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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking I'd like to build some sort of reel system to roll up my solar cover. Pulling it on and off by hand is a pain and doing so drags grass clippings and dirt into the pool. I could buy something for $300 or so. But, I'd like to at least investigate ways to build one on my own.

I've tried searching the 'net but my googling skills are failing me. All I can find are sites wanting to sell me a cover or reel. Anyone have any tips, photos, plans they're willing to share? This is for an 27' above ground pool.

Thanks,
Tim
 

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the Musigician
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need more input...
photos of existing cover and surrounding area...
cover shown on and off pool.

DM
 

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Get rid of the blanket all togeather!! Try the new liquid solar blanket. it reduces heat loss an evaporation. all solar blankets and reels are a pian!
 

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Mines not, rolls right up
And I need to prevent heat loss
Makes it easier for my solar water heater to bring the temp closer to 90 :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the ideas. I will check out craigslist. I've used the "solar pills" (liquids) but I haven't been convinced they actually do anything. I will probably use them once summer/warm weather hits. I think the cover will do better now when the nights are still getting really cold and days aren't getting very far into the 60s.

As for the solar heater, I'd love to hook up one of those, too! :)
 

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the Musigician
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Trying to do the same thing.

I am also trying to come up with something workable and inexpensive. So far, I have invested about $18 in two treated 2x4x10's and three 10 foot lengths of 1 1/2 inch schedule 40 conduit plus two elbows for a crank. I just put it up last night and haven't tried cranking it up yet, still in the forties this morning. I am also interested in advice from others. The pvc conduit sags a bit and I'm still not sure how I'm going to attach a strap to connect the pole to the solar cover. I have attempted to attach a picture of my setup. The pool is 30 feet round and the span of my reel is about 22, I figured I would fold in the sides as I reel it in.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's just about what I was picturing. I'm thinking of a "two layer" pipe. For strength, I'd either black pipe (galvanized gas line) or maybe metal conduit. It would hopefully span the distance without sagging. Over that, I'd use PVC. The PVC would be able to turn freely over the inner pipe. I could screw the clip on tarp straps to the PVC and then clip them to the cover.

We have a 27' diameter pool. So, I'm going to have to span a fairly wide distance.

Tim
 

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the Musigician
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timop: a simple 4x4 post in the ground in the center with a 2x4 on top in a "T" should support the sag when the cover is rolled up.
turn the 2x sideways (perp to cover) so it does not snag when rolling. round off edges to be sure.

DM
 

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Hmmm, an idea.

Tim,
Your idea of a double pipe has inspired an idea of my own. Angle iron or channel iron might be the most rigid solution inside of the pvc, as it doesn't need to be round, just offer support. As with most of my thoughts, the challenge is continuous length. Any ideas on where to get an aluminum pole of that length? This seems like the best solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The advantage I see in black pipe is that it comes threaded. I wouldn't need a continuous length because I could just use couplers to connect as many lengths as I need. I agree angle iron would be more rigid and lighter. You could bolt lengths together but welding would be better.

Tim
 

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Something that works very well is aluminum irrigation pipe. I've made dozens of rollers from it. It's thin wall, (.050-065), very light, and available in continuous lengths to 40ft.

I ususally use 4" for up to 30', and 6" for 40', but it's available in 2" and up. This will have much less sag than iron pipe and is easy to work with (once you figure out how to get it home :) ). If enquiring about it, be sure to specify bare end tubing, as it is also available with 'connector' ends.

It's not the cheapest, but depending on where you live, it may be available used.

Gary
 

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Something that works very well is aluminum irrigation pipe. I've made dozens of rollers from it. It's thin wall, (.050-065), very light, and available in continuous lengths to 40ft.

I ususally use 4" for up to 30', and 6" for 40', but it's available in 2" and up. This will have much less sag than iron pipe and is easy to work with (once you figure out how to get it home :) ). If enquiring about it, be sure to specify bare end tubing, as it is also available with 'connector' ends.

It's not the cheapest, but depending on where you live, it may be available used.

Gary
garyoutwest,

I was wondering if there was a way to connect pieces together because I need 33' and have no way to get a piece that long home.....since you have made several, do you have any ideas?
tHANKS
 

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Solar Cover Reel

After pricing these out I decided to experiment with my own build. My material of choice was treated lumber since it will be on my deck. It works great, simple to build, and no crazy bearings or special materials needed. I used 1 1/4" black pipe coupled together for a span of 18'. 1 1/2" pipe may be a better option for spans greater that 20'.

Materials:

One 2x8x7 treated plank
One 4x6x7 treated post
Four 90 degree angle brackets
Two ten foot sections of 1 1/4" black pipe
One 1 1/4" coupler
Two 1 1/4" 90 degree elbows
Box of 1 1/2" galvanized screws
Two 8" angle brackets
One 1 1/4" threaded end cap

I only needed 18 feet of black pipe to cross the span of my pool and had the left over 2 feet cut down into one 4" union and one 6" piece (only threaded on one side) for a handle. The entire cost was about $70 from my local Home Depot.

Step 1. Cut 2x8 plank down into two 30" pieces.

Step 2. Cut 4x6 post sections down into two 15" pieces.

Step 3. Bore 1 1/2" holes through one end of the 4x6 posts, centered 3" from end.

Step 4. Center 4x6 posts 12" from the end of one of the 30" planks.

Step 5. Attach angle brackets to posts and secure post to plank (I predrilled these to prevent splitting on the ends).

Step 6. Add end brackets (I used framing brackets for these, they hang down about an inch below the plank and hook on the edge of my deck).

Step 7. Bring pedestals to pool area and assemble the black pipe between the bored holes.

Step 8. Assemble 1 1/4" elbows, 4" coupler, and 6" threaded pipe into a handle and attach to one end of the black pipe. Put 1 1/4" end cap on other side.

Step 9. Attaching cover to black pipe. I used a single bead of silicone adhesive and wrapped the cover around the pipe. Then tie wrapped every foot along the pipe.








 

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nice job pool reel setup

That is a nice job. I am in the process of making one - a clunky one. not finished with it yet. But I wish I had seen yours first. I will see how mine works, should be finished tomorrow and how it rolls up, I am making plans as I work.
Will post a photo if it works.
 
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