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Thread: under deck mounted SOLAR cover reel

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Sarnia, Ontario Canada
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    152

    under deck mounted SOLAR cover reel

    i have been seriously considering purchasing an automatic pool cover. my biggest reason is to keep the heat in the pool and i know the wife would never put a 20x40' solar blanket back on the pool...and where the heck does one store it when its off! the reels i have seen cant fit under a diving board, so they need to be at the shallow end: UGLY.

    so today i did a little searching and found http://www.cleardecksystems.com which is an under deck mounted solar cover reel! still kinda pricey, but way less than an auto cover and the installation expense would be WAY less as well. perhaps this will help someone in the same "boat" as me.

    another product i found is the pool boy. www.poolboycanada.ca/Pool_Boy_Canada/Po ... anada.html it sits above deck, but it is adjustable and has a powered roll up feature. i wonder if it could be sunk in a vault?

    alternatively, i wonder how hard it might be to make a DIY under deck solar cover reel?
    i might be up for the challenge. just need to figure out how to roll it up similar to the clear deck system.

    any thoughts on either of these reels or the possiblity of building a diy version?
    20x47' double roman vinyl liner pool. Pentair EasyTouch 8PSC-IC40, 011018 Pentair IntelliFlo, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Filter CCP420, Pentair 120V IntelliBrite LED, Cleardeck indeck solar reel, 530 sq' solar system Polaris 9300xi robot, Interfab Turbotwister slide, S.R. Smith T7 diving board, deck jets vinyl-liner-pool-build-in-ontario-canada-new-pictures-t30213.html

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    North Central Texas
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    Re: under deck mounted SOLAR cover reel

    Great finds. I've been simmering some ideas around, too, and your links are a great contribution. Thanks. My main slow down on "thinking" about it is that I'm only losing one or two degrees a night, without a cover, and more cloudy/rainy days than normal and what's going to be close to a record cool spring and summer. In addition we just cut down a tree that normally shades part of the pool most of the day. So I'm not sure if I'm even going to need a solar cover. This is the first year I've paid such close attention to the daily pool temps. But I'm certainly interested enough to participate as I haven't ruled out solar cover..

    In past years our pool eventually makes it up to 90 F pretty soon into July with June warm enough for most peoples comfort and 90+ water temps August and September. That is before the shade tree took off. I chill easily so I can't spend much time in water less than 85. I even wear wetsuit scuba diving in the tropics. Last summer, which was cooler than normal, I don't think the pool temp ever made it above mid 80's but that was with the tree shading the pool. We had very few 100 F days which is extremely unusual.

    I'm hoping for warmer water this year, even if this summer is cooler than last, because of more sun hitting the pool. I just don't know what is going to happen. This will be the first year that I pay attention to the water temp changes over night. So I'll be learning as time goes on.


    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: under deck mounted SOLAR cover reel

    In my situation with only about 24" of decking on shallow end adding an "in deck" kind, even dyi, would be easier than most; no concrete to have to take out and finish. A few weeks ago, I looked on line at some pretty neat in deck, after build, safety covers. That might be a good place to get some ideas, too. There was one new type of cover that uses a series of connected floating "planks" or long skinny buoyant rafts. Hard to explain. They use a system that can be added to pool, in deck, or retroed with the reel actually in the pool. The cover does not need a rail system in or outside the pool. Rather it floats. Of course all the systems I looked at were way out there in price. At the time I was thinking about looking into ordering just the cover, sans their fancy automatic "reel" system, and then dyi-ing my own reel system.

    I'll find some of the sites I visited some time this weekend if time allows.

    EDIT Okay just found one. Not sure if this was the exact one but gives the idea.

    http://www.poolcovertech.com/index.html

    SECOND EDIT Do a google search for "slatted pool safety cover"

    THIRD EDIT - This looks interesting too

    http://www.aquamatic.com/ezcover.html


    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

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
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    Sarnia, Ontario Canada
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    Re: under deck mounted SOLAR cover reel

    yes, i have seen the slatted floating type (online), and the ez cover by aquamatic was the system i was planning on using...but really, i wanted this for heat efficiency, the safety aspects were just a bonus. my biggest worry though, is that 5-6 years down the road, the fabric would be 2-3K$ to replace...that and the other maintenance issues/costs.

