Can You Run A Pool Pump With Solar Cover On? (What You Need To Know)

Having a swimming pool that you can run with automatic timers, or at the very least a flick of a switch makes swimming pool ownership more manageable and fun. That goes for using a solar cover to keep the temperatures at high enough levels for you to swim all year round. This begs the question: Can you run the solar cover with the pump on?

Yes, you can run a swimming pool pump with the solar cover unfurled. The main goal of a solar cover is to increase the pool’s temperature during the day and reduce heat loss during the night. The only time you will want to wind it up out of the pool is to swim. Your pool’s filtration is not affected by the cover.

Your solar pool cover is a relatively low-cost investment that pays dividends in terms of increased pool use and the amount of fun the family can have in the pool for an expanded period over the year. It makes the investment you made in the pool very worthwhile.

Can You Run A Pool Pump With Solar Cover On?

The short answer is a firm and definitive Yes! Depending on your environment, the average time to run your pool motor is 5 – 6 hours a day. 

You don’t have to manually remove the solar pool cover every time you start the filter pump; that would make swimming pool ownership hard work.

Not only is it OK to run the pool pump with the solar cover, but it is also preferable and can reduce the time you spend on maintaining your pool.

The Benefits Of Using A Solar Cover On Your Pool

  1. The pool stays warmer; this is an obvious benefit and is the reason you purchased the solar pool cover in the first place. Solar pool covers work by trapping the free energy released by the sun. Energy transfers to the water resulting in the water heating up.
    • Leaving the solar pool cover on the pool ensures that it works optimally. During the day, it is actively functioning, converting the sun’s energy to heat and transferring this to the water. During the night, it helps to reduce heat loss by acting as an insulating barrier between the pool and the environment.
  1. While the pool cover is on the pool’s surface, it protects it from foreign object contamination. If you live in an environment filled with dust and need to regularly backwash your filter to keep it running optimally, you will find that having a pool cover will reduce the need to do this.
  2. Pool covers act as a barrier to cutting down on algae spores, which can turn your pool green overnight. 
  3. An added advantage of reducing contamination is that you can reduce the time your swimming pool filter runs every day, directly saving you costs.
  4. A pool cover installed on the hottest days will reduce chemical usage. The sun reduces chlorine very effectively. On hot, bright, sunny days,  up to 90% of free chlorine can be depleted by the sun in less than two hours. Covering the surface of the pool reduces chlorine usage by up to 50%
  5. The evaporation rate from a swimming pool is dependant on the pool’s and the air temperature and humidity. The wind speed at the pool surface also affects evaporation. A pool cover will reduce water evaporation from your swimming pool.

Are There Any Downsides To Using A Solar Pool Cover?

There are very few downsides to using a swimming pool cover:

  1. With the pool cover on, the pool’s surface may not be recirculated as much as if there was no pool cover; this is of little concern, particularly if you have an automatic pool cleaner that sucks water in from the bottom of the pool.
  2. Removing a pool cover to swim or to maintain it may be inconvenient. The benefits of a pool cover should outweigh this concern.

Solar Pool Cover Systems


For a solar pool cover to be effective, it needs to be used. That sounds obvious, but the system of covering and uncovering the pool should be as effortless as possible, making it less inconvenient or hassle.

Several systems are available, including manual, semi-automatic, and fully automatic.

1. Manual Solar Pool Covers

Manual solar pool covers can be as simple as throwing the cover over the pool and tying it down onto pre-set points installed for that purpose.

A solar pool cover wheel is available to purchase. Although still a manual process, this does enable the solar pool cover to be rolled up on the big wheel and stored safely while the pool is being used.

2. Semi-Automatic Solar Pool Cover Systems

Semi-automatic pool cover systems use a motor-driven reel system. The motor rolls on or unfurls the solar pool cover; however, it usually needs someone to make sure that the cover rolls on cleanly and there aren’t kinks that could damage the cover.

Semi-automatic pool cover systems can be portable, meaning the solar cover can be stored away from the pool or installed as a permanent fixture at the end of the pool.

3. Fully Automatic Systems

Automatic poll cover systems are the most convenient. They have permanently mounted rails on the side of the pool, and the storage device (usually a large roll) is mounted at the end of the pool.

The user presses a button, and the solar poll cover unrolls or furls back up.

This system will easily persuade the family to keep the pool cover on. The downside is that this is the most expensive system.

How Long Can A Pool Cover Be Left On


A pool cover can be left on indefinitely. To ensure that your swimming pool is kept in tip-top condition, it is recommended that you remove the Solar Swimming Pool Cover every seven days and check the state of the water and the chemical content.


Solar Pool covers are a very worthwhile investment that offers many benefits. They can be kept over the pool for 24-hour cycles and do not affect the pool’s filtration.

They save you energy costs, reduce the chemicals you use, decrease the amount of evaporation, and keep the pool cleaner, doing all of this while also heating your pool and giving you more year-round use.

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