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How To Add Solar Heating To Existing Pool

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One Vs Multiple Banks Of Panels

Installation of a Solar Pool Heating System

Pressure matters!

Some systems may need to be split over two or more banks of panels. When splitting a system, you must balance it into equal sections in each bank. Use the table on the left as a reference.

For example: if you are installing 44 Enersol Pool Heaters , its better to install two banks of 22 panels in each bank instead of one bank of 44 panels.

Use Proper Piping Configuration

Proper flow distribution!

Feeding the panels from the bottom has the advantage of using gravity to create back pressure to distribute the water evenly throughout the panels.

It is important to install the inlet and outlet at opposite ends . This will ensure proper distribution of flow through the collectors.

Are Solar Pool Heating Systems Affordable

Consider the costs. First, if you were to purchase a traditional, electric-powered pool heater, you would pay for the unit itself. You would then need to pay for the constant cost of powering the system to keep it running. Thats not all that efficient and it increases costs quickly.

Whats more, the cost of a solar pool heating system is not necessarily any more expensive than what you may pay for a traditional model. Its just designed differently. The actual cost depends on the size of the pool and other options available to you.

The average solar pool heating system will range in price from $3,500 to $5,500 to install and it assumes that your system will cover between 70 and 100 percent of the pools total surface area.

The good news is that these pool heating systems do qualify for discounts. Here in Arizona, you may qualify for the states solar tax credit. At this time, that is $1,000 back on your taxes for installing the solar system.

Finally, remember that theres no additional cost once the system is installed. You do not need to pay for electricity to keep your pools water at the perfect temperature. By comparison, the average traditional pool heater can raise your energy costs by 10 to 30 percent depending on the size of your pool and the temperature you desire.

The cost of using solar is often competitive to installing either a gas or a heat pump pool heater. They do not have high annual operating costs, though, making them well worth your investment.

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Pool Scenarios Where Converting To Solar Makes Especially Smart Financial Sense

Keeping pool water warm enough for swimming takes energy. The most common pool-heating methods are natural gas heaters and electric heat pumps.

However, comfortable water temperature does come with a price. Often, the amount is moderate with only minimal impact on monthly energy bills. But the cost varies from pool to pool, based on various factors.

One key determinant of energy costaccompanied by less-than-ideal monthly billsis your current pool heater. Many pool builders make sure their clients have modern technology with high-efficiency ratings to maximize performance. However, your pool may not be equipped with such an option, relying instead on an older or cheaper, less-efficient model that consumes more gas or electric to get the job done.

Or, your pool may include a high-performing heating unit, but external issues contribute to particularly high gas or electric consumption. Just what are these variables that alone or in combination make it tougher to boost water temperature and drive up energy requirements on your heater?

Now, even if your pool is untouched by any of the factors above, and its heat consumption is moderate, your gas or electric bill still may not be. High utility company rates invs. your actual usage levelsin some metropolitan areas may be the culprit driving up the numbers on your monthly bills.

Solar Cover / Pool Cover

What Is The Best Above Ground Pool Heater

Solar covers are one of the most cost-effective methods for retaining heat in a swimming pool.


Because they tackle the root cause of heat loss head-on:


Most heat loss occurs during the day, while your water is directly exposed to the elements. From the fierce rays of the sun to the sporadic gusts of wind, each force of nature contributes to your waters inevitable heat loss.

Natural heat loss that cant be stoppedunless you use a shield. And what better a shield than a solar cover?

A solar cover not only acts as a protective lid for your pool but is specially designed to absorb solar heat while doing so. This feature gives it the ability to reduce evaporation while improving heat retention.

And with evaporation being responsible for 75% of heat loss, theres no reason why you shouldnt take a load off your heating bills with this simple tip.

Cost: $50 $200

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How Solar Swimming Pool Heating Works

As its name suggests, a solar-heated swimming pool is heated through solar energy. This kind of heating can raise the temperature of the water by up to 5°. A considerable increase! By harnessing solar radiation, you can enjoy your pool for longer.

Rest assured that a solar swimming pool heating system works in a fairly simple way:

  • The water that flows through the filter circuit is diverted to the solar heating system.
  • The water is filtered and then heated with the help of swimming pool solar collectors.
  • Lastly, the water is transferred back into the swimming pool itself.

