Jan 18

7 Ways to destroy a solar pool cover and void your warranty

  1. Not turning down automated chlorinators after a solar cover is installed. A cover reduces chlorine consumption by around 50% – if the chlorinator is not turned down, it will produce too much chlorine, and damage the cover. If your chlorinator is already running on its lowest setting, you can reduce the running time slightly, or add fresh water as needed.
  2. Not removing the cover after super chlorination. If you super chlorinate, always remove the cover first, and do not replace it until after chemical levels have returned to normal.
  3. Not keeping chemical levels to within the Australian Standard. Even being slightly over for a prolonged period of time will cause bleaching and brittleness of the cover. We recommend you test your pool chemicals regularly. You don’t need a full breakdown from your pool shop every weekend – just a quick check at home with some test strips is sufficient.
  4. Leaving a floating chlorine dispenser under the cover. While a floating chlorine dispenser is ok, they don’t float so well when they’re jammed under a cover. They will simply sit there, and cause a large concentration of chlorine in one area – and will damage your cover (causing bleach spots/burn), and probably damage the pool finish too.
  5. Leaving the cover exposed to sunlight when not on the pool. Solar covers are designed to attract and store heat. When a solar cover is rolled or folded, each layer gets hotter, and the temperatures build up through each layer. We have seen covers which have gotten so hot the layers closest to the reel have literally melted and fused together. To prevent this from happening, all ABGAL cover rollers are supplied with a protective overcover, which must be used when the cover is not on the pool.
  6. Improper storage. This picture? It wasn’t staged. It was literally what we saw whe7-ways-to-ruin-a-pool-cover-and-void-your-warrantyn we went to visit a pool owner – and they knew we were coming!! They didn’t want it on the pool at the time, so they’d ‘moved it out of the way’ for a few days. When on a reel, or folded, a blanket should be covered with a heat reflective cover. If storing for an extended period of time, it should be rinsed with clean water, and allowed to dry thoroughly before storage – and stored in a covered and protected area, at below 45 degrees celcius.
  7. Incorrect positioning on the pool. A solar cover shouldn’t be dragged over the pool deck, decorative rocks or sharp coping. And it should be cut to shape, so that it moves easily on the water. We’ve heard of people leaving them in a rectangular shape on a kidney shaped pool, then holding the edges down with bricks and rocks to stop them blowing off in the wind!
Sep 30

Pool Shops: How to give your customer a 10 year warranty on a pool cover

warrantySick of losing pool cover sales to that faceless stranger who continues to undercut you on ebay? You can’t beat them on price, but you can beat them on service. Talk to your customer, and help them choose the right product for their needs.

Offer an installation service too – not only do you make a few extra dollars , but by ensuring the cover is installed correctly, you extend their warranty. That’s right – we will extend the warranty on all 500 micron Oasis covers to a whopping TEN years (pro-rata), when profesionally installed.

The extended warranty is only on professionally installed covers, to give you an edge over web sales. All you need to do is arrange for a professional installation of the solar cover, and make sure your customer quotes the name of the installer when registering their warranty with us – we automatically upgrade their warranty from 8 years to 10.

Oct 17

Why did my solar pool cover turn my pool green?

Generally, if your pool turns green, it is because of algae. While algae is pretty much always present to some extent, it can become resistant to normal levels of chlorine, and if the conditions are right, it can take over, in a very short period of time.

Algae loves

1. Low chlorine levels;

2. Phosphates; and

3. Warm water.

If you already have low chlorine and phosphates present in your pool, then adding a solar pool cover (which warms the water) will most certainly help existing algae to thrive.

So while a solar cover won’t actually ‘turn your pool green’, it will warm your water by up to 8 degrees, so if the other conditions are right, adding a solar cover can easily accelerate algae growth, very rapidly.

You need to get the water balance in your pool right before putting the cover back on. Take a water sample down to your pool shop, explain what is happening and they will work out what you need, based on your pool water condition, and set you on the right path. If you wish to do it yourself, (and it is only just starting to turn green), the first step is an algae starver. This will remove the phosphate build up, (the algae food), and thus, the algae starves. Filter your pool for 12-24 hours, to remove all the algae spores from the water.

Its also a good idea to backwash or clean the filter afterwards, to ensure there are no algae spores trapped inside the filter. If there is algae spores left in the filter, you have a greater chance of the problem recurring.

If the algae is really severe (ie you can see it on the pool walls and floor), you really wont be able to avoid a trip to the pool shop. Superchlorination is required, and you will need professional advice with regard to quantities and concentrations of chemicals. Ensure your pool cover is completely removed when you superchlorinate, and do not put it back on the pool until chemical levels return to within the Australian Standard.

 

 

Sep 03

What made my pool turn green?

Unless you’re talking about being environmentally friendly, its never a good thing to have a ‘green’ pool.

We’ve had a beautiful few sunny days here in Queensland – many of us were peeling back the pool covers over the weekend, ready to take the plunge. Unfortunately for some though, the last couple of months of neglect meant that they uncovered pools which were less than in tip top shape.

