Solar cover or no?

knlckers

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2017
45
Cleveland, OH
I have a solar cover that I've never used. I assumed I don't want a super warm pool. But it didn't occur to me until now that it could also help keep uv rays OUT, as well as stop some chlorine loss.

Will a cover make that much of a difference? Our cover has been mangled in. Corner since we first moved in. ?

Is it worth it to clean it off? I can't seem to get both sides super clean. Or should I just buy a new one? Is it even worth it to reinvest? Big deal?
 

markuszoom5

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2014
128
Upstate NY
Yes, it's super worth it. Here in Upstate NY the nights go down to 65-70 and the solar cover keeps the heat in so the water stays above 80. Also the chlorine levels stay stable a lot longer. I find myself to have to add my usual 1 gallon maybe every other day. Try it out.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,933
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
I have a solar cover that I've never used. I assumed I don't want a super warm pool. But it didn't occur to me until now that it could also help keep uv rays OUT, as well as stop some chlorine loss.

Will a cover make that much of a difference? Our cover has been mangled in. Corner since we first moved in. ��

Is it worth it to clean it off? I can't seem to get both sides super clean. Or should I just buy a new one? Is it even worth it to reinvest? Big deal?
A cover will keep the pool about 4-5 degrees warmer than without, and it will also slow evaporative water loss and reduce chlorine consumption.

If yours is the bubble-wrap type and it's a few years old, just toss it. They disintegrate and fill your skimmer with little blue circles from when the bubble tops flake off. Buy a thin cheap one. It'll last just as long as a thicker more expensive one.
 

knlckers

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2017
45
Cleveland, OH
A cover will keep the pool about 4-5 degrees warmer than without, and it will also slow evaporative water loss and reduce chlorine consumption.

If yours is the bubble-wrap type and it's a few years old, just toss it. They disintegrate and fill your skimmer with little blue circles from when the bubble tops flake off. Buy a thin cheap one. It'll last just as long as a thicker more expensive one.
It is the bubble kind! I just hate thinking my water will get any warmer that it already does. I prefer a cold pool. (Ours is only like 4-5' deep. AG)

But if it will help with chlorine loss I may be able to settle for warmer temps.
 

knlckers

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2017
45
Cleveland, OH
Yes, it's super worth it. Here in Upstate NY the nights go down to 65-70 and the solar cover keeps the heat in so the water stays above 80. Also the chlorine levels stay stable a lot longer. I find myself to have to add my usual 1 gallon maybe every other day. Try it out.
I'm in Cleveland, OH area, so our temps are probably pretty much the same. Do you, or anyone have any brand suggestions that aren't the bubble type? I've only ever seen that kind. ALSO. I have one of those roll up things with the handle. Is there some way to attach my cover? I've never used it because the cover was never actually attached to it and I couldn't make it roll up on it.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,516
Quaker Hill, CT
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
With no cover it's chlorine everyday for me. With the cover on I can easily go two days sometimes 3 before I need to add more chlorine. My wife likes it when the pool is close to 90. Pretty much won't swim in it if it's below 85.
 

knlckers

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2017
45
Cleveland, OH
With no cover it's chlorine everyday for me. With the cover on I can easily go two days sometimes 3 before I need to add more chlorine. My wife likes it when the pool is close to 90. Pretty much won't swim in it if it's below 85.
Holy bath water. Lol! I like mine at 75-80. But I won't turn away if it's colder, either. But interesting t see the difference.

I know I'm world's away from knowing what I need. I don't have a kit yet, don't know when I can afford one. And I DO know my cya is of control. I'm just blindly adding stuff at this point. Loosely following test strips bc it's the best I can do for now, and I gotta do something.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,516
Quaker Hill, CT
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Even if you add a solar cover with no other heat added to the pool you won't gain that much temperature in your pool. Besides if you want it to cool down just run the pump at night. The circulation on the walls will cool down the pool.

The best thing you can do for yourself now is to get a good test kit and read up on pool school. It's amazing how easy it is to keep a pool crystal clean. The only reason I can add chlorine like I do and know when I can skip days adding it is because I know exactly what my chemical levels are and where they need to be to keep my pool perfect.

So clear that sometimes the pool looks like it's empty. This kind of clean takes me about 10min of effort every other day.
 

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Teald024

TFP Guide
I use a cover regularly, the bubble wrap kind. It's on whenever the kids aren't in the pool. We are struggling to get it up to 80 so far this year.

The benefit of the cover is that it does help keep crud out of the water and helps a lot with evaporation

That said, if you had to choose between a cover and a test kit, get the test kit. The TF-100.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,503
Monmouth County, New Jersey
If you put the solar cover on the pool, I feel the chlorine will clean the bottom of the cover off time. You may want to slightly scrub with soap and water on the top, leaving the bottom for the pool and chlorine. The solar covers do help but not as much as the manufacturer will tell you. I will get 3-6 degrees over 2-3 days. This is the advantage, but the night temperatures can not go into the 60's. If they drop in the mid 70's and up to the upper 80's to lower 90's during the next day, you will fine. If we can get 82-84 degrees, everyone is happy.

