Solar pool cover & reel advice for in-ground pool

SorryImaNewb123

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Jun 26, 2020
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Upstate, NY
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I want to purchase a solar pool cover & reel and had a couple of questions for advice.

1- Blue, Clear, or doesn't matter?
2- I have a 20x40 rectangle shaped pool with ladder (each extend about 1 ft width into pool) on both sides on the 40' sides. Would an 18x40 be a good solar pool cover size? I'm concerned getting a 20x40 cover will make it a pain since it will overlap the ladders.
3- My searching brought me to Sun2Solar solar pool cover. Any objections? Sun2Solar® Crystal Clear Solar Cover - 1200 Series™ - PoolSupplies.com
4- For the reel, I want something more easy then difficult, was looking at this, any objections?: CharaVector Pool Cover Reel Set 18FT Solar Pool Cover

Any other advice is welcomed. thank you so much!
 

Homebrewale

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Apr 21, 2020
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I have not found a difference in heat retention between clear or blue. Clear can show the dirt more. I would buy the lowest weight one they sell. For the seller you linked, the blue 800 series would work well. The thicker ones won't last longer but will be harder to roll up.

As for the reel, they have a video of the installation and rolling up the cover. The rolling up was concerning since the reel seemed to do a lot of flexing. What they didn't show is unrolling the solar cover back on the pool. I would have several concerns. First is the high center of gravity. As you pull the cover off, it may just tip over in the pool. If it doesn't tip over, it may still slide on the concrete and fall into the pool. I find there is a lot of tugging force on reels as you trying to unroll the cover. I have a Rocky's reel that is lower to the surface of the pool and is bolted down to the concrete. If I try to unroll the cover without the bolts screwed into the deck, the reel will tend to scoot across the concrete.
 
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Newdude

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1) blue. OMG blue. 'Clear' was hideous to look at and you could not ignore it was there. Blue will fool your eyes anytime it's in view and you aren't staring directly at it, like the entire time you are mowing the lawn. You'll see the white cover out the corner of your eye, but not the blue.

The manufacturers claim the 'clear' cover produces more heat but none of them produce anything. They stop evaporation which is where 70% of ypur heat loss comes from. So tomorrow you 'gained 5 degrees' after not losing so much tonight. Get as thin as possible to reduce the PITA. Get as cheap as possible and if it lasts 2 years you won't be mad the expensive one only lasted two years.

2) 20x40. I had a ladder and cut a notch for it. The rest of the cover pulled right past it everytime. And the ladder notch was a handy guide when pulling the cover back out. Too far !! It goes there.

3) common company but I believe it's really only one or two companies and a truckton of resellers under different names. Go blue. Go thin. Go cheap.

4) @Casey has one similar and that design comes up alot, possibly rebranded under many names like the covers. Hang tight for her thoughts. I had a Rocky's reel and would buy one again.
 
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SorryImaNewb123

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Jun 26, 2020
43
Upstate, NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I will likely stick with a blue color as it did feel like clear would look a bit awkward. Part of the joy of the pool is the vibe and clear would kill that. I'll also just go with the cheaper series since I don't want a heavy, bulky cover to be a pain in the Rear, when it may not last any longer and not be a huge increase in other benefit.

I will wait to see what @Casey says about the reel type that I linked. It seems like the Rocky is a bit more costly then I was anticipating to spend on the reel, but of course I don't want the reel falling all over the place or in the pool certainly. I wonder if there's another way to go about mounting the type I mentioned so it doesn't move around like crazy when I turn the wheel to expand/retract the cover.
 

Casey

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Apr 16, 2007
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I will likely stick with a blue color as it did feel like clear would look a bit awkward. Part of the joy of the pool is the vibe and clear would kill that. I'll also just go with the cheaper series since I don't want a heavy, bulky cover to be a pain in the Rear, when it may not last any longer and not be a huge increase in other benefit.

I will wait to see what @Casey says about the reel type that I linked. It seems like the Rocky is a bit more costly then I was anticipating to spend on the reel, but of course I don't want the reel falling all over the place or in the pool certainly. I wonder if there's another way to go about mounting the type I mentioned so it doesn't move around like crazy when I turn the wheel to expand/retract the cover.
I bought a Vingli reel and love it. I put it together all by myself with no problem and took it down to the pool. You will have to trim the solar cover to fit your pool. Lay the cover over the pool. Put the long straight side into the water so you're only cutting one side to fit the pool. I also cut out around the ladder. There's no way around it.

