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Thread: Solar Cover

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Solar Cover

    I have an AG 24' pool without a solar cover. Only till I fumbled across this site and have read other posts, that I have been wondering wether to invest on a solar cover.
    I see from other that have both solar covers and solar panels as well. Does it matter wether you have one or the other or do you actually just need one?
    Do the solar panels work?
    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!

    HAVE A GREAT DAY!
    12,500 gal. AG pool.
    Hayward Sand Filter
    PowerFlo Matrix 1.5 pump

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover

    A solar cover helps, solar panels help, both together help more

    A solar cover alone will get you 5 to 10 degrees. How much you get from solar heat varies, depending on panel size relative to pool size and how sunny it has been recently, call it 5 to 20 degrees. Both together does even better, call it 10 to 30 degrees.

    If you have a south facing sunny area to install solar panels, they are a great way to heat the pool.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Solar Cover

    Thanks for your quick response! I think I will try out the solar cover first and see if that will be enough and maybe later on add the panels as well.
    12,500 gal. AG pool.
    Hayward Sand Filter
    PowerFlo Matrix 1.5 pump

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    Re: Solar Cover

    The solar cover should be plenty for warming that water up down there in Houston. You shouldn't need much beyond that I wouldn't think.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Solar Cover

    any type of solar cover will do? or is there a certain preference?
    12,500 gal. AG pool.
    Hayward Sand Filter
    PowerFlo Matrix 1.5 pump

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Solar Cover

    Well, there are several out there to choose from. Basically though, the better coverage you have, the better it will work. There are the solar sun rings which are simply vinyl rings that you lay about the surface. They sort of "connect" to each other via little magnets. A plus is that they are easier to stow away than a full cover. Just grab them and bunch them up to put them away. The slight downside is that they don't really completely cover the water surface as well as a blanket does.

    Blankets, on the other hand, can completely cover the surface of your pool from wall to wall. This makes them more efficient for their purpose. They can also be custom cut to fit your pool. The only downside that I have seen with them is storage. They can be a bear to handle by yourself and you really need a way to store it when not using it. There are some nice devices made for this purpose such as the reels or saddles that can be affixed to the pool that will work quite well. You just have to decide which one you like best.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Solar Cover

    I thought that size was going to be an issue for me. I'm a single mom that am usually the one to maintain my pool from top to bottom. It's something I prefer to do, versus letting my kids doing the maintenance on it. I am going to give the cover a try and see how I can manage with it. If and when I see I can't, just have to make something work with it.
    I am looking forward to this new project.
    Thanks to everyone here for your help and best wishes to all as well!
    12,500 gal. AG pool.
    Hayward Sand Filter
    PowerFlo Matrix 1.5 pump

  8. Back To Top    #8
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover

    If a cover is too much for you to handle all at once, it can be cut up into sections which can be dealt with one at a time.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Solar Cover

    You have a 24' pool, probably round? get one that fits and slice it in half. I think 12' x 24' semicircles would be manageable.
    --paulr
    who has a wierd shaped pool and a 16x32 section that's awkward to manage single-handed
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover

    I have a friend who has a 27' and she cuts her cover in half. Mine is still in one piece, but I fold it like an eggroll, to get it off. So fold over to the right, roll, fold over to the left, roll, and so on, till it's about 3-4 ft long and about 2 feet around. I can get it off alone and it fits in the corner of the deck out of the sun. Not super efficient but it works for me.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Solar Cover

    Cutting the solar blanket in portions is a very good idea for me. I think that would be the best way to get it in and out of the pool by myself.
    May I also ask a question: How long and what part of the day or night do you leave this in the pool? Do you leave it all night, or maybe during the day?
    12,500 gal. AG pool.
    Hayward Sand Filter
    PowerFlo Matrix 1.5 pump

  12. Back To Top    #12
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover

    I leave mine on whenever it is not in use. I make sure it is on at night no matter what. It is more effective at retaining heat at night, vs increasing the temps from sunlight during the day. In fact some people report elevated CC if they leave their cover on too much during the day, something that has not occurred for me though.

