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Thread: Solar Covers and High Winds

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    Solar Covers and High Winds

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Cutting the cover into sections works very well for some people, others prefer to use a reel. There is no significant loss of effectiveness when cut into sections, unless the sections start blowing off (which is rare but can be an issue in especially windy areas). Here is a good page explaining how one person cut their cover up into pieces.
    There is another thread going right now about solar covers. I would really like to use one AND wind is an issue here for anything in addition I don't want a reel nor do I have room for one.

    Jason says, "unless the sections start blowing off (which is rare but can be an issue in especially windy areas)." I would consider my location to be "especially windy". 20 mph is a gentle breeze, normal windy day can be 40 mph, not unusual for 50 mph on a little bit more windy day. Storms and high winds can reach above 60 and 70 mph. Still day is < 20 mph; true still day is highly unusal and is scary. We sometimes get really still before tornadoes start moving in and the sky turns a wierd grey/yellow color.

    Ever see newscasters fighting to stay upright when reporting hurricanes, or in gale force winds, or extreme blizzards? That's a normal high wind or storm wind speed for us. It rarely "rains" in my part of Texas; it is usually "toad chockers" with extreme winds. Past few days we've had normal spring windy days at or above 50 mph. This part of Texas has had a wind advisory but it is much stronger out here on the escaprment.

    So................ when people report "never had it blow off" just what kind of wind are we speaking about????????

    I really don't mean to be argumentative but most people can't appreciate truly extreme environments nor have very few people actually experienced extreme conditions.

    What is one to do????? Is there any cheap, easily applied, easy to put on/easy to pull off solution so that a solar cover won't blow across my little valley and land, shredded and snagged in the trees on the cliff across from the pool?

    I have never seen any solar covers out this way; only fixed for winter or automated built in with pool build and extremely heavy so that repairs to the roll up mechanisms are usually needed yearly. It's similar to my "Favorite Most Trusted Pool Guy" telling me recently, when asked, that no pools he services out here are filtered by anything other than DE because of the silt and wind.

    Again speculation is not needed; real world experience greatly appreciated.

    HELP and Thanks, gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: solar cover questions

    Topics merged. Please don't ask the same question in more than one topic. Keep everything related to one topic together in one place to avoid repetition and confusion. Thanks JasonLion

    Extremely high, frequent winds here. Have I mentioned that lately?

    I know there are several threads going right now about solar covers but all are a little different so I'm posting in this one too. How about square type jugs to lessen the rolling around from wind?

    Could you attach plastic grommets, like the ones used for Coolaroo type fabrics and shade cloth to secure the jugs about 2 ft in from edge (and quick release plastic snaps)?

    Is an oval cover less likely to fly off than a square? (I have oval.)

    I'm thinking about even painting the jugs to match the "space age" cover I think I want to try.

    Right now with some sunny day time temps in high 70's and nights in low 50's I'm losing a lot of sun warmed heat during the night.

    I want to use a Solar Cover, wa wa wa.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: solar cover questions

    I had the space age cover - it was so heavy after 4 years I could no longer lift it by myself.

    I just fill empty bleach jugs with pool water (FC level, ya know) and toss them on top of the cover, about 1 1/2 feet from the edge. They don't sink, neither does the cover. I use 3 -4 around the pool. Keeps it in place, and I can get 40-50 mph gusts here.

    I put the jugs on for windy days but also when I leave on extended vacations incase a storm comes up while I'm away.

    Done this for years, works like a charm.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: solar cover questions

    LOL I should have read up above first. I'm repeating myself
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Covers and High Winds

    The filter thing doesn't make any sense to me. DE filters are the worst possible kind of filter for an area with especially large amounts of silt.

    With winds over 70 mph, I don't think there is anything you can do that will work, let alone be simple and easy.

