DIY Solar Pool Heater - Beginner's Guide With Diagrams - Spheral Solar (2023)

Although you may think it’s a tall order, you can build a DIY solar pool heater using irrigation tubing and fittings, framing lumber, and basic tools and expertise, all in a weekend or less.

And that’s not an exaggeration. You can build a totally functional and efficient solar pool heater using Home Depot class hardware and common DIY hand and power tools. In terms of complexity, the average solar pool heater is also well within the abilities of the average DIY weekend warrior.

Today we’ll have a closer look at the most common types of DIY solar pool heaters in action.

How Does a DIY Solar Pool Heater Work?

Solar pool heaters make use of an abundant, free, and totally natural source of energy to heat water and circulate it through your pool — sunlight.

No matter which design or type of DIY solar pool heater you choose, they all work on a similar principle. Coldwater is pumped from the swimming pool through a system of pipes or channels known as collectors that are exposed to sunlight where it is heated by solar radiation.

The hot water is then returned to the pool where it gradually raises the temperature of the whole body of water. The process may not be as quick as a system using electric or gas heaters, but hey, it’s green and it’s free!

Here is an example of the basics of DIY solar pool heaters in action.

DIY Solar Pool Heater - Beginner's Guide With Diagrams - Spheral Solar (1)

Credit: Paul Scott

Many folks new to solar water heating are surprised at just how hot the water can get in a solar heater. If your collector is well designed and built and is exposed to sufficient sunlight, you’ll get steam out of the hot water line even on a warm day. In fact, the water can boil in a well-built DIY solar pool heating system.

There are many different ways to get this done, ranging from simple open channel heaters to large and complex solar collector systems. Some systems rely on the pool pump to circulate the water through the heater, while others utilize a dedicated submersible pool pump. However, all options share the same physics alchemy to raise the pool temperature to a point where a dip is no longer a religious experience.

Note: An interesting fact about DIY pool heater projects! Experiments have proved homemade solar pool heater projects deliver between 77 and 80% efficiency figures. That is what you can expect from a commercial pool heater, so you won’t be sacrificing performance by rolling your own solar pool heater.

How to Make DIY Solar Pool Heater in 7 Steps

We’ll now take a detailed look at how to construct and install a coiled tube solar pool heater. Although the process is fairly simple, some woodworking skills are required. We’ll assume that you have those skills and at least basic woodworking power and hand tools.

We are also going to detail the construction of a moderately sized, single-coil collector. In reality, most folks would choose to use a couple connected in series. Once you have one nailed, though, putting additional units together would be routine.

Important Notes for the DIY Solar Pool Project

The sizing and design of this example are based on a couple of standards that fit together well and make for convenient construction.

  • The standard ½ inch plywood sheet size is 4′ x 8′. This means you can get two separate 4′ x 4′ boxes or a full sheet box divided into two 4′ x 4′ partitions.
  • A 4′ x 4′ box accommodates approximately 220 feet of ½ inch PVC or PEX tubing. One of the common tube roll sizes is 250 feet which is convenient if you want to construct a single box. The other common roll size is 500 feet which work well for a double box.
  • The 2 x 4 framing timber is a good size choice for the box walls because 4″ gives you enough side height to accommodate the tube roll and braces. At the same time, it’s not too roomy and creates an ideal thermal space.

What You Need

Check Prices of All Parts on This List

1. Building a Single Box

  • To get a single box set up, cut the plywood sheet into two 4′ x 4′ squares.
  • Then cut 4 pieces of framing timber 4′ in length with 45º miter corners.
  • Arrange the framing timbers in a box shape on a flat surface.
  • Mark, drill, and attach a corner brace plate inside each corner of the box or frame with wood screws.
  • Now run a bead of wood glue along the top edges of the frame.
  • Place one of the 4 x 4 sheets of plywood on top of the box, making sure it perfectly fits the frame.
  • Drill pilot holes at regular intervals through the plywood and into the frame.
  • Insert wood screws and tighten the plywood sheet down firmly onto the frame.

Now turn the box over, and you’ll have something like this.

