My fellow DIY’ers, I am back with a little summertime creation to make rolling up that solar pool cover a breeze. Ya, we could keep grabbing one side and folding it half, then in half again, then in half again. Then drag it off the pool and lay it on the ground, which is a two-person operation and a bit of a pain. So what is a DIY’er to do??
In an attempt to get a few more pool days throughout the year, we purchased a solar cover to heat the water up on those sunny but too cool to swim days. I never realized how dang expensive a sheet of extra strength bubble wrap is!!! Good grief!! Anyway, how about I get right into this DIY pool cover roller-upper project...
After getting a basic idea of what I wanted to accomplish, I headed to Home Depot and hit the plumbing isle. I found the ABS plastic to be a bit cheaper than the PVC plastic so I went that route. Putting pieces together, taking them apart, my initial idea changed shortly after looking at the available parts and pieces. $40 and 20 minutes later and I think I have all the parts I need to create this pool cover roller-upper unit. My pool is a 9 foot by 18 foot rectangle pool and here is a parts list needed for my size pool.
- 2 - 2 inch caps
- 1 - 2 inch coupler
- 2 - 3 inch clean outs
- 2 - 2 inch 90 degree elbows
- 2 feet of 3 inch pipe
- 10 feet of 2 inch pipe
- 2 - 1 foot pieces of scrap wood
- 10 - 1 inch screws
First, I made a way for it to attach to the pool rails. Easy on and easy off, yet it won’t just fall off. So using a piece of 3 inch pipe and a sawzall, I cut out a strip so it would “snap” over the upper bar on the pool.
After a couple cuts, taking a little out at a time. These pieces are fitting nicely and come off rather easily when pulling up on them.
Next I screwed those pieces of pipe to a 2x3 scrap block of wood with 3 1 inch screws. This will give me something to attach the collar to. The collar is what the long piece of 2 inch pipe will roll in on each side of the pool. You will see what I am talking about in a minute.
For the collar I used a 3 inch clean out. One side of the clean out is threaded and the other is a slip fitting. I cut the lip off of one side so it would sit flat on the piece of wood. The. Attached it with a couple 1 inch screws.
With the collar screwed down to the wood which is attached to the 3 inch pipe that fits over the top rail of the pool, I stuck the 2 inch pipe through it and glued a cap on the end. The cap is big enough in diameter that it won’t pull through past the threaded portion of the clean out coupler. This is done on the opposite side of where the hand crank will be made. That way the length of the pipe will be correct and won’t have a lot of slop.
Now on the hand crank side I couldn’t use a cap because I needed to make a handle. So I cut the 2 inch pipe far enough past the clean out piece to accommodate a 2 inch coupler. Now the pipe can’t be pulled through either side of the “rail mount”
Next it is time to make the crank handle. I cut about a 4 inch piece and glued it into the coupler, then I glued on a 90 degree elbow.
This next piece will determine how big of a circle your crank handle will make when turning it. I chose about a 6 inch piece for that, glued on another 90 degree elbow, then another 6 inch piece for the handle. Glue on one more cap and the handle is complete.
In order to attach the cover to the 2 inch pipe I used a step bit to drill 5 holes evenly spaced in the pipe. Then I turned the pipe 90 degrees and drilled 5 holes inline with the other side.
I found some rope and put it through the holes and tied them off to the pipe. Then when the pipe is turned the ropes wind up on the pipe.
To attach the ropes to the cover, I cut a little slit on the edge next to the seem. Trying my best to tie them off at even lengths. Which did take a little adjusting, so don’t tie them really tight to begin with.
After a couple test roll-ups, some adjustments to the ropes, and creating a little overlap in the middle to prevent the sides from catching, it is is working like a champ!! A one person operation!!
Once it is rolled up, it is really easy to lift each side off the edge of the pool and pick the whole thing up in the middle and set it off to the side in the grass.
So there you have it my DIY junkies, another little project to make things a little easier and more convenient around the Splatts house. If you have a circular pool... that is gonna take a lot more research and development than this simple rectangle pool. My buddy has a big round pool, maybe he wants to make one??? Maybe....