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Thread: solar cover questions

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    solar cover questions

    I have read some other posts about solar covers but I still have a few questions that I would love some help with.

    1. If I buy the 12 mil clear, can I leave it on day and night or does it have to be removed every day?

    2. How does the skimmer and return work with the cover on? Can you run the pump with the cover on?

    3. Just how does the thing GO on? Do you attach it to the side or just throw it in there on top of the water?

    4. I saw people talking about using half filled gallon bleach jugs to keep the cover on when it's windy, but I'm not sure where those would go.

    Yep, I feel like an idiot! Thanks in advance for the education!
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    Re: solar cover questions

    Quote Originally Posted by numberonenole
    I have read some other posts about solar covers but I still have a few questions that I would love some help with.

    1. If I buy the 12 mil clear, can I leave it on day and night or does it have to be removed every day?

    Absolutely you can leave it on day and night. Might want to remove it during the day here and there to let the pool "breath" a bit. I leave mine on most of the time if it's not being used.


    2. How does the skimmer and return work with the cover on? Can you run the pump with the cover on?

    Returns work just fine. The skimmer action isnt as great with it on, but unless the pool has a ton of surface junk like leaves,etc, its fine. That's why i take it off every other day or so if we havent been in the pool for several days. Run thr pump as much as you like.

    3. Just how does the thing GO on? Do you attach it to the side or just throw it in there on top of the water?

    Just let it float

    4. I saw people talking about using half filled gallon bleach jugs to keep the cover on when it's windy, but I'm not sure where those would go.

    Cant answer this one. My pool is an inground. But, my uncle has an AG and he uses jugs. When its real windy, the cover on my IG pool does blow up on occasion, but it has to be 25-30 mph or better.

    Yep, I feel like an idiot! Thanks in advance for the education!
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: solar cover questions

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Quote Originally Posted by numberonenole
    3. Just how does the thing GO on? Do you attach it to the side or just throw it in there on top of the water?

    Just let it float
    It goes on bubbly side down (smooth side up). Cut to fit, no need to attach anything. Although I do remember somebody posting about how on their round pool, the cover would spin when the pump was on.

    4. I saw people talking about using half filled gallon bleach jugs to keep the cover on when it's windy, but I'm not sure where those would go.

    Cant answer this one. My pool is an inground. But, my uncle has an AG and he uses jugs. When its real windy, the cover on my IG pool does blow up on occasion, but it has to be 25-30 mph or better.
    I tried this once. If the jug is a couple feet in from the edge, it will hold up (won't sink the cover). Wind like that is rare where I am and the fence adds some protection, so I stopped bothering with it.
    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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    Re: solar cover questions

    numberonenole...I always used a blue with silver solar cover. Last spring I tried a clear cover. With the blue cover I would use 2 cups of bleach a day. The day I put on the clear I went to 10 cups a day. After 4 weeks I replaced the clear with a blue and I went back to 2 cups of bleach a day. Just a little heads up

    Good luck
    Ric
    Ric W
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    8605 gal fiberglass, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, aquabot cleaner, heat siphon heat pump, tiger river(sumatran) spa

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    Re: solar cover questions

    Quote Originally Posted by numberonenole
    I have read some other posts about solar covers but I still have a few questions that I would love some help with.

    4. I saw people talking about using half filled gallon bleach jugs to keep the cover on when it's windy, but I'm not sure where those would go.

    Yep, I feel like an idiot! Thanks in advance for the education!
    So far 1-3 have been covered so I'll take #4
    What the jugs are used for is to hold a winter cover on not a solar cover. just throw it on and you should be fine.
    16' by 32' cornelius AG vinyl liner, 6' deep end, 14500 gal.
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    Re: solar cover questions

    Quote Originally Posted by 98xc600
    What the jugs are used for is to hold a winter cover on not a solar cover. just throw it on and you should be fine.
    Some people use jugs as anchors for a winter cover. My impression is usually they tie the jug handle to the cover, and the jug goes outside the pool.

    Some people use jugs as weights to keep a solar cover from blowing off in high winds; in this case the jugs basically float on the cover. This is worthwhile only if you have sufficiently high winds often enough to bother you enough to do something about it.
    --paulr
    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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    Re: solar cover questions

    Thanks for all the replies! In regards to the different color covers, if you have the proper CYA does your chlorine use still go up with a clear cover? I'm leaning toward a clear cover so I can throw it on there and leave it for several days at a time. I don't want to have to remove it every morning and then put it back every night. Just on the days we can swim! Of course, I also don't want to start going through tons of chlorine either.