DIY Solar Pool Heater - Beginner's Guide With Diagrams - Spheral Solar (2)

Credit: Paul Scott

2. Painting and Insulating the Box

At this point, you can run silicon sealer around all the joints in the bottom and sides of the box. When the sealer has cured, paint the box inside and out with the high heat black paint.

Why do we do this: All solar water heaters rely on absorbing the maximum amount of solar energy for their efficiency. Black doesn’t reflect sunlight, so painting the box in that color ensures anything in the box will absorb as much heat as possible. Sealing the box also prevents heat loss from the interior space.

When the paint is dry, you can cut the insulating foam to size and use wood glue to stick it down firmly in the bottom of the box. This ensures no heat is lost from the tubing through direct contact with the back of the box. This is what you’ll end up with.

(Video) How to Build a DIY SOLAR POOL HEATER for Less Than $100 | Swim University

DIY Solar Pool Heater - Beginner's Guide With Diagrams - Spheral Solar (3)

Credit: Paul Scott

3. Laying Out the Tubing

This is undoubtedly the most challenging and time-consuming part of getting this type of DIY solar pool heater set up. Coil the rolls of tubing tight and high, and you’ll have to go at it systematically if you want to get a flat, single-layer layout.

There’s no real magic-wand method of doing this, and you’ll have to plod away until you have spread the whole roll out flat. Just try as far as is possible to avoid kinking the pipe.

A box this size won’t take a full 250-foot roll of tubing, and you’ll have to trim around 30 feet off to leave enough space in the center of the roll. This is approximately the relationship between the outside and inside diameter of the coil, you need to be aiming for.

DIY Solar Pool Heater - Beginner's Guide With Diagrams - Spheral Solar (4)

Credit: Paul Scott

When you lay the tube out flat, you can feed the inside end under the coil and trim both ends to leave yourself with a layout similar to the illustration below.

DIY Solar Pool Heater - Beginner's Guide With Diagrams - Spheral Solar (5)

Credit: Paul Scott

Now you can use zip ties to keep the roll together and flat. Lay the tube roll back in position and mark out cut-out channels in the foam insulation sheet as indicated by the dashed red lines below.

DIY Solar Pool Heater - Beginner's Guide With Diagrams - Spheral Solar (6)

Credit: Paul Scott

This step will allow the tube roll to lie flat on the insulating sheet when the tubing is brought through the box for connection. That way, you will still have enough space to install the braces that will permanently keep the roll secure.

Important Note

If you have opted to use black PVC drip irrigation tubing, you’ll be ready to terminate the collector and close the box. On the other hand, if you are using red PEX tubing, there is one more step you need to complete.

If your collector is made up of PEX tubing, take the trimmed and zip-tied roll out of the box and reach for the black spray paint. Spray all exposed surfaces of the PEX tube roll with at least two coats of high heat matt black spray paint. Letting each coat dry thoroughly before re-spraying.

Try to make sure that you cover all red areas of tubing before proceeding. There is an excellent reason for doing this, and you will examine this step’s importance a little later.

4. Terminating the Collector

Once you have cut the relief slots in the insulation sheet, place the collector roll in its final position and mark the exit points for the two ends of the roll. Remove the roll and drill two suitably sized holes for the tube ends to exit the box.

Now replace the roll feeding the two tube ends through the holes. You canterminate the tube ends can now with suitable fittings ready for connection to the water circuit. This should leave you with this result.

DIY Solar Pool Heater - Beginner's Guide With Diagrams - Spheral Solar (7)

Credit: Paul Scott

(Video) How To Heat Your POOL (3 Ways) | Swim University

5. Bracing the Collector

You will likely have to place at least one brace across the collector coil to keep it secure in the box. You will not have much room between the top surface of the roll and the top edge of the framing. So, some experimentation and sawdust generation will be called for.

The easiest way to get this done is to cut two thin 4′ braces to a suitable thickness and install them in a cross formation across the tube roll. When installing the braces, make sure they press firmly against the tube without deforming it and that the brace members are below the frame top level.

