Pro's and Con's solar pool cover

joeprunc

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2021
74
Discovery Bay, CA
Pool Size
20000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I'm now a believer in the solar cover. Currently our pool is sitting at 86F around 4-5 PM, where my neighbors are all mid 70s. Its ugly and a hassle to pull off but nice to swim in warmer water, and cheaper than roof solar.
It keeps the tree debris off the water, but generally ends up in the pool when the cover is removed. I roll it up at the skimmer end which helps, but still has significant debris to clean before swimming.
Two biggest CONs thus far are its ugly and the wife will not touch the cover...only time she swims is when I remove it.
 

mcba2020

Bronze Supporter
Sep 20, 2020
16
Ontario Canada
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-9)
Before we built our pool we understood that we would need a solar cover to retain heat in the spring and fall and cooler summer nights. My main concerns were the same as some of you mentioned (ugly roller, a pain to roll and unroll ect). So we decided to go with a ClearDeck Systems below deck solar blanket system. Only negative is that it has to be put in during the construction or renovation phase.

 
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Steve-D

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2020
134
SW Boston Suburbs
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I would like to add another PRO if you have trees near your pool. My solar cover collects almost all the stuff falling from the trees during spring bloom. Before I remove it 1-2 times per week, I use my pool brush to sweep everything into the skimmer. It doesn't trap everything but does help a lot.
Here in MA we have a new pool. The installers came back in late April to finish the job they started in October 2021 so the pool has been exposed to ALL of the Springtime debris in the air. We haven't tried sweeping it clean like @AndyTN (we'll have to give that a shot) but the cover has kept bushels of gunk out of the water to the extent that we have been able to clean it off before it slides into the pool. It most definitely limit the heat loss (PRO) but is a PITA to put on and take off (CON), largely because the pool is an irregular not-quite-kidney shape.
 

FNG

Member
May 26, 2022
21
South
Pool Size
22000
Surface
Vinyl
Any opinions on the liquid solar cover? First year pool owner here. Ours came with two bottles. I've used it but haven't really tracked temps too much. Snake oil or does it actually do something that is measurably beneficial?
 

yazzu

Member
May 14, 2020
8
Fort Worth, Texas
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I just got a cover for mine for the same reasons as most, get more use at the beginning and end of the season.
If you're going to do it get a reel for it. It makes it super easy to put on and take off as needed.
 

kdahlgren249

Active member
May 17, 2022
27
Edmond, OK
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Is it all or nothing? Like if you have a 16x32 pool and wanted to use some smaller rectangles to cover a good portion but not ALL of it to a) save costs and b) make it easier to remove will you still get some good benefit? Was thinking about a some 16x8 or so and running 3 side by side and covering most of deep/middle/shallow but won’t be going end to end
 

domshort

Bronze Supporter
Jun 14, 2019
30
la vista, ne
Pool Size
22000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Is it all or nothing? Like if you have a 16x32 pool and wanted to use some smaller rectangles to cover a good portion but not ALL of it to a) save costs and b) make it easier to remove will you still get some good benefit? Was thinking about a some 16x8 or so and running 3 side by side and covering most of deep/middle/shallow but won’t be going end to end
This may help some, but I do find that if all my sections blow to one corner leaving half the pool exposed, I do still end up losing a lot of heat. With all four of quadrants covering, I have very minimal loss. Tonight’s temps will get down to 48 so will be interesting to see as I have the covers on.
 

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kdahlgren249

Active member
May 17, 2022
27
Edmond, OK
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
This may help some, but I do find that if all my sections blow to one corner leaving half the pool exposed, I do still end up losing a lot of heat. With all four of quadrants covering, I have very minimal loss. Tonight’s temps will get down to 48 so will be interesting to see as I have the covers on.
that's a good point. I was thinking about using some of the loops to tie them together but maybe I use them to tie off to the side somewhere to keep from blowing around.
 

domshort

Bronze Supporter
Jun 14, 2019
30
la vista, ne
Pool Size
22000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Morning pool temp is 75…2 degree loss from last night. I’ve thought the same about securing down somehow but haven’t come up with anything as the cover works best when touching the water as it creates sort of a seal. And everything I could think of seemed more of a PITA.
 
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1Sammy

In The Industry
Jul 20, 2017
461
Windsor, Ontario. Canada
A solar blanket without a roller is like a car without a motor, you will soon become to hate using it. I'm 40+ years into this pool game and have always had a blanket / roller / cover for it when off. 25 seconds off, 10 seconds on. No problem getting 7 + years from them. Off the pool to swim and right back on. Many times never off for a week or more. Clean as Newdude says but i use a dustpan on a stick ( dollar store ) and a broom to remove whatever is on there. Dirt never touches my pool water so it does not kill my chlorine.
 

