“How much does it weigh?” is a question we are often asked about our swimming pool covers. This is often because the pool owner wants to take the cover abroad and the next thing they want to know is how big is the cover when it is all packed up. So here is the answer.
A swimming pool summer cover weighs between 360 and 570 grams per square metre. We sell seven different types of summer cover and the table below lists the weights for each type and also tells you the weight for 3 typical pool sizes.
Pool Cover Type
Weight per m2
Weight 24ft x 12ft pool
Weight 30ft x 15ft pool
Weight 40ft x 20ft pool
400 micron Blue/Silver – bubble
500 micron Blue/Gold – bubble
500 micron Geobubble Sol + Guard – bubble
500 micron Geobubble Energy Guard – bubble
600 micron Geobbubble Blue/Silver – bubble
6mm Thermalux – foam
12mm Thermalux – foam
Classic winter pool cover*
Superweb winter pool cover*
Solar pool cover are folded and rolled up to a cylinder and wrapped in heavy duty plastic. The package is typically 6ft (1.8m) high and about 18 inches (450mm) in diameter. Here is a photo of a typical cover wrapped up and ready to send.
This is a typical pool cover wrapped up in heavy duty plastic and ready to be shippedWhen it comes to winter cover
*This is the weight for the winter cover. When ordering a winter cover remember that they come with a set of spring clip fixings and the set will weigh about the same as the cover.
The first affordable inflatable spa was introduced some years ago by Chinese company Bestway. They aimed it at the American market and they called it the Lay-Z-Spa. It proved to be a great success and not surprisingly Bestway’s biggest rival Intex have now entered the market with their version called the PureSpa. As a general rule Intex products are of a higher quality than Bestway so let’s see how the two inflatable spas compare.
The Intex Pure Spa
The Bestway Lay-Z-Spa
The Lay-Z-Spa has a more funky pump and filter unit but we like the vertical segmentation of the PureSpa. The control panel on the PureSpa is easily reached when you are in the water. The PureSpa is 4 inches higher and bigger inside but the Lay-Z-Spa holds more water (we can’t work that one out either!). The PureSpa has more jets, better filtration, a more efficient heater and is stronger and quieter.
Given Intex’s worldwide reputation for quality and durability we would expect the PureSpa to be the most reliable in the long term.
The Lay z spa hugely outsells the Intex version and is cheaper but overall we give the thumbs up to the Intex PureSpa.
One thing that always confuses swimming pool owners is the size of the pipe work on their pool. This is because pipes that are called inch and a half are nearer 2 inches when you put a tape on them. With this article we hope to clear up the confusion.
The first thing to know about the pipes used on domestic UK swimming pools is that they have not gone “European” yet. Everything is in imperial. On the continent everything is in metric and metric pipes will not fit together with imperial pipes without an adaptor. The vast bulk of existing domestic swimming pools in the UK will have been constructed using “inch and a half” pipework. Some may have been built using 2 inch but they would generally be bigger pools. Nearly all pool equipment, pumps, heaters, filters etc are made with inch and a half fittings on them. But not all. Some pumps have 2 inch fittings as standard and so need to be adapted down to inch and a half.
So you would think that if you put a tape measure on your pipes you would see the pipe line up with the 1.5 inch mark on the tape – but it doesn’t. I have to say that we don’t know why this is! What is known industry wide as inch and half pipe is actually just over 1 and 7/8ths wide on the outside diameter and about 1 and 5/8ths on the inside diameter.
"Inch and a half" pipe is actually nearer 2 inches
If you are looking at a coupler for inch and a half pipe then the inside diameter is a fraction under 2 inches and the outside diameter is 2 and 3/8ths inches. So a typical inch and a half fitting like a 90 bend is nearly 2 and a half inches wide!
To make matters even more confusing there are two types of pipes, one white and one grey in colour. The white ones are the most commonly used and they are made from ABS material known as “Class C ABS”. ABS stands for Acrylonitril Butadiene Styrene. The grey coloured pipe is PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) but you can get white PVC also. You can join ABS to PVC but you need to be careful in your choice of glue. Some glues are ABS only, some glues are PVC only and some, like the one we sell, are suitable for both ABS and PVC.
If you need a new television or a new car there are so many to choose from it is difficult to decide which is best for you. Fortunately if you need a new swimming pool roller there are not many to choose from so the decision is made a lot easier.
Is it a roller or a reel?
First off all are we using the correct language in calling it a swimming pool roller? Not really. Strictly speaking a roller is used to roll something flat like a rolling pin for cooking or a garden roller for your lawn. We should really call it a reel because it is used to reel in your cover. But everyone calls it a roller so we will stick with that word.
The component parts of a pool roller.
