Solar pool covers are big, blue, bulky, bubble-wrap looking blankets that you lay on top of the water to attract heat from the sun to your pool, trap that heat in, and keep debris out. Problem is, they are difficult to get on and off your pool. And the bigger the pool, the harder it is.
However, you can use liquid solar covers instead. It’s a revolutionary way to replace using your solar cover, but how do they work, what are they made of and are they safe? These are common questions we’re going to answer in this guide.
A liquid solar cover is a microscopically thin layer of alcohol that sits on top of the water of your pool. This layer reduces water evaporation which is a major cause of water heat loss.
First, liquid solar cover (like HeatSavr by Flexible Solutions) has been FDA and EPA approved to use in swimming pools. It’s also been approved by the NCAA (The National Collegiate Athletic Association).
You can check out the patent for the HeatSavr. According to the patent, it’s is a combination of…
…an aliphatic alcohol component having from 12 to 24 carbon atoms per molecule combined with calcium hydroxide.
The calcium hydroxide is just a carrier and dispersing agent. Chemistry aside, the operative phrase is “one molecule thick.” It uses such a small amount of liquid that you will not feel it, nor is there any reported case of it causing physical harm to any swimmer.
How to Use Liquid Solar Covers in Your Swimming Pool
If you have decided to go with a liquid solar cover instead of a more traditional cover, here’s what you need to do to use it.
Purchase enough liquid solar cover to last you at least a couple of months. How much you need will depend on the size of your pool. Expect to spend anywhere from $10 to $20 a month and maybe a little more if you have a large pool.
Set a schedule. Determine a regular monthly schedule when you plan on adding your liquid solar cover. Once you set this schedule, stick to it. In order for it to be effective, it needs to be added on a regular basis.
Simply pour the contents into your pool on your set day. The liquid solar cover will float to the top of the water and disperse across your pool binding together to form the blanket.
That’s all there is to it. See, it couldn’t be easier!
Do Liquid Solar Covers Really Work?
Since the liquid solar cover or liquid solar fishes came into play, many people have traded in their solar covers for the liquid version. However, many pool owners ask, “does the liquid solar cover really do what it’s supposed to do?”
The good folks at Flexible Solutions, who invented the liquid solar cover, sent me some of their product to do this experiment.
The Liquid Solar Cover Experiment
We took two clear, identical containers and filled them equally with water and blue food coloring. We added a few drops of the liquid solar cover to one container and nothing to the other.
After 48 hours of the containers sitting out in the sun and at night, we checked the water level between the two. There wasn’t a huge difference, but the container with the liquid solar cover had more water than the container with nothing.
The big shocker came when we tested the temperature of the two containers. It was clear that the container with the liquid solar cover was 5 degrees warmer than the container without.
Are Liquid Solar Covers Safe?
In general, the ingredients in liquid solar covers are perfectly safe for you to swim in and are even biodegradable so they are good for the environment. However, some who are more sensitive may experience eye and lung irritation even though they are perfectly safe. Because only a small amount of chemicals are present in liquid solar covers, these types of side effects are very rare.
Fortunately, liquid solar covers have been created and formulated with safety in mind. Let’s look at a few of the more common safety questions.
Can I Swim With a Liquid Pool Cover?
Obviously, you can’t swim if you have a plastic cover on top of your pool, but the same isn’t true for liquid solar covers. But, many pool owners believe that swimming can be dangerous when using a liquid solar cover.
These covers are designed to be perfectly safe for swimmers. The cover will separate in the moving water and then come back together once the water settles.
Is It Safe for Kids and Pets?
If you have small children or pets, you can rest easy knowing that liquid solar covers are perfectly safe. That being said, it should never be ingested straight from the container as this could be harmful. But if your kids or pets swallow a little bit of water while they swim you should not be concerned.
That being said, it should never be ingested straight from the container as this could be harmful. But if your kids or pets swallow a little bit of water while they swim you should not be concerned.
Can They Be Used with the Circulation System?
Outside of just the safety to both people and animals, people worry about their pools filtration systems as well.
The formulas for liquid solar covers are designed to be used with your pool’s filtration and circulation systems and will not damage them in any way.
Most of the cover will remain on the surface of your pool even while your water filters through your system. But the small part that does make it into your filtration system will not harm it in any way.
Why Choose Liquid Solar Covers Over Regular Blanket Solar Pool Covers?
The cost to maintain a pool continues to rise, legislation frequently becomes more strict, the environment screams louder each day and, let’s face it, pools are work. Anything you can do that will ensure maintaining your pool is cheaper, easier and more sustainable will lead to a happier ending.
1. Keep Your Pool Water Warmer
Most of your heat is lost from the surface of your water through evaporation. Your liquid solar cover will prevent this loss through evaporation and keep the heat in your water. The end result is a pool that is much warmer even before you turn on your pool heater.
2. Conserve Pool Water
Liquid solar covers not only heat your water, but they also prevent the sun from taking its share of your water through evaporation. The insulating layer protects the water from evaporation reducing the amount of water you have to add to your pool to keep it filled properly.
3. Reduce Your Pool Heating Costs
Because a liquid solar cover will keep your water warmer, you will save money on your heating costs if you live in a climate where a pool heater is a necessity. In other areas, they can also help you extend your swimming season far beyond the normal, warm months.
4. Easier Than Traditional Solar Blankets
If you have ever pulled a cover over your pool, it’s probably not hard to imagine how much easier a liquid option is. All you do is pour it into your pool and you are done. The liquid solar cover will do the rest.
The Drawbacks of Liquid Solar Covers
While liquid solar covers do work well, they don’t work well in all conditions. For example, if you live in a windy area, then a liquid solar cover won’t work well for you. Because it is so light, the wind will basically blow the liquid blanket around preventing it from doing its job.
You must also keep your solar cover on a strict schedule, adding more every month. If your pool is getting a lot of use, you may also find that the effectiveness is reduced, requiring you to add more to your pool more often.
If you’re affected by any of these drawbacks, I recommend using a traditional solar pool blanket.
Liquid Solar Covers Are A Smart Buy
If you are in the market for a solar cover, then I suggest trying a liquid solar cover instead. They are less cumbersome and have no wear and tear factor. You only have to replace the liquid each month.
If you have a gas or electric heater, then I HIGHLY recommend you invest in a liquid solar cover. You’ll be able to drastically cut down the amount of gas and electric you use to heat your pool, because once you heat it, you can use the liquid solar cover to maintain that heat for a very long time.
If you are tired of always having to drag our your bulky, plastic cover every time you want to cover your pool to lock in the heat and conserve your water, then I would suggest you give liquid solar covers a closer look.
Simply pour it in and you are well on your way to protecting your water from the elements. You will keep your water warmer and reduce your costs in the process.
So what are you waiting for? Instead of struggling with a traditional cover, why not try a liquid solar cover and see how well it works for you?
I am Pol Garrett, the head editor here at Pool Supply 360. After a long time of doing pool establishment and support, I decided I should share what i have learned, and that’s why I’m happy to be here at poolsupply360.com