Pool covers are difficult to put on and take out, and during the summer heat, you’d only be spending more time fiddling with the blanket than relaxing in the pool.
That is where liquid pool covers come in; they protect your pool from evaporating and losing heat while not even being close to as cumbersome as a traditional solar cover.
Today we’ll be taking a deep dive into what liquid solar covers for pools do and how effective they are at keeping your pool from evaporating and stopping heat from escaping.
We’ll also see why they are worth looking into if you’re trying to move on from traditional pool covers.
Solar Balls for pools work well because they can form a protective shield around the pool from evaporation and heat loss while keeping it safe for swimming.
There are two types of liquid solar covers that you would usually see, which this article will discuss.
What are Liquid Solar Covers?
Liquid solar covers come in bottles and are an alcohol-based solution that your pour into your pool water.
They also come in the form of balls that need to be installed in a pool skimmer.
Liquid solar covers take a lot out of the maintenance and work required to keep a pool usable, and the convenience that it offers have made it pretty popular among homeowners with large and frequently used pools.
The liquid does make a difference, even though it doesn’t seem to do so because the liquid is transparent.
We’ll be seeing how they work in the sections that follow.
How Do Solar Balls for Pools Work?
Solar balls, and by extension most liquid pool covers, are a fatty alcohol-based solution that forms a layer over your pool that’s about one to two molecules thick and is lighter than water, which is why it floats on top.
This is enough to stop sunlight from warming up your pool water and making it evaporate away on a hot day and conserve its heat.
Bottled liquid pool covers have a set dosage that you’ll need to add to the pool depending on the size of your pool, while the ball types need you to place them in your pool skimmer or basket for them to disperse the liquid automatically.
Keeping your Pool Warm Longer
By forming the thin layer that I’ve talked about before, the liquid stops the water from evaporating and losing heat by letting the sun’s heat warm the liquid layer up instead.
If the area where you live only has hot days sporadically, you can use the liquid pool cover to extend the use of your pool.
You can use the pool even on the colder days because the liquid has managed to trap the heat the pool water had absorbed during the hotter days.
The liquid doesn’t undergo a reaction and add external heat to the pool water but covers the pool just enough so that you’ll still be able to swim while letting the pool retain the heat for longer.
Advantages of Liquid Solar Covers
While the physical pool covers do the job that liquid covers do, the latter offers a lot more when it comes to the convenience and usability of the pool.
One of the major things that sets the liquid cover apart is that you can still swim in the pool while using the liquid cover.
This is possible for both the ball and bottled liquid types, and there isn’t that big of a change in dosage either.
The liquid heaters could help extend the time you can use your pool even into the colder seasons if you had a good summer.
They also save on your energy bills because you no longer need to run a pool heating unit or use electricity otherwise to maintain the temperature in your pool.
Evaporation causes a lot of loss of usable water from pools everywhere, and these liquids can help us contribute to not wasting the water by letting it evaporate.
Since the liquid cover floats on the water, you can use the pool even if you have deployed the ball or added the liquid manually.
Once you get out of the pool and the water settles down, the cover will come back together on its own.
The added convenience of not needing to lug around a large physical pool cover and installing and reinstalling them every time you want to take a swim is a welcome thing.
Disadvantages of Liquid Solar Covers
The liquid forms a thin layer on top of the pool as part of how they work, but this has some downsides.
Liquid pool covers don’t do well if your area is windy or gusty.
The liquid cover will be spending most of its time waiting for the water to settle down so that it can form the complete layer, which can reduce its effectiveness.
By the time it forms a complete layer, a gust will come in to disturb it again, which means you’ll have to keep adding the liquid to your pool more frequently.
You’ll also need to follow a rigid schedule to make the most out of the heat retention that these liquid covers give you.
Being on time on the right day of the month or week every time is a requirement.
Liquid Solar Covers and Safety
Using chemicals in your pool is nothing new, its almost necessary to keep the pool clean and free from the filth that can come out of nowhere.
But the effects of a solar cover is pretty different from pool cleaning agents like chlorine because the liquid cover stays above the surface.
All liquid solar pool covers are environmentally friendly and skin-safe products that have gone through a rigorous certification process before they are made available for purchase.
Check the container or box the solar cover comes in and see if it is FDA approved.
99.9% of the time, they are FDA approved and is safe to use with children and pets.
Disposing of the liquid won’t harm the environment either because the main constituents are bio-degradable.
Make sure that you check in with your family doctor to ensure your family isn’t allergic to the liquid solar cover.
Different bodies have different ways of reacting to chemicals, so its always recommended to be safe than sorry.
Liquid Solar Covers and Maintenance
Unlike their traditional counterparts, solar liquid covers don’t need to be removed and reinstalled all the time.
Just keep the liquid topped up according to the schedule you’ve set, and you’re good to go.
They are low maintenance by design and are intended to be as convenient for you to use as possible.
If you want the liquid removed, don’t replenish it when the time comes, and it will evaporate away on its own.
They don’t interfere with other pool cleaning chemicals since they’re designed to be so.
How Many SolarPills Do I Need for my Pool?
The amount of SolarPills you’d need to use in your pool depends on how large your pool is.
The manufacturer has set the sizes each pill can cover on their own, and depending on the pool capacity of the SolarPill and the size of your pool; you might need only one or quite a few.
Consult your pool cleaner or your local pool store to know how many pills you require.
The number will also change depending on the brand of liquid SolarPills that you opt to get.
Liquid Solar Covers vs Traditional Solar Covers
Liquid covers not just keep out debris; they also effectively reduce how much heat your pool loses on a cold day.
They also keep the water from evaporating away, saving you money on your water bill and saving water from being wasted.
Traditional solar covers are usually large and bulky so that they can cover the entirety of the pool surface and are pretty difficult to get on and off your pool.
Using liquid solar covers that are non-toxic and way more convenient to use saves you the hassle of wrestling with a large traditional cover.
How Long Do Solar Balls Last?
Normally, solar pool cover balls will last almost a month, but the specific duration depends highly on the brand that you’re using.
Keep an eye on when you pour the liquid in for the first time and repeat it every month on the same day without skipping to make the most of the liquid.
The ball types of liquid solar covers need to be replaced every month or so with new ones.
Covering For Yourself
The biggest advantage that a liquid solar pool cover brings is its convenience when compared with a cover that fits your entire pool.
But using a liquid solar pool cover doesn’t mean you can’t use your traditional pool cover.
You can do this if you want a particularly warm pool compared to the temperature around it.
Liquid covers can be a great backup for the traditional covers if you ever forget to or can’t be bothered with putting the latter back on.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do solar balls for pools work?
They have been seen to work pretty well in areas where there are drastic temperature changes every day.
These solar balls deposit a thin layer of fatty alcohol with the help of your pool skimmer to trap heat inside the pool and not let the water evaporate.
Is a solar cover just bubble wrap?
It is more analogous to cling film than it is to bubble wrap in the sense that it sticks to the surface of your pool and protects it from heat loss and evaporation.
How well do solar pool rings work?
Solar pool rings help control the amount of water you lose from your pool on hot days.
Even though you need quite a few of them to cover the maximum area, they are far more convenient to put on than a full pool cover.
How long do solar rings last?
Solar covers usually last around 3 to 4 years, but it really depends on how much sun you get throughout the year and how regularly you clean your pool.