Sugestion for an above ground solar cover reel?

imalittleturt

Well-known member
Apr 29, 2008
70
0
#1
I need to buy a reel for our solar cover. I would like some suggestion so I don't buy a lemon. I will need one that can be operated buy my wife so her an my daughter can swim when I am not home. Also the reel need to pivot off to the side so it is not in there way. I have seen a few on the internet but wanted to get some input from the TFP members. Thanks.
 

NWMNMom

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
0
Waaay NW MN
#2
Are you "stuck" on having one with pivots and not off the end? Also, are you "stuck" on purchasing? A number of us have built reels based on Matt4x4's design and are quite pleased with the quality and the ease of use. If you want to know more, just say the word and I'll direct you to what is involved. Its not much more difficult that installing a store bought model but will last much longer and is very easy to use.
 

imalittleturt

Well-known member
Apr 29, 2008
70
0
#3
I would be fine with making one. I just need it to be easy to operate so my wife can do it herself and it needs to be out of the way so her and my daughter can swim without having to remove the cover and reel from the pool since she would not be able to handle it herself. If you can provide me with plans and pictures I would very much appreciate it.
 

NWMNMom

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
0
Waaay NW MN
#4
Ours is built off the back end of the pool - it sits up on posts inset into the ground - some have used landscaping timbers and some, like us, used steel posts. The reel itself is aluminum conduit pipe and sits about 3' back from the end and hangs round 2' above the top rail so definitely out of the way. I operate it alone all the time. It has a large crank handle on one side with bearings on both sides. My DH built it in about 2 hours, cost was under $30 at that time.

When the blanket is reeled/rolled up, it is completely off and away from the pool. It takes one person to reel it up and one person to pull it back out onto the pool. Best of all to me, nothing is mounted to my pool rails. It also is nice to have it away so I can spray the cover off away from the pool to remove the little tree droppings and such that stick to the cover.
 

imalittleturt

Well-known member
Apr 29, 2008
70
0
#8
We did purchase an 8 mil. I read that before on TFP. We ended up just buying a cover on Saturday for a local store. I got tired of loosing all the heat from the solar panels overnight. I can attest to how much of a difference they make. We have had a few very cold days and the pool is still at 74 with the cover. I ended up running the filter last night with the cover on so I did not loose any heat.

I like the idea of building a reel but I have limited space. We fit the biggest pool the city would allow us in our backyard. The pool is only 3 feet off the garage on one end and the will be a patio at the other end. That is why I may have to buy a reel that mounts to the rail and swings off to the side. I am just afraid I am going to spend $160-$200 and the reel turns out to be junk.

I think if I build one that mounts on rods or a posts it will be in the way. Do you guys have any other suggestion?
 

savdoc2

Well-known member
Jun 1, 2008
185
0
NW MO
#9
We purchased a reel system that mounted to the center of the AGP. We used this the first year and hated it. Last year I found the above pictures and my husband bought some hollow fence posts that the uprights of the reel fit into. This works great.

My problem is the clips we are using to attach the straps to the cover. Every use, at least one of them comes off. What kind of clips are you all using?
 

imalittleturt

Well-known member
Apr 29, 2008
70
0
#11
I ended up buying one off craigslist. It was new in the box never used for a little less that half. It took about 2 hours to install but it seems to work well. The mounts and reel ends are resin and the pole is aluminum powder coated white. My wife can reel it by herself so her and our daughter can swim. She just leave it on the pool and they swim at the other end. When I am home we take to reel off the pool. I like the fact that is is resin since we have a saltwater pool and a steel unit would probably rust.
 

jimmerz

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2012
171
0
47
Pittsburgh, PA
#12
Are there any step by step guides to building your own? And some close up pictures of the way it is attached to the cover and reel? I am pretty sure I can build this, I would just like to be walked through this process like an 8 year old...

Thanks!
 

pwrstrk

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Aug 18, 2012
4,758
2
Elverson Pa.
#13
Are there any step by step guides to building your own? And some close up pictures of the way it is attached to the cover and reel? I am pretty sure I can build this, I would just like to be walked through this process like an 8 year old...

Thanks!
Do a search of the forum. I know there have been a couple of DIY reels. 😎
 

pwrstrk

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Aug 18, 2012
4,758
2
Elverson Pa.
#15
Search DIY solar cover reel. I know there are a couple of them on the forum. Not sure if there is step by step instructions. They do list parts with pictures. 😎
 
Oct 22, 2013
10
0
Bellingham, wa
#17
Are you "stuck" on having one with pivots and not off the end? Also, are you "stuck" on purchasing? A number of us have built reels based on Matt4x4's design and are quite pleased with the quality and the ease of use. If you want to know more, just say the word and I'll direct you to what is involved. Its not much more difficult that installing a store bought model but will last much longer and is very easy to use.
I'm interested in building Matt's reel. Could you send me links to the look and constructions please?