How to Install a Solar Pool Cover

a roll of cover for a pool
  • 2-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-150
What You'll Need
Solar pool cover
Measuring tape

A cost-effective way to enjoy a nice warm pool without installing a heat pump is to put a solar pool cover over it. Also called solar blankets, they are usually blue in color and made from polyethylene. The bubbles on the bottom side resemble bubble wrap and retain the heat from the sun to keep the water warm and prevent evaporation (allowing people to enjoy their swimming pool even after the pool season has ended). Laying it onto the pool at night during the winter months will prevent heat loss and help keep your pool relatively clean from debris.

Follow these steps to install a solar pool cover on your pool.

Step 1- Measure your Swimming Pool

Using the measuring tape, measure the size of your pool before purchasing a cover to fit over it. Your measurements need to be as accurate as possible. It is nearly impossible to find a cover that fits your pool perfectly, and therefore it needs to be cut to the right size after purchasing it. Measure your swimming pool at its longest point and widest point in case your pool is shaped other than a rectangle.

Step 2- Mark the Pool Sides on the Cover

With the help of another person, lay your cover across your pool with the bubble side facing down. Smooth any folds or wrinkles by hand. Using a crayon, mark the pool sides on your cover. If your pool is curved you need to mark all the sides and edges carefully.

Step 3- Cut the Pool Cover

Cut along the markings you made on the cover using a sharp pair of scissors. As a precaution, cut ¼- inch over the markings you made.

Step 4- Put the Solar Cover onto the Pool

Fold the pool cover in half lengthwise and position a person at each end. Have the people pick up the edge in front of them and walk to the other end of the pool (together) to unroll the pool cover over the water. They should then set the cover onto the swimming pool. The cover will not sink, but set a seal over the water in the pool, fitting in perfectly.

An alternative to this is to purchase either a hand-cranked, automatic or semi-automatic solar blanket reel from a pool supply store, which provides the convenience of covering your pool yourself in a very easy way, without another person's help. The reel also makes it easy to store the pool cover when not in use, and the wheels on the reel make it easy to move it around. It also eliminated the need to tug the cover to make it fit the pool correctly. All you have to do is roll the pool cover onto the wheel and walk to the other end of the pool holding on edge of it. Set it down onto the water when you reach the other end with the bubble side down.