How long will a solar pool cover last?

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So you know the benefits of a solar pool cover. Warmer water, reduction in evaporation, less cleaning, money savings in chemicals and your power bill.

How long does a solar pool cover last

The life of a pool cover varies greatly depending on which brand of cover you buy. The cheapest covers may only last one season. Expensive brand name cover may last 3-7 years.

You may see that the warranty periods vary greatly depending on where you buy. Some companies seem to not offer a warranty while others offer, 1 year, 3 years, 7 years, and pro-rata warranties.

Why does the life of a pool cover vary so much?Isn’t a pool cover a pool cover you say? Well yes, but not really.

What Goes Wrong with a Solar Pool Cover?

You would think there isn’t much to go wrong with a pool cover. But if you’ve done just a little bit of research, you’ll see that things do go wrong and not all pool covers last the same amount of time.

deteriorating-coverCover Disintegrates – this is caused by the sun’s UV rays and the harsh chemicals in your pool. Although pool cover manufacturers normally add special chemicals (UV Stabilisers) to prolong the life of a pool cover and prevent this happening. These chemicals only provide limited protection and eventually all pool blankets will succumb to this fate.

The better covers have more of this chemical protection and do last much longer. Some cheap covers only last about 1 season.

The thickness of the cover also affects how long the cover will last before the sun and pool chemicals break it down. Thicker covers will last longer.

Pool Cover Rips or Tears

Pool covers can tear at the seams or anywhere else along them. Most covers do have rips in them after a few years of use. This doesn’t really affect the performance.

Thicker covers (400 microns in thickness or more), will be less susceptible to tearing.

Types of Warranties

For you to have an idea how long a pool cover will last for, check the length of the warranty offered. Be sure to check the fine print though. Some warranties may appear to be long but they can be deceptive if you don’t read the fine print.

Replacement Warranty Explained

A replacement warranty is exactly as it sounds. It’s when the retailer or supplier agrees to replace the pool cover if there is an issue or if the pool cover does not last.

Pro-Rata Warranties Explained

Some companies offer a pro-rata warranty up to 8 years in length. While these warranties sound good at first, make sure you fully understand how it works to properly evaluate the value of these warranties.

Normally these warranties will offer to replace the cover within the first couple of years, then after that, the warranty coverage is reduced according to how long you’ve had the cover for and you will need to pay a pro-rata amount for a replacement.

8 Year Pro-Rata Warranty Example

Year Action Taken Amount To Pay (assuming $800 original cover cost)
 Year 1  Replace  $    –
 Year 2  Replace  $    –
 Year 3  Replace  $    –
 Year 4   Customer to pay 50% of cost of new cover  $400
 Year 5  Customer to pay 63% of cost of new cover  $500
 Year 6  Customer to pay 75% of cost of new cover  $600
 Year 7  Customer to pay 88% of cost of new cover  $700
Year 7-8  Customer to pay  88-100% cost of new cover  $704 – $800

So if you paid $800 for your pool cover, at the end of three years your warranty is worth $400 and after a further two years it will only be worth $200. To claim on your warranty, you will often need to pay the balance towards a new cover.

Be aware that if making a claim for the pool cover, then if you purchased a pool roller, this cost will also be deducted from the value of the warranty.

For example:
Using the above example, if you paid $1200 altogether ($800 for the cover and $400 for the roller), then before the calculation is applied, the cost of the roller is taken from the total. So the warranty amount is calculated on the worth of the cover only, which is $800.

What Warranties May Not Cover

Pool covers will last much longer if you look after your cover properly. Pool cover warranties normally don’t cover misuse either. Misuse is commonly defined as:

Over chlorination (greater than 3ppm chlorine)
Failure to run filter pump at least 4 hours per day
Storing pool cover in sun (when not on pool)
Not using a protective cover when the cover is rolled up
Tearing or ripping (this is normally considered fair wear and tear)

Our Recommendation

Decide if you prefer a larger up front outlay or if you prefer to replace your cover a little more regularly and keep it looking nice.

Make sure you do your research into the warranty terms and conditions. As you can see from the example above, the warranty may not be all it seems.

If you take all of these things into consideration when you purchase your next pool cover, you’ll make a much smarter choice and you’ll have a cover that hopefully lasts.

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