If you have  a solar pool blanket and rolled it off over the weekend to reveal less than crystal clear swimming conditions, don’t panic – if its only just happened, it shouldnt take too much to get it back under control. The instance we had on the weekend was due to the automatic chlorinator giving up the ghost at some point during the week.

Super chlorination is the quick fix, so if you’ve got company coming over this weekend, it is your best bet. (Remember though, if you superchlorinate, take your pool cover off first, and leave it off until the water balance is returned to normal).

If the pool is allowed to stay green for long, correcting it will become a really big (and expensive) job, so is  is a good idea to test your water regularly, and continually make the minor adjustments needed to keep your chemical balance  right for swimming. There are several contributing factors towards a green pool, but the main culprits include inadequate filtration, unbalanced water, warm temperatures, increased sunlight and a presence of phosphates, nitrates and carbon dioxide.

Once it has turned green, there are several steps you need to take to get it back to its best. Your pool shop will be able to give you detailed advice to suit your pool, based on your test results, so take a sample of your pool  water and head to your pool shop.

Our advice? Don’t ‘set and forget’. Pick up a packet of test strips, and roll back a corner of your pool cover every week or so during off season and keep an eye on your water balance. Two minutes a week can save you a major headache down the track!

 

 

 

Aug 27

Solar Pool Cover: Water inside the bubbles

Have you ever noticed a small amount of water inside the bubbles of your solar pool cover? No, it does not mean your cover has holes in it – the water is not seeping inside. It’s actually just condensation, (like you get on the outside of a cold drink). It means that the air inside the bubble is a different temperature to the air outside of the bubbles. It is not a fault with the cover, and does not mean the cover is damaged. It is perfectly normal, the water droplets will disappear as soon as the temperatures inside the bubble and outside equalize again.

This condensation will not affect the performance of the pool cover in any way.  🙂

 

 

Aug 01

How to stop heat loss from my pool

The biggest cause of heat loss from a swimming pool is evaporation. A number of factors contribute to evaporation in your pool – air temperature compared to the water temperature, humidity level and the amount of wind blowing across the surface of the pool. The bigger the difference between the air temperature and the water temperature in a pool, the greater the evaporation and therefore the greater the heat loss. The same for low humidity environments, the potential for evaporation is increased when the humidity is low. When the wind is blowing across the surface of the pool, you increase the amount of evaporation and therefore heat loss.

If you are spending money to heat your pool, the last thing you want to do is throw that money down the drain…  So invest in a good quality pool cover, and you’ll see the difference straight away! The pool cover will create a barrier between the wind and the water surface, and can also stop up to 99% of evaporation! A cover with good thermal properties will also stop heat loss through the fabric.

There are some different types of covers ranging from chemicals that coat the water surface, to floating rings to proper fabric covers. The chemicals and rings are not as effective as good quality fabric cover that is fully waterproof and covers the whole surface of the pool in one piece.  The chemical style evaporates away by itself and needs to be continually added to be of any benefit. Rings – while they look cute, and (individually) stop evaporation, they are really not a practical solution as they leave lots of gaps which allow leaves and debris to fall through to the pool water. These eventually sink to the floor of the pool and need to be cleaned up by a pool vacuum or automatic pool cleaner. If you use a one piece fabric cover, it will help keep the leaves out of the pool as well as stop heat loss. Most fabric covers can be used in conjunction with a pool reel system to make covering and uncovering easier.

So if your main goal is to stop your pool from losing heat overnight, the best thing you can do is invest in a good quality, thermal pool cover.

Jun 22

Is your pool ready to swim?

Spring is here and, as the warmer weather coaxes us into the outdoors more, it’s time to get your pool ready to swim.

Is your pool too cold? Green and neglected? Full of leaves and debris? Or, all of the above? The solution is easy…

A cold pool is easily transformed into an oasis with a solar pool blanket. They raise your pool water temperature by up to 8 degrees C and can extend your swimming season by up to 3 months a year, so you can start swimming sooner.

A green pool usually means algae has started to grow in the water, due to lack of maintenance. Super chlorination is the quick fix, backed up with regular testing and adjusting to get the chemical balance just right for swimming again. Remember to remove your pool cover when super chlorinating!

If a pool full of leaves is getting you down, simply cover up with a fitted pool cover. There are many different styles available for both inground and above ground pools, salt water and chlorinated, specifically for keeping your pool leaf-free. They are cost effective and can pay for themselves in the first year, due to how much money you’ll save on chemicals and water. Plus, you’ll have more free time to swim in your crystal clear pool.

 

May 12

True or False? Uncovering the myths about pool covers…

1. “You don’t need a pool cover with a heated pool.”
A. False. Yes, you do. More than one third of the heat you put into your pool can be wasted if you don’t cover it up. We as a society can’t afford to waste that much energy these days, particularly if your pool is heated using fossil fuels like electricity or gas.

