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Thread: for anyone questioning the impact of a solar cover

  1. #1
    tenax is offline Registered+ Widget Weaver tenax 0
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    Default for anyone questioning the impact of a solar cover

    i'm starting to get into maintenance mode for the winter (i.e. heater turned down to 65.only want it to fire if it were to get below freezing overnight) 3 days ago, my pool temp was at 82...i haven't run the heater since..cover has been on aside from 4 hours yesterday to clean up some gunk and "let the water air". the temp this morning in spite of 3 nights of air temp being below 55, the pool is still at 77 today. i'm impressed!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: for anyone questioning the impact of a solar cover

    Been down close to freezing the last couple of nights and only into the high teens in the daytime but the pool water, without the heater on, is still in the upper 70's. Without the cover the water would certainly be down in the 60's, not to mention the sun would still be burning off the chlorine.

  3. #3
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    Default An unscientific observation...

    Hello- I live in M***achusetts, where it was about 80 degrees on Saturday. At 8 AM on Saturday, my pool water temperature was 68 degrees. I turned on my propane heater, and at about 2 PM it was 78 degrees, 5 PM it was 80 degrees, 8 pm when we left the pool it was 81 degrees. At that time I turned the heater off {not down}.The air temperature overnite went down to 53 degrees.

    This morning {Sunday}, at 8 am, the pool water temperature was 78 degrees!
    Today, at 2PM, the temperature in the pool was back to 81 degrees, without ever turning the heater back on. We swam until about 4:30PM.

    I have not used my Solar Cover since the first Summer I got it 3 years ago, because, after observing the above type of heating/cooling cycle, and for the minimal amount of heat loss or gain that occurs, I also found that I dislike the crud that blows onto the cover, which would normally be collected in my skimmers, I dislike the reel because you need two people to do it right, and I dislike the circulation in the pool if you turn the eyeballs down.

    So my lovely Blue Solar Cover sits at the ready up against the fence at the deep end of the pool, waiting to get called into the game.

  4. #4
    tenax is offline Registered+ Widget Weaver tenax 0
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    Default Re: for anyone questioning the impact of a solar cover

    interesting..what the air temp was during the day for you...on the hot summer days i could see that..now that it's like 68-70 for a high with the cover on the temperature has maintained but not gone up..i know what you mean about the crud on the cover, but i prefer that to in the pool..i have my solar reel rigged with ez-grabbits on the one end so it really is a one man job..if i had a bigger pool, i might not say that (mine's 15 x 30 inground kidney shape)
    Last edited by tenax; 09-10-2006 at 08:07 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: for anyone questioning the impact of a solar cover

    I know what you mean about the crud. We kept dumping it in when the wind blew as we were rolling it up. My skimmers {2} are very well placed for collecting off of the surface water.
    The pool itself is 20 x 44 lazy ell with grecian ends. A very clumbsy dimension for the cover.

    By the way, Sunday night the air temperature went down to 52 degrees. At 8 AM the pool water was 72 degrees, a 9 degree loss. My theory is that the pool structure below the water acts as a bit of a heat sink. Once the gas heater is turned off, the structure begins to return its heat to the pool water, slowing the heat loss. But it certainly does lose heat faster over time than with a cover. Under the above conditions, we probably will only swim in the pool one more time before we close it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: for anyone questioning the impact of a solar cover

    I'm a newbie. I am considering a solar cover. I am wondering how much more swim time it will give me. We don't have a heater. The water is running between 78 and 82 degrees the last few days. I don't think we will swim with water temp drops below 77. (Brr) If I order a cover, it will probably take 10 to 14 days to get it shipped. Our nights can be any where from the upper 60's to the mid to lower 50's. Day time temps may range from high 70's to low 90's. ( south Arkansas) The weather may fluctuate between these ranges for the next 30 to 45 days. What kind of benefit and how much will I benefit from a solar cover? Some say the clear cover is best. Any advice or recommendations are appreciated. My pool is a brand new 20'6" x 40' 6" IG vinyl with polymer walls. It gets about 5 hours of full afternoon sun daily.
    Last edited by webfeet; 09-11-2006 at 07:48 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: for anyone questioning the impact of a solar cover

    A solar cover by itself won't give you much extra heat. The big benefit is if you heat the pool, therfore creating a big difference between the water and nighttime air temperature - lots of evaporation then! A cover really cuts down the heating cost vs. no cover.

  8. #8
    tenax is offline Registered+ Widget Weaver tenax 0
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    Default Re: for anyone questioning the impact of a solar cover

    i agree with spensar. without a heater, you'll slow down the loss of temp (my pool was still 77 today..enough heat during the day to keep it up to that i guess) but it was a hot day..over 80..but, no heater to maintain a bit higher warmth at night. as you've probably found out..2 or 3 degrees in the pool can make the difference between swimmable or not..swim until you can't take it anymore, i guess..but don't expect that the pool is going to gain 3 or 4 degrees in a moderate climate where it's cooling off to 50s -low 60s at night.

  9. #9
    Jerry Reeves is offline ** No working email address ** Jerry Reeves 0
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    Default Re: for anyone questioning the impact of a solar cover

    There's no doubt, a solar cover does what it is supposed to do. We started using ours towards the end of the swim season and it does make a big difference - especially for keeping the heat in overnight or on cooler days. Finally closed up the pool and put the winter cover on yesterday. However, the few times we had to fool with the solar cover were frustrating events. IMHO, they're a pain in the neck. Yes, a reel would likely make it easier but we do not have a good place to locate a reel. We have a 12 X 28 AG pool with no deck to attach a reel to. Besides, to me, the reels can be unsightly. We finally got the solar cover dried, folded and put away for the winter but we both feel that we'd just rather pay the cost to heat the pool and the heck with the solar cover.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: for anyone questioning the impact of a solar cover

    Check out this link to see impact of the solar cover. Also go to the links for heating energy use with and without a cover. It's amazing.

    http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/.../mytopic=13140

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