Build A Solar Swimming Pool Heater

We bought a Doughboy above ground 12 X 28 pool this spring. We considered purchasing a pool heater, but decided to wait and see how badly we needed to invest an additional $2000 in the pool.

As luck would have it, this was an extremely cool summer. Temperatures were 10 - 15 degrees below normal. The solar cover did help warm and keep the water at a higher temperature than it would have been without the cover, but it still had a hard time getting above the 80 degree mark. I prefer to swim in 84 degree water.

If you want complete control and very warm water, you should go out and buy a gas or electric pool heater. You will end up paying about $2000 for a good set up.

If you only need to heat the water a few degrees and don't want to spend an arm and a leg, you can easily build a solar heating system.

What you need to build a solar heater for your pool:

Black garden hose

The water runs through the hose and the sun heats it as it flows through the hose. 100 - 150 feet should make a difference in your water temperature. You could add more hose if you want. Garden hose should cost you under $30.

A way to pump the water through the hose

You'll want to decide whether to go out and buy an electric pump and use household electricity to power that pump or if you want to save energy and money by purchasing a DC pump and a solar panel to power the pump.

If you don't have a sunny back yard, you can forget the solar panel and go buy an electric pump right now. Solar won't work for you.

Buying a Solar Pump and a Solar Panel

You can purchase a 50 Watt Solar Panel from Amazon for under $250. You can also purchase a Rule 360 pump. The 360 will pump approximately six gallons per minute.

Connect the hose to the pump and hang the other end so that it pumps the water back into the pool. Set the solar panel to get the most sun and connect the pump to the solar panel.

Wait a few hours and enjoy your heated swimming pool. Be sure to use the solar cover to reduce heat loss.

What it cost to build this solar heater for your swimming pool:

Black Hose (100 - 150 feet) $30 - $50
50 Watt Solar Panel $225
Rule 360 pump $20
Total Cost .........Under $300

What can you realistically expect from your homemade solar swimming pool heater?

About one degree every two hours or so. How fast the temperature rises will depend on how much black hose you use, and how much sunlight you have to run the pump and to heat the water running through the hose.

Our pool temperature would drop to about 76º when the nighttime temperature dropped below 60º. Pumping water through the black hose can have the pool at a comfortable swimming level by early afternoon.

If you have any additional comments or questions, we'd love to hear them.

NOTE - I've added step by step instructions here:

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Anonymous said...

Do you have better instructions. Like maybe a step by step I can follow to make my own pool heater?

How much will this heat my pool?

story teller said...

There are several factors to determine how much it will heat your pool. They include:

How BIG your pool is.
How much of a cool-down you have at night.
How much sun you get.

Assuming a 10,000 gal pool, and pumping 3.5 gals per minute through 100 feet of black hose should give you a rise of at least one degree every two hours.

You can add more black hose to make the water warmer as it enters the pool -thereby raising the temp faster.

These are the best instructions I have right now. If I get time, I will see what I can do.

Anonymous said...

I'd like better instructions too. I hope you post them soon.

story teller said...

Check back in a week or so. I'll try to get time to come up with something.

story teller said...

Check this page for step by step instructions:
Solar Swimming Pool Heater Instructions

John Michle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Swimming Pool Heaters said...

There are certain things to considered before installing your solar heater. Like for example, the location and the pool dimension. So, it is always advisable to hire professional to investigate your area for better outcomes.

Pool Bean Bags said...

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