A pool roller is made up from a long hollow tube that the cover rolls on to. The ends of the hollow tube have and end cap in them to seal them, this is know as the End Boss. The tube is held up by two end stands. The top of end stands look like the letter “Y” and that bit is called the Yoke. The End Boss on the tube fits into the Yoke of the end stand and it rotates in the Yoke. In to the at least one of the End Bosses goes the Steering Wheel, you turn the Steering Wheel to roll up the cover on to the tube. The tube is actually two or three lengths of tube. They overlap each other like a telescope and slide out to the correct width where they are then clamped to each other to fix the width. Between the tube and the cover are a set of webbing straps joining the cover to the tube. When you first turn the wheel the straps pull the cover off the pool and on to the tube.
The straps are fixed to the roller by various means as we will see and the straps fix to the cover usually by the use of male/female plastic poppers and a buckle. The end stand can sit permanently on the side of the pool or it can be on wheels or wheeled castors so you can move the whole roller around. You can un-buckle the straps from the cover and leave the cover on the pool and remove the roller if you wish.
Comparing the Monte Carlo, the Slide Lock and the Economy Reel.
The three main pool rollers on sale in the UK are the known as the Monte Carlo, the Slide Lock and the Economy Reel.
The Monte Carlo
The Slide Lock
The Economy Reel
The Economy reel is imported in to the UK we believe from the Czech Republic. It has wheels (not castors) on the bottom of one end stand a “T” bar at the other end. It has one Steering Wheel and is suitable for pools up to 15ft wide. It has two smooth tubes and the straps fix with a self tapping screw. Not the most robust construction but it is a very good roller for small pools.
The Slide Lock Roller is made in the UK. A very popular roller seen on very many pools. It comes with a choice of many types of end stands for floor or wall mounting but the most popular is the free standing version that can have castors fitted. They are made from 1.5 inch stainless steel with a plain plastic yoke. The tubes are aluminium with two larger ones sliding into a central smaller one. It has groove within it and in the groove is a plastic fitting to take the cover strap. It slides and clamps where you want it. The tubes fix to each other with a small screw.
The Monte Carlo Roller is also made in the UK. Fairly new to the market it has taken over from the Slide Lock as the highest quality roller and is gaining in popularity. The end stands are made from 1.75mm stainless steel. A quarter of an inch might not sound like much but it makes them much more robust than the other two. The yoke is very sturdy and has a roller bearing within it to make rolling smoother. The aluminium tubes are a set of three like the slide lock but they fix together with a clever clamping system inside a groove which is better than the Slide Lock’s system but in the same groove goes the fixing for the cover strap. If you want to move the position of a cover strap you may have to take out a tube clamp, slide the strap fixing past, and then put the tube fixing back on. More fiddly than the slide lock but a more robust system.
Yoke from the Slide Lock
Yoke from the Monte Carlo
For small pools and small budgets choose the Economy Reel. At the top end of the market it is a fight between the Slide Lock and the Monte Carlo. The Monte Carlo is a bit more fiddly to set up but wins out in the end because of its more robust manufacture and its clever design features.
We are often asked why has my swimming pool’s bubble cover started to degrade? The usual pattern is that you find little bits of white plastic floating in your pool water. You wonder where they have come from and eventually find that they are from the underside of your pool cover. The bottom of the bubble has degraded and fallen off.
A typical failure looks something like the image below.
Typical break up of a pool cover
The material becomes brittle and the cover literally falls apart. This type of failure happens when either the cover has reached the end of its useful lifespan or something has happened to shorten its lifetime.
The plastic that the cover is made from contains antioxidants and chemicals to protect it from breakdown by UV light from the sun. These chemicals don’t last forever and as the cover ages so these chemicals get used up. Either the oxidisers in the pool water will break the plastic down or the UV light from the sun will. Or a combination of both.
This process should happen after about 6 years but sometimes it happens after only a few years. Why is this? In almost every case it is because of chemical attack on the plastic from the pool water. Excess chlorine in the pool water, whether for a prolonged period or intermittent periods, will attack the stabilisers and and deplete them in advance of their usual lifespan. Once the UV stabiliser is depleted by the chlorine the sunlight will finish off the job of breaking down the plastic.
What can I do to prevent this happening?
Many pool owners say that they do have too much chlorine in the pool and this may be so for most of the time but if you shock dose the pool and put the cover on straight away you will harm the cover. Sometimes you get high levels of chlorine under the cover but don’t realise you have done it.
Pool covers come with solar protection sheets to cover them when they are off the pool. These should always be used.
Roll the cover off the pool so that the bubbles are down. That way the sun can’t shine on them.
Are some covers better than others?
Yes. The higher the grade of material used the longer the life span of the cover. Three grades are available 400, 500 and 600 micron. This refers to the thickness of the material, the thicker the better.
The new Geobubble Swimming Pool Covers will last much longer not only because they are made from 500 and 600 grade but the additives are better and the shape of the bubble is such that it does not have weak corners that are always the first to fail.
So to summarise.
Don’t let the cover come in to contact with high chlorine levels when shocking
Make sure you don’t accidentally over chlorinate and if you do take the cover off