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View Poll Results: Do you use a solar cover reel?

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Thread: Solar cover users: Do you have a reel?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Solar cover users: Do you have a reel?

    Just interested in how many solar cover users use a reel. Why or why not? Which one do you have? Like it? Hate it? Comments welcome (pictures, too!).
    [hr]
    I have a cover but no reel. It takes me about 10 minutes to get the cover off when I use it because it usually has pine needles on it, which I have to collect as I fold it up. While I am in the pool, I fold it into a big square and flip it onto the deck. If it's been windy or rainy, it can be a real pain. I have not used my cover this summer. I had it replaced under warranty at the beginning of the season and haven't opened the new one yet. It is so much nicer to just be able to get right in and not deal with the cover. I am thinking of getting a reel next year.
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

  2. Back To Top    #2

    In the Industry

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    Mar 2007
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    Knippa, Texas
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    I don't have a reel YET but I plan to get one. I am not using the cover at this time. I will start using it when the weather gets cooler (maybe October?) to keep the water from losing too much heat at night. Sometime before that I will buy or make a reel. The cover is a real pain to deal with otherwise.
    ~Jules~

    My pool: INDOOR 13x27 rectangular fiberglass, built ~2001, BBB, TA-60 sand filter, Hayward two speed pump (1 hp/0.33 hp), 3/4 hp booster pump for solar heater
    Taylor K-2006 test

  3. Back To Top    #3
    I'm confused about how reels work, particularly for a round pool where the deck does not extend the full width of the pool (like mine). I can't envision how they can work without dropping all the crud from the top of the cover back into the pool.
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

  4. Back To Top    #4
    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    We cut our solar cover into five sections.

    Here are some photos and a description of the process. I know it sounds weird but it works well for us.

    Anna
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Waaay NW MN
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    We roll ours up on the freestanding reel at the end. If there is debris sitting on it, I flip/fold the far end with the rope attached over on top of itself, then start reeling up. When it gets to the end with the reel, I hook the rope with the end of the skimmer net pole and that little end with the junk lifts right out. Its not heavy, not difficult and I can do it all one handed, reeling up and all. Ours is a large oval and we have no problems with on or off.
    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!

  6. Back To Top    #6
    That is a neat solution, Anna. I just don't know if it would work on a round pool where the cover tends to spin with the current. I wouldn't want to cut my cover and then find out it's no good.

    NWMNMom: What do you mean by "freestanding" reel? Sorry, for the basic questions, but I have never seen these in action. I feel like I need a step-by-step in pictures!

    Funny solar cover story... One day last year I went to get in the pool and noticed a baseball sized hole (like a flap) in the solar cover. I got in and started folding up the cover and there, floating in the pool, is a baseball! We don't have close neighbors, or a nearby baseball field, but we do have a 6-foot privacy fence, so it seemed very odd! My husband still swears there is NO WAY the baseball could have made the hole in the cover. I don't see how it could have happened any other way.

    Not-so-funny solar cover story... Several years ago, our solar cover saved our dog's life. Our deck is elevated with a gate on the stairs, but we didn't know (until this happened) that our little dog could sneak around the gate from the top step. My hubby just happened to be working on the pump for our well that day and since the water was turned off, he went out to the pool to get a bucket of water to rinse something off.

    Much to his surprise, there was our little dog Lucy, sopping wet, looking exhausted, sitting there on top of the solar cover. You could see scratch marks along the edge of the vinyl liner where she struggled to get out... I guess eventually she managed to get herself up onto the cover and rest. Poor thing, but when she was on the trail of a raccoon, nothing would stop her. We now have an additional barrier next to the gate to our deck.
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

  7. Back To Top    #7

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Thanks, Matt! With a rig like that, I guess you'd crank it clockwise and then any debris would probably just fall off the back, huh?

    My thought is to do something like that and maybe have the poles come up higher in order to also support a solar panel, but that might be too ugly.
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

  9. Back To Top    #9
    That's pretty much how it works - it's easy to work, the pool is 30 feet in diameter, takes me one minute to remove and roll up nice and flat, which entails a couple of side to side trips to stretch it onto the roller flattened. To unroll, it's best to just grab it from inside the pool and walk backwards towards the stairs - even my 8 yr old son can do it with some effort.

