Solar Pool Cover: Bubbles Up or Down? The Ultimate Guide to Maximizing Pool Heating Efficiency

Solar pool covers are an essential accessory for pool owners looking to extend their swimming season and reduce heating costs. However, there is often confusion about whether the bubbles on the cover should face up or down for optimal performance. In this blog post, we’ll explore the debate of bubbles up or down on a solar pool cover and provide insights into maximizing heating efficiency to keep your pool warm and inviting all season long.

Understanding Solar Pool Covers:

Solar pool covers, also known as solar blankets or thermal covers, are made from durable materials that harness the sun’s energy to heat the pool water. These covers typically feature thousands of tiny bubbles that trap heat from the sun and transfer it to the water below. Additionally, solar pool covers help reduce evaporation, retain heat, and prevent debris from entering the pool, making them an essential investment for pool owners.

Bubbles Up or Down: The Debate:

  1. Bubbles Up: Advocates of placing the bubbles facing up argue that this configuration allows the bubbles to trap more heat from the sun and transfer it to the pool water. They believe that the bubbles act as insulators, creating an additional barrier between the water and the cover, which helps retain heat more effectively.
  2. Bubbles Down: Conversely, proponents of placing the bubbles facing down argue that this configuration creates a tighter seal between the cover and the water surface, minimizing heat loss through evaporation. They believe that placing the bubbles down maximizes the contact between the cover and the water, ensuring better heat transfer and retention.

The Verdict: Bubbles Down

While the debate continues among pool owners and experts, the consensus leans toward placing the bubbles facing down for optimal heating efficiency. Here’s why:

  • Increased Contact Area: Placing the bubbles down maximizes the contact area between the cover and the water surface, allowing for better heat transfer and retention.
  • Reduced Evaporation: By creating a tighter seal between the cover and the water, bubbles facing down help minimize heat loss through evaporation, maximizing heating efficiency.
  • Prevention of Debris Accumulation: Placing the bubbles down can also help prevent debris from accumulating on the cover, ensuring clearer water and easier maintenance.

Additional Tips for Maximizing Solar Pool Cover Efficiency:

  1. Ensure Proper Fit: Choose a solar pool cover that fits your pool dimensions snugly to maximize coverage and heating efficiency.
  2. Remove Cover When Swimming: Remove the solar pool cover before swimming to prevent damage and ensure safety. Replace the cover immediately after swimming to retain heat and prevent evaporation.
  3. Regular Maintenance: Clean the solar pool cover regularly to remove dirt, debris, and algae buildup, which can reduce its effectiveness over time.
  4. Monitor Water Temperature: Use a pool thermometer to monitor water temperature regularly and adjust cover usage accordingly to maintain desired temperatures.


When it comes to solar pool covers, placing the bubbles facing down is generally recommended for optimal heating efficiency. By maximizing contact between the cover and the water surface, minimizing evaporation, and preventing debris accumulation, bubbles-down configuration ensures that your pool stays warm and inviting throughout the swimming season. Remember to invest in a high-quality solar pool cover, follow proper installation and maintenance practices, and enjoy the benefits of a comfortably heated pool for extended swimming enjoyment.

Turning Up the Heat: Understanding Pool Heater BTU and Its Impact on Your Pool

When it comes to heating your swimming pool, there’s a lot of talk about BTUs. But what exactly is a BTU, and how does it affect the warmth of your pool? In this article, we’ll dive into the world of BTUs, break down its significance, and help you choose the right heater for your pool.

What is BTU? BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. It is a measure of energy that represents the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. In simpler terms, it’s a unit that quantifies the heat output of your pool heater.

How Does BTU Impact Pool Heating? The BTU rating of a pool heater tells you how powerful it is. A higher BTU means that the heater can produce more heat in a given timeframe, allowing it to warm your pool faster.

