Category Archives: Swimming Pool Covers

A Review of the Monaco Sun Reel

If you have even wanted to have a motorised roller for your pool cover but were put off by having to install an electrical supply to your pool deck then a solution is at hand.

Intopool, the manufacturer of the market leading Monte Carlo swimming pool reel, have introduced the motorised Monaco Sun Reel with a solar powered motor eliminating the need for an electrical supply.

The solar powered Monaco reel means there is no need to install an electrical supply

The reel on the Monaco is the same as the Monte Carlo which is the strongest and best swimming pool reel on the market. Inside the reel is a reliable German manufactured motor taking its power supply from a battery. The new hi-tech battery sits behind a solar panel fixed to one end of the roller. The panel can be rotated to a position to catch the best sunlight. One flick of a switch and the cover is pulled off. During the installation process you set the limits for when the motor stops so once activated the motor will always stop just when the cover is fully removed or replaced.

A bubble cover is not rigid enough to be pushed back on to the pool so you have to guide it back on with a leading edge kit on the cover.

The Monaco Sun Reel will even work on an indoor pool. If there is enough sunlight to charge the battery then you can use the standard model but if not there is the option to install the solar panel outside to catch the sun.

Cleaning Slatted Pool Covers

If you have a slatted pool cover you no doubt love the convenience of just flicking a switch and watching your pool cover remove itself from your pool but you may also suffer from the frustration of seeing all that scale and algae building up in the joints between the slats. We have a chemical to help with that.

Lo-Chlor Salt Cell Cleaner is a strong acid mixed with a soap and mainly used for de-scaling the plates of a salt chlorinator and it is very good at performing that task. But diluted down it can be used to clean off limescale deposits from a slatted cover and it is great at that too.

For light deposits dilute at 10:1 and for heavy deposits dilute at 5:1. Apply with a brush and leave it on for a few minutes. The acid will react with limescale and dissolve it away. It will also kill any algae. The soap content in the mix will wash away any dirt and you will be left with nice clean slats.

Made for cleaning salt chlorinators this product is also great for cleaning slatted pool covers

 

Solving the problems of Scale build up in swimming pools

The build up of scale on the side of a pool or on the surface of your pool cover is a problem that many pool owners face. This article will give some advice on how to deal with it.

Scale or Limescale on your pool starts life as limestone in the rocks that our rain falls upon. The rain dissolves the limestone and it ends up in our drinking water and swimming pool water. Limestone is calcium carbonate, chemical symbol CaCO3. A mix of calcium, carbon and oxygen. Because we never see it in its pure form it is often forgotten that calcium is a metal.

When water evaporates, as it does all the time from the surface of your pool cover, it is the water (H2O) that evaporates leaving behind the calcium carbonate behind as a white, scaley deposit. The easiest way to deal with with the scale deposits is to put an acid on it and the acid will react with the scale and remove it. Typically in swimming pools the acid is phosphoric acid which turns the calcium carbonate into calcium phosphate (as found in your bones) which stays in the water and does not form a scale. Products like Spa No Scale contain phosphoric acid. The problem with using a chemical like that in a pool is that the phosphate formed by the reaction with the carbonate is food for algae. So you solve the scale problem but can cause an algae problem.

No More Scale will prevent limescale build up on your pool cover and pool walls

Another way to deal with the problem of limescale deposits is to prevent it from depositing. Lo-Chlor make a chemical they call No More Scale which does just this. Instead of reacting with calcium carbonate to form a different chemical it sequesters it. Seqestering is a complicated reaction but involves a chemical that bonds to a metal and prevents it from coming out of solution ie being deposited on your pool walls. Calcium is a metal, remember. So No More Scale bonds to the limescale and stops it from being left behind when the water evaporates from your pool. It doesn’t just work on the calcium in limescale it works on all metals so it will help with Iron stains as well.

We recommend that you dose your pool with No More Scale once a year in the spring to prevent scale build up on your pool cover.

How much does a swimming pool cover weigh?

“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 368g/m2 9.8 kg 15.3 kg 27.3 kg
500 micron Blue/Gold – bubble 460g/m2 12.3 kg 19.2 kg 34.4 kg
500 micron Geobubble Sol + Guard – bubble 460g/m2 12.3 kg 19.2 kg 34.4 kg
500 micron Geobubble Energy Guard – bubble 460g/m2 12.3 kg 19.2 kg 34.4 kg
600 micron Geobbubble Blue/Silver – bubble 564g/m2 15.1 kg 23.5 kg 41.9 kg
6mm Thermalux – foam 350g/m2 9.4 kg 14.6 kg 26.0 kg
12mm Thermalux – foam 700g/m2 20.1 kg 29.2 kg 55.7 kg
Classic winter pool cover* 288g/m2 7.7 kg 12.0 kg 21.4 kg
Superweb winter pool cover* 295 g/m2 7.9 kg 12.3 kg 21.9 kg

 

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.

A comparison of swimming pool rollers

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 Pool Roller

The Monte Carlo

Slide Lock Roller

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

Conclusion

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.