Review of Swimming Pool Solar Heating Rings – Do They Work ?

Using solar pool rings is a cheaper alternative to heating your pool and reducing energy loss caused by evaporation. Solar pool rings are light and clear inflatable disks that are placed on the pool as a cover. Basically, they work like solar pool covers, but they can be disassembled for easier usage and storage. Solar pool rings, in fact, are known to be more effective than bubble pool blankets.

swimming pool solar rings
Solar rings are just as effective as solar pool covers. A single ring can save up to 21,000 BTU of heat on a daily basis. Some brands offers rings that have magnetized edges that allow them to connect to one another; this also means they are easy to disassemble and remove. Unlike solar pool covers, solar rings do not require the setup of complicated mechanisms such as a reel system.

If you have recently gotten yourself a set of solar pool rings, the first thing you have to do is to unpack them and lay them out under the sun for around half an hour. Solar rings are often packed tight in boxes, so when you first unpack them, they will be pressed tight and may have lines.

Shop for Deals on Solar Sun Rings – 5 Pack

Shop for Deals on Solar Sun Rings

How to Make Solar Pool Rings

Then take the outer ring and start inflating. You don’t have to fully inflate them; just put in enough air to hold the shape of the ring. Around four or five breaths would be enough. Once you’re done with the outer ring, move on to the inner rings, but lightly than the outer rings. Some users also inflate the outer ring fully, then keep the inner rings very lightly inflated. Two breaths will do.

To ensure the effectiveness of the solar rings, make sure that the air is evenly distributed inside them. Once you’re done inflating the rings, scrunch them together tightly to even out the air distribution within. Examine the rings after doing so. You can let out some air through the deflation tube if there is excess air inside the ring. After that, your rings are now ready for action.

Solar rings are easier to use because you can just place them onto the water. The blue sides should be placed facing down when heating the pool. If you want to cool up the water a bit, just turn the rings over. While floating around, the rings will attach together on their own due to the magnet in the edges. Leave the rings for a couple of days to allow them to settle; just make sure to check on them every once in a while. If you see any problems, such as when the rings are not lying flat, take the rings and scrunch them together. This usually happens when the air inside is not evenly distributed.

The number of solar sun rings you need will depend on the size of your pool. Most solar pool rings are around 59 inches in diameter. Buy enough rings to cover around 80% of your pool for best results.

Solar pool rings are also easier to store than solar pool covers. When you place them on top of one another, they take up less space, and some brands even have eyelets so you can hang them up. Hanging them is a more preferable way to store them but make sure not to put them in the range of direct sunlight because they will continue to generate heat and will be prone to overheating.

From time to time, wash the solar rings with mild soap to keep it clean. Just make sure to avoid grazing them against abrasive surfaces, and do not walk on the rings. If you take care of your solar pool rings properly, they can last for around 5 years.

Shop for Deals on Solar Sun Rings – 5 Pack

Shop for Deals on Solar Sun Rings

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

sandra January 31, 2009 at 10:19 am

no they do not work, i have them and they do is collect flies round them

admin February 1, 2009 at 2:27 am

Can You tell me what types You’ve purchased?

Thanks for Your comment

Monique February 9, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Though I cannot comment on Sun Rings, there is another product you may be interested in if you have not had luck with pool covers so far. Liquid Solar Pool Covers by Flexible Solutions have been on the market for over 15 years, and they are proven to be safe and effective. More importantly, they are ridiculously easy to use! Check out their website or my squidoo lens for further information.

admin February 9, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Thx for the links Monique.

Please feel free to send us Your experiences.

Dan April 20, 2009 at 8:47 am

Save your money and avoid these things. I have them in my pool, water properly maintained, covering about 80% of the surface for about a year. A few of them are already water logged. I really believe there is a product defect with these things. Since they have to meld little connecting areas between the 2 layers, it is also create a condition for leaks. They’re just like those floating toys in the pool, but about $20 more! Total rip off. Sorry, I had to speak up so others don’t spend hundreds of dollars and be disappointed.

Dan April 20, 2009 at 8:49 am

Terrible product. They’re already water logged after a season of use. Waste of money.

admin April 20, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, i agree with You (that’s why this blog is focused on solar pool heaters :-)

Fred June 7, 2009 at 2:00 pm

someone should invent a floating solar heater that can run by the suns’ rays that you could just leave in the pool !

