WARNING! - WeatherBeater™ solar pool covers are NOT safety covers & are not meant to bear ANY weight.  Remove and store cover away from pool during any and all swimming activities.

Troubleshooting Your Solar Pool Cover

Shrinkage of bubble pool covers - Always install and use a good quality reflective storage sheet when the cover is off the pool

Solar Pool Cover Shrinkage Image
When removed from a pool, if a cover is left exposed to direct sunlight, high temperatures can build up in the material to the point where permanent deformation will occur in the material resulting in shrinkage.  This is usually seen as wrinkled strips across the pool cover.  This is almost always preventable by always storing a removed cover into the shade or use of reflective storage sheets.

Creases in solar pool cover material, formed by folding or rolling the cover when off the pool, can affect the fit.  This is typically a temporary condition that will reverse itself unless the cover was exposed to overheating.

The overall size of a cover can change due to air pressure increases within the bubbles.  This pressurization will cause the bubbles to increase in thickness while putting adjacent material under tension.  In this condition, the cover grows in the vertical directions and shrinks in the
horizontal dimensions.  This phenomenon is referred to as “gassing-up” and is attributed to a combination of water temperature and an imbalance of water treatment.  During this condition, close examination of the bubbles will often reveal small amounts of condensation induced moisture held within them.  The typical remedy is to test the water chemistry and make necessary adjustments as quickly as possible to avoid permanent damage to the cover.

Delamination Prevention

Solar Pool Cover Delamination
Delamination refers to the process of two bubble cover layers separating caused by overheating.

This can occur in certain cases but is very rare. Material delamination caused by a manufacturing defect would allow the two layers of material separate completely. Delamination is mainly caused by overheating. If the pool cover is left on a reel without protection and exposed to full sunlight for even short periods of time - as little as 5 minutes when it's very hot - overheating can occur.

Delamination is evidenced by the top of the bubbles becoming convex or bulging-out  rather than being flat. In severe cases this can cause large pockets of de-lamination that appear like big bubbles.  Over time these pockets may show a pattern running across the width of the cover. De-lamination will typically occur in "patches" at the end of the cover farthest from the reel when deployed in the pool.

When rolled-up or stored on a reel, translucent solar pool covers can magnify the sun's rays passing through, generating enough energy to superheat sections of the cover to temperature close to that used to laminate the layers during manufacture. The air inside the bubbles becomes extremely hot and expands creating enough pressure to "pop" open the top and bottom layers. Opaque covers can also have negative occurrences due to solar heat gain.      

Delamination caused by overheating is totally preventable and is not covered under any warranty.      

The solution is to always ensure that that when not on the pool, protect your bubble cover with the supplied WeatherBeater™ Reflective Storage Sheet when it is stored on a reel.  If a reel is not available be sure to store the cover in the shade at all times.

Water condensation in the bubbles?  No need to worry...

Polyethylene plastic materials used in the manufacture of solar pool covers are not impervious and small quantities of liquids or gases will pass through it. As the temperature outside a bubble drops below ‘dew point', water vapor inside condenses, leaving a small quantity of water within the bubble.  As soon as the temperature inside the bubble increases again, the water will evaporate. This condensation is perfectly normal and does not affect the cover's performance or life span in any way.
Water Condensation on Solar Pool Cover

Collapsed bubbles in swimming pool covers

Bubble deflation has plagued a very small number of bubble covers. Tests carried out by Plastipack determined this problem is linked to a build-up of combined chlorine and an accumulation of nitrogen trichloride gas directly under the bubble cover ending years of this confounding mystery.        

Chlorine is the most common used sanitizer in swimming pools. The two main missions of chlorine added to water is to primarily destroy micro-organisms and acts as an oxidizer, destroying organic contaminates. One result of these chemical interactions is the conversion of the active free chlorine into chloramines and other chlorine compounds.        

Free chlorine levels of between 1 and 3 ppm along with combined chlorine levels kept well below 0.5 ppm is recognized within the swimming pool industry as the ideal condition for well balanced and healthy pool water. However, if this ratio is allowed to reverse, whereby chloramines or combined chlorine levels rise above the levels of free chlorine, nitrogen trichloride gas will be generated. This is the cause of that familiar chlorine smell and irritation of the eyes of pool users.
Solar Pool Cover with Collapsed Bubbles
When this problem occurs it is essential to remove a cover and bring the pool water back to an acceptable and balanced level of chlorination, either by shock dosing and burning out the high levels of combined chlorine, or by performing a partial water change-out. The chlorine levels water balance should be stabilized before a cover is re-deployed.

An allowed build-up of nitrogen trichloride gas under a bubble cover will cause the air to diffuse out of the bubbles, resulting in a non-reversible deflation. Once the bubbles have collapsed a new cover will be required.

Causes of brittle bubble covers

Solar Pool Cover that Became Brittle
Covers become brittle when the anti-oxidizing agents and additives within in the cover material have been used up. This condition occurs when a cover has reached the end of it’s service life.  The combination of constant UV and chemical attack deplete material stabilizers and result in oxidation leaving the material chalky in color or bleached white and disintegrates when touched.  If you have maintained the recommended chlorine and water balance to the industry standard levels in your pool, then, this oxidized condition will mean that you have achieved the expected life span of the cover and it's time to replace it.        
Covers falling short of their expected life, have almost certainly been subjected to excessive chlorine levels/unbalanced water and/or excessive UV exposure due to either intermittent or consistent storage without a Reflective Storage Sheet.

The Solution -never place the solar pool cover on a pool with extremely high chlorine levels for example, when super (shock) chlorinating. This will cause an immediate and severe depletion of antioxidants in the cover material, significantly increasing the rapidity of the aging process and damage the bubble wall may result. The key is to monitor chlorine levels regularly and maintain them at recommended industry standards at all times.

Covers that are consistently subjected to higher than recommended chlorine levels and unbalanced water will have their working lifespan reduced as a result of an acceleration of the normal aging process.