the pool is subjected to windy weather.

    I keep my cover on for days at a time. I've seen the reports too, and I don't understand cover has never caused me issues. So the only thing I can guess is the FC is dropping too low in those pools to prevent problems. I've kept my cover on for 11 days straight and had no cc's upon return from vacation and still had a chlorine residual, but my pool may not be reprensentative of the norm. Who knows.

    (I know you didn't ask, but you have what appears to be some sort of stain/growth in one end of your pool....)

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    Re: Solar cover irregular shaped pool

    I did some more searching on TFP and found someone that said that if they left the pool partially uncovered, that there was no issue with algae or anything else. I'm now considering just getting 3 or so standard sized solar covers (rectangles) and covering the surface as best as possible, but not cutting it to fit the exact shape of the pool.

    For what its worth - the pool lost about 5 degrees overnight (from 82 to 77). This is with solar heat, but no solar cover. It is usually a bit warmer but there were storms on Thursday night which I think threw it off a bit.

    What you said about the stain is interesting. It has always been there (always being about a year and a half or so when the pool was built) and we never really regarded it as anything abnormal. I'll mention it to the pool guy next time he is here - I am not (yet) a BBB guy.

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    CRG_80cc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Re: Solar cover irregular shaped pool

    I have an irregular shaped pool also and here is what I learned about my solar cover.

    Don't cut it to the exact shape so that it sits in the water, but leave enough overhang so that you can put it over the sides. This helps any leaves, debris that fall onto the cover from going into the water. This also helps with preventing clean pool water from getting on top of the cover and mixing with the dirt, debris. When that happens, you either have to scoop out the dirty water or have it go into the pool.

    I'm one of those who's pool is better when not fully covered to prevent algae. One thing with a partially covered pool is to make sure that you get the end of the cover that's in the water flush against the sides and to use jugs with water to keep it down. If it isn't flush against the sides, a strong gust of wind will get under and blow the cover off. Also, fold the end that's in the water over (like a foot) and then put the jugs (between the folded over section) to weigh it down. By folding it over, this acts like a dam and prevents water from coming over onto the top of the cover on windy days.

    You may want to try fully covering your pool and see if you have algae problems. If not, then you won't have to go with the partial cover route.
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    JoshU's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    New Orleans, LA

    Re: Solar cover irregular shaped pool

    Have you considered using a liquid solar blanket? There is a system on the market to automatically add the solution to the pool. Many commercial pools are going to this method because they can't use the solar blankets.
    Josh Ulfers - - 888-725-8766 - AutoPilot Pool Pilot Systems, Parts & Cells - AquaCal Heat Pumps

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    Re: Solar cover irregular shaped pool

    I have not given liquid solar covers serious consideration after reading that they can be disrupted by the wind. I don't remember which thread I read that in, but some users were also speculating that despite the manufacture claims that the liquid is entirely safe, it still might be better to avoid. I think that the primary concern was corrosion of the pool as opposed to a health related issue.

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