Solar Covers

wsamon

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2015
104
Largo, FL
I have a very curved kidney bean shaped in-ground pool with a small attached spa (see signature). It gets a lot of sun but is currently unheated and uncovered. In an attempt to extend our swim season and maintain warmer water temperatures, I'm thinking about getting a cover for it. I've done some research but have some questions I'd like answered by real people:
  • Is this worthwhile?
  • If so:
    • What's the best way to go about getting a cover for an oddly shaped pool like this? Just by one or 2 large rectangle / oval ones and cut them with scissors?
    • How thick / what color should it be?
  • Is it a big pain having to remove the cover and put it back on?
  • Should I invest in a reel? (I don't really have anywhere I consider a good spot to put it though and how would it work with something so curved?)
  • Lots of leaves, nuts, and pollen fall into the pool, especially during late winter / early spring. Is this a problem with the cover? Right now they get sucked up by the skimmer and pool cleaner, but they'd probably just stay on top of the cover. As reference, I have one of the large Heyward canisters attached to my pool cleaner's line and it and the skimmer require emptying about 1-2x / day for February and March.
  • Will the cover interfere with the pool cleaner due to the tubes? (The Pool Cleaner)
 

woodyp

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 17, 2010
10,654
East Texas
Piecing one together-like 2 or 3 sections is your route.

I'd go clear and no more than 8 mil---cost benefit ratio.

A MAJOR PAIN----(or I'd have one).

A reel would work with separate sections.

It is no substitute for a winter cover.
 

wsamon

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2015
104
Largo, FL
Piecing one together-like 2 or 3 sections is your route.

I'd go clear and no more than 8 mil---cost benefit ratio.

A MAJOR PAIN----(or I'd have one).

A reel would work with separate sections.

It is no substitute for a winter cover.
Thank you for the info. The major pain is one of the things I'm concerned about. I think we wouldn't use the pool very much if we had to spend a bunch of time and effort removing the cover first. I know my wife wouldn't.

It's not supposed to be a winter cover. Living in the Tampa Bay area there's no need to close the pool down at any point. In the 3 winters I've been here I think it's reached freezing a handful of times and only in the dead of night in the middle of winter. For all but about a month out of the year the daily high is at least 65. However, Late January through March all the trees, including several large Oaks on our property, seem to think it's fall (shedding of leaves) and then immediately spring (pollen, nuts, etc.), hence my concern about the pool cover. Though I suppose if we don't plan to swim in that anyway we could just leave the cover off....

I thought that the cover was supposed to be physically attached to the reel at one end via strings. How would this work with multiple sections? Or perhaps I just don't know how the reels function.
 

Chrissykr

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2014
489
Rogers, AR
I don't have a reel for my solar cover. Mine is rectangular and I never cut it to size. I tuck the sides up against the walls and I just love how clean it keeps my pool. I have a lot of dust and pollen and I just put some water on it and brush it towards the skimmer before removing it when it gets really dirty.

I am a 53 year old woman and my girls are 12 and 15 and any one of us can pull it off and put it back on with no problems. Is is fun..no but the benefits out weigh the negatives for us.
 

wsamon

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2015
104
Largo, FL
I don't have a reel for my solar cover. Mine is rectangular and I never cut it to size. I tuck the sides up against the walls and I just love how clean it keeps my pool. I have a lot of dust and pollen and I just put some water on it and brush it towards the skimmer before removing it when it gets really dirty.

I am a 53 year old woman and my girls are 12 and 15 and any one of us can pull it off and put it back on with no problems. Is is fun..no but the benefits out weigh the negatives for us.
How long does it take to take off and store before swimming?

The pollen and leaves accumulating over even 1 day during the time I mentioned literally won't fit in the skimmer. I don't suppose that is a huge deal but if have to figure out some way to deal with it.
 

wsamon

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2015
104
Largo, FL
So I ended up getting a standard blue one, I think 10 or 12 mil and it's been great for keeping the water warm. I've definitely encountered one unexpected drawback that I'll have to fix. It's actually causing my main pool to evaporate faster! The reason being that we cut a small line in the cover to make room for the stair rail. I have a return jet that blows water up over the stairs, keeping things circulating well there. Unfortunately, it's now constantly blowing water up over the seam I cut. This creates some very shallow pools on top of the cover that heat and evaporate more quickly. It should be a simple fix, but I'll need to sew or glue something onto the cover so that I can keep that section closed
 

ChrissyN

Active member
May 8, 2015
40
Rochester, NY
I'm up north but the solar cover makes such a difference here in keeping the pool warm. Since it saves me hundreds in gas bills, it's worth a few minutes to put it on and off. I wish it was prettier but not more important than the $$$ savings!

Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk
 

RoaringRam

Member
Jul 6, 2016
23
Mebane/NC
So I ended up getting a standard blue one, I think 10 or 12 mil and it's been great for keeping the water warm. I've definitely encountered one unexpected drawback that I'll have to fix. It's actually causing my main pool to evaporate faster! The reason being that we cut a small line in the cover to make room for the stair rail. I have a return jet that blows water up over the stairs, keeping things circulating well there. Unfortunately, it's now constantly blowing water up over the seam I cut. This creates some very shallow pools on top of the cover that heat and evaporate more quickly. It should be a simple fix, but I'll need to sew or glue something onto the cover so that I can keep that section closed
If you're not already doing so, keep the solar cover on at night. It will keep the warm water trapped in the pool until you can take it off during the day for a swim.