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Thread: Solar blanket help

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    Solar blanket help

    I currently have a rectangular pool roughly 18,000 gallons, and 17'x26' (very rough measurement). I am looking at getting a solar blanket (not the solar panels) to help keep the water warmer, and maybe extend the swimming season, but I wanted to see if anyone had any advice. The one I'm looking at is: http://www.backyardcitypools.com/pool-c ... -NS415.htm. I'm located in Atlanta, GA so we have pretty warm temperatures and high humidity, but my pool doesn't get a ton of sun, it gets a fair amount, but it's surrounded on 3 sides by the house, and then it and the house are surrounded by woods. We also have a gas heater, but I didn't really want to spend the money to constantly heat the pool, so I thought maybe the solar blanket might help.

    Do the blankets really help that much, and is there anything I should be aware of regarding the blankets and their use?

    Thanks for any assistance.

    -Zipper
    WVLynn

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    They help hold in the heat very well, primarily by controlling evaporation. It can make a 5 or 6 degree difference overnight. The one you are looking at is a little small for your pool. They are easy to trim, so you can get one a little too large, and trim it to fit. I'd recommend you consider a reel as well. The cover can be a pain to deal with if you don't have a reel, and some places discount it when you get a reel and cover at the same time.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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    meatloaf's Avatar
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    Will a solar cover help to increase the temperature or is it more to prevent heat loss overnight?
    Thanks
    My pool is a 10,500 gallon (420 Sq Ft ) kidney shape. A hand made sheer decent waterfeature. STA-RITE HRPB30, Sand filter 30" 98 GPM,
    1 HP Maxi-Glas 2 pump, BBB Method, Taylor K-2005 test kit, 50 Watt 12V low-voltage pond light illuminates the pool at night for a nice soft glow.
    250 gallon stand-alone hot tub. Got it FREE!

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    In effect, it's to increase the temperature but I think I understand your question. It does the majority of it's work by retaining heat overnight. That allows you to start with a higher temperature next day and thereby increase thje ehat of your pool.

    What I don't know is given "average" conditions, (which, of course don't exist, but say air temp 85, humidity 50%, and winds less than 5mph) is it better to leave your solar cover on or off during the daytime for maximum heat gain? I would say on but I don't know the answer.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Hello,
    My experience with a solar blanket has been great...It seems like it's best suited for retaining heat, so if you put it on before dark, you lose little or no heat (even in 40-50 degree nights). That way, if the water temp. reaches 75 during the day, for example, you can put the blanket on to retain something close to 75 degrees...and if you have a heat pump you can use it in conjunction with the blanket.
    My wife (who has the common sense in the family) suggested cutting the blanket, so I cut it into 3 pieces (horizontally), making it easy enough to put on/take off by myself if I need to.
    And my PB suggested NOT putting the blanket on during the day (it may cloud up the water), so I never did...not sure if that would create problems or not.
    Todd
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    Pool: 16x36, 16,800 gal., vinyl, sand filter, SWG & AquaCal Heat Pump
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    meatloaf's Avatar
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    So during the day is it better to have the cover on or off? In other words would having the cover on during the day help or hinder the warming process? I know that it helps immensely to retain heat at night.
    Thanks
    My pool is a 10,500 gallon (420 Sq Ft ) kidney shape. A hand made sheer decent waterfeature. STA-RITE HRPB30, Sand filter 30" 98 GPM,
    1 HP Maxi-Glas 2 pump, BBB Method, Taylor K-2005 test kit, 50 Watt 12V low-voltage pond light illuminates the pool at night for a nice soft glow.
    250 gallon stand-alone hot tub. Got it FREE!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The solar blanket during the day question has been debated endlessly. I don't think there is one answer, more of a it only makes a small difference and that difference might be good or bad depending on how rapidly the water is evaporating during the day.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    meatloaf's Avatar
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    Well I just put mine on. I already lost 1* since 4:00 pm, I usually loose about 4.3* per night lately.
    My pool is a 10,500 gallon (420 Sq Ft ) kidney shape. A hand made sheer decent waterfeature. STA-RITE HRPB30, Sand filter 30" 98 GPM,
    1 HP Maxi-Glas 2 pump, BBB Method, Taylor K-2005 test kit, 50 Watt 12V low-voltage pond light illuminates the pool at night for a nice soft glow.
    250 gallon stand-alone hot tub. Got it FREE!

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    We have a friend who had theirs on for DAYS at the beginning of last season, and their pool heated up quickly. I just don't want to contend with water cloudiness (a warning from our PB), so I don't use it during the day. But it's great at retaining the heat at night, and if you can get your pool to warm up a few degrees more each day, you can hopefully keep that built-up heat at night, and "step" your way up to good temps. pretty early in the season (that's my plan, using the heat pump to help maintain what the sun gives me).
    Todd
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    Pool: 16x36, 16,800 gal., vinyl, sand filter, SWG & AquaCal Heat Pump
    Spa: Hot Springs Sovereign, 355 gal., ozone/ion
    The most helpful tool you'll ever have for your pool:
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    Effect of solar cover

