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By far the most efficient way to save on pool heating costs is with a solar pool cover. Cold temperatures and evaporation are the two primary causes of heat loss in a pool. A solar cover tackles both of these issues, by magnifying the sun’s rays, and by preventing water from escaping through evaporation. But your solar cover is only as good as its solar cover reel.
A saggy solar cover reel will also reduce the efficiency of the reel, making it difficult to roll out and bring back in. In some cases, the slack can even cause the cover to tear.
Replacing your cover is expensive, but thankfully there are some simple methods for preventing your solar cover reel from sagging.
Method 1: Buy The Right Tube Size
We recommend purchasing a larger tube size (when available) or a Rocky’s Reel System when using covers heavier than 8 mil. The larger size will pull the cover taught, and prevent sagging. Rocky’s Reel System is an inground reel system specially designed to handle thicker covers.
Method 2: Keep It Close
If you have an oversized tube, you will want to keep your base ends as close as possible on either side of the pool. The tubes will then be layered telescopically, making them stronger. This extra strength and reduced distance will reduce slack.
Method 3: Go Wide
Wider footing will provide more stability for your solar cover reel. A short and wide cover reel will be more stable and less likely to tip over than a tall and narrow model. A solid foundation for your reel is the key to ensuring that your solar cover does not sag. A reel that is tipping over, or can be wiggled will always be liable to produce at least the equivalent amount of slack.
Method 4: Get The Right Sized Tubing
Some people prefer 4-inch tubing to 3-inch tubing, as it can prevent sagging in the middle. Fatter tubing allows the cover to wrap itself more tightly, and this extra tightness will spread from the reel to the middle of the cover.
Method 5: Above Ground
For above ground pools the most important consideration is how tightly the reel is installed to the side of your pool. A loose reel will wiggle and naturally produce slack.
Method 6: Portable Reels
Portable reels are very common for pool owners who want to maximize their pool deck space, but the portable nature of these reels means that they will naturally have a less solid base. There is not much that you can do, but it might be a good idea to spend the extra money to get an extra secure model in order to reduce slack.