Bea June 16, 2009 at 12:53 pm

I’ve had very good luck with these. Our pool is not too big and we get intense sun during a few hours of the day and in just one week our pool is warm enough for me to swim (I hate cold water). The rings do keep them water warmer overnight (we’ve tried it when we have been too lazy to put the rings back in). The best part is the my 10 y.o daughter can take them off and put them back in all by herself. BTW, this is our third year using them and we’ve only had to replace one.

jaye July 15, 2009 at 4:34 am

These rings do NOT work! [I have a 24 foot above ground round pool and bought the "Solar Petals"] I could kick myself for spending all that money – they ended up at the dump. I could not believe there was an EMagazine article suggesting them as an alternative to a solar blanket. Clearly the author never tested them. I didn’t notice any significant change in the temperature of the water during the season I used them and my pool is in full sunlight all day.

Jeff July 19, 2009 at 5:40 pm

I bought these and were very happy with them. The ONLY problem we had is our lab thought they were a big chew toy. As for heating the water, we often found the water felt too warm. I am contemplating getting them again as the lab is not using the pool as much as the last couple of summers.

craig farnsworth September 24, 2009 at 9:12 pm

come on people if you say they work you own the company or something because they are not worth the trouble to put them on

Peter October 6, 2009 at 6:15 pm

Anyone know who makes a “plug and play” 110-120V portable pool heater for Canadian use???

admin October 6, 2009 at 10:28 pm
Proworkflow December 30, 2009 at 11:38 am

I really believe there is a product defect with these things. Since they have to meld little connecting areas between the 2 layers, it is also create a condition for leaks. I am contemplating getting them again as the lab is not using the pool as much as the last couple of summers.

Sondra May 18, 2010 at 2:05 pm

How many would be needed for a 22′ x 44′ pool ? 35,000 gallons

Ed May 30, 2010 at 2:12 am

Can you clarify “what you mean by water logged” Does that mean that the ring around the edge is filled with water, which could easily be fixed by a design change by adding styrofoam to the outer ring instead of inflating. If you mean the air pocket between the two layers, then making them out of blue/gold diamond bubble material would compartmentalize them, so they would last longer, and help prevent heat reflection. As for a dog in the pool, yeah they are chew toys and would be especially susceptible to damage if inflated or a common air pocket in the center.

Question: Why does it say only cover to 80% vice 100%. Most covers work best as heat retainers, if they are 100% covered, and most covers are sold for 100% coverage? It would seem to me that square would give most people nearly 100% coverage on rectangular pools.

Dawn July 1, 2010 at 7:25 am

This is the 2nd year I am using the solar rings & I LOVE them! Its nice to be able to leave some in the pool if I am only lounging on a float. Overall, they are so much easier than a solar cover and way easier to store during the winter.

Christine July 5, 2010 at 6:55 am

We are using the rings for over a year now,and are very happy with them!

Ed July 12, 2010 at 5:02 pm

I was investigating the solar rings because the solid cover doesn’t work for me since I don’t have room for a reel and the dog likes to jump in on her own to cool off and the solid cover would be dangerous. I like hexagonal solar sun discs better in concept because they cover more area than the circular solar sun rings, are made of bubble wrap that won’t deflate the whole thing if you get one hole (or the dog gets a hold of it), the bubbles insulate better than partial coverage single region flat partially inflated balloon, they are clear (i know they look white in the picture) so they let the light get into the deeper water for more even water heating to prevent algae growth in the over warm water under the darker rings (dark does not capture more heat, it just captures it near the surface where it can be removed by the air better), and the velcro should have a more positive hold than magnets. See the following link for more of a comparison. http://www.poolsupplyworld.com/blog/article/Solarsunringsvssolarsundiscscomparison/

Note: I did not get to try these because when I suggested we try them my family refused to take the time to remove and replace anything on the pool to swim, so I am stuck with the liquid solar pool covers that you can get in any pool store or on the internet. I hate adding chemicals to my pool at all but these are easy, not noticable, and do not interfere with access to the pool.

Joseph July 14, 2010 at 7:33 pm

The problem with todays society is Folks are just so gullible and are so easy to sell [them] ‘pet rocks’!
More and more folks are lowering their personal standards to find ways to take peoples hard earned money – some call it business. I call it dishonesty, cheating.
Not only are folks selling items that do not work but border on the ridiculous – the bad news is there are so many people who believe everything they hear OR though they have a gut feeling “this can’t work’ but still buy because they ‘hope’ it will work.
Everyone has one time or another turned on their garden hose to find – because it was in the Sun for a couple of hours – the water ran hot for a few seconds. With this someone decided to coil a black hose, call it a pool heater selling it for over $150.00 – I can not believe people are actually buying this! The cold water running through the hose cools down the hose people – the amount of water in the hose would take forever to heat your pool. Additionally – search this product – it is made so cheaply, the hose is bursting within days of purchase AND some do not monitor it to find their pool has EMPTIED.

