Tag Archives: water loss

What Is a Solar Pool Cover?

Close Up View of Solar Cover

Close Up View of Solar Cover

The purpose of a Solar Pool Cover, also known as a solar blanket, is to increase the temperature of your pool’s water by soaking up sunlight in the day and preventing the heat from escaping from your pool at night.  A solar cover can raise the temperature of your pool water by an average of 10 degrees, more in sunny climates, which not only makes the water consistently comfortable for longer periods, but allows you to run your pool heater for significantly less time over the course of the season.  

Usually the most affordable type of pool cover, solar pool covers can also save you money by decreasing evaporation.  In fact, water and chemical evaporation can be decreased by up to 70 percent with the use of a solar cover.   In addition, solar pool covers can give your filter pump a rest because they help keep leaves, small branches, and other debris out of the pool.  Solar covers are not intended to keep all debris out of the pool, but they will certainly make the job of cleaning the pool easier.

Solar pool covers float on the surface of the pool water without requiring tie-downs or anchors to keep them in place; solar covers are easy to remove and put away, especially if you have a friend to help.  Covers can be folded and stored in a pool shed or rolled-up on a large reel and wheeled out of the way when the pool is in use.

Solar pool covers are NOT safety covers, though, and should always be completely removed from the swimming pool before anyone enters the water.

How to Locate a Leak in Your Pool

There are several steps you can take to try to locate a leak in your pool. There are several areas where your swimming pool may leak:

Any leaks in the underground plumbing will require professional attention; however, you may be able to find obvious leaks in other parts of the pool using simple visual inspection techniques.

Check for signs of moisture or drips around the pool equipment. Also check to make sure that your multi-port valve is not positioned to allow water loss to waste.

Underwater leaks in the pool shell or fittings can be identified with a dye test. You can make your own dye tester by using some dark food coloring and a turkey baster or a plastic syringe. If using a baster, slowly depress bulb to allow a slow steady stream of the dye to be injected into the pool. A Dye Tester allows placement of a small amount of colorant near (within ¼”) a suspected leak. Liquid follows the path of least resistance so dye will be drawn out of the pool where there is a leak. Start by testing suspect areas such as cracks in the tile or plaster, and places where return fittings, skimmers or stairs join to the pool shell. Much of this testing can be done from the pool deck; however, you will eventually have to get into the pool with a dive mask to completely inspect the structure of the pool.

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t find anything; most leaks are not visibly obvious, or may be in parts of the pool (such as the underground plumbing system), that are inaccessible. A qualified pool leak professional utilizing specialized equipment should be able to find a leak anywhere in your pool within an hour or two (some complicated jobs may take longer).