Solar Pool Cover – Tips to get the maximum life out of yours
A good quality Australian made Solar Pool Cover, particularly made from Sancell Australia material, is made to last. In fact there is very little that can go wrong with them, but to ensure their longevity there are a few things that should be done.
The TWO Main causes for Blanket degredation are over exposure to Chlorine and Heat
Always keep chlorine levels in the pool within the acceptable range.
One situation that will most certainly shorten the life span of a solar pool cover is exposure to excessive chlorine levels in the pool water. The Pool Cover has a finite amount of chlorine it can handle in its lifetime. Therefore if the pool water’s chlorine is above 3 ppm (recommended levels) then the lifespan of the blanket will shorten. Obviously the reverse is also true, if your chlorine levels are below the recommended range then in theory your pool cover will last longer. Bear in mind that running your pool below the recommended levels for chlorine will increase the likeliness of the water quality going poor.
When the solar pool cover is coming to the end of its life, or it has been exposed to very high levels of chlorine for a short period of time. you will notice the bubbles on the blanket go a milky white in colour and become brittle and flaky. When this happens, the solar pool cover’s usefulness effectively comes to an end.
Avoiding this condition is extremely easy and will automatically happen if you follow a normal swimming pool maintenance routine. Generally speaking, most pool maintenance professionals advise pool owners to have their pool water tested once per month. By doing this, and with the correct advice that follows this testing, the owner can maintain the correct concentration of chlorine in the water by simply keeping the pool in balance.
As a solar pool cover will slow down the chemical loss in a pool, it is further recommended that after a pool cover is fitted, the first water testing should be within about a week of the cover’s installation. By doing this together with the normal monthly water testing the problem of too much chlorine attacking the cover will be removed.
Use the Sun Cover when the cover is on the Pool Roller
Solar pool covers are particularly good conductors of heat from the sun’s rays. For this reason, they should not be exposed unprotected to the sun for a prolonged period. This means whether they are rolled up on the pool cover roller or removed manually and put to the side they will need protection from the sun’s rays. I see far too many pools where the pool cover has been taken off the pool and left wrapped around the roller tube for days, weeks even the whole swimming season unprotected or folded up like a bed sheet and stuffed next to the shed – and people wonder why the cover doesn’t last its expected life.
Why is this detrimental to the blanket? Two reasons – Firstly, the cover runs the risk of burning itself or melting itself. Secondly and most commonly, there is a chemical built into the plastic, designed to protect the plastic against the chlorine. It has a finite amount of chlorine it can handle in its lifetime. Once the chemical has broken down the chlorine then breaks down the plastic. This chemical is susceptible to overheating and will break down under exposed heat. The white milky liquid that runs off the blanket is actually the broken down chemical. Whilst the cover is on the pool, it is the water that keeps the cover cool. Wrapped up on the tube it is the Sun Cover that is tasked of keeping the sun off the pool cover. Therefore the remedy is simple, keep the cover on the pool, whenever you are not using the pool. When you are using the pool, use the sun cover that has been supplied with the roller to protect the pool cover from the sun’s rays. If the pool cover is not fitted to a roller, the cover should just be stored out of the direct sunlight when it is not on the pool. Both of these two actions will avoid the pool cover burning itself when not on the pool.
So the steps to take to prolong the life of your new solar pool cover are simple, they are
- Have your pool water tested by your pool maintenance professional in the first week after the cover is fitted.
- Continue to have the pool water tested on a regular basis – once a month in Winter and Fortnightly in Summer, as part of your general swimming pool maintenance routine.
- When the solar pool cover is not on the pool water, use the pool roller over cover or sun cover to protect it, or store the pool cover out of the direct sun light.
By following these three simple steps you can expect to have your solar pool cover last its maximum expected life.