    Thanks again!
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    Re: solar cover questions

    Quote Originally Posted by numberonenole
    Thanks for all the replies! In regards to the different color covers, if you have the proper CYA does your chlorine use still go up with a clear cover? I'm leaning toward a clear cover so I can throw it on there and leave it for several days at a time. I don't want to have to remove it every morning and then put it back every night. Just on the days we can swim! Of course, I also don't want to start going through tons of chlorine either.
    Both of us will find out in a few months: I purchased a clear cover for the coming season to gauge temperature differences (from use of previous blue cover) and chlorine usage. I'll maintain a CYA of about 40-50 ppm this summer (as I did last summer) and monitor temperature (air and water) and cover usage so I can perform comparisons at summer's end. I would expect, with equivalent CYA levels, bather load and cover usage, to have a bit more chlorine usage due to increased UV light exposure through the clear cover. We'll see.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Re: solar cover questions

    I'm a jug user...LOL

    Where I live it's not uncommon to get 30, 40 and even the occasional 50mph wind gusts from the SW, and my solar has blown off more than once. The only time I use the jugs is when I'm going on extended vacations. They do work, the cover/jugs don't sink, but I only do this if I'll be gone for more than a couple days. I set the jugs, which are basically full, about 1-2 feet in from the edge of the pool, they just rest on the cover and float.

    Color does matter. I have had three different types, never clear. My chlorine consumption when the pool is not used, with my newest black/blue cover, is virtually nil. I had a blue 6-8 ml, still not sure which, cover till last season, and when I switched to the black/blue, the consumption dropped dramatically! With my first "spaceage" silver/blue blanket, I recall the consumption being low as well, and the temp retention worked best of the three, I believe becuz it was 12 ml.

    If your solar cover spins or moves, it's usually from too much surface circulation, and I believe the OP with that issue was an AG pool, and she simply pointed the return eyeball down a bit when the covers on, solving that issue.

    I highly recommend the blue/black... I have my cover on whenever the pool is not in use. For warm weather areas where the water could become too warm from constant use, whenever the pool is not being used simply keep the cover on during the day, so that the chlorine consumption is lower, and then when the temp is getting too hot, leave the cover off at night every so often, so the water temp can cool.

    The solar blankets actually work better at retaining the heat gained during the day rather than actually assisting in heating the water via solar rays.

    Now my cover is on all the time, I only remove it when I use the pool. Keeping the pool constantly covered seems to keep my PH at the low end of the ok range, I do monitor it and keep it from getting too low....

    some people have reported various green water issues that they attribute to keeping the cover on too much. I haven't experienced that, and mine is on all the time... but because of these reports some advocate removing it every few days to let the pool "breath". I think with proper chlorination and filtration, you shouldn't experience any issues....but YMMV

    Black/blue....
    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 questions

    Thanks again for the replies!
    Just to clarify, the covers help to prevent heat loss at night, not actually heat up the pool. If a blue/black cover is on during the day, does the pool gain heat?
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: solar cover questions

    That's correct. For the most part, solar covers help retain heat not really generate it.

    With a blue/black cover you will gain a little heat during the day but not nearly as much as if it wasn't there.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: solar cover questions

    Thanks for your reply! I am really wanting to heat this pool up and start swimming, but the cooler nights are really goning to cause me a problem. I guess the best thing to do is to put it on every evening and take it off every morning. I guess I can do that for a few weeks. It's not like I will have to do it for forever, considering that by the end of June last year I was trying to cool it down from 96 degrees...
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    Re: solar cover questions

    Numberonenole, I think you will quickly find its a pain to take the cover on and off on a daily basis. its worth it to swim but just to heat the pool wont last long. I also dont think there is a huge difference with leaving the cover on or taking it on and off on a daily basis. maybe a 2-3 degree difference. I was hoping to warm the pool up fast last year and I think it has more to do with ambient air around the pool, especially for an above ground pool then it does the cover. Yes the cover keeps the water warm during the night by keeping the heat in, but a 2-3 degree difference during the day whether i had it on or let the sun get to the bottom of the pool was dissapointing. It will get warm when it wants. very dissapointing but thats my experience.
    16ft wide x 32 ft long 4.5 deep shallow end with slant straight to deep end of 6.5ft, there is no flat shallow end, Est 20,000 gal. Pump, Hayward Pro Series 300lb Sand Filter, Laars Lite 2 Gas Heater, The BBB Method, TF-100 Test Kit.

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