Under a growing strain of energy expenses, many pool owners have shifted towards an energy-saving and eco-friendly option, usually known as solar pool cover. These covers are an efficient way to keep your pool water warm and clean. However, their removal process can be challenging if not done correctly. This blog will provide instructions on how to roll up a solar pool cover.
What is a Solar Pool Cover?
A solar pool cover is a plastic sheet used to trap the sunlight to heat your pool water and preserve that heat to keep the water warm for a long duration. It is one of the cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions that not only heats your pool but also reduces evaporation and chlorine consumption. It also works as a water shield that prevents dirt and debris from entering the pool’s water and even prevents kids or pets from falling into the pool.
Solar pool covers come in different thicknesses, which are measured in mil. The available options are 8 mil, 12 mil, and 16 mil. Thicker pool covers retain more heat from the sun, keeping the pool warm for longer.
How to Roll Up a Solar Pool Cover
Solar pool covers generally are not attached to the pool itself, they just float on top of the water. You can roll up a solar pool cover by following the given steps:
Step 1: Before anything else, ensure that all power sources linked to it are completely switched off. This includes pumps, filters, skimmers, lights, and heating elements.
Step 2: Remove the leaves or debris from the solar cover using a net or hose with a nozzle to prevent dirt from falling into the pool.
Step 3: Next, gently pull each side of the cover until it is fully out from the water, and try to fold it over in your direction. It is recommended to work with at least one or two other people when tackling this task as it might be challenging if undertaken alone.
Step 4: Once you take the solar cover out of the pool, once again make sure that there is no dirt or debris left to clean or remove. Next, allow the cover to air dry and then fold it accordingly.
Now, let’s learn how to roll up a solar pool cover using a roller in the next segment.
How to Remove a Solar Cover Using a Roller
A solar cover roller is built to make the removal task of pool covers a lot easier by allowing you to roll on and off the covers with the help of a hand wheel attached to the roller. Below are some important points to follow to roll up a solar pool cover using a roller:
Step 1: Before trying to roll up your pool cover, make sure that the roller is placed right at the edge of the pool to make it work and roll the cover correctly. It would be tough to roll the cover if the roller is positioned at an inappropriate distance.
Step 2: Ensure there is a clear line of vision from the roller’s edges down the solar cover in case of an unusual or kidney-shaped pool.
Step 3: While rolling, you should pull the hand wheel slowly and gently to keep the cover straight on the roller as the cover may tend to move the other over because of the shape of the pool.
Step 4: It is also recommended to position the roller at a right angle to the central body of the pool for the cover to move evenly onto the roller.
Step 5: Make sure that the cover is evenly pulled by cords onto the roller and if not, then try to adjust the cords to allow it to pull the cover evenly.
Step 6: Allow the cords to get wrapped around the roller tube by leaving the cords at full length so that the cords get properly aligned with the cover to get them off the pool easily.
Step 7: Always make sure that the cover is not getting rolled underneath the tube. The solar cover should be rolled over the top of the roller tube. It gets very difficult to pull the cover off the pool when the solar cover is rolled under the tube.
Cross-Reference: How To Install, Use and Remove Your Pool Cover! by DoItYourselfDad
Also Read: How to Connect Solar Panel to Water Pump
How to Put on a Solar Pool Cover
Now, suppose you are willing to put up a pool cover again, here are the steps on how you can do so. This procedure is applicable for both in-ground and above ground swimming pools.
Determine the required measurement by assessing either one side or one end, depending on the most suitable method for your equipment’s size. Ensure that there is sufficient slack in the material while performing this task, allowing it to fit snugly over the water surface without any tension around the edges.
Unfold the solar cover and carefully position it at the desired spot, smoothing out any dents or wrinkles until the surface is perfectly smooth.
When placing your solar pool blanket, make sure to position it precisely where you want it. Take the two opposing ends of the cover material and securely fasten them to the hooks on each side of the pool.
1. For secure and effective tying, it is advisable to leave approximately one or two feet of extra length at both ends.
2. Utilize your preferred knotting technique from these options – overhand knot, square knot, bowline, or rolling hitch. By following this pattern, you will achieve a tightly fastened knot.
3. When placing it, ensure not to tighten it excessively, as this will result in wrinkles. These wrinkles will not only cause heat loss while using it but also prevent proper heating of the pool surface area covered by them.
Can You Run a Pool Pump with the Solar Cover On?
Yes, you can run a solar pool pump with a pool cover on. Pool pumps are created for proper circulation and filtration of the pool’s water, eliminating dirt and debris.
The pool cover has nothing to do with the pump filtering the water around the pool. It is recommended to use both at the same time as it helps to keep the pool a lot cleaner and reduces the time usually taken by the pool pump. So, it is perfectly fine to run a solar pump with a solar cover on it.
Also Read: How Many Solar Panels to Run a Pool Pump?
Solar Pool Cover Storage and Maintenance Tips
You already know how to roll up a solar pool cover, now let’s learn about its maintenance and storage tips. Regular maintenance is essential to protect your solar cover from rips, delamination, damage, and dirt. It may even save you the extra expense of replacing the pool cover.