How to Calculate the Time Needed to Heat Your Pool: To determine how long it would take to heat your pool, you’ll need to consider a few factors: your pool’s volume in gallons, the desired temperature increase, and the BTU of your heater. You can also use our online calculator

Here’s a simplified formula to estimate heating time:

  1. Calculate the number of pounds of water in your pool:
    • Pool volume in gallons × 8.34 (since 1 gallon of water weighs approximately 8.34 pounds)
  2. Determine the total BTUs needed:
    • Pounds of water × desired temperature increase (in °F)
  3. Estimate the heating time:
    • Total BTUs needed ÷ heater BTU rating = time in hours

For example, for a 10,000-gallon pool with a heater of 100,000 BTU, aiming to raise the temperature by 10°F:

  1. 10,000 gallons × 8.34 = 83,400 pounds
  2. 83,400 pounds × 10°F = 834,000 BTUs needed
  3. 834,000 BTUs ÷ 100,000 BTU/hour = 8.34 hours

Choosing the Right BTU for Your Pool: The ideal BTU rating for your heater will depend on:

  • The size of your pool: Larger pools may require heaters with higher BTU ratings.
  • The desired temperature increase: If you live in a colder climate and need a significant temperature increase, opt for a higher BTU.
  • How quickly you want to heat your pool: For rapid heating, go for a heater with a higher BTU rating.

Conclusion: Understanding BTUs is essential when selecting a pool heater. By considering your pool’s size, your heating goals, and the BTU rating of potential heaters, you can ensure you choose the right heater for your needs. Armed with this knowledge, you’re on your way to enjoying a warm, inviting pool regardless of the season!




Warm Waters Await: Navigating the World of Pool Heaters

Dive into warm, welcoming waters even when the temperature drops. But with an array of pool heaters on the market, how does one pick the perfect match? Whether you’re aiming for an extended swimming season or simply seeking more comfortable waters, here’s a guide to making the best choice for your pool heating needs.

1. Gas Heaters:
Fueled by propane or natural gas, these heaters are popular for their rapid heating capacity.

  • Pros:
    • Quick heating, perfect for weekend use or sporadic swimming sessions.
    • Suitable for larger pools.
  • Cons:
    • May have higher operational costs due to fluctuating gas prices.
    • Requires a gas line, which might not be feasible for all setups.

2. Electric Resistance Heaters:
These heaters use electric currents to warm the water, offering an alternative for pools where gas isn’t an option.

  • Pros:
    • Doesn’t depend on outside temperatures.
    • No emissions, making them eco-friendlier.
  • Cons:
    • High operational costs, as they consume a lot of electricity.
    • Might need a hefty electrical setup.

3. Heat Pumps (Air-source and Water-source):
Extracting heat from the air or groundwater, these pumps are efficient but depend on the environment.

  • Pros:
    • Energy-efficient, leading to lower monthly costs.
    • Long lifespan (can last up to 20 years with proper maintenance).
  • Cons:
    • Initial investment is high.
    • Air-source pumps rely on air temperature, making them less effective in colder climates.

4. Solar Heaters:
Harnessing the power of the sun, solar heaters circulate pool water through solar collectors, warming it in the process.

  • Pros:
    • Extremely eco-friendly with minimal operational costs.
    • Sustainable and reduces carbon footprint.
  • Cons:
    • Efficiency depends on sunlight exposure; not ideal for overcast regions.
    • Requires large solar panels, which might not suit every property.

5. Pool Heat Covers:
Though not a heater in the traditional sense, these covers trap heat and reduce evaporation, acting as a complementary system.

  • Pros:
    • Cost-effective method to retain heat.
    • Reduces evaporation, saving on water costs.
  • Cons:
    • Not a primary source of heat.
    • Manual effort required to place and remove.

Choosing the right pool heater can feel like navigating choppy waters, but with knowledge on your side, you can make an informed decision. Consider factors like your location, pool size, and budget. Remember, the perfect pool temperature is not just about comfort—it can extend your swimming season, increase property value, and offer endless warm memories. Dive in with confidence, knowing you’ve made the right choice!

Heating Up Troubleshooting: Mastering the Mysteries of Your Pentair Pool Heater

Ah, the luxury of a warm pool, the envy of swimmers on chilly days, all thanks to the wonders of your Pentair pool heater! But what happens when that trusted device starts acting up, leaving you with a cold, unwelcoming pool? Fear not, for this guide is here to demystify the art of troubleshooting your Pentair pool heater. Let’s dive in!

1. The Basics: Understanding Your Pentair Pool Heater Before diving deep into troubleshooting, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of how your heater operates. Pentair heaters, renowned for their efficiency and durability, primarily work by drawing water from your pool, heating it, and then returning it to the pool. This cycle continues until your pool reaches your desired temperature.

2. Common Issues and How to Address Them:

  • The Heater Won’t Turn On:
    • Power Issues: Check if the heater is properly connected to a power source. Ensure circuit breakers are not tripped, and there are no visible damages to power cords.
    • Thermostat Settings: Sometimes, the heater’s thermostat may be set to a temperature lower than the current pool temperature, causing it not to activate. Adjust it to a higher setting.
  • The Heater Shuts Off Unexpectedly:
    • Ventilation: Ensure that the heater’s exhaust vents are not blocked. Poor ventilation can cause the heater to overheat and shut off.
    • Water Flow: A blockage or obstruction in the pool’s circulation system can reduce water flow to the heater. Check and clean the pool’s skimmer baskets and filters.
  • Insufficient Heating:
    • Dirty Filters: A dirty filter can reduce the efficiency of your heater. Clean or replace filters as necessary.
    • Gas Supply: For gas-powered heaters, ensure that there’s a steady supply of gas and that the gas valves are fully open.
  • Error Codes:
    Modern Pentair heaters come equipped with digital displays that show error codes when something’s amiss. It’s essential to refer to your specific model’s user manual for error code definitions and recommended solutions.

3. Maintenance Tips for Longevity:
While troubleshooting can solve many issues, regular maintenance ensures your Pentair heater remains in optimal condition:

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean the heater’s exterior and remove any debris blocking the vents.
  • Professional Check-ups: Consider an annual inspection by a pool professional to catch and address any potential issues early.
  • Winterizing: If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, make sure to winterize your heater properly to prevent any damage.

Your Pentair pool heater is a marvel of modern engineering designed to give you countless hours of warm swimming pleasure. Like any piece of machinery, however, it can encounter hiccups along the way. By equipping yourself with the knowledge to troubleshoot common issues, you’ll be better prepared to address them head-on and get back to enjoying your pool in no time. Remember, when in doubt, it’s always a good idea to consult a pool professional to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your heater. Dive in and stay warm!

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Pool Heater: Get Ready to Make a Splash!

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Pool Heater: Get Ready to Make a Splash!


There’s nothing more enticing than diving into a warm, inviting swimming pool, and the secret to achieving that perfect water temperature is a pool heater. But with numerous options available, how can you make sure you’re choosing the right one for your inground pool? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this guide, we’ll break down the steps to finding the ideal pool heater size to keep you swimming in comfort all season long. Get ready to become the go-to pool expert among your friends!

Step 1: Determine Your Desired Temperature Rise

Before diving into heater specs, it’s essential to know your target water temperature. A comfortable swimming range is usually between 78°F and 82°F (25°C and 28°C), but this ultimately depends on your personal preferences. To calculate the desired temperature rise, subtract your pool’s average temperature without a heater from your target temperature. For example, if your pool’s average temperature is 70°F and you’d like to reach 80°F, you’ll need a temperature rise of 10°F (80-70=10).

Step 2: Calculate Your Pool’s Surface Area

Next, you’ll need to determine your pool’s surface area, which will influence the heating capacity required. For a rectangular or square pool, simply multiply the length by the width. For an oval pool, multiply the longest diameter by the shortest diameter, then multiply by 0.8. If your pool has an irregular shape, try to break it down into smaller, regular shapes and calculate each area separately, then add them up.

Step 3: Factor in Climate and Heat Loss

Your local climate plays a significant role in your pool heater size. Pools located in colder regions or those with significant heat loss due to factors such as wind, humidity, and shade will require more heating power. The use of a solar cover or pool blanket can significantly reduce heat loss, saving you energy and costs in the long run.

Step 4: Consult the Heater Sizing Charts

Now that you have the desired temperature rise and your pool’s surface area, consult the manufacturer’s heater sizing chart. These charts, which can be found in product manuals or on manufacturers’ websites, provide guidelines for selecting the right heater size based on your pool’s specifics.

Keep in mind that pool heaters are rated in BTUs (British Thermal Units) per hour, which measures their heating capacity. A higher BTU rating means a more powerful heater. Generally, a larger pool will require a heater with a higher BTU rating, but factors such as climate, heat loss, and desired temperature rise will also impact your choice.

