My Little One loves that we have an above ground pool in our backyard. She loves being in the pool with her friends and with us. It must be nice to be young and not feel like the water is cold and you can dive right in at any temperature, but this aging body likes the water warm. 🙂 With how often my Little One was asking for us to go in the pool with her, I knew we needed to do something to make the water warmer so the older crowd enjoyed the temperature as well…enter our newest addition to our pool, a solar cover from Pool Supplies Canada.
There are a number of different solar covers to choose from, so the first thing you have to decide on is which solar cover will do what you are looking to achieve. Of course, you want the solar cover to warm the water, but the different colors and thickness of the solar cover impacts the water in different ways.
Solar Blankets: What to Look For
Thickness of the cover
The thickness of solar covers usually varies from 8 mils to 16 mils. A thicker solar blanket means a longer life, as long as you are following a regular maintenance and care routine.
Thicker covers will also handle chemical burning and solar wear and tear better than thinner covers, however you will still cause damage to these products quickly if proper care is not taken.
Pool Supplies Canada carries 8, 11 and 14 mil solar covers.
Size of the bubbles
The amount of air trapped between the top of the solar blanket and the water in your pool creates a barrier. This barrier is the majority of the insulation your blanket has; the more dead air space, the more effective the cover is. As convection currents are created due to the heat difference between the air and water you will lose your heat retention, so making this space larger does provide a benefit but not at an effective ratio to make it worth over-sizing the bubbles.
Shape of the Bubble
The shape of the bubble will help determine the longevity of the cover. More edges and curves means more structural weakness. As the temperature rises the bubbles expand and put stress on the material. A dome shape will spread this stress evenly through the bubble whereas a hexagon or diamond bubble will have many weak points which will be the first to go as the cover ages.
Pool Supplies Canada only offers solar covers with dome shaped bubbles. While circles seem like dome shapes, they are not actually as structurally strong as a dome shaped bubble. The bubbles should also be slightly deflated at room temperature to ensure expansion room so that as the temperature rises they don’t explode.
Ultraviolet Resistance & Colour
Solar blankets come in different colours. While pool blankets with aquamarine and dark colours look good resting on swimming pools, they are not as effective as clear solar blankets at allowing rays of sun to pass through. A black blanket heats up quickly and would seem a good choice for keeping pools warm, however it is actually not very effective since it blocks sunlight. In addition solar covers spend a lot of time sitting in the sun. Therefore it is important to get one with a high UV resistance — stabilized solar blankets last longer than those without UV protection. All Pool Supplies Canada solar covers come with a UV protection.
A darker coloured blanket can be advantageous for those who want a warm pool but have algae issues. A darker cover allows less light into your pool, therefore allowing less algae growth. The darker cover will reduce longevity of the solar blanket however.
Pool Supplies Canada carries blue, blue / silver and clear solar covers.
So after considering all the above, I decided on a blue/silver solar cover.
Next was to determine the right size, which is a breeze to do on the Pool Supplies Canada website.
Our pool is 18 feet and round so I just had to click the drop-down menu for round pools until I hit the 18 feet and it took me directly to the covers I could choose from.
Here is the exact solar cover that we got…
I love that the solar cover comes larger than needed as we will be trimming it down to fit our pool perfectly.
Here are the details of our 18 fool 11 mil solar cover…
Detailed Product Description
A Blue/Silver Thermal Cover is a great way to capture the suns heat and take full advantage of this natural resource to heat up your swimming pool! Our 11 mil thick Blue/Silver Thermal covers are made of durable resin and have thousands of tiny air bubbles designed to capture and transmit solar heat into your pool. They will also keep your water cleaner by blocking out dirt and debris, and a Blue/Silver Thermal cover will help cut water evaporation by up to 95%, reducing heat loss at night or on cloudy days. Please remember that the bubbles on the cover face DOWN into the water!
Bubble: extrusion method eliminates delaminating.
Hot air sealing of 1 inch width, for a solid joint.
Packaged in a reusable polypropylene bag for storage.
Only 100% new material
Plastic bubble on line extrusion method
Sealed 4 feet wide
Best technology available (complete automation)
Unique in North America
Made in Canada
Keeps the water temperature warmer
Reduces evaporation of water
Reduces considerably evaporation of chemicals
Decrease the costs of chemicals
Decrease the costs of electricity to warm the water
Extend swimming season
So how well does our cover work? Well amazingly I can say and I find myself enjoying the pool more this season than any other.
Here is a photo of our thermometer before the solar cover was ever used and after 24 hours with the solar cover on…
So we started out at just under 24 degrees Celsius which is just too cold for me to get into. After just one day of solar cover use, we ended up with a nice, warm pool of about 29 degrees Celsius which is the perfect temperature to be able to get into and enjoy the water.
Of course, you can control how warm you let your pool get by the length of time you leave the solar cover on. Having said that, it is not recommended to leave the solar cover on for more than 48 hours in a row as you need to ensure your pool gets proper oxygenation.
Here are my tips for your solar pool cover:
*Have two people put the cover on and take it off to ensure minimal dragging on the ground so the life of the pool cover is maximized.
*Don’t chlorinate and then put the solar cover on as you do not want the solar cover having all the fresh chlorine on it.
*Let the cover dry completely before putting away.
*If you have help folding and rolling up the solar cover, you can get it into a decent size that stands up for storage.
We have really been enjoying our solar cover and comfortable pool water for a few weeks now. The great thing is, is that I would normally be starting to think about emptying the pool and getting it ready for winter, but because of our solar cover, we will be able to enjoy the pool for weeks to come.
It is the perfect time to get that solar cover because they are on sale at this time of the year. At the time of this review, the solar covers at Pool Supplies Canada are showing great savings.
To find out more about Pool Supplies Canada and their entire lineup of products, make sure to visit them here…
Disclosure: MomMomOnTheGo was provided product for the purpose of conducting this review. As always, MomMomOnTheGo only supports companies, products, and services that she loves.