The bracing will secure the tube roll and support the clear sheet cover when it’s fitted. And, if you can’t find 4′ x 4′ acrylic sheets, the bracing across the center of the box will make joining two 2′ x 4′ sheets easier.

This is what that would look like.

DIY Solar Pool Heater - Beginner's Guide With Diagrams - Spheral Solar (8)

Credit: Paul Scott

Note:

If you want to use multiple collectors, here’s a diagram detailing how to connect two or more rolls. In electrical terms, this would be a series connection.

6. Closing Up the Box

To complete the collector box construction, you must cover it with a clear polycarbonate or acrylic sheet. This keeps dust, debris, and bugs out of the box and ensures a good seal against heat loss. Some DIY solar heater designs use black polycarbonate sheets. But we feel a clear sheet serves the sealing purpose while allowing the maximum sunlight to reach the tubes.

To do this, place the pre-cut clear sheet on the box, lining up all the edges. Then drill pilot holes around the sheet into the top of the frame. Remove the sheet, run a bead of silicone sealer around the frame, replace the sheet, and screw it down securely.

7. Completing the Installation

All that now remains to do is give the whole pool heater set up a once-over. Then, check that all gaps and the pipe exits are correctly sealed. Then you can connect the DIY solar pool heater to the pool pump output and return lines to the swimming pool water circuit. How this is done exactly will depend on your specific solar heater setup, so it’s not feasible to go into too much detail here.

One important note, though:

The input hose from the pump MUST be fitted with an inline spigot or valve to control the flow from the pump to the collector. This is going to really important when you are setting the solar pool heater up for maximum efficiency. See detail below.

Typically, the completed solar pool heater setup would look something like this.

DIY Solar Pool Heater - Beginner's Guide With Diagrams - Spheral Solar (10)

Credit: Paul Scott

Snag List and Flow Control

Once you have the entire system connected and running, the first order of business is to check all connection points for leaks. All connections are kept outside the box in this type of DIY pool heater. So, this is relatively easy to do.

(Video) How to Buy The Best SOLAR POOL HEATER | Swim University

If you are satisfied that your system is leak-free, you can start tweaking the flow rate to get the best results.

Controlling the Flow

All solar pool heaters have a well-defined performance curve that depends on the amount of solar radiation the collector is receiving versus the water flow the pool pump is delivering.

Anyone who has used an instantaneous water heater will know that the output depends on how wide you open the water flow for any given heat setting. The same principle applies here to your solar heater.

The collector or group of collectors has a maximum efficiency threshold based on heat absorption related to water volume. If you increase the incoming pool water volume too much, you upset the balance. And the output temperature flattens out and eventually drops.

This is why it is important to include a flow control valve in the cold water input to the collector. It allows you to adjust the water flow through the collector to get the optimal flow rate. Again, there are no magic formulas here – it’s all trial and error experimentation.

Note: Although it can be costly, one extra measure you can take to improve the thermal efficiency of your heater and pool water is to install a good pool cover. Not only do they keep dirt out of the pool water, but they trap heat and make it easier to maintain comfy water temperatures.

PVC Tubing Versus PEX for Solar Pool Heater Projects

We’ve made a couple of references to the choice of using conventional drip irrigation and PEX tubing for solar heater installations. Let’s consider the issues surrounding the use of PEX tubing in more detail here.

PEX, or crosslinked polyethylene, tubing is extensively used for indoor open plumbing in homes. It has some particular characteristics that both lend and limit its use to solar pool heater installations.

Pros

  • PEX tubing is far more robust and flexible than PVC drip tubing. It is a lot less inclined to kink and is easier to arrange in complex or tight patterns
  • .It is easier to terminate effectively. Because it is predominantly used in plumbing applications, more effective fitting options are available for PEX tubing. Making it easier to install and troubleshoot your homemade solar pool heater installation.
  • Red PEX tubing is rated for temperature ceilings far over those you’ll encounter in a DIY solar pool heater circuit.
  • Pex tubing is way less prone to damage in freezing conditions due to its robust flexibility making it ideal for solar heater projects in areas with very cold winters.

