Will a pool cover help keep the pool clean?

saltyzoo

New member
Jun 10, 2007
3
#1
Hiya,

I live in South Florida and have a pool that isn't screened. I also have several Live Oak and Pine trees. I spend a lot of time skimming and cleaning the pool. Most of my problem is with floating leaves. On a windy day more leaves can fall while I'm at work than the skimmer can handle. A lot more. So I end up with the skimmer clogged and a billion leaves to skim.

I don't have a lot of problem with the pool getting too warm. Today it's at 82, which is as hot as I've measured it in 10 years. Typically it stays below 80. For about 6 or 8 months of the year, I wouldn't mind raising the temp a few degrees.

I'm toying with the idea of putting on a floating solar cover - more to catch debris than anything else. But I'm not sure how effective that will be. I'd be leaving it on 24/7 except in the depths of summer (like now).

But I'm trying to figure out how having a billion leaves on a floating cover is going to be any easier to deal with than a billion leaves in the pool....

Thoughts?
 

ric

Well-known member
Apr 27, 2007
217
Ohio
#3
Hi saltyzoo
I live in a area with lots of trees. I do use a solar cover and it will hold the leaves and junk that blows into the pool. sometimes if there is to meny I use a broom and dust pan to clean up the cover before I crank it off. sometimes they just blow off. I always have some go into the pool that I have to use the net on. a good cover for the pool floats very solid and there is no problem sweeping them. There should be no problem getting 5 to 10 deg gain in Florida with the solar cover. I would say yes go for it. :-D
 

NWMNMom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
Waaay NW MN
#4
I agree. I live in an area with lots of trees/leaves and it is also much cooler here than there. The things that the cover will do for you is:

1) help keep the leaves out of the pool (cover is much easier to clean off than leaves IN the pool) We sweep, rake or roll the leaves off as we crank up the cover onto the reel. If you have HUGE amounts during autumn, a leaf net over the cover may be the way to go

2) Keep the heat you have from escaping at night and when there is wind or the temps drop below your target water temp. This is by far one of the biggest advantages of keeping your pool covered. You can heat your pool anyway you want or let Mother Nature do it for you but you will have to keep on working at bringing that temp back up so much more if you do not RETAIN the heat.

3) Minimally add some warmth - they really do not increase the temps so much that you can count it as "heating" but the surface 2-5" may heat up 5 deg or more.
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
#5
Hey Saltyzoo,

I'm in Coral Springs with an uncovered, unscreened pool with loads of my neighbors pine needles ending up in my pool. A good cleaner (I have a Sta-Rite Great White) and in line leaf trap (Hayward # 180) will do wonders to keep your pool clean. I don't deal with too many floating leaves and my skimmer is where I plug my cleaner into so very little problem there.

The Great White has a large throat to suck up large items.
The in line trap has a clear body so I can see when it needs to be cleaned.

The cover will work and make sure it is larger than your pool (you can cut it to size) so that the ends are right to the wall, allowing very little debris to end up in the pool. Also, make sure you're lifting the cover periodically to check for debris that may have gotten past the cover.
 

MarkC

Well-known member
May 14, 2007
57
#6
I used to use a solar cover but hated all the junk that fell into the pool when I removed the cover. This was usually right when I wanted to swim.
 

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
#7
To add to NWMNMom's list:

4) keeps water loss due to evaporation down

5) (not 100% on this one) Helps keep the chlorine in by blocking the sun a bit

You will probably have to take extra care when removing the cover so the leaves don't end up in the pool, but if you go slow and maybe tuck up the edges as you go, I would think you would be ahead of the game (as opposed to much scooping and vac'ing)
 
May 25, 2007
10
#8
The Mermaid Queen said:
To add to NWMNMom's list:

4) keeps water loss due to evaporation down

5) (not 100% on this one) Helps keep the chlorine in by blocking the sun a bit

You will probably have to take extra care when removing the cover so the leaves don't end up in the pool, but if you go slow and maybe tuck up the edges as you go, I would think you would be ahead of the game (as opposed to much scooping and vac'ing)
Queen's right on her points - but i've never been terribly impressed with my solar cover's ability to keep debri out of the pool. If the cover is cut to fit the pool perfectly, it's hard to remove but keeps more stuff out. If you cut it slightly smaller, there's debri that gets in the water, and if it rains with debri on the cover - wow what a mess!

My other main concern for you is that in south Florida, a solar cover may just lead to one very large hot tub. Your water temps may climb to the point of a) being uncomfortable and/or b) being so warm or hot that your chemical usage will go through the roof.
 

alben

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 23, 2009
74
Central Minnesota
#9
I use a safety cover for three reasons:
1) To keep small animals (gophers, muskrats, rabbits, etc.) from drowning in the pool.
2) To keep out the pine needles and leaves from falling in the pool.
3) An exra layer of safety for toddlers/children.

All the needles and leaves simply blow off. The few that stay behind on the cover I just hit with a water hose or leaf blower. Would never go back to a bubble solar cover again.