Winter pool covers – though they have a 15 year warranty are only lasting on average 5 to 8 years. Why – because they are akin to an ordinary tarp. I guess someone came up with the idea of having YOU buy a new cover at more frequent intervals. I’m sure many can recall how heavy a [real] pool cover used to be. And THEN when you call to complain that it fell apart so soon – THEY tell you (one that has maintained your pool for many years) YOU MUST have done something wrong OR (get this) they tell you it was due to an ‘act of nature’. Ummm I guess THEY have decided the cover should not accumulate rain or get snowfall on it!
Are there any ‘class action’ lawyers out there?

Harmony November 5, 2010 at 8:14 am

We tried these for the first time this past summer and they surpassed my expectations. I was honestly surprised to browse this forum and see so many people had problems with the solar rings. We had a consistent water temp of 87 degrees all summer long in CT using this product. Yes there was a little more work skimming the pool because the cover isn’t continuous and debris gets caught between them instead of being filtered out but we used the pool 75% more this year than last because of the added warmth. I would and have honestly recommended this product to others. I think this forum is a case of unhappy consumers are more likely to speak up than happy ones. Fyi I am not employed by the manufacturer or being compensated in any way to give this opinion.

Joseph December 28, 2010 at 11:59 am

Ummm HARMONY – let me remind you that we had an unusually VERY HOT summer this year of 2010. Could this be the reason YOU had water temps of 87 degrees?

We here also spent much more time in the pool this year – again because it was in the high 90s for many days if not weeks. By the way – We live in the mountains of Pa along a river which gets cooling affect from the water yet we still realized much warmer pool water – WITHOUT RINGS.

When placing comments please consider all your facts BEFORE you suggest or manipulate folks into spending their hard earned money.

WOW April 21, 2011 at 5:05 am

It surprises me when someone has had a good experience those that have not say negative things about the person. Really?

Joseph May 30, 2011 at 5:42 am

Sorry Harmony and to everyone on this site. All of my comments were actually made while I was employed by the liquid solar ball company. I have since quit because they made me post all of these untruthfull comments on this message board. Sorry.

Joseph May 30, 2011 at 5:52 am

Also, I would like to state that the liquid solar blanket balls should only be used for sand filters. They constatntly clog DE filters screens and cartiges. We would get thousands of complaints from customers that had to spend hundreds of dollars getting new filter screens and cartriges.

MadalineHoneycutt May 31, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I want to warn everyone these rings are a total waste of hard earned money in these difficult times. My grandchildren came to our home to visit and I spent money I really could not afford, thinking this would make the water warmer for the kids. What a joke!!
The water did not improve and we almost burnt out our pump as the filter sucked the ring into the filter blocking the flow. The waterfall waterlogged most of the other rings – what a mess. Please save your money !! I’m telling all my friends in Florida – don’t bother! No returns from the company !

Bonni June 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm

These rings work great! Can u store them in a kiddie pool filled with water?

Tim June 7, 2011 at 6:44 am

Ummmm Joseph- I know it’s been a long time since this post but I would imaging you know Harmony since you know she has had warm weather where ever she lives – Saudi Arabia, or maybe Tiski. I am so glad you personalize your comments to poeple and Harmony instead of makeing a statement in regards to the Article “Review of a solar cover” you have no review of the product, have you tried? it or is your bitterness toward people in general squeing your comments.
I also love your Rant on Winter covers ahhh…. A whole different conversation. But hey everyone has their opinions’ too bad yours is incohesive and absolutely moot. Please refrain any further thoughts and not just on this product but in general.

Mary June 11, 2011 at 9:56 pm

We have these and love them. We are going on our third year and they are working as well as the first day we got them.
Today when I was in the pool folding these up you could def. tell the warm spots under the ‘pods’. Also, I live the fact that by myself I can put them in and out.
Also, since I like to swim early in the AM I have noticed if the rings are on over night the warmth is retained much better.
My husband likes the pool cooler, he is always complaining that they ‘work too well’.

Linda June 30, 2011 at 2:58 am

They do not work, waste of money

matt July 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Solar Sun Rings are Amazing, fast and easy set up and will heat your pool in just seconds.This product is an amazing investment and great if you are having an out door party and want to heat the pool quickly for you guests. The new design is emaculate and the best i have seen around.
I reccommend solar sun rings to everyone i know.

Gus September 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Seems toe black would work much better if they work at all b

Clyde Miller October 26, 2011 at 9:54 am

I Purchased 12 solar rings from A pool supply co in Surprise Az about A week ago, I followed all the written instructions on the application, Out of the 12 rings covering over 80% of my pool, Half have gone flat in the Ring area and the other Half will not lay flat on the water. But the biggest complaint is my pool hav not warmed not even 1 deg in Temp. And I am out over $300.00, Folks Save your Money this product FAILS to preform as advertised.

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