2. “Pool covers don’t work that well anyway” 
A. False. Yes, they do. It is a scientific fact that a waterproof cover stops evaporation and reduces chemical usage.

3. Just use “floating rings” or this “new miracle chemical” that you cannot see, but somehow magically eliminates evaporation from your pool.
A. False, false, false. The simple fact is, if the cover is fully waterproof, it will stop nearly 100% of water evaporating out of your pool. Floating rings and invisible chemicals just don’t do the same job. Don’t be fooled by bogus claims. If it seems too good to be true, it very often is.

4. Do I really need a pool cover in the winter time?
A. True if you want to save water and pool chemicals. With a cover you can reduce the pool filter running cycle to save electricity too. Otherwise you will still spend the same on electricity running the filter and cleaning time keeping leaves and debris out of the pool.

5. Pool covers look ugly, don’t they?
A. False. Not at all, a properly fitting and maintained pool cover will complement any pool surround.

6. Pool Covers really save a lot of chemicals?
A. True. By keeping the Sun off the pool water and reducing the light entering the pool or sealing the top of the pool, they substantially reduce the chemicals needed. A pool covered with a floating cover will use around 2/3 less chlorine.

7. I have read that some Pool Covers save over 99% evaporation?
A. True. A Pool Cover made from a fully waterproof fabric (like a floating bubble cover) will stop almost 100% of vapour transferring through the fabric.

 

May 01

Fact #5b: Week 2 of “How often we fail, in our cover-up plan”

When planning a new pool or refurbishing an existing pool and surround, the question to start with is not “Do I need a pool cover?” but rather, “What type of pool cover do I need?”

Pool covers are an environmentally responsible part of owning a pool these days, but they are generally purchased after the pool and landscaping has been completed.

Keep your options open, by being smart and planning your pool cover in the beginning, when planning the rest of your pool entertainment area.

Start by asking yourself these questions…

• Will the pool be heated?
• Are there overhanging trees which will drop leaves into the pool?
• Is the pool exposed to high winds?
• Is it more important to reduce leaves, retain heat or reduce evaporation and therefore water loss?

Use the answers to these questions as the basis for choosing the right pool cover for you, so you can plan for it when designing your new pool area.

If you are planning on a fully automated cover, these cost many thousands of dollars and need to be built into the pool structure for best results. While these are expensive, they can make covering the pool as easy as pushing a button. However, if you have lots and lots of leaves, some styles do not keep all the leaves out of the pool, so choose carefully.

If your pool will not be heated and you have existing trees that shed their leaves, then a tie-down leaf cover is probably best for you. But if the pool is heated or you are looking to extend your swimming season with free heat from the sun, a floating pool blanket is your cover of choice.

Now that you’ve decided on the type of pool cover which best suits you, now think about the storage of it. Most floating covers will be stored on a Reel or Roller. These are popular as they are portable and reasonably lightweight. They are as wide as the pool by about half a metre deep. In your planning stage, ensure your landscaping allows enough room for the Reel. It is usually stored at one end of the pool, away from the gate or pool access.

If you have a lot of leaves raining down on your pool, you will likely choose a tie-down, leaf cover. These overhang the coping and keep out all the leaves and twigs, seed and blossom. Leaf covers have fixing points about 1 metre apart, most often fixed into the coping or pool surround. Plan your paving to accommodate these fittings. You need to allow enough space between the waters edge and any change in level, for the cover overlap and the tie-down fittings. A minimum of 300mm is ideal…

A leaf cover is usually rolled up like a tent and often comes with a storage bag. These are usually custom-made to shape for inground pools or readily available in standard sizes for above ground pools.

A properly fitting pool cover makes pool maintenance a breeze. It will give you peace of mind when you’re away for extended periods and have a leaf problem, plus you will help the environment by saving lots of water and pool chemicals. Be smart, and cover up…
Mar 10

Fact #2: Pool covers save water – but how much?

One of the questions I am often asked is, “How much water does a pool cover save”? We all know that pool covers save water by virtually eliminating evaporation when they’re on the pool, but how much evaporation does your pool have? It’s a valid question and one that, in the past may have been quite subjective.

Now, you can look at statistical averages on the government weather bureau website to see 10 year averages of evaporation in your area, and then make some sort of calculation from there. However, the nationally endorsed Smart Approved Watermark website has developed a handy tool for pool owners to calculate how much water a cover will save. I’ve just tried it for my own pool and it showed evaporative water loss of over 73,000 litres per year. Isn’t that a staggering amount?

How much would your pool lose in a year? Click on the link and see for yourself, then tell your friends about it.

Go to  and enter in your postcode and some details about the size of your pool and how often it is used. With a simple “click”, the magic number appears, taking all the necessary factors into consideration.

This means it’s really easy to justify why all pool owners should use a pool cover and just how much precious water they will save. So, try it for yourself and spread the word, to see how much we can contribute to sustainable water usage for Australia’s future, today!