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Thread: Solar cover causing pollen problem?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Prescott, Wisconsin
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    220

    Solar cover causing pollen problem?

    My solar cover seems to be causing a strange pollen problem. Here are two scenarios:

    Without the cover:
    Pollen blows into the pool and eventually collects in small drifts on the bottom. If I vacuum up the drifts slowly, I don't have to vacuum the whole bottom, just the drifts.

    With the cover:
    Pollen covers the entire bottom of the pool and the sloping walls (not vertical walls) with a micro-fine dust. I have to vacuum every inch of the pool bottom when I take off the cover.

    My thought has always been, perhaps this is algae? But my water is crystal clear, and I've tested FC at night and the next morning twice, and it only dropped 0.2ppm the first time and 0.4ppm the second time. Also, the stuff avoids the vertical walls and is not concentrated in the shady areas -- it's "broadcast" over the entire pool bottom, like someone spray-painted it!

    I just bought the solar cover, and now I feel like throwing it away. It's plenty humid here, so we don't have much of a problem with evaporation. Also, it doesn't seem like it's helping to hold the heat in the pool much! Did I waste $150?
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

  2. Back To Top    #2
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    9,928

    Re: Solar cover causing pollen problem?

    I find that solar covers are only good for one thing and that is to keep heat in overnight. Otherwise, you are better keeping it off. They are also good at reducing evaporation but that is about it.

    When I remove mine, all of the leaves and pollen dump into the pool anyway so there is not much point in using it to keep the pool clean since it does a lousy job.

    Even trying to blow the stuff off first with a leaf blower doesn't work all that well. I find that the skimmer works much better with it off and even the pool cleaner seems to do a better job. So now I only put the cover on when I know I will be swimming the next day and want to keep the heat in.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and 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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Prescott, Wisconsin
    Posts
    220

    Re: Solar cover causing pollen problem?

    So I think this means: I did waste my money.

    One thought: we've been running the pool pump at night only, which is also when we have the solar cover on. It seems like this could be a mistake, both circulation-wise and pollen-distribution-wise. Maybe the "broadcast pollen effect" would be lessened if we only ran the pump with the solar cover off?

    Anyone else have this problem, or have a solution?
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

  4. Back To Top    #4
    AnnaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,132

    Re: Solar cover causing pollen problem?

    Interesting thread.

    I put the solar cover on about four weeks ago because the nights have been getting cool. My pump runs for 8 hours during the night. I've noticed much more fine debris collecting on the bottom, especially in the dips and liner creases, with the cover on.

    I use a PoolSkim and while I cut a semicircle out of the solar cover around the PoolSkim's floating hat, its collection of surface debris is largely reduced with the solar cover in place. Most likely the debris is forced below the surface and sinks before it gets picked up by the PoolSkim.

    I haven't noticed any problems with water circulation. I use a skimmer sock and get the usual amount of collected dirt in it; that is, the sock is grey after a day or two. No problems with the water chemistry, either. The nice thing about the solar cover is that it does help keep the water warmer.

    During the day I remove one section of the cover to allow the pool to 'breathe'. Haven't noticed any algae growth anywhere, so having the cover on for an extended period has not created an algae problem. Just more 'dust' on the pool bottom.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 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

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Prescott, Wisconsin
    Posts
    220

    Re: Solar cover causing pollen problem?

    I use a pool sock, too, which is essential with the amount of pollen in rural Wisconsin. And we have a Pool Devil, which does a pretty good job of capturing leaves and bugs before they fall to the bottom.

    I've noticed that when the solar cover is on, neither methods of catching debris work anymore. The sock is basically still clean with the solar cover on, while it's completely yellow and covered with pollen with the cover off. Of course the Pool Devil, which sits on the surface and works using a venturi effect, doesn't collect a thing with the cover on.

    I'm wondering if the people who successfully use a solar cover have automatic pool vacuums (something that's beyond our price range right now)?

    If my theory is correct -- solar covers cause pollen/dust in the pool to be disseminated around the pool floor -- then an automatic pool vacuum would just suck up the dust/pollen before you noticed it. Voila! No problem. However, without the automatic vacuum -- big ugly mess.

    I'm experimenting right now with leaving the cover off for days in a row. It's extremely humid, so evaporation isn't a problem. Honestly, I don't seem to be losing that much more heat than with it on. And my pool is sparkling clear.
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

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