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Thread: Do I need to cut a solar cover to fit?

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    Default Do I need to cut a solar cover to fit?

    I just picked up a big solar cover for my pool, Pool is 12x25 and there is a 8' diameter jaccuzi with spillover on one end. The cover is big enough to cover both as is, but I am wondering if I need to cut the cover up to "fit" or just let the edges of the cover go out onto the decking as it is right now.

    Also, it's basically like thick bubble wrap. Does it matter if the bubble side is down or up?

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    Default Re: Do I need to cut a solar cover to fit?

    You want to cut it about 1" smaller than the pool on all sides so it "floats" on the water surface. Use a separate cover on the spa. If it is too big to handle and you don't use a cover reel you can cut the cover into smaller sections and put them on the pool individually. THis is often useful with odd shaped pools.
    11.75'x23.75' kidney 6.5K gal IG fiberglass pool/300 gal acrylic spillover spa combo; Aqualogic automation/SWCG; Pentair Clean and Clear 150 cart filter; 1.5 hp uprated 2 spd Pentair Whisperflo pump; PF:17
    Retired pool store and commercial pool maintenance guy.

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    Default Re: Do I need to cut a solar cover to fit?

    I seem to always have to cut mine to size....then they stretch and get too big.

    I find that a solar cover lasts 3 years, no more. It doesn't matter if I buy a cheap one or an expensive one...after 3 years I have to replace it. I haven't noticed a major difference in performance between a blue 12mil cover and a 16 mil clear one, having used both. So I just go with the cheaper one.

    Last time, I actually got a 40x16 cover (usually 40' ones are 18' or 20' wide). Stretches anyway! I THINK this is the 2nd season for this cover, but, if it's the third, by late August, I'll know.....
    Carl

    16'x40' rectangle 19K gal AG vinyl pool; ; Hayward T210 sand filter; Hayward 2 Speed Superpump 1hp pump; hrs; PS 233; PF:6.3

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    Default Re: Do I need to cut a solar cover to fit?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlD View Post

    I find that a solar cover lasts 3 years, no more. It doesn't matter if I buy a cheap one or an expensive one...after 3 years I have to replace it. I haven't noticed a major difference in performance between a blue 12mil cover and a 16 mil clear one, having used both. So I just go with the cheaper one.
    Ditto, however the 8 mil ones only last a season IMHO. 12 mil seems to be the best bang for the buck.
    11.75'x23.75' kidney 6.5K gal IG fiberglass pool/300 gal acrylic spillover spa combo; Aqualogic automation/SWCG; Pentair Clean and Clear 150 cart filter; 1.5 hp uprated 2 spd Pentair Whisperflo pump; PF:17
    Retired pool store and commercial pool maintenance guy.

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    Default Re: Do I need to cut a solar cover to fit?

    Gonna try and cut it up tomorrow I think. I've just been draping it over the pool and spa so far. Temps have gone up a few degrees despite a cold front coming through yesterday (84 water temp now). Chlorine is definitely staying in the water longer; I turned down the swcg to 50% before starting with the cover and 2 days later I've gone from 8ppm to 16. Still within the normal range for 60 cya I think, but you can smell the chlorine a little now. Previously I'd have had to add liquid chlorine to get it that high!

    I'm happy about the temp change, that's for sure but it's a little bit of a hassle especially since I'm a bit freaked out about the dangers of kids and a cover. Went out and got alarms for the back door and gates to the yard. Once summer hits full on I'll probably stop using it because I don't get to run out and skim the pool while I'm on the phone working (that's a pleasant diversion in my day usually). Still, it's serving it's purpose now and I can look forward to swimming much later in the year now!

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    Default Re: Do I need to cut a solar cover to fit?

    You can cut the cover into pieces instead of one big piece. That will help with the concern about kids and a cover. I have my solar cover cut into fourths on my 24 AG. It is also much easier to manage than one huge piece of vinyl.

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    Default Re: Do I need to cut a solar cover to fit?

    Interesting note to cut up a large cover. I have an odd shaped pool, so I was thinking I'd need to buy a much larger solar cover in order to cut it to shape to fit in as 1 piece. Plus with a reel it seemed I would catch the cover on the curves of the pool as I reeled it in. And of course buying a reel is even more cost!

    For those who cut up a large cover, how or where do you store it when you're in the pool (since I assume you can't use a reel)? I also have a vinyl safety fence around the pool; will it be easy or light to pull the cover out? What prevents the pieces from moving around and overlapping?

    Finally, how would this compare to buying the solar disks? Although you'd have more gaps between the solar disks, it seems that the benefit is easier storage.

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    Default Re: Do I need to cut a solar cover to fit?

    My 24ft AG cover is cut into fourths. Each piece is rolled onto a long piece of pvc pipe and then lifted out and stacked on the side of the deck out of the way. Much easier to manage than that huge piece of vinyl!

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