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Above Ground Pool Solar Cover Hacks

Solar covers are a wonderful invention, but I've always added that they have a good bit of 'hassle factor,' in their use. They can be cumbersome to put on and off the pool, and even more when the solar cover is 4-5 feet above ground.

Today's post highlights the many sparks of genius from pool owners across the fruited plain, who have found ways to deal with the hassle factor of solar blankets.

With a hat tip to DIY pioneers, here are a few ways to hack a solar pool cover, along with regular retail methods to manage them.

solar reels

Solar Reels

solar rollers

Solar Rollers

solar hooks

Solar Hooks

Solar Reels

Solar cover reels for above ground pools attach directly to the top rail of the pool, and cross over the center of a round pool, and for oval pools, placed across the pool, just before where the wall begins to curve.

The reason for this is important. Round covers or oval ends won't attach neatly with the solar cover straps and clips, and pulling only on the center of the cover could damage the cover.

When using the pool, some above ground solar reels allows one person to pivot the tube out of the way, or the reel can be removed entirely by two people, and placed alongside the pool. There are other options, but if the blanket is not attached to the reel with a solar cover reel attachment kit, it can be hard to get the blanket to start rolling up, and to roll tightly.

Solar Rollers

A solar roller is really just the reel, without stands on the end. For small pools, you can make your own with PVC pipe, but for heavier blankets or pools 18' or larger, you will need an aluminum tube.

Solar Hooks

Solar hooks allow you to pull the cover completely off the pool in minutes and also keep it clean and not risk burning the grass next to the pool.

You could make your own, but take it easy and buy our Solar Saddle instead. Set of five hooks ready for mounting under the top rail, no screws required

Protecting your Solar Cover

This last bit of solar cover hacks for above ground pools involves methods to make your solar cover last longer. No one wants to spend good money on something that only lasts for one year - so here's some important tips.

  1. Keep the chlorine level low. The number one killer is a high chlorine level, which will break down the material and fill your skimmer basket with little blue dots. When shocking the pool, put away the solar blanket, or use non-chlorine shock.
  2. Store the cover in the shade. The number two killer is, ironically, the sun. When you remove your solar cover and fold it or roll it up, strong, direct sun can prism through the bubbles and damage the layers beneath. Use our Poly Tarp, or store the cover in the shade.
  3. Winterize your cover correctly. The number three killer is winter. Left rolled up on the reel in the great outdoors, under snow, rain, and strong winter sun will damage the cover. Store indoors if you can, or use our Winter Solar Cover Wrap, which is a cover for your cover!




In The Swim makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and In The Swim assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. In The Swim assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.