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DIY Solar Pool Heater

Updated on September 15, 2009

How To Build Do It Yourself (DIY) Solar Pool Heaters

There are few things which are more gratifying than having your very own swimming pool. In summer, there's almost nothing better than having to go no farther than your own back yard to cool off. Of course, if you use your pool in the cooler months, it can be expensive to heat your pool and many homeowners with a pool on their property would like to be able to save on this expense. This is where having a DIY solar pool heater comes in. Keep reading for some general information on how to implement one of these cost-saving pool heating systems in your pool.

The most important thing to do is to cover your pool when it is not in use. The water of your pool will radiate heat, meaning that you'll have to pay more to heat an uncovered pool - since you are in effect using your pool as a very inefficient way to heat the entire area when you leave it uncovered! You can save as much as $400 per month in heating costs by simply covering up your pool. It's also helpful in that you'll be able to save a lot of time which would otherwise be spent in cleaning your pool of dead insects and debris which tends to fall in.

Since you're covering your pool anyway, you can actually use your cover to heat the water underneath. There are two ways you can do this. One is to connect your filter pump to tubes which you'll then run between two layers of black plastic on top of your roof. This lets the sun warm the water which is then circulated through the pool. You could also make this system even more energy efficient by using solar energy to power your filter pump.

A simpler way to use solar energy to heat your pool is to use a black pool cover. The cover will absorb light and heat, which warms the water underneath when the sun is shining.

If you're using a solar heating system using pumps, you should examine the total water flow of the system. In general, it's more efficient to use several small pumps instead of one larger one feeding through your solar heating system. More sophisticated pumps can use sensors to adjust the action of the pumps based on the temperature of the water in your pool.

Since you're pumping water all the way up to your roof, you may need to make a few alterations to your filter pumps and the rest of your pool infrastructure. However, these adjustments are relatively easy to make.
If you happen to be skilled with PVC weld and understand the technical specifications of your pool pumps, you can probably do most or all of the work on your own. You'll just need a plastic solar tubing system, which is readily available; a DIY solar pool heater system is a fairly straightforward project which can be done in a single weekend if you're somewhat technically inclined. This is an improvement which can increase the resale value of your home and significantly reduce the expense of heating your pool.

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