Steve-D

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2020
134
SW Boston Suburbs
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
A roller would be awesome but I understand they don't work so well for irregularly shaped pools where you would need to fold the cover over on itself (ours is sort of but not quite kidney shaped). And in our case where the roller would go is about 15' back from the pool edge so not particularly convenient. If you are going to get a roller/reel its best to plan for that when designing the pool area.

I do hate ours...for our old (18' round above ground) it wasn't such a big deal as it was relatively easy for 1 person outside the pool to pull it off, fold it and stuff it in a barrel, but for our new pool it takes one person a good 10-15 minutes to remove and fold it and put it aside...double that if cleaning it off before stuffing it in its storage bin. Cut the time in half with 2 people. Its a new pool so we haven't yet worked out the ideal methods for on/off but we will find a way to speed that up. I hope NOT to use ours for July and August unless we are away but for now it is keeping debris out and holding the temperature up so we live with it knowing we can't just pop outside and jump in...yet.
 
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kdahlgren249

Active member
May 17, 2022
27
Edmond, OK
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
A roller would be awesome but I understand they don't work so well for irregularly shaped pools where you would need to fold the cover over on itself (ours is sort of but not quite kidney shaped). And in our case where the roller would go is about 15' back from the pool edge so not particularly convenient. If you are going to get a roller/reel its best to plan for that when designing the pool area.

I do hate ours...for our old (18' round above ground) it wasn't such a big deal as it was relatively easy for 1 person outside the pool to pull it off, fold it and stuff it in a barrel, but for our new pool it takes one person a good 10-15 minutes to remove and fold it and put it aside...double that if cleaning it off before stuffing it in its storage bin. Cut the time in half with 2 people. Its a new pool so we haven't yet worked out the ideal methods for on/off but we will find a way to speed that up. I hope NOT to use ours for July and August unless we are away but for now it is keeping debris out and holding the temperature up so we live with it knowing we can't just pop outside and jump in...yet.
exactly, a roller is tough for us because we have a diving board on one end and steps and walk way on the other, you're either blocking your entrance or cutting it up on a rough board. Not to mention we currently have a temporary fence around our pool because our boys are 5 & 3 so you've only got about 3-5' on various sides to play with. Will be easier in a year or two when I can pull it out as they're both fully swimming.
 

blackout

Gold Supporter
Jun 16, 2019
37
Upstate NY
Pool Size
16400
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I think the best part about owning a pool is being in it, and having it comfortable when you’re in it is really a plus. The solar cover helps with this so it’s a no brainer to me.

I am convinced my solar cover is the reason why I needed to SLAM on May 22 last year and May 21 this year despite having clear, balanced water from open until then. I am convinced I need to manage the cover better when this nasty pollen starts flying. I believe stagnant rain water plus crud plus a big rain thereafter that washes into the pool is no good. I plan to start blowing it off daily this time of year and when it rains giving it a scrub, scoop and unroll to air out and skim. I might sacrifice some heat for a day but if I can avoid the cloudy water, so be it. A reel helps making on and off a breeze at least.

So yeah it doesn’t look pretty as an open pool and it takes maintenance. But having the pool around 88-89 in upstate NY last week in May with no heat running was pretty sweet. I’d trade perfect but cold water for the occasional SLAM and comfortable water any day.
 

PoolStored

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 24, 2021
2,449
Ashtabula, OH
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
Is it better to leave the cover on during the day to heat the water? Or off during the day so water gets full sun exposure, then cover on at night to keep heat loss down

Depends on where you live and the purpose of usage.

Here in Ohio, I leave my cover on all the time. I have a heater and keep pool at 84. Cover reduces heating usage (during the day it is a solar heater and at night a blanket to keep heat in). I pull it at least 3-4 times a week to swim or reduce CC. I also keep it on because I have lots of trees. I can use my leaf blower to blow stuff off at the skimmers to reduce how much goes into the pool.

In SAC you might find that the water temperature gets too high if you leave on during the day, and you may need to regulate usage to open during the day to reduce temperature rise, and cover at night to retain heat. As @1poolman1 martied me (ignore inside joke), it both conserves heat and collects heat. The other thing that it does is stop UV from breaking down CC. Finally, it also reduces CO2 outgassing slowing pH rise. Oh yeah, and it reduces evaporation!
 
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