I have had no issues with my reel falling into the pool when covering the pool. If you want more pics, I'll go down and take some. My other pics are buried. You could check out my build thread too. I have pics there too. I bought the reel from Amazon. I'd buy it again.
 

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SorryImaNewb123

Active member
Jun 26, 2020
43
Upstate, NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I bought a Vingli reel and love it. I put it together all by myself with no problem and took it down to the pool. You will have to trim the solar cover to fit your pool. Lay the cover over the pool. Put the long straight side into the water so you're only cutting one side to fit the pool. I also cut out around the ladder. There's no way around it.

I have had no issues with my reel falling into the pool when covering the pool. If you want more pics, I'll go down and take some. My other pics are buried. You could check out my build thread too. I have pics there too. I bought the reel from Amazon. I'd buy it again.
Great, thanks for the info and posting pics also. I think I will go with the Vingli reel now. Much appreciated!
 
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Casey

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I can remove my cover within 2 minutes. Takes just as less time to cover it. The new cover will be a little stiff. The sun will relax it over time. When you go to wrap it up, start slowly and tighten down the top bolt so it doesn't move n straighten out the cover on both sides so it wraps evenly. It will want to bunch up. I figured it out pretty quickly so it wraps nicely. Again, the first couple weeks it'll feel stiff n will eventually relax. I made a YouTube video for you to show you how I take it off. If you look to the immediate left of the reel, you can see 4 red bungee cords that I use to keep the wind from blowing the cover when we use the pool. I uncover in the morning and leave the pool open all day and then I cover right before bed. Don't mind me telling my German Shepherd Cecil he can't swim. LOL he thinks it's his pool.

 

Newdude

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^^^^^^^^^ That gave me flashbacks it nailed it so well !!!! A couple of twists, go adjust it straight again, a couple of twists, itch your leg because a mosquito just got you good. Adjust it straight again because you lost your momentum anyway with the mosquito, a couple of twists........ it was frustrating but only 2 mins.

Putting it back on was actually fun. I'd crank the pump on high and as I unrolled, the cover would put itself back on because my returns pointed the favorable direction.
 
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SorryImaNewb123

Active member
Jun 26, 2020
43
Upstate, NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I can remove my cover within 2 minutes. Takes just as less time to cover it. The new cover will be a little stiff. The sun will relax it over time. When you go to wrap it up, start slowly and tighten down the top bolt so it doesn't move n straighten out the cover on both sides so it wraps evenly. It will want to bunch up. I figured it out pretty quickly so it wraps nicely. Again, the first couple weeks it'll feel stiff n will eventually relax. I made a YouTube video for you to show you how I take it off. If you look to the immediate left of the reel, you can see 4 red bungee cords that I use to keep the wind from blowing the cover when we use the pool. I uncover in the morning and leave the pool open all day and then I cover right before bed. Don't mind me telling my German Shepherd Cecil he can't swim. LOL he thinks it's his pool.

I can remove my cover within 2 minutes. Takes just as less time to cover it. The new cover will be a little stiff. The sun will relax it over time. When you go to wrap it up, start slowly and tighten down the top bolt so it doesn't move n straighten out the cover on both sides so it wraps evenly. It will want to bunch up. I figured it out pretty quickly so it wraps nicely. Again, the first couple weeks it'll feel stiff n will eventually relax. I made a YouTube video for you to show you how I take it off. If you look to the immediate left of the reel, you can see 4 red bungee cords that I use to keep the wind from blowing the cover when we use the pool. I uncover in the morning and leave the pool open all day and then I cover right before bed. Don't mind me telling my German Shepherd Cecil he can't swim. LOL he thinks it's his pool.

Thanks for creating that video. It is a major help and now I feel confident about getting this reel. Also that’s a great idea regarding the bungee cords, I’ll be doing that also.

Your tip about making sure even on both sides is appreciated, as I can see how that would help make sure it evens out when rolling in. I assume also having each strap clip evenly clipped to cover should help prevent the cover from not rolling evenly. I’m going to make sure they are clipped perfectly!

Do the clips puncture holes in the cover?
 
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Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
16,643
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assume also having each strap clip evenly clipped to cover should help prevent the cover from not rolling evenly.
Correct. But it's 7-10 straps under force and tensioning each one perfect will be a full time job. Or the reel shifts 1/2 out of square with the pool. It's a never ending battle. It's just easier to adjust the cover on the fly. It still rolled up quick.
 
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