    i live in canada (same weather as detroit)...so right now for example, we have days in the upper 70s - mid 80s, but it can drop to 45-50 deg at night. i think with the solar cover and the solar heating system i have planned, i can extend the swimming season from 4 months to 6ish...and if i put an overflow spa, it can probably be used for a month or so after that...so a solar cover is a very good thing for me. july and august, it could sit in the in deck box....out of sight out of mind.

    the ez cover for a 20 x 40 pool was about $4500 plus shipping. the installation of the under deck mount would make the pool build a very exacting job and would no doubt add to the cost of the install by 1.5-$2k....PLUS i would need to get an inwall ladder for the deep end ($700 and up) and corner in pool steaps: another $1000. so that manual auto cover (oxymoron...haha) would set me back about $8k before too long!

    out of curiosity, anyone know what the diameter of an 8mil or 12mil cover about 43 feet long would be rolled up on a 3" tube???
    20x47' double roman vinyl liner pool. Pentair EasyTouch 8PSC-IC40, 011018 Pentair IntelliFlo, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Filter CCP420, Pentair 120V IntelliBrite LED, Cleardeck indeck solar reel, 530 sq' solar system Polaris 9300xi robot, Interfab Turbotwister slide, S.R. Smith T7 diving board, deck jets vinyl-liner-pool-build-in-ontario-canada-new-pictures-t30213.html

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: under deck mounted SOLAR cover reel

    I've never done the under deck thing, but I did do just a simple solar cover real out of pvc and a couple of mounts. You could accomplish what you're describing in a variety of ways DIY if you're creative.

    I think what you might want to do is figure out what the main issue is with getting DW to put the cover on and figure out how to solve that with your solution. Are you assuming that the hidden reel is going to make it easier so she'd do it, or are you just trying to make it easier in general, knowing it falls on you?

    That pool cover rolled up is probably going to be 12-18" in diameter without popping the little bubbles, so you'd need some room.

    Is there some hard and fast rule that says you have to roll the cover up? What about doing a ribbon type deal, where you effectively weight the one end, which would drop into a long narrow hole in the deck (long enough to accept it without folding across), you drop that in, and lay it in layers, then pull it out the other way. Taking pvc and putting it every 8' across would give you "fold points" to keep it in place, and then it would come out pretty easy. Add a long enough lead rope to the top pvc so that you could reach it and pull it out and over the pool. Just on idea.

    If you want something motorized, almost any sealed electrical motor with enough torque (ebay) could be used to roll it up. If you want a redneck solution, you could fit a bolt on the end and use an 18V screw gun (this is what we do for our RV jacks.)

    I'm facing a similar delimma, and so far, my plan is to build a storage "box" on one end of the pool that hinges and holds the cover reel (also diy), but blends in to the deck (composite decking.)

    Good luck!
    Richard
    Temecula, CA
    28,000 Gal. In-Ground plaster and tile, Total Control AutoPilot with SC-60 SWG and PH control, Pentair EasyTouch 8, EasyTouch Wireless Remote, Intelliflo VS+SVRS pump, Intellibrite lighting, Pentair Quad 100, Solar heating, Pentair Mastertemp 400 Gas Heater, The Pool Cleaner 4x, Aquabot Turbo T2 Robotic Cleaner, Water feature spillover from SPA.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: under deck mounted SOLAR cover reel

    Quote Originally Posted by beartoothweb
    I've never done the under deck thing, but I did do just a simple solar cover real out of pvc and a couple of mounts. You could accomplish what you're describing in a variety of ways DIY if you're creative.

    I think what you might want to do is figure out what the main issue is with getting DW to put the cover on and figure out how to solve that with your solution. Are you assuming that the hidden reel is going to make it easier so she'd do it, or are you just trying to make it easier in general, knowing it falls on you?

    That pool cover rolled up is probably going to be 12-18" in diameter without popping the little bubbles, so you'd need some room.

    Is there some hard and fast rule that says you have to roll the cover up? What about doing a ribbon type deal, where you effectively weight the one end, which would drop into a long narrow hole in the deck (long enough to accept it without folding across), you drop that in, and lay it in layers, then pull it out the other way. Taking pvc and putting it every 8' across would give you "fold points" to keep it in place, and then it would come out pretty easy. Add a long enough lead rope to the top pvc so that you could reach it and pull it out and over the pool. Just on idea.

