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Thread: Solar Blanket Differences?

  1. #1
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    Default Solar Blanket Differences?

    Hey folks,

    I just ordered a Solar Blanket from Namco (chain pool store). It's 12 MIL and for an 18X36 pool it was on sale for $88. Lowes has an 8 MIL for about the same price. The Local pool store has a 12 MIL for $150.

    Few questions:
    1) Other than thickness, what other considerations are there when looking for a solar cover?
    2) I can still cancel my order, so is there any feature/attribute I should be looking for (that maybe the one from the Local Pool Store is giving me)?
    3) Is it true that the thicker the solar blanket, the better?

    Thanks a lot!

  2. #2
    bbb is offline Registered+ Thread Analyst bbb 0
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    Default Re: Solar Blanket Differences?

    A lower quality solar blanket that is used beats a higher quality solar blanket that isn't used every time.

    My "from left field" response:

    The quality of the solar blanket *reel* is much more important than the quality of the solar blanket itself - so the reel is the best place to invest your money, in my opinion. My reel makes it easier for me to use the blanket every day -- and the savings I find with heat pump usage, decrease in evaporation, and decrease in chlorine usage/SWG power level are significant.

    There are advantages of clear vs blue vs black vs metallic, and there are already threads here that discuss them. The only negative I can think of for a thicker cover could be that it could weigh more and be thicker on a reel.
    bbb = bleach, borax, & baking soda

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Solar Blanket Differences?

    I actually don't think I could buy a reel. I have an in-ground pool with a diving board on the end and a slide on the side. Because of the slide, I wouldn't be able to roll the reel along the pool.

    The guy at the pool store said that they don't make stationary reels for in-ground pools. Is that true?

    ***EDIT*** Just called them up and now a different guy is saying the opposite. That they do have stationary reels for in-ground pools and that the full kit is around $130 or so.
    Last edited by NullQwerty; 05-30-2008 at 02:16 PM.

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    bbb is offline Registered+ Thread Analyst bbb 0
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    Default Re: Solar Blanket Differences?

    I have a pool reel that is taller and goes *over* my diving board. I'll see if I can find a link to it


    Edit: ok, found the link.

    I use this, the HV 2000: http://www.poolsinc.com/sr_hv2000.html

    I have a ladder part way down. I don't roll the reel down the length of the pool - I usually only roll it out of the way of the diving board when the pool is in use, and leave it just inside the diving board end for rolling/unrolling.

    Also, mine sags, unlike what it says on the website there... but it doesn't affect operations much.
    Last edited by bbb; 05-30-2008 at 04:24 PM.
    bbb = bleach, borax, & baking soda

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    Tredge is offline Registered+ Thread Analyst Tredge 0
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    Default Re: Solar Blanket Differences?

    There are also low-profile reels for under the diving board.

    The thickness doesnt matter for heat retention, just for life of the cover.
    Thinner covers rip apart faster.

    Preventing evaporation is the goal for any cover. Accomplish that and you'll have a warmer pool. Colors make relatively minor difference.
    Some people have hobbies.....I have a pool.

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    CarlD is offline Super Moderator Vortex Adjuster CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars
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    Default Re: Solar Blanket Differences?

    I disagree. I think thicker ones definitely retain heat better--and they "die" after 3 years just like the cheap ones.

    I've had opaque-blue-on-top-black underneath, transparent blue and clear. They all last maxium 3 years and the warranty isn't worth a bucket of backwashed water. It's only if it de-laminates, not if all the bubbles all fall off in your pool.

    I went from an expensive diamond 17mil clear to a blue transparent 12mil for just that reason--I'd rather spend $120 than $220 for a cover that will last 3 years.

    But a good reel is definitely worth it. I had one of those plastic ones and the bearings even were plastic. They tore up and made it nearly impossible to turn. Now I have a metal one with steel bearings and, in its third season, it's like it's brand new.
    Carl

    16'x40' rectangle 19K gal AG vinyl pool; ; Hayward T210 sand filter and 2 Speed Superpump 1hp pump; Solar heated. Test kit: PS 233; PF:6.3

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    Tredge is offline Registered+ Thread Analyst Tredge 0
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    Default Re: Solar Blanket Differences?

    Deffinitely agree on a good reel. I regret cheaping out on that.
    Spend the money and get a good one, plan on a new solar cover every three years.

    I dont have a lot of direct experience with varying thickness but the science of it says most of your heat loss is in evaporation.
    It's been my experience actually that removing the cover during the day and covering it back up every night nets me the warmest pool...even better than keeping it covered with a clear cover 100% of the time.
    Some people have hobbies.....I have a pool.

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    CarlD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solar Blanket Differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tredge View Post
    Deffinitely agree on a good reel. I regret cheaping out on that.
    Spend the money and get a good one, plan on a new solar cover every three years.

    I dont have a lot of direct experience with varying thickness but the science of it says most of your heat loss is in evaporation.
    It's been my experience actually that removing the cover during the day and covering it back up every night nets me the warmest pool...even better than keeping it covered with a clear cover 100% of the time.
    I mostly agree. Still, I've found thicker seems to insulate better--remember: Heat rises. I think, though, that covered or uncovered depends more on the weather. If it's windy, covered DEFINITELY is better during the day--because of evap cooling. On a blistering hot sunny day, uncovered is better....and that's when you REALLY want to swim!
    Carl

    16'x40' rectangle 19K gal AG vinyl pool; ; Hayward T210 sand filter and 2 Speed Superpump 1hp pump; Solar heated. Test kit: PS 233; PF:6.3

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Solar Blanket Differences?

    I was thinking about going without a reel this season and just pulling it off. The guy at the pool store said it wouldn't be a problem doing that and that I'd be able to do is myself (young guy). Do you guys agree?

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    Tredge is offline Registered+ Thread Analyst Tredge 0
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    Default Re: Solar Blanket Differences?

    Depends on the size I suppose. You can.....

    I wouldnt do it.
    1. Convenience - if its a pain in the neck, how often are you really going to do it?
    2. Protection - The reel neatly rolls the cover up and the cover doesnt drag on edges or the ground. If you cut the cover's life in half or a third then you end up paying for a reel in the long run. (Good for the guy selling covers I suppose)
    3. Keeping the pool clean. Not sure about your yard but I'd drag leaves and junk around if it wasnt on a reel.
    4. Storage. The reel rolls out of the way neatly next to the pool when you need it. leaving the cover in a clump or folding it up is ugly and again inconvenient.
    Some people have hobbies.....I have a pool.

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