Rockys 5A Cover

Enzodast

Active member
Jul 22, 2020
36
Connecticut
Pool Size
33000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hey everyone, been searching the site and i've read a few things...

1) i need to COVER the solar cover when it's rolled up while not in use because the sun hitting the rolled up and wet cover will make it "cook itself". My pool is entirely in the sun...so i would think i'd need to cover the solar cover EVERY time we use the pool....is this true? Kids and wife could use the pool for a few hours a day in the summer in the middle of the day. So i imagine i need a matching rockys cover (i really dont want to use a standard poly tarp).

2) Where do i find this cover? rockys website doesnt have one that i can find and basic internet searches dont show me any either. i've seem some that have a seem all the way down the middle with velcro but that will be a nightmare to use every time. I really prefer something that will slip over the top of the whole thing

3) While we're at it....i want the cover to GENERATE HEAT in the pool primarily. Evaporation and overnight retention of heat is an added bonus. Is 12mil thick enough to do this or do i need 16mil? if 16mil can the 5A even handle it? My pool is a double roman 20' x 40' but end to end from staircase to roman cutout is closer to 43'

4) ALSO rockys website has two sizes for the 5a that say they accomodate covers up to 20' wide or 24' wide. BUT what i can't find ANYWHERE is the actual LENGTH of the rockys 5a versions. I want some clearance on each side of the pool. I'm hoping the 20' wide reel when it has the cover rolled up still has 6" or so of clearance on each end to be safe. Thoughts?

Thank you all! going to try a cover this year and if it's not enough invest in a heat pump next year. Live in Connecticut (crappiest state in the union - i know).
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,830
NY
Hey Enzo !! Here ya go !!

your questions :

1). Being in CT it’s not so bad but mid day in July/Aug could easily pop the cover in a few hours. A cover is a wise choice to protect your investment.

2) link above. Googled ‘solar cover reel cover’

3). Cannot really be done. The cover is not magic. It will stop the bulk of your evaporation which will save roughly 70% of your overnight heat loss. I had a clear (opaque white really) cover and there was no doubt that the first 2 inches of water was warmer when the cover came off, but it was like spitting in the ocean and did not dent the overall temp of the pool.

*most important part*. Your cover is 800 sq ft once you trim it to size. It will be heavy as spit when wet. You want the cover as thin as possible. Even on a reel because the shear weight of it will make the reel bow over time. Seran wrap would stop the same amount of evap so get the thinnest cover you can. It will be weaker and more prone to rips, so also get the cheapest one and you’ll feel less bad about replacing it every few years.

4). You are correct. The up to 20ft is probably 24 ft once you add the reels. The pipe alone is 21 ish ft. The 24 could be altered to fit if it’s all they had. 5 pieces slide into each other to make up the pipe. Skinny piece/ fat piece /skinny piece /fat piece /skinny piece. The skinny pieces can slide into the fat ones as much as they need to.
 
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Enzodast

Active member
Jul 22, 2020
36
Connecticut
Pool Size
33000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hey Enzo !! Here ya go !!

your questions :

1). Being in CT it’s not so bad but mid day in July/Aug could easily pop the cover in a few hours. A cover is a wise choice to protect your investment.

2) link above. Googled ‘solar cover reel cover’

3). Cannot really be done. The cover is not magic. It will stop the bulk of your evaporation which will save roughly 70% of your overnight heat loss. I had a clear (opaque white really) cover and there was no doubt that the first 2 inches of water was warmer when the cover came off, but it was like spitting in the ocean and did not dent the overall temp of the pool.

*most important part*. Your cover is 800 sq ft once you trim it to size. It will be heavy as spit when wet. You want the cover as thin as possible. Even on a reel because the shear weight of it will make the reel bow over time. Seran wrap would stop the same amount of evap so get the thinnest cover you can. It will be weaker and more prone to rips, so also get the cheapest one and you’ll feel less bad about replacing it every few years.