    The following is based on winds around 30 or 40 mph. The trick with a solar cover is to try and set it up so the wind can't catch an edge and lift it up. That takes some trial and error. The more precisely the edge of the cover meets the edge of the pool, the better off you will be. If the cover is too far from the pool wall the wind has room to get underneath. If it is touching the pool wall it will tend to crinkle or bend and present more surface area that the wind can catch. In ordinary extreme situations (but perhaps not truly extreme situations) you can put jugs full of water on top of the cover to help hold it down (don't use rocks or bricks or anything like that).
    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 Covers and High Winds

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    The filter thing doesn't make any sense to me. DE filters are the worst possible kind of filter for an area with especially large amounts of silt.
    It's the size of the silt. Okay, so I really should be calling it chalk and clay particles to be more exact. I throw all of that fine stuff into the category as silt as opposed to clay (smaller particle sizes) or sand (larger particle sizes). Some of our silt [sic] is finer than 1 micron. I haven't officially measured it yet and I forgot to pick up some scaled slides my Vet ordered for me. Will do so next visit in two weeks. In my reading tonight I found out that we do also have a lot of clay in our soils but here in the woods we have a lot of loamy soil from the tree decomposition; much more so than other areas around here, away from the woods.

    According to Wikipedia

    Loam is soil composed of sand, silt, and clay in relatively even concentration (about 40-40-20% concentration respectively), considered ideal for gardening and agricultural uses. Loam soils generally contain more nutrients and humus than sandy soils, have better infiltration and drainage than silty soils, and are easier to till than clay soils.

    Not everyone has the quantity of silt we have here but the size is pretty common up here on the Austin Chalk Escarpment. As you know cartridge and sand filters don't filter down as fine as DE. It's simply that in particular that makes the DE filter a necessity out this way.

    There is one additional factor that I don't really like to even think about. It's been a controversial environmental issue for years out here. Hopefully our hundreds of acres of trees in protected lands, habitats, parks, suburban areas help to improve the quality of the air. About 7 miles south of us is Midlothian. Midlothian is a prime area for cement quarrying due to the Austin Chalk Escarpment, a unique geological formation that runs north-south through the region. Three of the top ten largest cement factories in the United States operate in the city. We sit right on top of that Austin chalk. A unique characteristic is that the fertile soil, but mostly rock, has chalky rocks constantly working up to the surface and then disintegrating by wind and water very rapidly. My soil, here at the very top, is almost 90% rock/10% soil. A lot of the sand is brought in for construction of houses/buildings/roads/pools, etc. but much is also blown in from the west with prairie just a few miles from us. We are also sitting on top of one of the largest gas shale deposits in the US. Lots of horizontal wells are going in now days all around us. They do drill very deep going vertically before they go horizontal but the drilling puts even more fine "stuff" into the air. My town has been developing rapidly in past 15 years with huge population growth=development and disturbing of virgin forest and grazing/farming lands and it is becoming one of the largest shopping areas in the DFW metroplex. So chalk in the air has been increasing exponentially the past few years. The dust in my house, even when tightly closed up with multiple filtration systems, has many of the properties of DE including sapping the moisture out of skin on contact and keeping the bug population down without using chemicals. Asthma is pretty rampant in school age children probably from the chalk "silt". Luckily we have a few months out of the year that the winds don't blow from the south. Most of our "pollution" is not dark brown or black like you find in urban areas rather it is light tan to white. Not much of the Dallas pollution settles out this way as it is blown away before settling, thank goodness.

    Hope this helps to shed some light on our very unique needs for water (and air) filtering.

    Our chalk is a soft, white, porous sedimentary rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. Calcite is calcium carbonate or CaCO3. We don't get acid rain with all the chalk in the air. Not joking either. Our current water supply is surprisingly low in calcium but until about 10 years ago it was extremely high making pH management in the pool extremely difficult.

    From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silt


    It is in semi-arid environments [6] that substantial quantities of silt are produced. Silt is sometimes known as 'rock flour' or 'stone dust',..............Sedimentary rock composed mainly of silt is known as siltstone.