    I would think for you, in Texas, that putting in on at night to prevent heat loss, would be most effective. You might find the water too warm if you left it on during the day too, depends on your preference for water temp. But absolutely at night, to retain the temp and also to cut down on evaporation.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Solar Cover

    I used a solar cover and solar panels last year. I will use them both again this year. As others have said the cover works great for retaining your heat at night and slowing evaporation. Before we had the cover we would loose almost all of the heat gained from the solar panels overnight.

    The two worked so well that we had temps over 90 degrees at one point. We ended up taking off the cover and running the panels at night to reduce the heat. So they can work great together, just monitor the temp closely.

    I also liked the cover because it reduced contaminates from the air and the consumption of chemicals. We basically left the cover on all summer unless we were swimming, and adjusted the solar panel run times to adjust temperature.

    I bought a nice solar reel so my wife could take the cover off on her own. She would just roll the cover up and her and my daughter would swim at the other end of the pool. When I was home we would lift the reel off and set it beside the pool.
    Patriot Arcadia 15' round 52". Pentair Clean and Clear 100 sqft Cartridge filter, 1HP Optiflow pump, Goldline Aquatrol SWG. 2 - 4'x20' solar panels roof mounted. All rigid PVC plumbing. Resin Solar reel with 8mil Thermo-tex solar cover. 14 x 12 deck.

    Ovation 15'x24'x52'' AG. Pentair System 3 150 SQ foot cartridge filter, 1 1/2 HP pump.

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    Re: Solar Cover

    I bought a large garbage can, and I roll and then fold my solar cover and dump it in the trash can. Works for me!

    I don't think that would work with the heavier covers, though.
    Above ground soft side Omega pool
    20 feet diameter, 4 feet deep
    Hayward sand filter
    Hayward 1 HP Matrix pump
    Hayward Aquabug Automatic Pool Cleaner

  15. Back To Top    #15
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    Re: Solar Cover

    Swimgirl, that is an excellent idea!! I've been pondering how to store my cover when not in use. Thanks for the tip!
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover

    I have a solar saddle- no deck yet, so that was the next best thing. Our 28 foot cover is in three sections, with the middle one being 28 foot long and 5 foot wide. I push the cover sections over the side and fan fold them into the saddle one at a time. I have to get out at some point and fuss with the folds a little if they get off, but it works. I am only 5ft 2in and my pool is 4-6 feet deep, so this requires some water treading at some point (good exercise though). To put it back on, I start pulling it back over the edge from the inside- it just unfolds itself right onto the water and floats over to where it belongs, one section at a time.
    If I am really lazy- I just move the middle section over onto one of the side sections and swim back and forth in my 28 foot long swim-lane.
    We managed to get ours back in the original box for this winter, but I like the trash can idea. I already use a large plastic trash can for storing my autovac and all its hoses and pieces when it is not in use and that has worked really well. My solar cover is big enough and heavy enough to require a really BIG trash can, but I could use one that is on wheels to make it easy to drag around. Probably safer than a box too- as the cats can be hard on boxes.
    In our area of Texas, the solar cover will go on as soon as the water gets a bit warmer- in the 70's. I do not know exactly how long we will use it, but I know by July we will be looking for ways to cool off the water. We put the pool in mid-August last year, and started using the cover mid-Sept as the evening temps were cooling and we were losing too much heat at night. We called it a season in mid-late October and put up the cover for the winter. We got an 3 weeks of pleasant swimming over our friends that did not have covers.
    We are working on solar panel install right now for this year to get an early spring start. With solar panels, we could have swam right up through first week of November, I think, last year.
    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!!!

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Solar Cover

    thanks to everyone for all your suggestions and great ideas. I finally got hold of a solar blanket of which I have cut in half for easier installation & removing from the pool.
    My question now is: Does the bubble side of the cover go facing down or facing up in the pool?
    12,500 gal. AG pool.
    Hayward Sand Filter
    PowerFlo Matrix 1.5 pump

  18. Back To Top    #18
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover

    down.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Solar Cover

    Thank you!!

    12,500 gal. AG pool.
    Hayward Sand Filter
    PowerFlo Matrix 1.5 pump

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Solar Cover

    Or, you could buy an aboveground solar reel:

    Just another option to help stimulate the economy.
    http://www.swimmingpool.com/

    "Leave the gun...take the cannolis"

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