Cons

  • PEX tubing is more expensive than drip irrigation tubing. However, this is not a big issue with homemade solar pool heater projects if you consider the pros.
  • Pex tubing is not UV stable and degrades very quickly when exposed to sunlight. This may sound like a huge no-brainer killer for SOLAR pool heaters, but there is a caveat. If PEX tubing is coated with paint, this problem disappears. So, as mentioned in the paragraphs above, if you paint your PEX tubing with black high-heat paint, there are almost zero UV degradation issues.
  • Contamination risks. Pex tubing can cause contamination of water supplies where incorrectly graded tubing is used. However, unless you plan on drinking the water from your solar pool heater system, this is purely academic.

Off-the-Shelf Alternatives for Building a Solar DIY Pool Heater for in-Ground and Above Ground Pool Types

For the most part, a DIY pool heater is generally understood as an end-to-end solution with all parts being hand-built. There are, however, other choices that include store-bought components integrated into homemade solar pool heater projects.

The solar collector is the most commonly used component in this case. Here are two off-the-shelf collectors that DIY enthusiasts use to build their own solar pool heater projects.

Dome Type Solar Collectors

Solar dome collectors consist of a ready-built spiral tube stack housed in a clear polycarbonate dome. They are easily integrated into DIY solar pool heater systems and produce good outputs.

Solar Collector Mats

Solar pool heater mats are equally efficient collector options and mimic the vertical riser types mentioned above. You can easily add them to DIY pool heater projects while cutting down on the amount of leg-work required to complete these projects.

4 Common DIY Solar Pool Heater Systems

1. Open Collector Solar Pool Water Heaters

Among the most basic and simple DIY solar pool heater designs, the open collector heater depends on an open water flow over an exposed surface. Also known as a trickle sheet collector, it uses a custom profiled sheet to channel cold water from a cold water manifold to a heated water collector, where it is sent back to the pool.

While the water flows over the sheet, sunlight heats it, bringing its temperature above the incoming pool water. Although deceptively simple, open collector systems are surprisingly effective, with 10-degree increases in the water temperature across the collector being quite realistic.

Here is an example of this system.

For a DIY open collector system, conventional corrugated roofing sheets and PVC piping would be perfect for the manifolds and collector surface. The simplicity and low cost of this type of system is its biggest pro point. Unfortunately, the exposed water flow can introduce debris, dust, and other contamination into the pool water. They are also less efficient than closed-circuit heaters and are really only suited to heating small above-ground pool types.

2. Serpentine Copper Tube Solar Pool Heater

As the name implies, this type of DIY solar pool heater uses a copper tube arranged like a snake’s coils to heat the water. Typically the copper tube is soldered onto a copper backplate to ensure rigidity and maximum radiation heating. The backplate and tubing are then painted black and enclosed in an insulated box covered with a sheet of glass to maximize heat transfer.

DIY Solar Pool Heater - Beginner's Guide With Diagrams - Spheral Solar (12)

Credit: Paul Scott

Copper tube collector heaters are more durable than PVC or PEX tube systems but are more challenging to construct. Working with copper tubing isn’t as easy as working with plastic tubing, as the coil forming and soldering process can be tricky. Copper tube collectors are also quite a bit heavier than their PVC peers and, if something goes wrong, a lot more difficult to repair.

(Video) Tips for building a solar water heater for hot tub

Depending on the size of the collector, serpentine copper tube heaters can be used to heat both an above-ground pool and an in-ground pool type.

3. PVC Coiled Tube Collector DIY Solar Pool Heater

The coiled PVC tube collector model is surely the most common type of DIY solar pool heater. They are easy to build using hardware store supplies and are flexible and very efficient.

The heart of a coiled tube DIY solar pool heater is a large round or race-track pattern of PVC tubing typically enclosed in an insulated box frame. Water is pumped out of the pool and through the coil of tubing, where it heats courtesy of solar radiation. The heated water returns to the swimming pool, slowly raising its overall temperature. An example of this type of system is illustrated in the basic solar pool heating principles illustration above.

