DIY Solar Pool Heaters

backyard swimming pool
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There are several ways in which you, as an individual, can harness the sun’s energy.  One of these is the use of a solar pool heater. This can save your household a lot of money over the years, by reducing your energy bills. Plus it helps reduce the greenhouse gas emissions which typical heating systems create in the atmosphere.

Solar pool heating systems are simple and inexpensive. Kits with unglazed plastic solar collectors are the cheapest ones around. Your pool can act as the thermal storage unit, and the pump which is used to filter the pool water can be used to circulate the water in the solar heating system. The simplest form of solar pool heater can cost as little as $100. Some states also offer financial incentives, should you install one.

But if you really want to save money, then you can try this simple yet efficient solar pool heating collector. This easy-to-build swimming pool heating project will probably cost around $1 per square foot. It will also require minimal maintenance.

For your DIY solar pool heater, you will be building a solar collector made from corrugated metal roofing, painted in dark brown. The upper side of the panel will have a CPVC pipe. The bottom of the panel will have a slotted PVC pipe.  Small holes should be drilled in the pipe, and spaced according to the grooves of the roofing sheet.

This device will be supported at the top and the bottom. You can make a simple rack out of treated lumber, with horizontal purlins that can hold the metal panel. Or you can use part of your roof as support. Keep in mind that the lower side must slope downward to collect the water after it goes through the collector. The joints of the metal sheets should be sealed with silicone, to prevent water from leaking out.

The system will work like this: The filter pump will direct the water to the CPVC pipe at the top of the panel. Then the water will be released to the collector via the small holes. The water will then trickle down the panel, and the bottom PVC pipe will collect it and return it back to the pool.

This DIY solar pool heating project can help you save money, not just from the costs of buying a similar commercially made solar pool heating kit, but from installation fees as well. It might not look as good as the commercially available kits, but it can do the job comparatively well.

If you are looking for a good way to conserve on energy or costs associated with heating your pool, but don’t want to invest in a complete commercial installation, this is one option you can try.

To find more information on this, I recommend you check the following link to find out what types of information or products are currently available for this type of project:

DIY Solar Power and Swimming Pools

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6 Responses to “DIY Solar Pool Heaters”

  1. David May 10, 2009 at 9:03 pm #

    This seems like a good application for the old solar cells as they are outside. I recently got a couple of solar power bike lights. A good investment as the batteries only last about a month in the winter. Still no solar odometers though 🙁

  2. Anna July 2, 2009 at 2:43 am #

    Hi, somehow I am only seeing now that your comment wasn’t answered. I actually thought I had answered it – sorry about that!

    In any case, this article was to give a general idea of how a DIY solar pool heater would be set up. There was no specific product – that being the nature of DIY. There might be DIY solar pool heating kits available and if I come across one I will add a link. But if the project is to be done on a purely DIY basis, one would need to buy the individual parts separately as noted above.

  3. David September 16, 2009 at 9:10 am #

    Getting a solar heater for the pool seems like a good idea, but a lot of people forget that the pool is radiating a lot of heat and that a pool cover could save them thousands of dollars in heating costs.

    Thanks for a good article.

  4. CHA October 26, 2009 at 10:40 am #

    Anna, I bet this is the next lucrative home based business. Especially with energy consumption going up by threefold and the resources are gradually diminishing this solar pool heaters can bring lots of money and also energy for household uses and can be sold out for other general purposes. I checked out the amazon link and have narrowed down to two books. Unfortunately I don’t have a pool at home but I will definitely suggest this to my friend who is not using his resources optimally. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  5. Christchurch Motels November 8, 2009 at 5:40 pm #

    This is going to be a great gig in the future. I am sure this big as of now, but its going to get much bigger than what it is now. Recently I remember reading somewhere that even firehouses are installing solar pool heaters around their base. If we exploit the niche of solar power then we can be highly successful.


  6. Romy @ Natural Gas Heaters December 11, 2009 at 2:58 am #

    I didn’t even know that it is so cheap , just $100 for a solar heating system. But, I agree with David, a pool cover will save you a lot of money.

    I’m going to install a pool in my back yard nest summer and I didn;t know exactly what heating system to put, so thanks for the info

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