Solar Cover Questions

awstevens

Bronze Supporter
Aug 18, 2016
92
0
MA
#1
We installed our pool in the fall but they covered it right after filling it so it's been a long torturous winter. Even though we're getting another dusting of snow today I'm starting to plan for opening our pool. Our goal is to be ready to swim by Memorial Day weekend so I'm having the pool builder open the pool a few weeks prior to give me time to clean things up and get the chemistry sorted. We'll be heating the pool with a Hayward Summit 112K BTU heat pump. I'm looking for advice on the type, size, best way to trim and best way to use a solar cover.

Our pool is an 18x36 lazy L:


- Should I get an 18x40 rectangular cover since the long edge is 40'? Like this: Sun2Solar Standard Blue Solar Cover 18' x 40' Rectangular 8 Mil - SolarCovers.com
- Any advice on the best way to trim it to fit the Lazy L? Just cut it into 2 sections? Should I cut it into smaller sections to make it easier to put on/take off?
- Do I need to cover the steps/swimout?

I probably won't turn the heater on until the week before memorial day.
- Is there a signficant benefit to covering the pool before I turn the heater on?
- My wife and daughter will still be in school through the 3rd week of June so won't be using the pool regularly during the week. Is it OK to leave the pool covered during the day or should it be taken off every day? I'm more concerned about the practicality of doing so and maintaining proper water chemistry vs maximizing the efficiency of the heater.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,192
0
Quaker Hill, CT
#2
I've read from others on here that cutting the cover into two big pieces on a lazy L makes dealing with the cover much easier.

Covering the steps and swimout will help retain the most amount of heat. Do that section as its own small piece of cover other wise they tend to rip off after the cover has been on and off a few times.

Covering the pool before you turn on the heater does a few things for you. It will start to warm up the pool, it will keep pollen and debris out of the pool, and it will reduce your chlorine consumption making it easier to maintain chemistry.

At the beginning and end of the season I've left my cover on for a few weeks at a time with no ill effects. Its not really that much different than leaving a solid winter cover on for months.

In short keeping the pool covered will not only make the pool warmer it actually helps make proper chemistry easier.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,446
0
SW Indiana
#3
I believe I'd use an 18X40 cover and leave it in a single piece. You are going to want a reel to handle that size cover. Don't go cheap, because that size cover will be a load. I'd probably just trim the edge that would want to lay on the deck and leave the other side uncovered, but you could either go with a wider cover and trim the whole thing to fit or find a way to join the piece you trimmed off on the one side to cover the other side.

Please be sure your pool area is secured from kids and dogs. A solar cover on an inground pool is fairly dangerous to them.
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
Aug 10, 2012
24,976
0
DFW, TX
#4
Our solar cover is cut almost in half into 2 18x20ish pieces. It makes it much easier to handle and stays in place just fine. I've been thinking about cutting it in quarters.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,192
0
Quaker Hill, CT
#6
Depends on the person really. My 15x30 cover is 30-50 lbs when it is rolled up and wet from coming off the pool. Very easy to pull off the pool but if you have to pick it up and move it after it is off the pool it gets awkward to handle. Money spent on a good cover roller pays for itself in energy savings from making it easy to actually use the cover. The easier you make putting the cover on and taking it off the more likely it is you are actually going to use it.
 

PoolGate

TFP Guide
Gold Supporter
Jun 7, 2017
2,426
0
Damascus, MD
#7
Check out the below pic. Is it possible to add a roller that hangs off the fence to the left of the diving board and then I could just attach some straps to the top and roll it up? I really don't have a convenient place to store the roller thing.

 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,192
0
Quaker Hill, CT
#8
Anything is possible .... As for how functional and aesthetically pleasing it would be I can't say.

In your case I would probably consider a reel mounted on wheels that rolls around on the deck that straddles the pool. Then just store it behind the diving board along the fence when the cover is off the pool.

Something along the lines of THIS.
 

Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,723
0
Hudson, WI
#9
What he said anything being possible. You also have to consider wind. That cover if caught by the wind makes a nightmarish sail and if caught on anything even slightly sharp will rip or shred. I'm a bit out in the country so I've come to using bungee cords on my cover when it's rolled up as a good wind can catch the end and start to unroll it and blow it all over.

I've had three big one piece covers over the years that do the entire pool. We have a reel and the hardest part is taking the long handled broom and folding over the Lazy L part before rolling it up and then at the end of rolling it up that section is thicker so it winds up onto the reel off center. Haven't had a problem with the steps or L part ripping off but towards the end of their life they are much more likely to rip if you have and sharp 90 deg cuts for corners. I roll it up and cover it back up alone and the one piece isn't bad but I think next time I'm going to try doing it in two pieces so the part in the L is separate and the rest of the 40' or so is just a straight shot onto the roller.
 

PoolGate

TFP Guide
Gold Supporter
Jun 7, 2017
2,426
0
Damascus, MD
#10
I did find a good roller on Amazon for around $125. I'll see how that goes and push it out of the way. I should be able to find someplace to hide it while still making it accessible. My original thought on the fence is that it would be really convenient to just finish and pull the cover over and on the pool but I think it would be an eyesore hanging right there on the fence.