Solar Cover Question

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smcrea
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Solar Cover Question

Postby smcrea » Fri 01 Oct, 2010 00:23

We have a solar cover.. blue, smooth one side a bubbles the other.

The cover is only 18 months old and the bubbles are totally disintegrating and contaminating my pool.

Two Questions:

1) Can anyone recommend a more durable solar cover that will last longer? I suspect if the bubbles were sandwiched between two smooth layers then it would last longer.

2) Any general tips on usage and storage to help make the cover last longer.

Thanks!


duraleigh
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Solar Cover Question

Postby duraleigh » Fri 01 Oct, 2010 06:41

The answer seems to be that none of them last much past 2-3 years regardless. Apparently, UV degradation gets them all as many, many people have reported experiences very similar to yours.

Of course, keeping them out of the Sun probably extends their life the best, but that sorta' defeats the purpose!!!
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dalehileman

Solar Cover Question

Postby dalehileman » Mon 04 Oct, 2010 15:49

You'd be very lucky to get 3 years or even 2

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/po ... 21575.html

One would think, wouldn't one, that in this day and age when sending rockets to the moon got so easy we quit doing it 41 years ago the Pool Establishment could come up with a better product

Not to mention the job of trimming it. If an Aeropace requirement, pools would be made in standard shapes so the industry could provide a ready-made fit
chem geek
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Solar Cover Question

Postby chem geek » Mon 04 Oct, 2010 20:43

I get around 3-4 years out of my opaque electric safety cover, but that's not a bubble-type cover so doesn't insulate as well and it's expensive to replace -- around $1000 on average (more some years, less others, depending on what else needs to get fixed with the cover mechanism). That's just the price one pays for an automatic cover replacement pro-rated plus labor. So, basically, they all break down from the UV in sunlight, mostly because they are all variations of soft plastic or petroleum-based materials. That which makes them soft and supple is also what makes them break down. They do have some UV-resistant chemicals in them otherwise they'd break down even faster, but it's tough to combine soft plasticity (so they can be rolled up) with chlorine resistance.

If it wasn't for the oxidizers in the pool and constant exposure to water one could use tough fabric products instead, but water and oxidizers attack the fabric in one way while the UV in sunlight attacks in the other way. No real compromise here.

I have heard, but not personally experienced, that the thicker bubble-type covers cost more but last a bit longer, but that may mean 3 years instead of 2.
dalehileman

Solar Cover Question

Postby dalehileman » Tue 05 Oct, 2010 10:24

On Oct 4, 2010, at 7:06 PM, Len Glensker wrote:

Wow...now that I read all of this...heating the pool doesn't sound so bad...if you're going to spend $1,000+ every 2 years and risk contamination to the water...forget it.... Or just build the damn thing indoors with a roof that has lots of skylights.

My response:

My typical blue bubble cost $110 (or did last year) at your Friendly Local Bill's Pool and Spa and can last two seasons with some shredding, leaving blue flakes and disks all over the place. One simply has to get used to seeing them lying all about in the surrounding shrubbery while those left in the pool do float and so are carried into the skimmer basket for disposal. However if one were starting from scratch and had the space, as you suggest a solar tubing-type water heater might prove a better choice if for no other reason than our resentment with the requirement of trimming a new cover every time

Coverless the pool drowns more wildlife, especially insects and lizards but I rationalize that its absence can more quickly reveal the presence of a larger creature such as dog or cat that might otherwise have slipped in at the edge and any emerging contamination such as algae or mold that might otherwise go unnoticed until formidable. Anyone wishing to elaborate is invited to comment on this somewhat OT topic, perhaps as a new thread
chem geek
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Solar Cover Question

Postby chem geek » Tue 05 Oct, 2010 14:16

If you are only spending $110 for a bubble-type cover and are replacing it every 2 years, then that's only $55 per year for a cover. That's perfectly fine and I don't understand why this is such a problem. You spend far more than that on annual pump electricity costs and chlorine.

The $1000 for 3.5 years is somewhat less than $300 per year and as I said that's the price one pays for having an automatic cover. The convenience costs more.

Even with solar heating, one usually uses a pool cover if they are in climates that aren't particularly hot (even warm at night) or when one wants to significantly extend a swim season. It's not an either/or option of pool cover vs. solar heating.
dalehileman

Solar Cover Question

Postby dalehileman » Tue 05 Oct, 2010 16:38

........only $55 per year for a cover. .......don't understand why this is such a problem........

*****Sorry Geek if I wasn't clear. I wasn't complaining about its cost and in fact what I meant was that you could probably accept the method if you were willing to tolerate the flakes. I was objecting mainly to the requirement each time of trimming the blank to fit. I'd be happy to pay a few more bucks for the product if it were a ready fit and indeed I might then be willing to replace it more often

The $1000 for 3.5 years is somewhat less than $300 per year and as I said that's the price one pays for having an automatic cover. The convenience costs more.

******Again apologize Geek, it was my correspondent Len making that comparison not me

Even with solar heating, one usually uses a pool cover if they are in climates that aren't particularly hot........ It's not an either/or option of pool cover vs. solar heating.

*****Thank you Geek for that pertinent input. Living in the Mojave Desert as I do though it's more of an either/or
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Solar Cover Question

Postby danneva » Sat 16 Oct, 2010 05:48

A pool cover has two functions; one is to help protect your pool during the off season. This can prevent accidents from occurring and the other one is to reduce the maintenance cost of your pool. There are four types of pool covers. They are solar cover, winter covers, safety covers, and leaf nets. Generally pool covers reduce the time it takes to clean your pool come in swimming season. It can help warm your pool for evening use but it is not said that it can replace the pool heater.
dalehileman
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Solar Cover Question

Postby dalehileman » Sun 17 Oct, 2010 11:00

Dan, if one wanted both a solar cover as well as a more durable winter or safety cover wouldn't two reels be required

".....and the other one is to reduce the maintenance cost of your pool."

Forgive me Dan but how does winter cover reduce maintenance

"Generally pool covers reduce the time it takes to clean your pool come in swimming season."

Sorry again Dan but I don't follow. It's a lot more trouble to vacuum or sweep the debris collecting atop a cover than run the pump at high speed for an hour or so in order to carry it to the skimmer basket
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Solar Cover Question

Postby poolcoverinformation.com » Fri 17 Dec, 2010 21:28

Dalehileman,

As you can see this isn't dan. But maybe I can help. It becomes cumbersome very fast if you are trying to stack cover over cover to get a combined result. If you want the best results with safety and pool heating then your best choice would be an automatic pool cover. The material on these covers is thick and will keep your pool warmer than having no cover at all. Then the second question with regard to reducing maintainence cost:
Having a solid or non-mesh material pool cover on your pool will dramatically cut down on the amount of chemicals and water that evaporate off the pool and then need replaced. This cost adds up quickly. Many customers i have spoken with have found that chemical cost is reduced by up to 60% per year.

Hope that helps
poolcoverinformation

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