    I've seen a solar cover on the Internet, on YouTube, similar to your description but they rolled it up and a reel that had huge thingies sticking up for each piece of PVC to lay in. The rolled up cover was huge in diameter. I don't know what the point of the PVC was.

    Your idea sounds interesting. So what is the process getting it out of the pool please?

    If you want something motorized, almost any sealed electrical motor with enough torque (ebay) could be used to roll it up. If you want a redneck solution, you could fit a bolt on the end and use an 18V screw gun (this is what we do for our RV jacks.)

    I'm facing a similar delimma, and so far, my plan is to build a storage "box" on one end of the pool that hinges and holds the cover reel (also diy), but blends in to the deck (composite decking.)

    Thanks for the great ideas people. People keep them coming please.

    I'm leaning towards a solar cover to use at night, mainly to keep a lot of blowing stuff out of the pool for at least 10 hours or so. That way I could turn the VF pump even lower for circulation without needing as much pressure to keep the Pool Skim sucking 23/7. An added benefit would be reducing some heat loss which we usually don't need here, normal summers.

    I like the box idea. My shallow end concrete decking is only about 24", then a foot further of medium sized river rocks, then a wood park fence. I thought about mounting the reel on the fence post (they are very sturdy) and concealing it with a box, bench like, with the reel feeding out the bottom (hinged top for maintenance). Then put a crank mechanism on one end, even using your idea of a motor, maybe solar powered. I have several panels panels and small controllers laying around that would pretty well keep a small deep cycle battery topped up. Or to start use an electric drill, as you have suggested. I'm particularly fond of Li-Ion batteries these days for most of my battery hand tools. Just make a spot in the box to store the drill.

    I'd have to mount mine pretty high, for two reasons. Mastiffs are pretty tall and my boy bounces around as if he was one of the Labradoodles, so we don't want him bumping his noggin. Also, I like to be able to see the dogs, through the fence when I am sitting around the pool. Another option would be the tool box idea, with part of it below ground. I've been thinking about taking that part of the fence out anyway. Why go with just bench type concealment when it would make a great place to store poles and other pool equipment. The only drawback for me would be that it would be one other place for snakes to den. That wouldn't be to hard to take care of, using some type of material to line any vent openings.

    Good luck!
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: under deck mounted SOLAR cover reel

    yes...some great ideas! i can't really do a built in bench seat since the reel will need to be at the deep end, and we are planning for a diving board, so it will have to fit under the deck and the lid will have to be able to operate within the space from the deck to the underside of the board.

    hey, usin power tools aint red neck!

    i could see using a large metal rod (like an extended brace) or a drill with an extension. a commercially available reel could be canablalized, or as suggested perhaps 3" pvc or aluminum???

    one could use the following to reach into the deck from above and transfer the power www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product ... sku=467121

    and perhaps a winch could be used to increase the mechanical advantage www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/NTEUnpu ... fno=298135
    20x47' double roman vinyl liner pool. Pentair EasyTouch 8PSC-IC40, 011018 Pentair IntelliFlo, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Filter CCP420, Pentair 120V IntelliBrite LED, Cleardeck indeck solar reel, 530 sq' solar system Polaris 9300xi robot, Interfab Turbotwister slide, S.R. Smith T7 diving board, deck jets vinyl-liner-pool-build-in-ontario-canada-new-pictures-t30213.html

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    paloaltoa/ca
    Posts
    1

    Re: under deck mounted SOLAR cover reel

    I'm looking at cleardecksystems right now. Did you ened up using them. If so do you like it? Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by armstrr View Post
    yes...some great ideas! i can't really do a built in bench seat since the reel will need to be at the deep end, and we are planning for a diving board, so it will have to fit under the deck and the lid will have to be able to operate within the space from the deck to the underside of the board.

    hey, usin power tools aint red neck!

    i could see using a large metal rod (like an extended brace) or a drill with an extension. a commercially available reel could be canablalized, or as suggested perhaps 3" pvc or aluminum???

    one could use the following to reach into the deck from above and transfer the power www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product ... sku=467121

    and perhaps a winch could be used to increase the mechanical advantage www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/NTEUnpu ... fno=298135

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