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SOLAR COVER REELS: BUYER’S GUIDE & FAQ


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What size should I get for my reel? [open]
You’ll want to make sure you get a reel that spans the width of your pool — much longer, and it will become unwieldy. You also want to consider the width of the reel itself, not just the tubing portion that holds the cover. You want to make sure it fits across your pool and leaves enough room to pass. [Shop All Solar Cover Reels]
How do I attach my cover to my solar reel? [open]
Install is easy. You’ll start by following the instructions to assemble the reel. This will include attaching casters (if applicable), assembling the tubing and placing the ends on. Once assembled, place your reel where you’ll be using it and make sure your solar cover is spread across your pool.

Next, you’ll work on attaching the cover to the reel using the attachment kit. Start by putting the plates at least 2” to 3” from the end of your solar cover, spacing them evenly across the width of the cover. Next attach the straps. They will attach to the reel with Velcro and will slide through the plates. Complete the attachment with the included buckle piece, which will need to be 24” from the end of the strap.

Once complete, you’ll be ready to start using your reel! [Shop All Solar Reel Attachment Kits]
Can I continue to use my reel after I get a new cover? [open]
When it’s time to replace your solar cover, your new cover will most likely be the same size as your old one. It will still fit on the reel. You’ll just want to get a new attachment kit and go through the process of installing the cover again.

You can find a variety of Attachment Kits on our website. [Shop All Solar Reel Attachment Kits]

SOLAR COVER REELS

Solar Reels are a great way to make putting on and taking off your solar cover easy while also giving you a safe way to store your cover while not in use. Without it, your solar cover might end up piled in the sun, heating itself and causing premature deterioration, or on an abrasive deck surface likely to cause damage.

As you decide which reel to get, the most important thing to consider is your pool cover. The size and thickness of your reel will determine what size reel you need. You’ll also want to where you want to keep your reel on your deck and if you want an automatic or manual reel.
Match up the Size [open]
With so many different shapes and sizes for pools, you want to get a reel that is big enough to span the surface of your pool and is big enough around to hold the entire cover. Most reels are adjustable by a few feet, so you want to check that your cover will fit within that range.

Some reels will also state if there’s a thickness of cover that they aren’t compatible with. If the cover is too thick for the reel, it won’t work as well and will put extra wear on the reel. [Shop All Solar Cover Reels]
Place it Where you Want [open]
You also want to consider where you’ll be keeping your reel on your deck. Do you have any obstacles that you will need the reel to rise above or a diving aboard to store the reel below? Do you want it on wheels or mounted to the ground?

Reels come in several heights, some being a little taller and others being low profile. Low profile reels can be shorter than 12” while other reels reach up several feet.

In addition, you can get a reel with casters so you can easily move the reel away while you’re swimming or using the deck. Many reels have casters on one end and a T-bar on the other, providing easy movement when wanted while keeping it in place the rest of the time.

Others can be mounted directly to the deck so you won’t have to worry about unwanted movement. In the middle, there are reels that sit in place on your deck. They will sit in place but aren’t mounted so they can be moved when the time comes. [Shop All Solar Cover Reels]
Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel [open]
Reels are commonly made of two materials: aluminum and stainless steel. Both are durable metals able to stand up to the elements, but stainless steel is stronger. If you have a bigger pool, you’ll want to look for a stainless-steel reel to support your solar cover. If you have a smaller pool — and therefore a smaller solar cover — the extra strength of a stainless-steel reel isn’t as large of a factor to consider. [Shop All Solar Cover Reels]
Press a Button vs. A Manual Approach [open]
Most solar reels are operated manually, with 1 to 2 people turning a handle to roll on or off the solar cover. This is much easier than putting on or taking off a cover without a reel, but we do carry several automatic reels. While these tend to be a more expensive investment, they put on your solar cover and take it off with the press of a button. They’re also easy to hook up, with no hardwiring and just plug in. Check Out the Pool Boy® II Automatic Solar Reel w/ Remote Control
More Questions?
If you’re still unsure of what solar reel to get or have a few more questions, visit our blog 6 Things to Consider Before You Buy a Solar Cover Reel or call our in-house pool experts at 1-800-356-3025.