We will examine this type of DIY solar pool heater in detail later in this article.

4. PVC Tube Vertical Riser Solar Pool Heater

This DIY solar pool heater is another very popular DIY project due to its simplicity and efficiency. In this design, you form the hot water collected by a closely spaced group of PVC tubes that run vertically between two manifolds. Coldwater from the swimming pool is pumped into the top manifold, runs down the tubes where it is heated, and exits the system via the bottom manifold. Let’s look at the layout of this type of heater.

DIY Solar Pool Heater - Beginner's Guide With Diagrams - Spheral Solar (13)

Credit: Paul Scott

Vertical riser heaters are a lot more efficient in terms of the space they take up, making them attractive options for rooftop installations. They can also be mounted in insulated, sealed boxes and are equally effective DIY pool heaters as their coiled cousins. And depending on how many units you stack up, this type of solar heater is good for an in-ground pool and above-ground pool designs.

Wrapping Up

A solar pool heater is a great addition to any outdoor entertainment area. They can add months of swimming time every year, which adds tremendously to your pool’s value. Hopefully, this article has demonstrated that a solar pool heater is, in fact, fairly easy to build and affordable to boot.

If you have any ideas or questions regarding solar pool heater construction, please leave a comment below.

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FAQs

How can I make a homemade pool heater? ›

Down below in the description. If you need them you can also order them online I've got those links

What is the black hose trick? ›

Coil a Black Garden Hose

Connect one end of the hose to a pump set up to pull water from the pool (you can even use the pool's pump), and place the other end in the pool. As the pump pulls water out of the pool and pushes it through the hose, the hot hose heats the water before recirculating it back into the pool.

How do I calculate solar panels for my pool? ›

If your pool has a total surface area of 400 square feet, 50% offset means you will need a total of 200 square feet of solar panels to heat it. As a reference; a single 4'x12. 5' solar panel has a surface area of 50 square feet, so a system with (4) 4'x12. 5' solar panels has a total surface area of 200 square feet.

How long does it take a solar heater to heat a pool? ›

A solar-heated pool in Southern California using unglazed solar panels will warm up to comfortable temperatures between 78° F to 85° F in just a few days in the beginning of spring, while a similarly sized pool in New York can take up to a whole week to warm up.

How many solar panels does it take to heat a pool? ›

We recommend 1 square foot of solar panel for every square foot of pool surface area for optimal results.

Does a solar pool heater need a separate pump? ›

The solar booster pump is not completely necessary and you could use the filter pump to do this. However, the filter pump is designed to filter water so it is recommended you get a booster pump designed for pool heating. You'll maximise the heat you get and also minimise the running costs.

How can I heat my pool fast? ›

The fastest way to heat your pool is to use a gas pool heater and a solar cover. It's like heating up your coffee in the microwave and putting a lid on it. No matter how you plan to heat your pool, you should at least have a solar cover (or liquid solar cover) to help you retain the heat.

Does pool heat faster with pump on or off? ›

The heat loss due to evaporation is dependent on water surface temperature so when the pump is not running during the day, the surface water can become warmer than if the pump where running. Therefore the evaporation component of heat loss can be higher without the pump running than with the pump running.

Does pool heat up faster with cover on or off? ›

Air bubbles in the pool cover act as an insulator in a similar way that your thermos would keep water warm. A pool cover will, therefore, keep your pool water warmer for longer.

What size pool heater do I need for a 24 foot round pool? ›

Heat Pump Sizing Chart - Above Ground Pools
Pool Size (Feet)Summer 4 BTU'sExtended 6 BTU's
Up To 10,000 Gallons Up To 21' Round or 15' x 26' Oval50,000 BTU65,000 BTU
Up To 13,000 Gallons Up To 24' Round or 15' x 30' Oval50,000 BTU85,000 BTU
Up To 17,000 Gallons Up To 27' Round or 18' x 33' Oval65,000 BTU110,000 BTU
1 more row

How do you size a solar heater? ›

For a quick residential system estimate, the general rule of thumb is that your south-facing roof/surface needs a minimum of 20 square feet of collector area for each of the first two people in the home. For each additional person using hot water, add a minimum of 12 to 14 square feet.

