A solar pool cover uses the power of the sun to add a little more heat to your pool water without adding more to your electric or gas heating bill. They can also help keep debris out of the pool. But they do have a downside. The bubble wrap–looking blankets have to lie on top of the water to work, and because they’re big and bulky, they can be difficult to get on and off your pool. And the bigger the pool, the more difficult it is.
That’s what the liquid solar cover comes in. It’s effective and easy to use. But is it safe to swim in yet another chemical you add to the water? The short answer is yes, but it helps to know what it is and how it works so you can put your mind at ease.
What Is a Liquid Solar Cover?
It’s a fatty alcohol that, when put together, form a thin layer that sits on top of water. That layer is one molecule thick, which means it’s invisible to the naked eye. You can’t see it, and you can’t feel it either.
It doesn’t seem like something so thin would have any effect, but it’s been proved that’s all that’s necessary to prevent evaporation, which is a major cause of both water and heat loss.
How to Use a Liquid Solar Cover in Your Pool
Forget wrestling with that big, bulky blanket. Using a liquid solar cover couldn’t possibly be any easier:
- Buy enough to last at least a couple of months. How much you need will depend on the size of your pool. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you get the correct amount.
- Set a schedule. In order for it to be effective, the liquid solar cover needs to be added on a regular basis.
- Pour it in. The liquid solar cover will float to the top of the water and disperse across your pool, binding together to form the blanket.
Do Liquid Solar Covers Really Work?
The good folks at Flexible Solutions, who invented the liquid solar cover, sent me some of their product to perform an experiment to test how well it works.
The Liquid Solar Cover Experiment
I took two clear, identical containers and filled them equally with water and blue food coloring. I added a few drops of the liquid solar cover to one container and nothing to the other.
After 48 hours, I checked the water level in both containers. There wasn’t a huge difference, but the container with the liquid solar cover did have more water than the container without.
The big shocker came when I tested the temperature of the two containers. The container with the liquid solar cover was 5 degrees warmer than the container without.
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Are Liquid Solar Covers Safe?
The ingredients in are perfectly safe for you to swim in. However, if you’re more sensitive to chemicals, you may experience a little eye or lung irritation. This is also true of chemicals like chlorine.
Can I Swim With a Liquid Solar Cover in My Pool?
Yes! They’re designed to be swum in. The cover will separate in the moving water and then come back together once the water settles.
Is It Safe for Kids and Pets?
Yes, it’s safe for them to swim in. And if they get a little water in their mouth, they should be OK. But just like any other chemical, liquid solar cover should never be ingested straight from the container.
And don’t allow your kids or your pets to actually drink pool water, whether you have a liquid solar cover in it or not. The other chemicals in pool water can also be harmful when ingested in too large an amount. Always monitor kids and pets around the pool.
Will It Clog My Filter?
The formulas for liquid solar covers are designed to be used with your pool’s filtration system and will not damage it in any way.
Most of the cover will remain on the surface of your pool even while the water filters through the circulation system.
Why Choose a Liquid Solar Cover Over a Blanket Pool Cover?
The fact is, solar blankets are more effective at keeping heat and water in the pool. About 25 percent more effective. Of course they are—they’re a physical barrier.
But anything you can do to make your pool maintenance easier, less expensive, and more sustainable will help make pool care less of a chore. The liquid solar cover falls into that category for several reasons.
It’ll Keep the Pool Warmer
Most of a pool’s heat is lost from the surface through evaporation. A liquid solar cover helps reduce this loss and keep the heat in the water. The end result is a much warmer pool even before you turn on your pool heater. Or, a warmer pool if you don’t have a pool heater.
It’ll Help Conserve Water
While the liquid solar cover is preventing heat loss through evaporation, it’s also preventing water loss by about 15 percent.
It Can Reduce Pool Heating Costs
Because a liquid solar cover will keep your water warmer, you can save money on your heating costs if you live in a climate where a pool heater is a necessity. In other areas, it can also help extend the swimming season.
It’s Easier to Use Than a Solar Blanket
If you have ever pulled a cover over your pool, it’s probably not difficult to imagine how much easier a liquid option is. All you do is pour it into your pool and you’re done. The liquid solar cover will do the rest.
It Doesn’t Wear Out
Over time, a regular solar blanket will start to show signs of wear. It may begin to tear, or become brittle after spending so much time out in the elements.
A liquid solar cover doesn’t wear out this way. When the level in the water goes down, you just add more. Simple.
Liquid Solar Cover Drawbacks
While it does work well, a liquid solar cover’s effectiveness depends on certain conditions. For example, if you live in a windy area, a liquid solar cover may not work as well for you. Because it’s so light, the wind will blow the liquid blanket around, preventing it from doing its job.
You must also add the liquid cover on a regular schedule. If you let too much time go between additions, you won’t be getting the full benefit. Also, if your pool is getting a lot of use, you may also find the effectiveness is reduced, so you may need to add more to your pool more often than your usual schedule calls for.
Note:If you’re affected by any of these drawbacks, I recommend using a traditional solar pool cover.
Liquid Solar Covers Are A Smart Buy
If you have a gas or electric heater, I highly recommend you try a liquid solar cover, and see how it affects your utility bill.
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?
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