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swimming pool solar covers vs. "pills"

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Posted by maxwell@ldc.upenn.edu on April 16, 2007, 3:07 am
The wind is howling outside like a winter storm, but some day it's
going to warm up and I'll want to open my in-ground swimming pool.  In
order to extend the season (I live in Maryland), I'm thinking about
either a solar blanket or a "pill".  The former appear to be made out
of the same bubble wrap you see in packing, and require a reel to take
them off the pool.  The latter is apparently a substance that slows
down evaporation, which presumably is the main form of head loss.

The pills are not supposed to be as efficient as the blankets (perhaps
the blankets have a slight insulating value, and at a guess they're
better at retarding evaporation); the ad claims 60% of a blanket's
efficiency.  On the other hand, a blanket plus reel for my size pool
(22x44) costs a minimum of $00 and are warranted for 6-8 years, while
the "pills" cost maybe $0 for a four-pack and last "up to" 30 days
(I'd need two at a time for my size pool).  So figure four to six per
season (a month or so at beginning and end of season).  And the
blanket looks like a lot of hassle to put on and take off, and to
store when it gets hot out, and in the winter.

Presumably the chemical from pill doesn't feel oily when you're

Thoughts?  Given the difference, I'm leaning towards the pill, but I'm
skeptical about how well they work.  And it's hard for me to do a
scientific comparison, since I only have one pool :-).

   Mike Maxwell

Posted by mm on April 16, 2007, 3:49 am
On 15 Apr 2007 20:07:00 -0700, "maxwell@ldc.upenn.edu"

Ah, faith.  Isn't it wornderful.

It sounds like were talkin about 60 dollars for the first and third
year for pills, and 30 dollars every second year.

So if it would help learn which is better, you've got little to lose
by starting out with thepills.  Unless somehow they are worthless.
But it's still only 60 or 90 dollars for the first one or two year.s

Even if you have to buy the blanket, you'll be buying it later and it
will last to a later date.

I hadn't thought about it but I guess evaporation does cool of the
water in the pool.  Just like one gets cold when he gets out of the
bath, but after all the water on him evaporates, he starts to warm up
again.  Even without a robe.

Remember, don't take these pills on an empty stomach.

Posted by Richard J Kinch on April 16, 2007, 4:52 am
 maxwell@ldc.upenn.edu writes:

Link for these pills?  What are they made of?

Don't forget a blanket is 100s of square feet of more stuff to keep clean.

Posted by Steve Barker on April 16, 2007, 1:24 pm
 Nothing to keep clean.  As a matter of fact the cover keeps the pool clean.

Steve Barker

Posted by mm on April 16, 2007, 5:12 pm
 On Mon, 16 Apr 2007 08:24:30 -0500, "Steve Barker"

So leaves and sticks and bird poop won't get on the cover when it's
keeping the pool clean?

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