Solar blanket questions...

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  #1  
Old 11-28-05, 09:08 PM
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Solar blanket questions...

FINALLY... our new pool is done, just in time for "winter" (or what passes for winter in Tampa Bay).

A heater wasn't in the budget, so I'm interested in trying a solar blanket to raise the water temperature and get some use out of it on those warm days between now and spring. Never having used one, I have a couple questions for those in the know...

Does anyone have a particular brand they'd recommend?

How many degrees can we reasonably expect to gain with the blanket?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Star
 
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  #2  
Old 11-29-05, 07:56 AM
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Solar Blankets Do they work?

Star,

That is a great name! Yes solar blankets do work! When they first came out in the early 1980's I myself was skeptical, so we did a test in a small volume of water on a cool spring day. One with the solar blanket one without, the one with the blanket was 5 degrees warmer than the one without! That was only after about 3 hours, and keep in mind it was a small body of water. Now what will it do for your large body of water. In Tampa I am not sure what your average air temps are this time of year but you can usually expect a 5-10 degree rise in temp in about 7-10 days and from there it will maintain the temperature depending on how cold it gets at night. You will loose heat on a very cool evening just not as much as with no blanket. Sometime in the spring you will have to take it off and keep it off, as the pool will get to hot if you don't. Would I recommend a blanket YES! If you have an in ground pool get a 12 mil blanket. Brand does not really matter just the mil. If you have an aboveground pool get an 8-mil blanket. You need the heavier blanket on an in ground pool because it will have to stand up to dragging it across the concrete deck or the edge of the pool. But avoid dragging the blanket if at all possible.

But don't buy a blanket with out a reel. The reel will extend the life of the blanket and make taking the blanket off the pool so much easier. NEVER SWIM UNDER A SOLAR BLANKET! Here I recommend the FerherGuard "Blanket Handler"; it has resin plastic ends and an anodized aluminum pole. It is one of the best I have seen.

Have fun swimming this winter!!

Guru of Pools
 

Last edited by Annette; 11-29-05 at 09:07 AM. Reason: removed business website from signature - not allowed
  #3  
Old 12-09-05, 07:19 AM
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A blanket is also good for minimizng water and chemical loss due to evaporation. Supposedly 70% of all heat loss is through evaporation alone.

I have an automatic cover on a rectangular 28Kgal pool. It beats fighting with removing and putting the cover on and is well worth the $$ in terms of saved hassle.

Here in SJ, CA, the best I can maintain is about the maximum average daytime air temperature. Meaning, if it's 75 everyday, I can get it to be about 75. I also supplement it with solar heater panels and run it as long as I have the pump running and it's close enough to be warm enough to swim. I can pump in about 1F rise per hour. In my situation, the swimming season starts from early April to about the end of October when it gets too cold and there's not much more solar insolation. I see neighbors of mine without solar or covers "swim" only in July/August/Sept
 
  #4  
Old 12-11-05, 06:32 PM
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Bubble covers work to some degree, usually the hotter out the more heat is transferred to the water, and they also keep heat in on cool nights. If you live in Florida go with solar pool heating.
 
  #5  
Old 12-29-05, 02:17 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. That clarifies quite a bit for me.
 
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