How to Build a DIY Pool Solar Heater

Having a pool at home is one of the most sought after luxuries in owning a home. However, to fully enjoy your pool anytime you want, you have to consider a lot of factors that your pool is vulnerable to.

For example, your pool is vulnerable to the changes in weather conditions in your area, so the water temperature also changes. This means when it gets a bit colder, the water’s temperature also falls. A solar pool heater can help you make the most out of your swimming pool.

Solar pool heaters come in different systems, most of which require a considerable amount of investment. On average, prices for solar pool heaters can take up to $2,000 for the heater unit alone.

Some pool heaters are affordable, but they require a lot of electricity when used, so this also translates to more costs for you. But fortunately there is one affordable option for you; you can build your own solar pool heater instead of buy one. You can invest in an affordable guide or plan that will instruct you on how to build a solar pool heater, or you can simply download a guide from the Internet.

Understanding how solar pool heaters work is key to successfully building one. Solar pool heaters are backed by the passive solar principle.

According to this, the water in your pool passes through long flexible tubing before being exposed to reflectors that absorb the sun’s heat through the tubing, thus affecting the temperature of the water. The reflectors are easily affected by temperature changes, so you will need to protect it.

So if you want to heat your pool without investing in an expensive solar pool heater system, you can simply place a protective cover over the reflectors. Polythene sheeting can be very effective for this purpose. However, if you are just building your pool, you may want to use halved storm water piping for the reflectors then cover the piping with chrome paint, which will enable you to heat your pool efficiently.

Now, to distribute the heat from the reflectors to the pool water, use a solar electric pump or even a small pump such as those used in ponds if you want a cheaper alternative. If you don’t mind shelling out a bit, the solar electric pump is definitely the better, faster, and more durable option.

It is also friendlier to the environment. Ideally, the pump should be able to deliver 10 liters of water in a minute. At this rate, you will be able to raise your pool’s water level up to 5’2”.

You can also build a solar panel that already encompasses the tubing and the reflectors. The size of the solar panel will depend on various factors such as manageability, structural reliability, and effectiveness in heating relative to the size of the pool.

The solar panel heater should be placed in a location where it will be exposed to the most sun, such as on the roof. The time you put your solar panel out will also affect how effective it will be, so get them out in the time of day when it is hottest, which is usually in the middle of the day. You can use more than one solar panel; the more heat you want, the more solar panels you need. This is why spas use multiple and larger solar panels because they have more heating requirements.

You can enhance the effectiveness of your solar pool heater by using a solar pool blanket along with it, though this is usually done when you want extra effective heating. For normal purposes, your solar pool panel heater can do the work by itself..

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

joan newlin November 24, 2009 at 10:22 am

I am having problems with algea since I had solar installed. What can I do to clear up the problem? My water is clear ,its the sides and bottom.

admin November 24, 2009 at 10:13 pm


Have you checked the swimming pool water temperature? Maybe it could depend on this or water circulation.

I suggest you increase the chlorine levels and see what happens.


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