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Thread: Solar cover disintegraging!

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    Solar cover disintegraging!

    I am having my solar cover (blue bubble type) shed NUMEROUS pieces of plastic every time I remove it. My strainer is full of little round blue plastic pieces and I can get some on every pass of the net. It is only two years old and was the middle of the road price-wise. Anyone else ever experience this and how do I get a good one next time?
    21' above ground round; 11,500 gal; cartridge filter; two-speed Jacuzzi pump; roof-mounted solar heater; northern Ohio.

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    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Solar cover disintegraging!

    Same experience here. UV light makes it disintegrate.

    I have no idea where to find a good one.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Amarillo, Texas

    Re: Solar cover disintegraging!

    Mine did that. It was in my sand filter, the bottom of my pool, everywhere.
    18'x48" AG
    Pentair 1 1/2 HP Dynamo Pump
    Sand Dollar Sand Filter w/ Zeobrite
    Lil Shark Vacuum System
    Hard Plumbed

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    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Re: Solar cover disintegraging!

    Mine will usually last about 3 yrs..Just got a new one..I got the past 2 from Lowe's Hardware.Got it for less than $100.Get them cheaper on the internet.Have found to that the higher your fc is the more they will dry out.
    Leasure bay AG 24ft,52 in high.installed June of 1999. Hayworth S-180 T sand filter/Power-Flo Matrix 1horse 2 speed pump /Aqua Trol SWG/Using TF-100 Test Kit

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    Join Date
    May 2010
    Western Pennsylvania

    Re: Solar cover disintegraging!

    We got ours from pool geek, 3 years and its still nice and rubbery!
    15ft round above ground pool (6600 gallons)
    Sand filter
    Jandy gas heater
    Intermatic timer

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    LauleaHere&There's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Rural Moloka'i, Hawai'i

    Re: Solar cover disintegraging!

    Mine go pretty quickly, but our pool is open year round, with a lot of solar radiation.

    My first cover (8mm blue) fell apart after about a year and a half. I upgraded to one of the clear, heavy duty (expensive!) ones (diamond pattern) and it fell apart in about 6 months. We have decided to just buy the super cheap ones and replace as necessary, since price and thickness don't seem to add longevity.

    Edited to add: Also, the lighter-weight covers are available through Amazon, and I can get free shipping. Which is a big deal for us here in the rural Hawaiian Islands.
    12' round above ground pool. 3,500 gal. Vinyl liner. Waterway Supreme Hi-Flo 48 frame pump. 1.5 hp. SWG. Sand filter with Zeobrite.

    Thanks, members of Trouble Free Pool, for being so friendly and informative!

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Solar cover disintegraging!

    My first cover was a middle of the road blue bubble style - lasted 4 years at which time the bubbles became dry / brittle and were crumbling. I replaced it last year with a higher mil, clear, 8 yr. warrenty more $$$$ bubble cover purchased from a swim supply catalog. The first 1/3 of the cover that would be on the outside of the roll when rolled up on the roller fell apart this season.... dry / brittle and huge ipeces would rip off when pulling the cover across pool. Tons of small pieces everywhere too. I didnt get a second season out of a higher quality cover ! At first I was screming mfr. defect / rip off . Turned out that in previous years I had large oak trees that shaded my previous solar cover / reel. Last year I had them cut down cause they were dropping too much tree debris in the pool. As a result my solar cover reel was no longer shaded. Secondly, I thought the flimsey white cover that came with it was junky so I bought a roll of heavy duty clear plastic like u would use for a kid's slip and slide. I covered the reel/solar blanket during the winter with it. Good idea gone wrong ... Sunlight on your solar cover when it is NOT in the water will deteriorate it rapidly ! That is what causes it to dry out, become brittle and fall apart. When the solar cover is not in use, it must be kept in the shade or covered with a white (for same reason u wear white clothing in the summer) protective covering. Doing this will greatly extend the life of the cover. Not doing this can cut it's useful life to less than one year. Unbalanced/poor water quality levels will deteriorate the cover as well. After adding shock or other chemicals to pool, keep the cover off the water for a few days for the chemicals will likewise deteriorate the quality of the cover.

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    Re: Solar cover disintegraging!

    Thanks for the info about keeping it out of the sun. That makes sense.

    I bought a clear 16mil one locally.

    I have also heard about the "chemicals" causing decay of the bubbles. But what I don't get is: if a cover is soaking in pool water 8 to 12 hours at a time in somebody's pool with a chlorine level of 9 due to their CYA level, how would my level of additive chlorine to get to 5 cause decay of the cover?

    I always just took this advice about removing the cover from the pool when adding chlorine to the pool as the cover supply people doing their own "CYA" (cover your @$$) for their lousy product.
    21' above ground round; 11,500 gal; cartridge filter; two-speed Jacuzzi pump; roof-mounted solar heater; northern Ohio.

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    TFP Guide

    chiefwej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: Solar cover disintegraging!

    I bought an inexpensive blue tarp that I toss over the reel after the solar cover is rolled up on it. It protects the cover from UV which is what it destroying them. He tarps are cheap and will make the solar covers last indefinitely.
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, H400 & Heliocol Solar, Dolphin S-300, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit, Smart Home/Alexa pool control

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