Does solar pool heating work in winter? ›

A solar heater can help you out. On installing it, the water temperature in the pool will remain comfortable throughout the year. No matter how cold the weather is, your pool will always be ready to welcome you at ease.

Should I run my solar pool heater at night? ›

You should never leave your pool heater on overnight. Doing so is not efficient and will cost you more than it would if you just turned the pool heater off. While many of us know that heating a pool can take up to several hours, running it overnight defeats the purpose of heating it at all.

What is a comfortable temperature for a swimming pool? ›

Despite this, the average pool temperature, which is said to be ideal for all, is between 77-82°F. These temperatures are low enough to prevent bacteria from growing, but also warm enough to take the chill off.

Can I run a pool pump on solar power? ›

You can even use solar panels for your pool pump! A solar-powered pool pump is a relatively simple, energy-efficient upgrade that will save you tons of money in the long run. You can offset your pool's energy costs by adding solar panels to your home or powering your pool pump directly via solar.

How long does it take to heat a pool? ›

Overall, a heat pump usually requires between 24 and 72 hours to heat a swimming pool by 20°F (11°C) and between 45 and 60 minutes to heat a spa by 20°F (11°C).

How many solar pool rings do I need? ›

How Many Solar Sun Rings Do I Need? We recommend enough Solar Sun Rings be purchased to cover 70% to 80% of your pools surface, ignoring the small triangles between the rings. For freeform pools, we suggest you start with one ring for every 50 sq. ft.

How can I make a heater without electricity? ›

Metal Can, Alcohol and Toilet Paper Emergency Heater

Pour the alcohol over the toilet paper so it is just saturated. Then light the alcohol on fire. The alcohol is the fuel, and the toilet paper is like a wick in a candle. The emergency heater can burn for over an hour and does an excellent job of heating the air.

Will boiling water heat a room? ›

So boiling water will heat the room more slowly than simply turning on the gas stove. That said, there is a way in which boiling water might feel like it heats the room faster: it increases the humidity in the room. Increased humidity inhibits evaporation of sweat and makes a room feel hotter even when it isn't.

How can you produce heat without electricity or fire? ›

Here's six techniques to create heat in the absence of electricity or fire:
  1. Insulate your body.
  2. Insulate your environment.
  3. Keep moving.
  4. Light a candle.
  5. Use a gas stove.
  6. Take advantage of the sun.
27 May 2022

How much does a solar pool heater raise the temperature? ›

Florida Solar Design Group says solar swimming pool heaters tend to increase unheated pool temperature by 8 to 12 degrees (depending on the weather), reaching somewhere between 78 and 85 degrees with minimal effort, even on somewhat cool days.

How much can a solar pool heater Increase temperature? ›

A properly sized solar heating system can gently raise the pool temperature by at least 5 to 10oC (10 – 20oF) above the normal water temperature maintaining a comfortable swimming temperature each time the water passes through the solar collector.

How long do solar pool heaters last? ›

Solar pool heating systems can last 20-25 years or longer, so we also offer some extended warranty options for additional coverage.

Will black plastic heat my pool? ›

Does Black Plastic Raise Your Pool's Temperature Quicker? Black plastic raises your pool's temperature quicker because black absorbs more heat than blue or gray. However, clear solar covers heat pools faster than any other option because they retain the heat without keeping any of it in the cover's plastic.

Do black bags heat a pool? ›

"By putting black bin bags on top it attracts the sun and it warms it up very quickly. Within about 45 minutes the water is warm and stays warm all day in the sun."

Can I use a black tarp to heat my pool? ›

A swimming pool tarp, for example, that's black on both sides is like a giant solar panel. Because a black tarp on a swimming pool's water surface traps solar heat energy, it will eventually turn cool, refreshing pool water into a tepid, warm bath.

