Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Solar Covers

  1. Back To Top    #1
    TarheelPool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Burlington, NC
    Posts
    84

    Solar Covers

    I've been looking for a solar cover and know there are many different brands, designs, thicknesses, etc.

    Are the more expensive covers worth it? Silver, Blue, Clear; is one color better than the others? Do the higher mil covers hold heat better?

    Basically, I'm looking for some help cutting through the hype and determining what factors should be considered in buying the cover.

    Thanks,

    Kevin
    Foxx 18 x 36 IG Vinyl
    TR60 Sand Filter, Pentair Whisperflow 1hp
    Blue Pearl robotic cleaner

    Burlington, North Carolina

  2. Back To Top    #2
    TarheelPool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Burlington, NC
    Posts
    84
    Maybe I should have asked members to post a review of their covers in the Product Reviews section. I'm looking for general information but would certainly welcome a review of any given solar cover as well.

    Kevin
    Foxx 18 x 36 IG Vinyl
    TR60 Sand Filter, Pentair Whisperflow 1hp
    Blue Pearl robotic cleaner

    Burlington, North Carolina

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    278
    i personally have a cheep blue one...it works but I havent tried any of the others.
    Steve
    Echo Canyon II by Artesian Pools, 13.5 KGal AG Round, 22" Artesian Sand Filter 2 hp Artesian pump
    Med Lab Tech for 12 years in E.TN
    Chem testing by Trouble Free Test Kits

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    8,617
    My next one will be as close to clear as I can get it, and extruded. The primary purpose of the cover is to control evaporation. The extruded covers don't delaminate so they last longer.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Morris, IL
    Posts
    477
    ditto, cheap blue one. I mainly want it to keep the heat in my pool overnight, once summer is in full force, I just dump it in the storage unit and leave it there.
    steve

    Above Ground / 18' Round / Vinyl Liner / Sand Filter / 100K Gas Heater / Salt Added / No Nature2

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Guest
    Solar covers work by preventing heat loss through evaporation overnight. They should be removed during the day so the sun can heat the water. IMHO, the really cheap covers don't last more than about a season and the very expensive ones don't last long enough to justify the high cost. The blue and slilver, medium weight (12 mil) covers seem to me to be the best value for the money. If you care for them properly (keep them covered with a white sheet or plastic cover when they are not on the pool to protect them from breaking down in sunlight) then they should last severel seasons.

  7. Back To Top    #7
    OK, call me ignorant, but I was always under the impression that , at least with the clear solar covers, the sun magnified through the bubbles and helped to heat the pool, so you should leave it on in the day, also (unless of course you were swimming ) Hence the name 'solar cover', and not 'evening blankie' or something... 8)

    Then again, what do I know?

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    8,617
    Quote Originally Posted by The Mermaid Queen
    OK, call me ignorant, but I was always under the impression that , at least with the clear solar covers, the sun magnified through the bubbles and helped to heat the pool, so you should leave it on in the day, also (unless of course you were swimming ) Hence the name 'solar cover', and not 'evening blankie' or something... 8)

    Then again, what do I know?
    The primary function is to control evaporation. There is probably a small insulation factor as well. Maximum sun heating would happen with no cover. The reason I want a clear cover is that it won't be such a big deal if I leave it on during the day. My current cover is blue, and that blocks some of the sunlight hitting the pool, so my thinking is I'm better off taking it off during the day.

    Like many things, it's not that simple. Wind, cloudiness, pool temperature and air temperature, all come into play in determining whether you get warmer water with the cover on or off. I've considered trying an experiment with buckets and samples of different kinds of blankets, but getting different kinds of blankets would be tough. I figured it would be a great science fair project for one of the kids.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Taylorsville, MD
    Posts
    35
    I've used both the standard blue and the clear covers...the blue heats the top 6 inches of water well, but thats about it...the clear heats the water much more throughly...that being said, I'll never use anything but a clear cover! I don't think the thickness or bubble shape has much effect either way, but the one i just purchased was an extruded type in a 12 mil thickness.
    Using BBB successfully for over 5 years!

    16x32 vinyl grecian, Hayward EC65, 1hp super pump, Clear solar cover, Loop-lok winter cover, "The Pool Cleaner" 2 wheel suction cleaner

  10. Back To Top    #10
    divnkd101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Pearland, TX (Houston Suburb)
    Posts
    587
    You are starting to make me wonder if a cover would have a reverse effect for people in the deep south trying to keep their pool cooler during the summer months. Perhaps uncover at night and cover during the day to help keep temps down. Any thoughts???
    MIKE

    21K Inground Custom w/ Spa (Gunite/Plaster), SWCG, Hayward Northstar, Polaris 280, Hayward Color Logics, Jandy PS-8

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Richardson, TX
    Posts
    287
    Quote Originally Posted by divnkd101
    You are starting to make me wonder if a cover would have a reverse effect for people in the deep south trying to keep their pool cooler during the summer months. Perhaps uncover at night and cover during the day to help keep temps down. Any thoughts???
    I've thought about that too, the best suggestion I got last year was to run the pump a couple of hours in the middle of the night, circulate the water at the coldest part of the night...I'm trying it this year, once the pool gets in the mid 80's...I don't like it much warmer.

    *sorry to hijack the thread*

    thanks for the cover info, I think we'll get one next year, we were just spent with the remodel this year (and a clear one!)
    My pool works thanks to TFP

    Please support the site! pages/supporters/

    It's cheaper than your first trip to the pool store!