    My experience last season was that my pool was approximately 12-15 degrees warmer than my neighbors' early in the season (May). Toward the end of the season I left it on continously for a couple days and developed an algae issue. I would say that as long as you take it off at least once during the day, agitate the water, and keep an eye on your chemicals you won't have a problem. Bottom line: I highly recommend the use of solar covers to extend the comfortable swimming season! My problems were due to my own lack of diligence.
    18'6" x 36'6" Grecian In-ground
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    meatloaf's Avatar
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    I had my cover on 24hrs a day for 1 week and the water temp went up 12*. When I took the cover off the water was cloudy, what causes the cloudiness and how to I get rid of it?
    Thanks
    My pool is a 10,500 gallon (420 Sq Ft ) kidney shape. A hand made sheer decent waterfeature. STA-RITE HRPB30, Sand filter 30" 98 GPM,
    1 HP Maxi-Glas 2 pump, BBB Method, Taylor K-2005 test kit, 50 Watt 12V low-voltage pond light illuminates the pool at night for a nice soft glow.
    250 gallon stand-alone hot tub. Got it FREE!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    There are many things that can cause cloudiness. Usually a couple of hours with the cover off, double check the chemical levels, and give the filter a little time and everything will clear up. If it doesn't clear up fairly quickly you should start a new topic to discuss it.

    Pools need time to breathe. It doesn't need to be every day, and it doesn't need to be all that long, but some exposure to air and sunlight is needed with the standard BBB approach. Taking care of indoor pools tends to be more complicated because of the lack of sunlight and reduced ventilation.
    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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    Todd:

    First I would challenge the PB as to why he thinks a cover will cause cloudy water. I think this is nonsense.

    The biggest differences will indeed come from keeping the cover on overnight. During the day you may also see a big difference depending on
    -how many hours of sun are on the pool
    -how much wind the pool is exposed too. more wind = more evaporation = more cooling = more benefit with
    the cover on.

    For unknown reasons almost all pool stores want to sell colored covers or even silvered covers. Folks down south put coatings on their windows to keep radiation OUT. On the pool you want the radiation IN. Get a clear cover. I've tried both. Clear gains heat in the day faster and there is no difference I can see in night losses.
    Clear covers are less expensive.
    Many offer various warranty periods at higher prices.
    It's tough to get more than one or two seasons out of a cover.
    The bubbles break and guess what is NOT covered under the warranty.
    When the bubbles start breaking in significant numbers, the cover won't float well.
    So you have a cover with water on top that = evaporation = waste of time to fuss with the cover.
    Keep a fresh cheap FLOATING cover.

    If you run a salt pool some water will get on top and you will get a white crust from evaporation looks like H---

    I use a clear one and will continue to do so. Last year with an array of solar panels and the cover we had
    the temp into the 90's frequently. Too hot for me but the wife won't go in unless it's over 85.

    The pool and house are on the top of a hill. LOTS of WIND.

    I tried getting rolls of plain bubble wrap. It worked well but in the end was not much cheaper than a pool cover.
    The bubble wrap was quite a bit lighter and blew out of the pool often. The bubbles broke a lot faster.

    Good luck

    PS

    one later post mentioned that only the top few inches might get warmed. Keep the pump running to circulate that heat.
    if you get one of the new inverter pumps that will run at low speed, you'll use a tiny amount of power. My Intelliflow only draws 2.2 amps at the low setting I use. That's less than a couple of 300 watt light bulbs. You wont get the frigid water in the deep end.
    Brent
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  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Hi
    I have a safety cover on my pool, so its a little different from a solar cover. I extends about a foot past the pool, in all directions.

    During the week, cover is all all the time. Now that it's heating up, we'll take if off for at least one, and sometimes both days of the weekend.

    As long as I watch the chemicals, I don't have a cloudy water issue. And, I don't worry too much about algae, because the cover keeps out the sunlight. But, with a solar cover that just lays on the water, you would still get sunlight, and algae.

    And, the cover definitely helps to warm my pool, if left on during the day. During the summer, pool is in the high 80's to low 90's, without using the heater. But, it gets direct sun from morning until mid afternoon.

    Randy
    20,000 gal fiberglass pool, Raypak 266k BTU Lo Nox gas heater, Purex 2048 48 sq ft DE filter, 1.5hp pump. iWave wireless remote, Pulsafeeder chlorine pump, Safety cover on most of the time

    seperate spa, with own pump, cartridge filter, Teledyne heater

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    We leave our solar blanket on most of the time just to help keep the debris, bugs, etc, out of the pool - this includes the daytime. We do have the cover off for about an hour a day for checking, cleaning, etc. in addition to whenever we are swimming. I don't really believe the cover ADDS any heat to speak of other than the top couple of inches of water on hot sunny days, but it does keep it in there extremely well. My pool has never been cloudy with the cover on so I think your PB is full of malarky.

    It's all a matter of what you are comfortable with. I am not comfortable knowing that having the cover off all day will result in leaves, bugs, tree pollen/fluffies and other debris having to be scooped out or dug out of the skimmer each day or even several times a day. In May and June we litterally have up to a few hundred June Bugs EVERY day in the pool on the cover as the yard light is near the pool and we are surrounded by woods - without the cover I would be cleaning that mess out of the pool water or off the bottom - YUCK. I can sweep them off the top of the solar blanket.
    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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    I have had my 20x40 IG vinyl pool for 10 years and keep the solar cover on the water ANY TIME no one is swimming. I never have a problem with cloudy water or anything of the sort.

    Solar covers should be renamed anti-evaporation blankets - there would be a lot less confusion as to what they do.
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

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