How do you make a pool heater with a black hose? ›

How to Build a DIY SOLAR POOL HEATER for Less Than $100

Do solar rings work to heat pool? ›

Solar Sun Rings® were designed to safely heat swimming pools, not cushion packages. The effect is that Solar Sun Rings® with 70% to 80% coverage outperform bubble pack covers with 100% coverage.

How can I keep my pool warm at night? ›

Learn about the most common ways pool owners can reduce their heating costs, while still maintaining a nice, toasty pool.
  1. Use a Liquid Solar Cover to Reduce Pool Heating Cost: ...
  2. Solar Blanket: ...
  3. Solar Sun Rings: ...
  4. Install Wind Blocks: ...
  5. Install a Pool Cover:
28 May 2022

Should I leave my solar pool cover on during the day? ›

Solar pool covers should be left off during the day to allow for even heating of the water. Pool covers should be taken off at least once a week to allow collected carbon dioxide to escape; too much carbon dioxide can make the water acidic. Unless the pool is in use, pool covers should always be used at night.

How much heat does a pool lose overnight? ›

A pool that is uncovered can lose up to 5 degrees F overnight; a good cover can cut that loss by half. Used at night or whenever your pool is not in use, the pool cover can help save fuel costs by cutting heat loss regardless of the type of heating you utilize.

Is it cheaper to leave pool heater on? ›

Since you lose more heat energy from a hot pool than from a cool pool, the most efficient thing you can do is keep the temperature as low as possible for as long as possible. The most energy efficient thing to do is always to turn off the heater.

How long can you leave a solar cover on a pool? ›

Most solar covers last for up to three years, though many people replace them more frequently. Utilizing a solar cover and taking advantage of the return lines in your pool is another way of prevent evaporation as well as distributing the warm water throughout all your pool and quick more efficiently.

Can you use bubble wrap to heat a pool? ›

Make Your Own Swimming Pool Blanket Winder: A solar blanket is a giant "bubble-wrap" cover that floats on the top of the water in your swimming pool. It provides a number of benefits: Heats the water with the sun - so its more comfortable and it extends the swimming season Reduces …

Do solar pool covers work on cloudy days? ›

On the other hand, a solar blanket is the most effective solar cover type for heating up a swimming pool. Depending on the weather, a solar blanket can heat up a pool even up to 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit in a single day. However, on cool, cloudy days, a solar cover will not be as effective at warming up the pool.

What size pool heater do I need for a 10000 gallon pool? ›

For pools under 10,000 gallons, small gas heaters like the Hayward 100K$) BTU output are suitable. Pools up to 15,000 gallons should look at the Pentair 125K BTU or higher, and 20,000 gallon above ground pools should look at the Raypak 150K BTU.

How many BTUs do I need for a 24 foot pool? ›

200,000 - 250,000 BTU

Can a pool heater be too big? ›

A pool heater can be undersized: if it cannot replace the heat lost through evaporative cooling, the pool's temperature will fall below the ideal. However, there is no such thing as oversizing a pool heater. The larger the heater's output, the faster it heats the water in the pool, and it will not begin short-cycling.

How do I calculate solar water heater? ›

To determine the energy required to heat each gallon of water, we simply calculate the temperature difference between the mains/wellwater and the setpoint temperature and then multiply that difference by 8.34.

How do you size a pool heater? ›

The pool's surface area divided by three gives you the minimal BTU size recommended for that particular surface area. Continuing the example above with the 15 x 30 pool, after dividing by 3, you get 150. Therefore, the minimum size heater that is recommended for a 15 x 30 pool is 150,000 BTUs.

How long does it take for a solar heater to heat a pool? ›

A solar-heated pool in Southern California using unglazed solar panels will warm up to comfortable temperatures between 78° F to 85° F in just a few days in the beginning of spring, while a similarly sized pool in New York can take up to a whole week to warm up.

When should I turn on my solar pool heater? ›

Generally speaking you should run your panels throughout the sunniest part of the day. The most basic advice is to simply run your solar panels during the sunniest time of the day. This actually means not just when the sun is out, but when the sun is directly hitting your panels.

