Category Archives: Swimming Pool Covers

What is the best swimming pool cover?


How do you choose a good swimming pool cover? Here is some information to help you choose.

Heat is lost from a swimming pool by evaporation of the water surface, if you cover the water surface you will cut heat losses. A simple plastic sheet would do the job but it would sink so you need a sheet with bubbles to keep it afloat. The first pool covers were developed from the same technology as bubble wrap. The pool covers are made from two layers of plastic one flat layer on top bonded to a bottom layer with air bubbles in it. Pool covers are often referred to as bubble covers. The first pool covers were coloured blue because it seemed a sensible colour to choose.

Research on pool covers soon discovered that not only did they keep the heat in the pool by stopping evaporation but by a “greenhouse” effect they could also heat the surface of the water. This lead to the covers being refered to as Solar Covers. It was then discovered that if you made the bottom, bubble, layer of the cover in silver plastic then the silver reflected the heat back in to the pool like silver foil on a roast joint.  Because of the blue top and the silver underside they are mostly known as blue/silver covers.

Thickness matters

Another consideration is the thickness of the plastic that the layers are made from. The thickness of the plastic is measured in microns. One micron is 1,000th of a milimetre. Some cheap covers are 100 or 200 microns thick but the standard thickness for our covers is 400 microns or 0.4mm. So our standard cover is made from 400 micron material with a blue top layer and sliver bottom layer and is refered to as a “400 micron blue/sliver”.

The next level up in quality is a cover made from 500 micron thick plastic. 500 micron covers come with a blue top layer and a gold bottom layer. Hence they are refered to as a “500 micron blue/gold“. The thicker material means these covers are harder wearing and they are heavier too. They do not retain much more heat than the 400 micron blue/silver but they do have a longer warranty. If you have a big pool the extra weight, 25% more, of this cover may be an important consideration for you.

New bubble technology

Pool Cover made using bubble wrap technology had some inherent problems. The corners of the bubble were thinner than the rest of the bubble and this weak spot was often the first point of failure. These tradition bubbles have been replaced by the new GeoBubble technology. The Geobubble has a bigger, double bubble with no inherent weak spots. This makes the GeoBubble cover the best type to choose from.

GeoBubble covers come in 400, 500 and 600 micron thicknesses and the colours are  Blue/Silver, clear and black. The thicker the cover the longer they last but the cost increases as the thickness goes up.

And the winner is…

For a pool that is heated the blue/silver covers are the best for a combination of solar gain in the day and heat retention at night. So the best pool cover for general usage is the 600 micron blue/silver geobubble cover.

However the clear cover, known as the sol+ guard, should be considered if you don’t heat your pool and want to get the best from the solar gain.

The black cover is great for keeping sunlight away from the pool water so it will stop algae growth in the water.   With a black cover on the pool you should not need to put winterising chemicals in the pool water.

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.