The disadvantage is taking the cover off and having leaves and debris fall in the pool (sometimes), then rolling it up and storing it away. It really does not take long if you cut in half and create a pvc roller by hand. Slow circulation in a pool could lead to algae (which some people have reported). I have had no issues, even when on for 3-4 days. Also, the cover does not look as pretty as crystal clear TFP water and your PH will drop over time when you use the cover.

You will definitely save on chlorine consumption and water evaporation, in addition to UV. I do not use mine enough to protect the liner from UV rays of the almighty powerful sun. Currently, I am working on a heat pump as the week is cold and even with a cover, the temp would not be right.
 

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knlckers

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2017
45
Cleveland, OH
Even if you add a solar cover with no other heat added to the pool you won't gain that much temperature in your pool. Besides if you want it to cool down just run the pump at night. The circulation on the walls will cool down the pool.

The best thing you can do for yourself now is to get a good test kit and read up on pool school. It's amazing how easy it is to keep a pool crystal clean. The only reason I can add chlorine like I do and know when I can skip days adding it is because I know exactly what my chemical levels are and where they need to be to keep my pool perfect.

So clear that sometimes the pool looks like it's empty. This kind of clean takes me about 10min of effort every other day.
WOW. that night shot.. wow. Looks amazing! If I didn't know there was water in there, I could believe otherwise!
 

knlckers

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2017
45
Cleveland, OH
If you put the solar cover on the pool, I feel the chlorine will clean the bottom of the cover off time. You may want to slightly scrub with soap and water on the top, leaving the bottom for the pool and chlorine. The solar covers do help but not as much as the manufacturer will tell you. I will get 3-6 degrees over 2-3 days. This is the advantage, but the night temperatures can not go into the 60's. If they drop in the mid 70's and up to the upper 80's to lower 90's during the next day, you will fine. If we can get 82-84 degrees, everyone is happy.

The disadvantage is taking the cover off and having leaves and debris fall in the pool (sometimes), then rolling it up and storing it away. It really does not take long if you cut in half and create a pvc roller by hand. Slow circulation in a pool could lead to algae (which some people have reported). I have had no issues, even when on for 3-4 days. Also, the cover does not look as pretty as crystal clear TFP water and your PH will drop over time when you use the cover.

You will definitely save on chlorine consumption and water evaporation, in addition to UV. I do not use mine enough to protect the liner from UV rays of the almighty powerful sun. Currently, I am working on a heat pump as the week is cold and even with a cover, the temp would not be right.
I have a roller! I just have no idea how to use it since the cover isn't attached. That's how mine ended up in a ball in my garage. ?
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
I have a roller! I just have no idea how to use it since the cover isn't attached. That's how mine ended up in a ball in my garage. [emoji85]

This is how I attached my cover to the roller
Webbing screwed to the roller on one end. The cover folded and I used a hole punch to make clean holes. Then 1/4" stainless steel bolts, nuts & washer.
H5gUFQll.jpg
 

knlckers

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2017
45
Cleveland, OH
A cover will keep the pool about 4-5 degrees warmer than without, and it will also slow evaporative water loss and reduce chlorine consumption.

If yours is the bubble-wrap type and it's a few years old, just toss it. They disintegrate and fill your skimmer with little blue circles from when the bubble tops flake off. Buy a thin cheap one. It'll last just as long as a thicker more expensive one.
Any suggestions on brands or anything? Does it matter?
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
Very interesting. Did you assemble it all out and outside of the pool? And it doesn't tear the cover? What are the strips holding it on?

I put the reel on the pool where I wanted it to be. Since it is an oval pool, I put it where the wall transitions from straight to curved. I measured from the reel to the end of the pool. I then took the cover and reel off and laid it out on the grass to attach them. I measured the right spot on the cover and make a mark. Luckily the bubbles were in a straight pattern so I could just follow the row across. I used a single hole punch made for paper and it worked quite well. I just spaced them out equally. Working on land is a lot easier so when you drop a screw or nut it falls on the grass and not in 48" of water, lol.
The strap can be anything. It can be like seat belt webbing, or like on a backpack, or a fabric belt. It's fairly easy to find on Amazon. Mine in particular was a cotton type and not a man made material. It came with the older reel.

If you aren't too rough with it, it won't tear. It slides across the water easily. I used washers to have a larger surface area to hold the cover.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,503
Monmouth County, New Jersey
I have a roller! I just have no idea how to use it since the cover isn't attached. That's how mine ended up in a ball in my garage. ��

Cut the solar cover in 1/2 and then you can use 1" (10 foot) white pvc to roll it up. As you pull the cover outside the pool, the rolling part is easy (but you usually need 2 people). My pool is 17'*33, so not too bad. If a pool is 20'*40 or greater, I can imagine this would be difficult. Also, a lighter cover would probably be better (8 mil at most).


Teal024:

Great idea. My issue is that in this house, no one wants to help. Welcome to the I-Phone era. Next time, which will be quite a while, I will over-lap the cover by at least 3'-4' in the middle. My cover (12 mil) I believe, was real heavy in one piece, even for 2 people. Everyone has to find out what works for them and go with it. Quite honestly, if I had more space, I would create at a distance black poly tube rolled up with a small pump to move water in and out of the pool. This along with the cover would gain a few degree's.

All in all, the key to the cover is to place it in the pool at night and if a nice hot day to remove it early. I find this has worked the best with me.
 
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