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Thread: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

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    Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    I am unsure which way to go here. I have a 24' round and I am looking to get a roller. Should I get a smaller one, like 18' or so and place it off center or a 24' one and have it in the center. The reels I am looking at have pivots so I can swing it out of the way. Opinions?
    thanks
    24' Round Above Ground Round 46939 L
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    I have a 24' round and bought a 28' roller. That way I figured I could mount it to the deck if I ever wanted to.

    Here is a thread with pics of it request-for-pictures-of-rolled-up-solar-blankets-please
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    Thanks, looks great. Does anyone prefer or use the ones that are smaller than the pool?
    Thanks
    24' Round Above Ground Round 46939 L
    1.5 hp Jacuzzi LRC Pump
    Laser 225 Sand Filter
    (5) 4x10 Ultra Swim collectors -roof mounted
    Hayward AQ-SOL-LV Solar controller

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    I dunno if I'd go with one that was smaller than my pool. I'd think it would make it hard to roll the cover up on the roller.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
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    Laenini's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    Last summer we bought a 24' reel for our solar blanket (we have a 24 foot round pool) and we installed it across the middle of the pool as per the instructions. This reel was not a cheap one by any means, but even so I had a terrible time operating it. It was so difficult to roll that blanket up onto the reel that I couldn't do it by myself. The wet blanket was just too heavy for me. Even more difficult though was rolling the blanket back out onto the pool surface for the night. I couldn't seem to get the hang of rolling out the blanket and having the blanket spread out from the middle to the two opposite sides of the pool. The two layers would constantly stick together for me and only want to roll out in one direction. Finally, one of the brackets that held the reel onto the pool snapped and that was the end of that reel for us.

    This summer we bought something different. It is called a solar saddle and so far I am liking it. Its just 5 big hooks that attach to the outside of the pool. When removing the blanket from the pool I just push the blanket up over the side and let it land in the hooks. To replace the blanket on the pool I can just drag the blanket back into the pool by reaching over the edge and pulling the blanket back into the pool with me. I am able to handle both maneuvers completely on my own and do not have to wait for my DH to get home to help me. That alone is a huge selling point with me. Compared to a reel the saddle was not very expensive at all. Last year's reel was about $250, the solar saddle this year was only about $80. Here is a link with some good photos to help you get the idea about what it is I am talking about: http://www.amerimerc.com/solar-pool-...ar-saddle.htm#
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    I looked at the saddles and they are a neat idea. The only drawback I could see was that I put the solar cover on the pool way before it's warm enough to get in the water so deploying it would be an issue. I think!

    I don't know which cover reel you got but our 8yo grandson can roll the cover on our reel without a problem. He can't swing it out of the way yet but it won't be long before he can. It's a 12mil cover so your's might be heavier than ours.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    I looked at the saddles and they are a neat idea. The only drawback I could see was that I put the solar cover on the pool way before it's warm enough to get in the water so deploying it would be an issue. I think!
    Right you are! I installed a solar saddle a few weeks ago. My pool temp (as of last night) was 61; too cold for me to get in I had to pull the solar cover off last night to vacuum the pool, since I hadn't done that in about 2 weeks. (Yuck! What a mess! No algae though, just pollen, dirt, and worms! )

    Anyway, I've been pulling the cover off and putting it back on from outside the pool. Getting it off is easy, if a little damp Getting it back on is a pain. I basically have to move between the middle and each end putting about 1 foot of cover in the pool at a time. It doesn't just slide across the top of the water, I have to keep pulling the sides out until I have the entire cover in the water, then work my way around the pool getting it pulled out flat. Since I have a deck that goes halfway around the pool, I'm constantly up on the deck, back in the yard, up on the deck, back in the yard, repeatedly until I get it straightened out again.

    I'm considering creating some sort of harness that would allow me to just pull it from the opposite side of the pool. I don't yet know how well this will work.
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
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    Laenini's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    I looked at the saddles and they are a neat idea. The only drawback I could see was that I put the solar cover on the pool way before it's warm enough to get in the water so deploying it would be an issue. I think!

    I don't know which cover reel you got but our 8yo grandson can roll the cover on our reel without a problem. He can't swing it out of the way yet but it won't be long before he can. It's a 12mil cover so yours might be heavier than ours.
    Actually, I can pull the blanket on and off from outside of the pool on my own too using the saddles. It just takes a bit longer to do it from outside rather than while inside the pool. I end up having to pull it a bit from one side, then go pull a bit more from the other, and so on to get it finally spread out and evenly laying on top of the water. While it takes a little more messing around to do it from outside the pool, at least I can do it.

