You are probably aware of the fact that heating a swimming pool is by no means a cheap undertaking. The average pool contains around 10,000 gallons of water and heating it to a comfortable temperature is going to cost quite a sum. The good news is that there is an alternative in the form of a DIY solar pool heater. They are not expensive to make, work well, and do not cost a lot to operate.
A solar pool heater does not differ much to any solar water heater with the main difference being that instead of a tank to hold the hot water until it is needed the pool circulates the water continuously. What you will need to do is change the design so that the water becomes heated as quickly as possible.
To heat the water as quickly as possible you will need to ensure that as much of the surface area of the water is exposed as possible. The more the surface area exposed to the sun the more energy it is going to absorb.
For this reason there are a variety of DIY solar pool heater designs available and all work following the same basic principle. Consider a garden hose for example. When left exposed to sunlight the water within the hose is warmed up. The idea is that the longer the hose the greater the quantity of water that will be heated.
The following DIY solar pool heater uses a pipe coil design which is both cost efficient and simple. It works in much the same way as the above garden hose example, if it were coiled up.
How to Select the Right Location for the DIY Solar Pool Heater
When it comes to choosing the right location for the solar pool heater you have two choices. If you live in the northern hemisphere you will need to make sure that it is facing the south so as to ensure that it gets the most amount of sunlight as it can. Failing that you should opt for either an east or west orientation. If you reside in the southern hemisphere you will want to orient it to the north.
Your first choice is to mount it on the ground and this is a good choice if you have the available space that is exposed to sufficient sunlight each day. Shade will obviously impact the efficacy of your solar pool heater. Mounting it on the ground is usually the easier option since it does not need as much piping.
The second choice is to mount it on the roof which, for people with less space, is a good choice. Since the solar power heater is then higher up it usually isn’t affected by shade or other obstructions.
How to build you DIY Solar Pool Heater
You might be surprised to learn that this really is not that difficult at all. You will find that 500 feet of 10mm black irrigation piping, a few valves, and interconnecting piping is all that you will need.
Once you have these items you need to coil the piping tightly around itself making sure that you keep it flat. To secure the coiling and keep it in place you might want to use a bit of hardware. You need to ensure that you will not have any difficulty accessing either end of the piping since the water will be routed through these and then in and out of the pool heater.
How to Install the DIY Solar Pool Heater
Again, this is not a difficult undertaking. Simply attach the solar pool heater in line with the pool pump. This will circulate the water for you. Add a T valve to the incoming water line and the outgoing water line to allow you to bypass your heater whenever you need to do so. Once that is done you can then route the piping to the heater and connect it.
Once everything is connected properly the sunlight will then warm up the water that is in the piping as it is pumped out of the pool and on through the heater. The water will then be pumped back into your pool and so help to heat up the water.
Something to think about regarding the DIY Solar Pool Heater
After all this there is one thing you will need to consider and that is the friction that is caused by the water as it moves through the piping. You will be able to use only a specific amount of piping prior to the friction overcoming the pool pump. When this happen the pump will not function properly when circulating the water.
Aside from that you will see that building your own DIY solar pool heater is really not difficult at all. It is a really affordable way of achieving a heated swimming pool and will also mean that you and your family can enjoy the pool for an extended time every year.