Here are some solar pool cover maintenance tips that you should be aware of:
1. Avoid Keeping Cover on Grass
To keep your solar cover clean, it’s best to prevent it from getting dirty to begin with. To preserve your cover, refrain from casually tossing it onto the grass or pool deck. Not only will sand, grit, and organic materials make your solar cover dirty, but they will also inevitably find their way into your pool, resulting in damage to the pool lining and promoting the growth of algae.
2. Avoid Storing in High Temperatures
After your swimming session, keep your solar cover in a cool, dark place. The temperature should be below 100° Fahrenheit if possible.
Exposing your solar pool cover to water temperatures above 90 degrees F can decrease its lifespan. If the pool temperature is higher than 90 degrees F, remove the cover and use the white opaque polyethylene protector. Using your solar cover in these temperatures can void the warranty.
3. Clean Regularly
Clean your solar cover regularly to prevent dirt and debris from blocking the sun’s rays, which can reduce its heating ability.
You can easily wash away dirt, debris, and leaves on the floating cover by hosing them directly into your pool skimmer. To effectively remove stubborn dirt and algae from the cover, all you need is water and a gentle brush. Run the circulation pump while cleaning to redirect debris to the skimmer and filter, and not the pool. If necessary, the leaf basket or trap can be emptied after cleaning.
4. Handle and Move Carefully
To avoid damaging the air cells (bubbles), lift the cover with care when moving it over rough pool decks, coping, or sharp surfaces. Even minor tears can lead to significant long-term harm, compromising the effectiveness of your solar cover.
5. Invest in a Solar Cover Reel
A good solar cover reel stops your cover from sagging. This is the most effective method of solar cover storage for above ground pools. For thicker covers, choose a reel with a bigger tube diameter to keep the cover tight. It helps you easily and safely deploy or retract your pool cover, reducing the chance of damage. A loose solar cover can tear easily.
6. Maintain Pool Chemical Levels
Ensure that the chlorine level is maintained within the appropriate range as advised by your chemical supplier. To prevent damage, remove the pool cover before super chlorinating. Wait to install your pool cover until the chlorine levels are low and within the ideal range. The degradation of solar covers over time is primarily caused by chlorine and other pool chemicals.
7. Make Small Repairs
Repair small tears before they become big rips. You can find kits to repair solar covers specifically made for this purpose. However, in an emergency, you can also use other types of repair kits. Use translucent repair materials on your solar pool cover to allow light to pass through and heat your pool. Avoid using opaque materials.
8. Prevent Over Sunlight Exposure
To ensure the optimum protection for your pool, it is essential to minimize its exposure to direct sunlight when the cover is not in use. For optimal protection, make sure to keep your solar cover in a shaded area away from direct sunlight. We strongly recommend utilizing a white opaque polyethylene protector, available in almost every solar cover category.
Failure to properly expose the solar cover to direct sunlight (while not in use on the pool) can lead to delamination, resulting in a voided warranty. While solar covers are intended to be left on during the day, the powerful UV rays can gradually lead to their deterioration, just like every other type of plastic.
9. Time your Pump and Filters
After the warm water rises to the top, it brings a higher concentration of chlorine along with it. Circulate hot and cool water in your pool by timing your pumping and filtration system for the warmest part of the day, around 10 am to 4 pm. This will distribute heat evenly in the pool and prevent the accumulation of hot water and chlorine on top, which can harm the cover.â€¯
10. Storage of Solar Cover
After cleaning the solar cover, let it dry. Then, fold it into four-foot widths and roll it up from one end. Now, you have the option to store it in an upright position, either in its original shipping carton or in a spacious plastic bag. Most covers are equipped with a storage bag. Store the cover in a cool, shaded place below 100° F. When using a solar roller, roll up the cover and place the protective sheet on top, ideally in a shaded area.
Moreover, when the solar cover is not being used, it can be securely fastened to the roller using straps and then rolled up for convenient storage.
11. Storing during Winter Season
Make sure you always remove the pool cover after the swimming season (summer) is over. The solar cover is not designed to withstand winter conditions, which can significantly reduce its lifespan. For winters, you can opt for specialty winter covers as they are designed to withstand such conditions.
When storing solar pool cover during the winter, also use a pool cover cleaner, and don’t leave the cover outside unless it’s on the pool. Always clean the cover before storing it to avoid bacteria and mildew build-up. Store in a dry place because winter damage is usually not covered under warranty.
These are the major solar pool cover maintenance and storage tips you should follow for its long-term performance. Now, check out when you should consider replacing it.
When Should I Consider Replacing Solar Cover?
The durability of your solar cover is not indefinite, as the plastic will naturally start to degrade over time. Once the solar cover starts showing signs of flaking and becoming brittle, it’s crucial to consider replacing it. The initial indication that your solar cover is coming to an end is when the bubbles on the underside start to detach.
When buying a new solar pool cover, please make sure to dispose of the old one in an environmentally friendly way as the material is recyclable. The majority of solar covers have relatively short lifespans, typically lasting around 5 years.
Now you know how to roll up a solar pool cover, reducing any potential difficulties. You are also familiar with how to put it on and run a pool pump. You must also be careful to ensure that your cover does not get damaged. For more interesting content, keep reading our blog posts.
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