My solar cover harness


LifeTime Supporter
Sep 21, 2009
Central Missouri
A few weeks ago in another topic, while discussing the Solar Saddle, I mentioned that I was considering building a harness for my solar cover to make it easier to get it on and off. I built it, and have been using it for a while now (until the past several days when it's been too hot to have the cover on.) Anyway, although it isn't fancy or pretty, it works well. It's built of 1/2" pvc and 1/4" nylon rope. There are 5 connection points to the cover, although I'm thinking about adding a couple more to reduce the strain on each one. The pvc is cut into 3 "spacer" pipes, each 4 feet long. 2 of the pipes are mounted on top of the cover, and the third spans the middle between the 2 outer pipes. For each of the side pipes, there is a rope about 15' long. One end of the rope is threaded through the center of the pipe, and fastened to the cover. The other end is then threaded through the pipe in the opposite direction and fastened to the cover. There is a hole drilled through the center of the center pipe. Another rope is threaded through this hole and fastens to the cover, centered between the two side pipes. Another rope is threaded through the center pipe, and the excess rope from each of the side pipes is connected to this rope. The side pipe ropes have a loop tied in each that keeps them from slipping out of alignment on the center rope.

The center rope is also long enough to reach across my pool. I made sure that the way the side pipe ropes and the center rope are mounted makes the whole thing pull straight, so the strain is spread across all 5 points fairly evenly. The pipes prevent the cover from simply folding up along the axis of the pull.

I throw the leading edge of the cover in the pool, take the rope to the other side, and start pulling. It successfully pulls the cover up off the saddle and across the pool. (Make sure that the cover folds are not full of water. I tried this after a storm, and the rain water trapped in the folds of the cover made it too heavy, and one of my connections tore through.) Since the harness does not extend all the way across the radius of the cover, I do have a small amount of unfolding and straightening to do after I've pulled on, but only on the extreme outer edges.

In one picture, you can see that it is not really folding much, and will drop in place nicely. (Ignore the dirt on the cover. I haven't cleaned it in a couple of weeks.) I've also included a couple of closer shots so you can better see how it's put together. Although in the top picture it appears that the leading edge of the cover is dipping under the water, this is actually a shadow. The ropes are mounted within a couple of inches of the edge of the cover.



LifeTime Supporter
Jul 8, 2009
NE Ohio
Nice. I am looking for a way to don and doff our solar cover as when the kids are gone to school and abroad and the husband is deployed, it is hard to do alone. There is an idea in my brain, but I need to ruminate a bit more before committing it to paper and trying it out.
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