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Thread: Solar cover reel

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    Solar cover reel

    I've been searching around all day for instructions on how to build a solar cover reel. I keep seeing posts that refer to matt4x4's design, and I've even seen several pics of his pool. What I haven't seen is any in depth posts on materials or instructions on building it. If some of you guys that have built them before could give any tips or instructions on what exactly to do, I am planning on building one in the next month or so. I would be happy to put all the instructions together with some nice pics for a easy to follow, step by step instruction sheet which could be posted in the pool school under "Construction and Upgrade choices". I understand that 4" aluminum irrigation pipe is the best choice for large covers, and that Conduit will work for smaller covers. What I really need is ideas on the bearings, how to build the handle/crank, and any tips or tricks you have come across that made the process easier. If something needs to be welded, I have a friend that is a great welder and I would even consider setting up a way to buy pre-made parts through a PayPal account for those that are interested. I would also like to include a list of retailers that supplies like bearings or even the aluminum pipe can be ordered from. I will do my own searching around for stuff like this, but if you have suggestions of places with a good price I'd love to hear about them!

    Thanks for any help you guys can give!
    Mike
    30 foot round AGP (25k gal), 2.5 hp pump, Hayward cartridge filter, Diver Dan pool vac, TF-100 Test kit
    -It takes less time to do things right then it does to do it again.

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    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Blessing, Tx (South of Houston)
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    Re: Solar cover reel

    I hadnt considered making one over buying one unill i saw this, great idea id love to know more also! i sure hope sombody passes on the info!
    Intex 18' AGP - Intex SWG - 19 inch Sand Dollar Sand Filter - 1HP Pentair Dynamo Pump - 4X20 Solar Panel - Goldline Solar Controller.

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    Re: Solar cover reel

    If someone is taking a poll, I would also be interested in this information.
    12K gal, In Ground, Vinyl, Sand Filter 35 GPM, Hayward Pump 1 hp, Mesh Safety Cover

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    SouthWest Alabama
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    Re: Solar cover reel

    I did a good bit of research before I bought mine and what I found out is that it was cheaper to buy one than to build one.

    There is not a single place to find the parts you need that I found. You can find aluminum conduit at a local electrical industrial supply house. Bearings from places like Motion Industries. The aluminum irrigation was the biggest problem. Not so much finding it but the shipping was outrageous. I also looked at aluminum extrusions and they cost more and shipping in the sizes needed was the same as the irrigation pipe. It might be different if the irrigation pipe was available locally but having to ship it drove the cost up.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Solar cover reel

    I'm not really looking for a one stop shop, I'd like to include a list of the types of places to gather your materials. For example you can look up electrical supply houses and Landscape supply houses in the yellow pages for the aluminum pipe, home depot or a hardware store for materials for the handle bearings and crank etc...

    Right now I have a vague idea of what I want to do, but I'm still not certain on what to do for bearings, and what size pipe is best suited for my 30' AG Pool. I would also like feedback from people with smaller pools and their opinions on what size pipe to use. I am very open to any ideas, opinions, or experience that I can gather before I get started.
    30 foot round AGP (25k gal), 2.5 hp pump, Hayward cartridge filter, Diver Dan pool vac, TF-100 Test kit
    -It takes less time to do things right then it does to do it again.

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    Re: Solar cover reel

    BUMP......I too, need SPECIFIC directions.....step by step! PLEASE!!!
    MATT.....you out there???????

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    mcoonan's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    Re: Solar cover reel

    One of the best designs for a home built reel that I have see is by NWMNMom. I would try and find the post for you, but the search function is not working at this time.
    Intex Ultra 18' x 52" AG 6,981 Gal.
    3 - 2'x20' solar panels
    Hayward XStream 1500 Cart Filter
    Hayward 1-1/2 HP 2-speed Superpump
    Aquabot Pool Rover
    2-Softub 300 hot tubs (yup just got one for the lake)
    TF Test Kit Doing the BBB for 7 years
    Medota Heights,Minnesota

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    Re: Solar cover reel

    tbaum, check your PMs (upper left corner of the page).
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Solar cover reel

    Update:
    Well, this was a great idea when I had it, but unfortunately 4 inch aluminum tubing is REALLY REALLY Expensive!!!! If I ever am able to find some for a reasonable cost (or something else that is cheaper and will still work) I would love to get this project done, and I will be sure to post step by step directions with pictures every step of the way, but unfortunately at this point I am most likely going to have to make due with solar saddles or continue dragging my cover up on the deck.

    Sorry folks
    Mike
    30 foot round AGP (25k gal), 2.5 hp pump, Hayward cartridge filter, Diver Dan pool vac, TF-100 Test kit
    -It takes less time to do things right then it does to do it again.

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