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Measuring and Cutting Solar Pool Covers
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Measuring and Cutting Solar Pool Covers


A solar cover is a very efficient and economical way to keep a swimming pool warm and extend the swimming season. During the day, soar blankets absorb thermal energy from the sun and transfer it to the pool water. At night the blanket insulates the water from the cooler night air, decreasing night time heat loss.

Sizing and installing a solar cover is a simple process that requires nothing more than a tape measure, a good pair of scissors, and perhaps the help of a friend.

Below are links to the three main steps of installing a solar blanket. techtips/cover.jpg How to Measure a Pool for a Solar Cover techtips/measuringpool.jpg

Most backyard swimming pools are not perfect rectangles. Even those that are rectangular are rarely the exact size of a solar cover. This means that solar blankets have to be ordered in a size that is slightly larger than the actual pool, and then cut to fit the pool precisely.

The first step in adding a solar cover to your swimming pool is to measure the pool. The longest length in two opposing directions will be needed in order to properly size a solar blanket to the pool. Basically you need the length and width of a rectangle that will completely cover your pool without leaving any water exposed.

It is always a good idea to add a foot or two in each dimension just to be safe. A cover that is too large can be easily cut to size, while a cover that is too small cannot be fixed. Preparing a Solar Cover to be Cut

When a pool cover first comes out of the box it is in a tightly folded roll. It is much easier to unroll the cover directly onto the pool rather than wrestle with the fully unrolled cover.

Lay the cover out at one end of the pool, then unroll it over the surface so that the entire pool is covered. It is important that the cover is unrolled with the bubbles side facing down. If the cover is upside down it will not heat efficiently.

Pull The cover over the pool as tightly as possible so that there aren't any wrinkles. This can be difficult, especially if there are water features or rocks around the edge of the pool. Cutting a Solar Cover to Fit a Swimming Pool

The first cut should go around the edge of the pool, leaving an overlap on to the pool deck. This will give a margin of error on the first cut. Once all the excess cover material is removed it will be much easier to get a good final cut that tightly fits the edge of the pool.

When making the final cut, keep in mind that it is always better to leave a little too much than to remove too much. You can always come back and trim more away if you need to. If you have a second person helping you cut the cover, have them hold it on the opposite side of the pool, to keep it in place while you cut.

When you are finished, the cover should float in the pool without hanging on the walls. A perfect cut will have the edges of the cover just barely touching the pool tiles.