4). You are correct. The up to 20ft is probably 24 ft once you add the reels. The pipe alone is 21 ish ft. The 24 could be altered to fit if it’s all they had. 5 pieces slide into each other to make up the pipe. Skinny piece/ fat piece /skinny piece /fat piece /skinny piece. The skinny pieces can slide into the fat ones as much as they need to.
Thanks newdude. I'd like to see a "slip over" cover that doesnt require velcro down the full seam...i found the same covers you had but was hoping for this slip over style to make it easier to cover it all quickly and start swimming with the kids.

in regards to "generating heat" all documentation definitely says high quality solar covers can raise the pool temperature 10 degrees or more...some quote 18 degrees (which i find hard to believe). Are you saying in your experience covers only stop evaporation...when on during a sunny day you dont find the overall water temp goes up by at least a few degrees? My goal is to try and make it "swimmable" in all of june. Next step is to invest in the heat pump but i'd rather see first if the cover alone will do it.

Anyone else have suggestions/feedback on how you've seen covers impact the overall "temperature" of your pool?
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,830
NY
Are you saying in your experience covers only stop evaporation...when on during a sunny day you dont find the overall water temp goes up by at least a few degrees?
Yes. It would warm on the sunny day just the same, cover or no cover. However...... where it really shines is if there is a cool day or two (of course always on a weekend). It can retain a chunk of the warmth from the day(s) before.

all documentation definitely says high quality solar covers can raise the pool temperature 10 degrees or more...some quote 18 degrees (which i find hard to believe)
I saw a 5-7 temp rise from not loosing so much heat overnight. I'm only a few miles south of you on Long Island so we have the same climate. You should expect the same. Of course the manufacturer will spew nonsense. Look at everything else in the poolstore claiming to do the impossible. :)
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
2,075
Spring Valley, NY
Enzodast,
You mention heat pump so you can extend the swim season in the shoulder months. You would be better off looking into a natural gas heater if that's an option. Lots of threads here on that topic.
 

Enzodast

Active member
Jul 22, 2020
36
Connecticut
Pool Size
33000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Enzodast,
You mention heat pump so you can extend the swim season in the shoulder months. You would be better off looking into a natural gas heater if that's an option. Lots of threads here on that topic.

Problem is i run off of propane and when i built the pool last year i didnt plumb for a gas heater i always planned on a heat pump based on how much more energy efficient they are. My neighbors have a propane heater and never use it because its like $50 a day for them to run. I figured the heat pump would at least be enough to bring it up 10 degrees without breaking the bank and the wiring is already at the equipment pad ready for it.
 

Homebrewale

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2020
423
Apex, NC
A 5 to 7 degree rise in temperature is about right. My heater is set for 87F. On some bright sunny days, the temperature in the late afternoon would reach 92-93F with the solar cover on.
 

livinwell

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2007
109
Apache Junction, AZ
I was looking at this thread because I was looking at purchasing the Rocky reel hoping it would be more sturdy than the one we have. We currently have the Vingli that was rated as best on Amazon. We completed our pool build last Feb in Arizona and bought a solar cover to help retain heat. The solar cover does a good job at that, especially here. The reel was not sturdy. The cover came with a cover to use when it’s on the roller.

We also went with an electric heat pump as our first choice in the hopes of extending the season here. We don’t have natural gas. We are now having a propane tank installed because the heat pump could not heat quickly and running it all day every day to maintain the pool temp would cost a lot more, based on our cost per kw hour. Hubby says he’s think about using both the propane heater and heat pump, since we have it. 😃

We calculated 115 KBTU /hr heat pump versus 400 KBTU/hr propane heater.
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
5,800
Southern OK
I bought these drop cloths to cover mine... It has worked great for 2 years, leave it covered all winter and when I have the pool uncovered in the summer... This solar cover is going on its 4th year, its even working after 2 inch hail used it as target practice last year.. :)