Reviews of Solar Pool Heaters Accessories AKA Starter Kits

You might think that you have made a smart purchase when it comes to a solar pool heater, but when the box actually arrives on your doorstep, you open it, and to your dismay, it’s missing some key components you were expecting to have.

When purchasing a solar pool heater, it’s important to compare the different brands so that you know exactly what you’re purchasing in a given solar pool heater kit, because each brand sells their products in slightly different combinations.

Look for the Words “Starter Kit”

The majority of solar pool heaters include a few basic components: the solar panels (called “solar collectors” by some companies), the valves, the mounts, and the hoses. The solar panels are the most expensive part of the system, and many companies sell these panels or collectors by themselves. Usually costing at least $100 and as much as $300 for one or two collectors, these collectors are the most important part of your solar pool heater system.

However, a collector without any hoses or valves to connect it to your existing pool pump is relatively useless. You will need hoses, valves, and sometimes clamps to connect the panels to the pumps, and you will also need mounting hardware to attach the collectors to your roof, fence, or pool house.

Some solar pool heater companies will sell boxes marked as starter kits that have all the equipment you need as a first-time user. These companies include:

  • FAFCO Solar Bear products: These starter kits include a bypass valve that allows you to turn the system on and off without shutting off your pump, the extra large collector, two six foot hoses, and four clamps.
  • Vortex Deluxe and Premium Kits: The Vortex Standard kit does not include the hardware you need to get started; this kit is just for replacing an existing solar panel. For the complete plumbing kit and valves, you will need to purchase a Deluxe or Premium kit.
  • SunHeater Solar Heating System (including SunHeater Kit SK21): When you see the words “including SunHeater Kit SK21”, you know you have everything you need to get started with a SunHeater solar pool heating system. Besides panels, this kit includes mounting brackets, #14 screws, four connector hoses, eight stainless steel clamps, and even Teflon tape.
  • Heliodyne: Heliodyne is an example of a company that always sells collectors and mounting hardware separately. For each collector you purchase, you’ll also need to place a purchase for mounting hardware and Dyn-o-seal unions with discs. Check with your vendor before purchasing.

When purchasing solar pool heaters, as with anything else, just remember to read the fine print. Do your homework before you buy; you might find out that the “great deal” you thought you saw turns out to not include half of the necessary accessories you need.

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