What temperature should I heat my pool in the winter? ›

Set your pool heater's thermostat to a temperature between 78°F and 82°F (26°C and 28°C) to keep the majority of swimmers comfortable. Maybe a little cooler if you're in an area with very hot summers, or a little warmer if you live in a milder climate.

Does a solar pool heater need a separate pump? ›

The solar booster pump is not completely necessary and you could use the filter pump to do this. However, the filter pump is designed to filter water so it is recommended you get a booster pump designed for pool heating. You'll maximise the heat you get and also minimise the running costs.

Are solar pool heaters worth it? ›

You can significantly reduce swimming pool heating costs by installing a solar pool heater. They're cost competitive with both gas and heat pump pool heaters, and they have very low annual operating costs. Actually, solar pool heating is one of the most cost-effective use of solar energy in some climates.

Do solar rings work to heat pool? ›

Solar Sun Rings® were designed to safely heat swimming pools, not cushion packages. The effect is that Solar Sun Rings® with 70% to 80% coverage outperform bubble pack covers with 100% coverage.

What temperature should I heat my pool to? ›

Set your pool heater's thermostat to a temperature between 78°F and 82°F (26°C and 28°C) to keep the majority of swimmers comfortable.

How can I heat my pool fast? ›

The fastest way to heat your pool is to use a gas pool heater and a solar cover. It's like heating up your coffee in the microwave and putting a lid on it. No matter how you plan to heat your pool, you should at least have a solar cover (or liquid solar cover) to help you retain the heat.

How can I heat my pool without a heater? ›

Using a Solar Pool Cover, aka Solar Blanket, is by far the most cost effective and efficient way to heat a pool without a heater. Solar Pool Covers work as they feature a transparent/translucent material which allows the sun's heat through the cover into the pool.

How much does a solar pool heater raise the temperature? ›

Florida Solar Design Group says solar swimming pool heaters tend to increase unheated pool temperature by 8 to 12 degrees (depending on the weather), reaching somewhere between 78 and 85 degrees with minimal effort, even on somewhat cool days.

Does solar pool heating work in winter? ›

A solar heater can help you out. On installing it, the water temperature in the pool will remain comfortable throughout the year. No matter how cold the weather is, your pool will always be ready to welcome you at ease.

How much can a solar pool heater Increase temperature? ›

A properly sized solar heating system can gently raise the pool temperature by at least 5 to 10oC (10 – 20oF) above the normal water temperature maintaining a comfortable swimming temperature each time the water passes through the solar collector.

How long does it take to heat a pool? ›

Overall, a heat pump usually requires between 24 and 72 hours to heat a swimming pool by 20°F (11°C) and between 45 and 60 minutes to heat a spa by 20°F (11°C).

How many solar panel do I need? ›

You can calculate how many solar panels you need by multiplying your household's hourly energy requirement by the peak sunlight hours for your area and dividing that by a panel's wattage. Use a low-wattage (150 W) and high-wattage (370 W) example to establish a range (ex: 17-42 panels to generate 11,000 kWh/year).

How do pool solar domes work? ›

It consists of coils that wrap in a spiral shape on the inside of the dome. The clear plastic cover traps heat inside the dome, heating the water as it flows through the coils. Like other solar heaters, it connects to a standard pool filter.

Will a pool heat faster with the solar blanket on? ›

Solar covers will help a pool warm up faster in the spring and help maintain warmth in a pool a little longer in the fall but one misconception about them is that they will warm up a pool in the dead of winter, which simply is not the case.

What direction should pool face? ›

Water Should Flow Toward Your Home

Round, oval, kidney-shaped, or curving pools are fine, since there are no hard edges. This also allows for more flexibility with direction. Square pools can work as well, as long as the edge faces your home.

How many solar rings do I need for a 24 foot pool? ›

These Solar Sun Rings™ are constructed with two layers of UV-resistant vinyl.
...
What are Solar Pool Rings?
Pool SizeMinimum Required
12 x 248
14 x 2810
15 x 3012
16 x 3214
5 more rows

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