    Last year we had a 12mil blanket and when wet it really was very heavy. When the reel broke I cut the blanket up into sections small enough for me to handle alone and we finished out the year that way. So when we decided to try this solar saddle this year I purchased a new, intact blanket to go along with it. This year I chose a 5mil blanket rather than another 12 mil and so far I'm very happy with that choice too. As solar blankets mostly work by preventing temperature loss through evaporative cooling, I reasoned that anything that would trap moisture in the pool would have a significant impact on the temperature of the pool. By choosing a lighter weight blanket I could have the benefits of a solar blanket while keeping the blanket as light (and thus as manageable) as possible. So far its working great! Yesterday my pool temp was 88 degrees. While I do have a heater and have been running it some, there is no way in April in Minnesota my pool would get that warm without the solar blanket doing its job to help retain as much heat as possible.

    All things considered I'm pretty happy with how these things are working out so far this year. Now come August I may have a totally different opinion! I promise if I do though I will let you all know! But so far its all looking good to me!
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    Well, my eyes are now opened a little wider! Thanks for explaining how you remove and install the cover.

    Leanne -- I agree about the blankets working. I'm amazed by ours. I don't have any type of heating and our pool temp is running 84ºF which is warmer than the ambient temp on most days. I bought clear so that if I left it on during the day I'd still get some heating.

    Tim -- When you figure out that harness let us know. I may go with saddles when the reel breaks (or before). It looks like they'd also be nice for storing the poles and maybe even the vacuum hose.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    I've bought a reel and new 8 mil cover this year myself. Now I've got to decide where to mount it, much the same as the OP. I'm thinking I'm going to plant a couple of 4x4's and mount it at the end of the pool, instead of across the middle. Should make it easier for the DW to get it on and off, least I hope it will.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
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    Laenini's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInTN
    I've bought a reel and new 8 mil cover this year myself. Now I've got to decide where to mount it, much the same as the OP. I'm thinking I'm going to plant a couple of 4x4's and mount it at the end of the pool, instead of across the middle. Should make it easier for the DW to get it on and off, least I hope it will.
    I think the 4x4's and mounting the reel at the end of the pool is a great idea. If the solar saddle doesn't work out right I think that will be the next direction I go. Let us know what you think of it once you have it set up?
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    I have never used the traditional solar roller, but last year I used a product called the coverstick. It is basically a long pole with a crank handle. The solar cover attaches in the middle and rolls the same as a reel. It has no frame to it, after you roll it up you just carry the bundle off the pool and we store it on some hooks on the side out of sight. It is pretty easy to use. My kids have no trouble with it, easily a one person job! Here is the website if anyone wants to check it out.

    www.solarfactory.com
    18x33 above ground pool, vinyl liner, starbright DE filter, 1.5 HP Dynamo pump

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laenini
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInTN
    I've bought a reel and new 8 mil cover this year myself. Now I've got to decide where to mount it, much the same as the OP. I'm thinking I'm going to plant a couple of 4x4's and mount it at the end of the pool, instead of across the middle. Should make it easier for the DW to get it on and off, least I hope it will.
    I think the 4x4's and mounting the reel at the end of the pool is a great idea. If the solar saddle doesn't work out right I think that will be the next direction I go. Let us know what you think of it once you have it set up?
    Will do. I was planning on doing it this weekend, until I saw the weather forecast..rain on Saturday and Sunday...
    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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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    We have a reel design that is OFF the end of the pool (thanks to Matt4x4 for the idea) that has worked wonderfully for years. One person operation to put on or take off. It cost less than $50 to build and less than a day. My pictures attached but if you look for the originals by Matt4x4 you will see much better pictures.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    NWMNMom what did you use to attach the cover to the pipe?
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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    Wow, thanks for all the responses. I think I would have like to have one that was the full width then placed it off the pool, BUT we ended up getting a second hand one that was shorter, but in this case money talked and second hand was cheaper. Next time maybe full length or homemade. Thanks!
    24' Round Above Ground Round 46939 L
    1.5 hp Jacuzzi LRC Pump
    Laser 225 Sand Filter
    (5) 4x10 Ultra Swim collectors -roof mounted
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    Re: Solar Reel - over end or in the middle?

    Quote Originally Posted by hanau
    NWMNMom what did you use to attach the cover to the pipe?
    The straps are screwed into the pipe, but some of the strap kits come with connector hardware - not sure what the difference is, but this works really well. Takes one person to reel it up and one to pull it out. Every tine I post this I feel I must tip my hat to Matt4x4 for the idea/info. What a great design.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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