Solar blanket / cover - OK to leave on for 3 days?

Redbull

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2010
16
GTA, Ontario, Canada
I did a quick search and I couldn't find the answer...

We have a solar blanket that we used last summer. We had algae issues last summer and thought that our blanket was contributing. Now that I've found this forum, I realize that we also had other chemical imbalance issues!

Now that fall is approaching again, we are getting quite cool nights here in Canada (approx 59 degrees F). We have taken the cover out to help retain the heat and put the blanket on last night -- bubble side down. It is light blue in colour, I don't know the weight / thickness of the blanket. We are going away this weekend. Are we asking for trouble if we leave the cover on for 3 days and nights in a row? We will lose a lot of heat if we keep the blanket off.

Here's our current levels:
FC = 4
ph = 7.5
TA = 110
CH = 310
CYA = 40 (with more currently in a sock in the skimmer!!)

Pool water looks GREAT and I don't want to mess anything up!! Thanks so much everyone!
:)
 

Peter_S

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2010
70
NE Ohio
I leave mine on all the time. It will stay on a few days at a time if we aren't swimming. Put it on as soon as we are done swimming. No problems with algae in my pool.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,420
Pleasanton, CA
I have had mine on for several weeks in a row but usually take it off at least once a week. By leaving it on, it should help maintain CL levels while away.
 
G

Guest

My pool has had mustard algae in the past. Has not been a problem this year as it's been so hot that I've been leaving the blanket off. I'm pretty sure that if I left it on, even with lots of bleach, I'd end up with some algae again in shaded and low circ areas.
 

WestSidePool

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2009
424
Cincinnati, OH
We keep ours on all the time.
The only time the cover will contribute to algae growth is if there was some on there to being with and you don't keep your chemicals in balance. Other than that i don't see it causing any other issues.
 

dfenrick

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 13, 2010
23
SE Alberta, Canada
Ours only comes off when we swim. Depending on the weather it may stay on for a week or more. With the cover on, we'll only lose 2 or 3 degrees F on a cool night (lately 12-15C overnight) and may gain 5 or 6F during a sunny day with 3 - 2'x20' solar panels. Sunday morning 67F, Sunday evening 72, Monday morning 70, Monday evening 76.

Don't ask me why, even though everything else we do is in metric, I still read pool temps in F. -- guess is just sounds warmer.
 

dhorning

Member
May 29, 2010
7
Pennsylvania
I have been leaving my solar cover on (dark blue w/ bubbles) this summer when the weather has not been good for swimming. At most it has been 2 or 3 days in a row. No problems and my chlorine level hardly drops with the cover on. I was wondering how I was going to be able to go on vacation for a week at a time and maintain chlorine since I do not have an automated process yet to add bleach. Problem solved by just leaving the solar cover on while I'm on vacation.
 

4JawChuck

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2010
223
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I had problems with my cover contributing algae to the pool since the previous owner never used it and it was rolled up and left outside so it was pretty dirty. To solve the problem I shocked the pool and brushed and cleaned the cover while it was on the pool, the dirt ended up in the water (vacuumed it to waste) but the cover is nice and clean now.

I got the cover sanitized by using a brush to push it under water all along the edges which left a 1/2" layer of water above the cover, the shock and brushing got it all and I leave the cover for days at a time now.
 

Redbull

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2010
16
GTA, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the replies. We decided to leave the cover on for the three days. I'll update tomorrow on how it worked out. I never thought to clean the cover, so I hope there wasn't residual algae from last year on it... We had it in the garage. Can algae survive the Canadian cold winters?

dfenrick said:
Don't ask me why, even though everything else we do is in metric, I still read pool temps in F. -- guess is just sounds warmer.
LOL! I've just started reading pool temps in metric now. Even when I quote pool temps in F, it doesn't make sense to me. I don't know warm from cold...
 

4JawChuck

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2010
223
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I just bought this house and converted the pool from pucks to the BBB method, the CYA level was near or over 250ppm so I had to do a nearly complete drain and refill to resolve. As soon as the CYA hit 100ppm I had a major bloom but I was on holidays when it happened so I could react. I completed the refill and drain while the pool was in 50ppm shock while I cleaned up the mess.

Once everything was back to normal at 50ppm CYA and 5-9ppm FC (no CC overnight either) I had a slippery liner so I didn't get all of the algae obviously, all of us had swimmers ear during this time which was very painfull for all of us. I didn't consider the solar cover being a source of algae but it made perfect sense so I raised the pool back into shock and scrubbed it religiously with a car wash brush including the walls of the pool (those magic erasers worked wonders on my border print dirt), all the pool toys and Krawler went into the pool and I left the water on to the slide to sanitize it also...even the diving board got scrubbed and sanitized with a separate bucket full of strong bleach and brushed.

After a week of shock I let it return to normal FC levels and it has been fine, no more slippery liner and no more swimmers ear either (hydrogen peroxide and alchohol soaked swabs fixed us up). Algae is insidious, it can grow anywhere if the conditions are right...personally I think the entire pool was full of it, the pucks the previous owner used had algaecide in them so it kept it at bay until I did the drain/refill.

I'm just glad its over and I am at the normal maintenance stage of pool ownership, I am even down to running the pump for only 8 hours too. It sure is nice to only have to add 1 Litre of 10% bleach a day and adjust the PH once a week, piece of cake! :whoot:

Algae can definetly survive Canadian winters! :rant:
 
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