  12. Back To Top    #12
    I've read in other posts that if you keep the cover on you should at least pull it back once in a while to let the gases out. Now, what gases, I don't know. Also, is there any truth in that using a cover lowers your chemical costs? Does the sun breakdown chlorine faster without a cover? If this is the case, I definitely need one because I lose a lot of chlorine living in Miami.
    20x40 24,000 gal IG plaster/CircuPool RJ45 SWG/2 skimmer/2sp 2.5hp Jandy Stealth/340sq ft cart filter/600sqftHeliocol Solar Panels/6ft semi circlr tanning ledge/25ft deep end bench/5ft sheer descent/2 lion head water features/1300sqft travertine paver/2 Colorlogic lights/Hayward Navigator/3step 2ft raised bond beam

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    38
    Here is what I have found in my experience. I have a blue cover that I leave on all the time when the pool is not in use. It warms the water during the day better than if I left it uncovered and helps hold the temperature at night. Once July hits, I leave the cover off or the pool will get too warm during the day.
    Keeping the pool covered also appears to use less chlorine than when I kept it uncovered.

  14. Back To Top    #14
    NWMNMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Waaay NW MN
    Posts
    1,582
    Yes, the sun burns off chlorine - thus the need for CYA.

    We just have a blue cover, which does heat the top few inches, but our entire purpose is to keep heat in at night where its gets pretty cool here in the great north. I leave it on during the day when not swimming just because it helps keep debris, bugs and leaves out of the pool, helps keep evaporation in check. Its like putting Saran Wrap on food in the fridge - if I didn't it would have **** in it and get all dehydrated.
    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!

  15. Back To Top    #15
    MikeInTN's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    1,335
    Quote Originally Posted by uwimage
    Quote Originally Posted by divnkd101
    You are starting to make me wonder if a cover would have a reverse effect for people in the deep south trying to keep their pool cooler during the summer months. Perhaps uncover at night and cover during the day to help keep temps down. Any thoughts???
    I've thought about that too, the best suggestion I got last year was to run the pump a couple of hours in the middle of the night, circulate the water at the coldest part of the night...I'm trying it this year, once the pool gets in the mid 80's...I don't like it much warmer.

    *sorry to hijack the thread*

    thanks for the cover info, I think we'll get one next year, we were just spent with the remodel this year (and a clear one!)
    The best way I've found to cool down my pool in the summertime is to hook up a fountain. You'll lose more water to evaporation, but you can sure bring the water temp down. Same principle as a water tower on a chiller. The fountain connects via hose to one of your return jets. Right pretty, too.
    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!"

  16. Back To Top    #16
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887
    Occasional periods of direct sunlight, without the cover, help control combined chlorine levels. Even a clear cover will prevent most of that from happening.
    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

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    32
    First post from a new member...

    I've used solar covers for over 10 years now, in pretty much all the ways mentioned above - it all depends
    on the weather that particular season (ie leave it on at night, off at night, etc). Some experiences:

    - the thin covers just aren't as durable as the thicker ones. I had a thin one that was literally destroyed
    in a hail storm. I'm sure the thicker would have gotten some damage, but not holes throughout (of
    course it depends on the size of the hail...)

    - the thinner seemed to detiorate faster: sun and chemicals

    - tradeoff: weight. If you will be dealing with the cover with yourself, think about the additional weight of
    a thicker cover. It makes a difference.

    Right now we've got the heaviest Leslie's cover, blue, still going strong after three seasons.

    Once, in a drought year, I cooled the water down by buying several tons of commercial ice (what is used
    for ice sculptures, for example).
    22,000 Gal IG Vinyl
    Sta-rite SD75 DE filter
    Solar Cover

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Honey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny John
    First post from a new member...

    Once, in a drought year, I cooled the water down by buying several tons of commercial ice (what is used
    for ice sculptures, for example).
    I have a very funny mental picture of this hehehe

    Last year was our first having a pool, the only time I got in it was to vacuum it when dirt was visible on the bottom, it was soooo cold. We have one of those solar panels for heating and always ran the pump on low 24/7.
    When the solor panel... not cover... was installed they left the OFF lever off so it was onall the time too.
    We found out this year that having the pump on all the time and the water filtering through the solar panel 24/7 we were just cooling down what we warmed up during the day. never even hit 80 degrees. This year we bypassed the solar panel and have not used a cover since opening and the pool is at 82 degrees.... can't swim in it yet because of other issues but it's funny how the temp changed.

    Sorry this doesn't quite go with the thread
    I really can see the bottom of my pool now!
    13,500 gallons
    AG 24ft Round
    Vinyl
    Sand Filter
    I will be a pro soon :wink:

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    924
    Visions of a giant cocktail in my head.

    Hey John - Leslie's has a chiller on sale right now. It's cheaper in their store than online, though. $500 dollars cheaper in store price than online sale price. In case you're interested.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

  20. Back To Top    #20
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,963
    We had a silver/blue "space age" solar blanket that was very heavy and it lasted 5 seasons....was getting too hard to move. I bought a cheapy blue one this year, much easier to manuver myself but it blew off on a windy day and that has never happened to me, and we are in a windy spot....I keep it on when not in use I notice a huge difference in how clean the water is (especially on those windy days) and it does control evaporation.
    I filled a few empty bleach jugs with water and placed them on top, it kept the cover in place and it did not blow off again.

    On a side note, my neighbor has a 27' round and it is difficult for her to do the cover herself, so she cut it in half. It's not perfect, sometimes it moves around but it does the job and makes hers easier...
    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

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •