Are The Bubbles on a Pool Cover Supposed to be Up or Down?


Pool covers are essential for maintaining the cleanliness and temperature of a pool, and among the different types available, the solar cover, also known as a bubble cover or solar blanket, is particularly popular. These covers consist of a durable plastic material with air bubbles or pockets that float on the water’s surface when properly positioned. However, there is often confusion about whether these bubbles should face up or down.

The bubbles on a pool cover are designed to face downward when the cover is placed on the pool. This positioning allows the bubbles to create an insulating layer between the water and the cover, maximizing the cover’s effectiveness in retaining heat and preventing evaporation.

Here’s why the bubbles should be facing down:

  1. Insulation and Heat Retention: The primary purpose of a solar cover is to harness the sun’s energy to heat the pool water. When the bubbles face down, they create an insulating barrier that traps the heat absorbed from sunlight, transferring it to the water below. This process helps in maintaining the pool’s temperature and reducing heat loss, especially during cooler nights.
  2. Reduction in Evaporation: Evaporation is a significant cause of heat loss in pools. The bubbles facing downward form a barrier that significantly reduces water evaporation by as much as 50%–70%, conserving water and reducing the need for frequent refilling.
  3. Chemical and Debris Protection: Placing the bubbles downward also prevents debris, leaves, and other contaminants from settling into the bubbles, keeping the surface cleaner. Moreover, it helps in preserving the pool’s chemical balance by minimizing the exposure of the cover material to pool chemicals.
How to Properly Fit Your Solar Cover on Your Swimming Pool -

While the bubbles should face down, there are a few essential considerations to ensure the effectiveness of the cover:

  • Proper Fit: Ensure the cover fits the pool dimensions properly, allowing for some overhang to prevent wind from getting underneath and dislodging the cover.
  • Removing Wrinkles: Smooth out any wrinkles or folds in the cover to maximize its contact with the water surface. This promotes better heat transfer and improves the cover’s ability to reduce evaporation.
  • Regular Maintenance: Clean the cover periodically to remove debris and maintain its effectiveness. Gently hosing it off and using a mild detergent can help in keeping it clean.
  • Storage: When not in use, store the cover away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures to prolong its lifespan. Rolling it up carefully and storing it in a protective cover or container can prevent damage.

It’s important to note that while the bubbles facing downward is the standard recommendation for solar covers, some manufacturers might produce reversible covers designed to work effectively with bubbles facing either side. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you’re using the cover correctly for optimal performance.

Solar Pool Covers Bubbles Up Or Down - Shockpool


1. Do I need to cut my pool cover to fit the shape of my pool?

  • Most pool covers come in standard sizes and shapes. You can trim a cover to fit a custom-shaped pool using scissors or a utility knife, ensuring it’s slightly larger than the pool’s dimensions for proper coverage.

2. Can I use a solar cover on an above-ground pool?

  • Yes, solar covers are suitable for both in-ground and above-ground pools. Ensure you choose the right size and shape for your above-ground pool.

3. How do I clean a pool cover with bubbles facing downward?

  • Cleaning involves gently hosing off the cover and using a mild detergent if needed. Ensure the bubbles are facing downward while cleaning and rinse thoroughly before placing it back on the pool.

4. Will the bubbles on my solar cover deteriorate over time?

  • With proper care and maintenance, the bubbles can last several seasons. However, exposure to harsh sunlight, chemicals, and rough handling can degrade them over time. Inspect the cover regularly for any signs of deterioration.

5. Can I walk on a pool cover with bubbles?

  • Walking on a solar cover is not recommended as it could damage the bubbles, leading to reduced effectiveness in retaining heat and preventing evaporation.

6. Do I still need to use a regular pool cover in addition to a solar cover with bubbles?

  • A solar cover with bubbles facing downward can serve as both a thermal cover and a debris cover. However, some pool owners use a solid cover underneath the solar cover during the off-season to provide additional protection.

In conclusion, when placing a solar cover on a pool, positioning the bubbles downward is crucial for maximizing its effectiveness in retaining heat, reducing evaporation, and keeping the pool clean. By following proper installation and maintenance practices, pool owners can make the most of their solar covers, prolong their lifespan, and enjoy a more comfortable and efficient swimming experience.

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