    Silt is easily transported in water or other liquids and is fine enough to be carried long distances by air in the form of dust .... Silt and clay contribute to turbidity in water

    In the Udden-Wentworth scale (due to Krumbein), silt particles range between 1⁄256 and 1⁄16 mm (3.9 to 62.5 μm), larger than clay but smaller than a sand. ISO 14688 grades silts between 0.002 mm and 0.063 mm, with clay particles being smaller and sands larger.
    [ 1 micron = 0.001 mm so I'm, in acuallity, talking about fine clay particles when I describe our smallest size "silt"] In actuality, silt is chemically distinct from clay, and unlike clay, grains of silt are approximately the same size in all dimensions; furthermore, their size ranges overlap. Clays are formed from thin plate-shaped particles held together by electrostatic forces, so present a cohesion. According to the USDA Soil Texture Classification system, the sand-silt distinction is made at the 0.05 mm particle size.[7] The USDA system has been adopted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In the Unified Soil Classification System (USCS) and the AASHTO Soil Classification system, the sand-silt distinction is made at the 0.075 mm particle size (i.e. material passing the #200 sieve). Silts and clays are distinguished by their plasticity.

    A main source of silt in urban rivers is disturbance of soil by construction activity. [/i]

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Solar Covers and High Winds

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    With winds over 70 mph, I don't think there is anything you can do that will work, let alone be simple and easy.

    The following is based on winds around 30 or 40 mph. The trick with a solar cover is to try and set it up so the wind can't catch an edge and lift it up. That takes some trial and error. The more precisely the edge of the cover meets the edge of the pool, the better off you will be. If the cover is too far from the pool wall the wind has room to get underneath. If it is touching the pool wall it will tend to crinkle or bend and present more surface area that the wind can catch. In ordinary extreme situations (but perhaps not truly extreme situations) you can put jugs full of water on top of the cover to help hold it down (don't use rocks or bricks or anything like that).
    I generally watch the weather pretty closely for many reasons. I could always pull cover off when winds are predicted to be at a certain level. What do you think the line should be in mph? Serious question, really. When metro area winds are predicted at x mph we usually add 20 mph to that for our expected although it can be more. 40 mph gust are just regular, normal windy days. I would think it would be the gust that would more likely catch an edge. Is that correct?

    I had thought about using squarish jugs (with rounded edges of course), attached about 2 ft in from edge, using poly grommets and "plastic" quick release fasteners of some sort to keep them from dropping off the edge or pushed or bumped off by the Aquabot.

    Thanks, gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: solar cover questions

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    LOL I should have read up above first. I'm repeating myself
    :P Well it is Friday night. You are forgiven.

    I'm off to search for blue/black solar cover but have to go out first and watch (DH swears I'm fascinated watching grass grow. Well, shoot, anything to be outside ) at my sparkly, clear pool with a tiny glass of wine in hand.

    I'm hoping to run the cleaner(s) less with the solar cover in use. I'm certainly going to search for hints/tips on having the least amount of all sizes of debris falling into pool when removing the cover. I know I've seen several threads about that.

    gu-nite all, gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: solar cover questions

    My thoughts about using poly grommets to secure the squarish jugs is because of wind blowing/rolling jug(s) off the cover creating a space between cover and side of pool and some gapping or ridging up of the cover giving wind more chance to catch the edge of cover. I'd rather have a little extra hassle than to go chasing the shredded cover down the hill flapping way up in various trees. If the jugs are painted a good color they will be less noticeable sitting under the bench. There is nothing white out here except for some of the pool tile and Aristocrat Pear Blossoms, that are, thankfully, all off trees, deposited in pool and successfully sucked into the various skimmer bags and now making good soil amendments in the compost pile.

    My 19 year old house/pet sitter (I was out of town all last week visiting DD and family; took Jake Mastiff and two 12 wk old puppies) was major overwhelmed and near tears a few time keeping up with the pool just emptying all the Pool Skim and skimmer bags and Aquabot bags and she only had two dogs to manage. Pool was beautiful, spotless, and sparkly, all in balance when I returned. I forgot to praise her grandly for such a great job. Debris was so bad she even had to use the leaf net. She didn't tell me that but there were tell-tell signs.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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