    My solar panels are on the ground on the far end that you can't see (just past the filter) , surrounded with edging and gravel like the rest of the pool, it's the south side and the slope is about 5-10 degrees.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Backglass's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
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    As for the reel/no-reel question, I have always had a cover for my pools (past & present) but only recently got my first reel.

    BOY have I been missing out. It was always a pain to take on and off and took up too much room. Now you just crank and swim.

    I wont even NOT have a reel again.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Mold/Mildew on Solar Covers?

    What about mold/mildew? Could issues develop if a cover is rolled up and left rolled up for a week?

    I have a 17x38 that I cut in half and it is still kinda unmanageable when i try to fold it, attempt to dry it off and put it
    away for a couple days.
    Bright is my favorite color....... 18K Concrete/Plaster Polaris360 Pentair Plus FNS60 Inline Chlorinator XG Clearvision 400K BTU Gas Heater

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Riles_J's Avatar
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    This may not be the right post, as I don't have a solar cover, but I am just curious how big (diameter) the cover is rolled onto a reel? I have limited deck space on the end of my 16x32' IG pool where I would want to locate a reel.

    Riles
    16x32 IG vinyl, 19,000 gal, 1.0 hp pump, sand filter, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, diving board, slide

  13. Back To Top    #13
    mine's 30 feet round so essentially like a 32 foot long pool, rolled up nice and neat, it doesn't have a diameter more than 16 inches

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Kinguni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riles_J
    This may not be the right post, as I don't have a solar cover, but I am just curious how big (diameter) the cover is rolled onto a reel? I have limited deck space on the end of my 16x32' IG pool where I would want to locate a reel.
    18 inches at most (18x36' pool). We move out reel off to the side of the yard against the fence.

  15. Back To Top    #15
    No P in my ool's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
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    Logan IA
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    No reel yet, but it's in the budget for next season.
    21' Leslies Beachland Ag Pool, 10,000 gallons, professionally installed (best money I ever spent) Hayward 16" sand filter w/Pentair two speed pump Fafco 4x20 solar heater,Aqua Trol RJ. Borates added. Hard plumbed.

  16. Back To Top    #16
    mas985's Avatar
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    I didn't think a standard roller would work well for a free form pool so I went with this roller.


    It is a bit quirky but does the job.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    I have a freeform 14x32 and I fold the sides in and then from one of the ends I roll it up by continually folding it every two feet or so. Takes me avg 3 minutes to take off and 2 1/2 min to put on. I then just fold it in half (2x5) and place in a shaded area.

    Ls
    14 x 32 Fiberglass Pool 10K gal. Hayward Pump and Sand Filter. Autopilot SWG Dig 48 and Heat Siphon 3.25sx Heat Pump.

    The Pool Calculator
    Chlorine/CYA Chart by Chemgeek

  18. Back To Top    #18
    We've got a 24' Round pool.

    We cut the cover into 2 semi-circular halfs & roll each one up when we want to remove them...then lift out of the pool and put on the stone patio. Takes about 5 minutes total.

    When we want them back on, we lift each roll into the pool...unroll one and get it positioned on the far side of the pool (from inside the pool) , then life the other unroll it enough to figure out it's proper orientation...then finish unrolling it from inside the pool. One usually needs then, to navigate through the cut seam...usually at neck-level, giving the ghoulish appearance of one's head floating across the surface of the cover.

    Putting it back on takes about 10 minutes.

    We tried "The Solar Pill" earlier in the season but weren't impressed by it's performance.
    16x32 vinyl inground pool
    2 speed 1hp Hayward Super Pump

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Hubby says I've used up my allotment of projects for this year, but he is willing to build me a reel for next season after hunting season closes. So I will have to continue to fold my cover for the remainder of this season.

    I found an old solar blanket we still had rolled up and stored, and I decided to experiment on the old one by cutting it up. I cut it into 3 6-foot wide sections (right along the factory seams) for my 18' round pool, and that seemed like it would work really well without a reel. Unfortuntely, that old blanket is so dirty I can't bring myself to use it and I don't want to cut the new one if I am getting a reel next spring.
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

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