Step 5: Evaluate Your Options

Now that you know the ideal BTU rating for your pool heater, it’s time to explore your options. There are three primary types of pool heaters:

  1. Gas heaters: These heaters use natural gas or propane and are known for their fast heating capabilities. They’re ideal for pools that aren’t used regularly or for those who prefer quick heat-up times.
  2. Heat pumps: Heat pumps are highly energy-efficient, drawing warmth from the surrounding air to heat your pool. They’re perfect for regions with moderate climates and are most effective when the ambient temperature is above 50°F (10°C).
  3. Solar heaters: As the name suggests, solar heaters harness the sun’s energy to heat your pool. They’re environmentally friendly and cost-effective, but their heating power depends on sunlight availability.

Each heater type has its pros and cons, so consider your priorities, such as heating speed, energy efficiency, and initial cost, when making your decision.


Choosing the right pool heater size for your inground pool may seem daunting, but with a little knowledge and preparation, it becomes a simple process. By determining your desired temperature rise, calculating your pool’s surface area, factoring in climate and heat loss, and consulting heater sizing charts, you’ll be on your way to selecting the perfect heater for your needs.

Don’t forget to evaluate the different heater types and consider factors like heating speed, energy efficiency, and installation costs when making your final decision. By investing in the ideal pool heater, you’ll be able to extend your swimming season, enhance your pool’s comfort, and make a splash with your friends and family!

So go ahead, share this guide with your fellow pool enthusiasts, and get ready to dive into a warm, inviting pool all season long. With the right pool heater by your side, you’ll be the talk of the town, and your backyard oasis will be the envy of the neighborhood. Happy swimming!

Troubleshooting Gas Pool Heaters: Diagnosing and Repairing Common Issues

A Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners to Troubleshoot, Diagnose, and Repair Gas Pool Heaters


Gas pool heaters are a popular option for homeowners looking to extend their swimming season or maintain a comfortable pool temperature. However, like any mechanical system, gas pool heaters can experience issues that may affect their performance or cause them to malfunction. In this article, we will discuss the common problems that can arise with gas pool heaters, how to troubleshoot these issues, and the steps to diagnose and repair them.

Common Gas Pool Heater Issues

  1. Heater Fails to Ignite: If your gas pool heater doesn’t ignite, it may be due to a lack of fuel, a faulty ignition system, or a problem with the control module.
  2. Insufficient Heating: If your pool heater is running but not providing enough heat, it could be due to an improperly sized heater, poor water flow, or a malfunctioning component.
  3. Heater Cycles On and Off: If your heater is constantly cycling on and off, it may be caused by poor water flow, a dirty filter, or a faulty pressure switch.
  4. Unusual Noises: Strange noises coming from your heater can indicate issues with the fan, burners, or heat exchanger.
  5. Leaking Water: Leaking water from your pool heater may be caused by a damaged heat exchanger, loose connections, or cracked pipes.

Troubleshooting Gas Pool Heater Issues

  1. Check the Power and Fuel Supply: Ensure that the heater is properly connected to power, the gas valve is open, and there is an adequate supply of fuel.
  2. Inspect the Ignition System: Examine the pilot light or electronic ignition system for signs of damage or malfunction. Clean any debris or dirt that may be affecting the ignition system.
  3. Examine the Control Module: Check the control module for any error codes or signs of damage. Reset the module if necessary, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Verify Proper Water Flow: Ensure that your pool pump is functioning correctly and that the water flow through the heater is sufficient. Clean or backwash your pool filter if needed.
  5. Inspect Components: Examine the heater’s components, such as the burners, heat exchanger, and pressure switch, for any signs of damage or wear.

Diagnosing and Repairing Gas Pool Heater Issues

  1. Ignition Problems: If your heater fails to ignite, replace any damaged or malfunctioning components, such as the ignition system or control module.
  2. Insufficient Heating: If your heater is not providing enough heat, consider upgrading to a properly sized heater or improving water flow by cleaning your filter or addressing any issues with your pool pump.
  3. Heater Cycling On and Off: If your heater is cycling on and off, clean your filter or address any issues with water flow. Replace a faulty pressure switch if necessary.
  4. Unusual Noises: If your heater is making strange noises, inspect the fan, burners, and heat exchanger for any signs of damage or wear. Replace any damaged components as needed.
  5. Leaking Water: If your heater is leaking water, tighten any loose connections or replace any cracked pipes. If the heat exchanger is damaged, it may need to be replaced.


