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Thread: Best Functional/Stain-Resistant Color for Auto-Cover?

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    Best Functional/Stain-Resistant Color for Auto-Cover?

    Anyone have any views on whether any particular shade or color for a cover (in this case an auto-cover) makes a difference?

    Aesthetics aside, I'm curious if anyone has found that any particular ones stain or show stains more, and secondarily, if the color makes a practical difference in heat retention and therefore operating cost (obviously darker should retain more heat, but I'm wondering if it makes any real difference in practice)? We're in NJ, near the shore.

    The colors we are looking at are here: Choose Color - Cover-Pools®, Swimming Pool and Spa Covers

    Thanks.

    Al

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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
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    12,082

    Re: Best Functional/Stain-Resistant Color for Auto-Cover?

    Though I use a different manufacturer (Pool Covers, Inc.), we used to have tan and it didn't show much dirt so that was good. However, it reflects more light so there is virtually no heating of the pool since the cover is opaque. We switched to Royal Blue and while it shows dirt a little more, we like the color better since it looks more like water and since it's darker it heats the pool a little bit. We have solar so didn't really need that extra heating, but it helps and has the pump go down to slower speed sooner than it otherwise would (higher speed is needed when the solar is on).

    There isn't a difference in retaining heat by color. The difference is that the darker colors absorb more of the sun's energy so heat the water more. However, though it's a measurable difference, it's nowhere near the heat gain obtainable from a clear bubble-type cover because the clear cover lets a lot of the sun's energy heat the water without relying on circulation to move heat away from the cover and it's far more insulated. With no cover at night we lose 6║F. With the non-insulating auto-cover we lose 3║ mostly from preventing evaporation. With a bubble-type cover we'd likely lose no more than 1.5║.

    So if heating is most important for you, then a black cover would be best (since all their options are opaque), but it would also likely show the most dirt. For the most heating, you need your pump running for most of the daylight hours and may even need to have the returns pointed slightly upwards to ensure water flow right under the cover though perhaps that's overkill and straight out is good enough (after all, leaves move at the surface that way anyway when the cover is off).
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    Re: Best Functional/Stain-Resistant Color for Auto-Cover?

    Have a medium to light gray CoverStar cover. Where I set the cover pump most of the winter, there is a significant dark colored area which I believe is organic in nature (decomposed debris that the pump can't pass) or possible UV shading and there's a series of white colored rings further out that I think are residues of evaporation. They don't disappear from a simple hosing down and I haven't made any efforts to clean them off yet, so I don't know how permanent they are. My experience with solar gain, heat retention and evaporation mimic exactly what chem geek stated.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Best Functional/Stain-Resistant Color for Auto-Cover?

    Thanks for the thoughts. Very helpful.

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    Join Date
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    Re: Best Functional/Stain-Resistant Color for Auto-Cover?

    As for how long covers last, mine last only 3-4 years, but supposedly the latest one is supposed to last a little longer. It mostly gets small holes at creases near the edges after the 3rd year. We use the pool nearly every day so the cover gets opened/closed that often. So we may have more wear than others that get closer to the pro-rated 7-year mark. If the cover fails within 3 years, the cover cost is free (labor isn't) so it's years 4-7 that get pro-rated.

    Roughly speaking, the ongoing amortized cost for the cover including occasional equipment replacement (i.e. hardware) is around $300 per year. Some years with just a cover replacement there's $700, others with more hardware work there's $1300 and most have just a small fee for vault cleaning and minor adjustments. This is more expensive that the amortized roughly $100 per year or less for a bubble-type cover that only lasts a couple of years, but that's the price for the convenience and safety of an electric safety cover.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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