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Thread: Cheap vs Expensive Solar Reels

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    Cheap vs Expensive Solar Reels

    Hey folks,

    I posted this on another pool forum site but wasn't getting any responses, so I thought I'd try here. So please excuse the double post.

    The big chain pool store near me is Namco. They sell only 1 type of In-ground solar reel and it goes for $80 for the roller plus another $60 or so for the aluminum tube. You can see the roller here:
    http://store.namcopoolstore.com/web06360.html

    The small non-chain pool store also only carries one type and it's $350 (don't know the make/model).

    I've never had a solar reel before. Do you think $140 one would be ok or do I need to spend like $350 in order for it to be decent quality? I've read both. What do you think of the quality of the one from that link?

    Thanks!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Cheap vs Expensive Solar Reels

    As a general rule, the larger your pool the more important it is to get a good quality reel. Even the cheap reels work well when the cover is fairly light and small. But if you have a 24'x50'monster you need a solid reel to manage the large heavy cover.

    Some people prefer to cut their cover up into sections and roll them up by hand, rather then get a reel.
    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: Cheap vs Expensive Solar Reels

    Thanks for the response!

    Should have mentioned that I have an 18X36. Last season was my first season with a cover. I pulled the cover off by hand and it wasn't too bad, but it was annoying enough that sometimes I didn't use the pool because of it.

    Anyone ever use the type of reel in the link? Is it decent enough?
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    Guest

    Re: Cheap vs Expensive Solar Reels

    The things to look at are the construction and the kind of bearings that are used (if they are not good then it's going to be difficult to roll a large cover). Some of the cheap ones are all plastic and do not stand up and last, better ones might use a metal bar to roll the reel on. Bottom line, in my experience with solar reel rollers, you get what you pay for.

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