Troubleshooting, diagnosing, and repairing gas pool heater issues can help you maintain a comfortable pool temperature and extend the life of your heater. By regularly inspecting and maintaining your gas pool heater, you can prevent many common issues and ensure that your pool remains inviting and comfortable for you and your family. Keep in mind that some repairs may require the expertise of a qualified professional, especially when dealing with gas lines or electrical systems. In such cases, it’s important to consult with a licensed pool technician or heating professional to ensure the safe and proper repair of your gas pool heater.

Safety Precautions

Before attempting any repairs or maintenance on your gas pool heater, make sure to follow these safety precautions:

  1. Turn off the power and gas supply: Always shut off the electricity and gas supply to the heater before working on it. This will help prevent accidents and ensure your safety.
  2. Allow the heater to cool down: Give your heater enough time to cool down before working on it. Touching hot components can result in burns or other injuries.
  3. Wear protective gear: Wear gloves and eye protection when working on your gas pool heater to protect yourself from any debris or sharp objects.
  4. Ventilate the area: If you’re working with gas, make sure to properly ventilate the area to avoid the buildup of potentially dangerous fumes.
  5. Consult the owner’s manual: Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for your specific gas pool heater model to ensure that you’re following the proper procedures for troubleshooting, diagnosing, and repairing issues.

In conclusion, understanding the common issues that can arise with gas pool heaters, as well as knowing how to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair them, can help homeowners maintain an efficiently functioning heater and ensure a comfortable swimming environment. By following safety precautions and seeking professional help when needed, you can keep your gas pool heater in top shape and extend its lifespan.

Extend Your Swimming Season: A Guide to Above Ground Pool Heating Options

Above ground pools are a fantastic addition to any backyard, offering endless fun and relaxation during the hot summer months. But when the temperature starts to drop, many pool owners are left longing for more swim time. Thankfully, there are several heating options available that can extend your swimming season well into the cooler months. In this article, we will explore the most popular heating solutions for above ground pools and help you determine which option is best suited for your needs.

  1. Solar Heating Systems: Solar heating systems are an eco-friendly and cost-effective way to heat your above ground pool. These systems utilize solar panels to absorb the sun’s energy and transfer it to your pool water. The panels are typically mounted on a nearby roof or a freestanding structure, and the pool water is circulated through the solar collectors, where it is heated before returning to the pool. While the initial cost of a solar heating system can be higher than other options, the long-term savings on energy bills make it a worthwhile investment.


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Low operating costs
  • Can extend your swimming season by several months


  • Higher upfront cost
  • Requires sunlight for optimal performance
  • May take longer to heat the pool compared to other methods
  1. Gas Pool Heaters: Gas pool heaters are a popular choice for above ground pool owners due to their fast heating capabilities and ability to maintain a consistent temperature. These heaters use natural gas or propane to heat the pool water and can quickly raise the temperature, making them ideal for occasional use or when rapid heating is desired. However, the ongoing cost of fuel can make gas heaters more expensive to operate over time.


  • Fast and efficient heating
  • Can maintain a consistent temperature
  • Suitable for pools of varying sizes


  • Higher operating costs due to fuel consumption
  • May require professional installation
  • Can produce greenhouse gas emissions
  1. Electric Heat Pumps: Electric heat pumps are an energy-efficient option for heating your above ground pool. These units work by extracting heat from the surrounding air and transferring it to your pool water. While electric heat pumps can be more expensive upfront than gas heaters, they have lower operating costs, making them an economical choice in the long run.


  • Energy-efficient
  • Lower operating costs compared to gas heaters
  • Can maintain a consistent temperature


  • Higher upfront cost
  • May require professional installation
  • Heating efficiency can be affected by air temperature
  1. Pool Heat Exchangers: A pool heat exchanger is a device that can be connected to an existing home heating system, such as a boiler or furnace, to transfer heat to your pool water. This option can be cost-effective for those who already have a compatible heating system in place. However, it may not be suitable for all homes, and professional installation is typically required.


  • Utilizes existing home heating system
  • Can be cost-effective if compatible with current heating setup
  • Can maintain a consistent temperature


  • May require professional installation
  • Not suitable for all homes or heating systems
  • May put additional strain on your home heating system

Conclusion: When it comes to heating your above ground pool, several options can help extend your swimming season. The best choice for you will depend on factors such as your budget, desired heating efficiency, and environmental considerations. By carefully considering the pros and cons of each option, you can make an informed decision that will keep your pool warm and inviting for many months to come.