The water can also be heated by various other means, such as solar domes or solar heating mats placed in front of the pool. The water then flows through a pipe system, is heated, and retransferred into the pool. This is a good way to heat an above-ground pool.

The solar water heater for swimming pools is convenient and user-friendly.

It is usually placed in proximity to the swimming pool to avoid heat loss. The layout of this renewable energy system therefore depends on the layout of the garden itself. At any rate, the heating system is connected to the water circuit, then to the water pump and the filter.

Read our article describing : how solar panels work

Whats The Best Type Of Pool Heater For You

Before choosing a specific pool heater you must figure out what type is going to fulfill your needs. The speed of the heating is usually going to directly affect the cost of running it. Gas heaters, natural or propane, are going to give you the fastest heat with the highest running cost. Heat pumps are slow and steady, but more often than not will be a cheaper monthly bill. Solar heating will also fall under the slow and steady category, but the only cost to run this type is running your circulation pump, which you are already doing. Although the cost of operation is a huge factor in your decision, the initial cost of the pool heater may affect your decision.

Once you have chosen a type of heater and have properly sized it to your pool and your expectations, you can now look into the logistics of installing the new pool heater. If choosing solar pool heating, an amount of solar panels equal to at least 50% of the pools surface area should be installed. If you do not have the room to fit them, then you will not be able to maximize the potential, however, every little bit of solar panel will add heat.

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Solar Heating Is Cost

Solar heating allows you to save on your electricity bills and extend the use of your swimming pool throughout the year, thus rendering the pool more profitable. To sum up, solar heating is an inexpensive way to heat your swimming pool.

The table below compares different pool heating systems in terms of operating costs in France.

The analysis comprised 5 months of use and was conducted on an 8 x 4 meter covered pool located in a temperate zone .

What Types Of System Are Available

Totally Solar Powered Pool Heating Kit, Free Heating & Electricity – Installation Guide

In Australia there are two main types of solar heating systems available. These are:

  • Strip or ribbon collectors are generally made from rubber or plastic. This system has been around for over 30 years and is highly flexible. It can be installed on virtually any surface, including irregularly shaped surfaces. Basically, its a system of tubes that are fastened with adhesive to a roof and running horizontally to allow the pool water to flow through them and be heated by the energy of the sun.
  • Panel collectors are semi-rigid, solar energy collecting panels usually made from polypropylene. Though less flexible than the strip or ribbon system, the panel collector systems are generally longer lasting, work better for steep roofs, and, because they are not just simply glued to the roof, can be more suitable in locations prone to extreme wind gusts. They are also proof against the depredations of cockatoos. In addition, there are some advanced panel controllers that utilise copper, aluminium, or vacuum sealed glass contained within the panels to accelerate the solar-water heat exchange.

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Glazed Vs Unglazed Solar Thermal Collectors

There are two primary types of solar thermal collectors – glazed and unglazed.

Glazed solar collectors

Also known as flat-plate solar collectors, glazed solar collectors are encased in glass and are often more complicated in design, as they are built from metals under an iron-tempered glass covering.

These systems can heat water more efficiently and require less space, which allows them to provide higher levels of heat. While glazed solar collectors are suitable for year-round use, they do cost more than unglazed solar collectors.

Unglazed solar collectors

These collectors are often made of black plastic or heavy-duty rubber and are ultraviolet treated to help extend their service life.

Unglazed solar collectors, while typically cheaper, are less effective and limited to warmer climates and pools whose temperatures dont reach below freezing.

Which size solar collector is right for your home?

Depending on how many months out of the year you plan to use your pool and how warm you prefer your water to be, the Department of Energy recommends the solar collector be between 50% and 100% of the square footage size of the pools surface.

For example, if a pool is 15-by-20 feet, it has 300 square feet of surface area. Therefore, the solar collector should be between 150 and 300 square feet in size.

Homeowners looking to keep their pool open throughout the year should consider a solar collector that is the full size of the pool or larger.

How Long Do Pool Solar Panels Last

Pool solar panels last approximately 10-20 years long on average . This makes them competitive with gas, and heat pump pool heaters, as one of our best ways to heat a pool.

Ultimately, when you look at the big question of, How long do solar panels last? it all comes down to materials and efficiency.

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Xtremepowerus Inground/above Ground Solar Panel Heating System

Best Roof Installed Solar Panel Heating System

The XtremepowerUS Inground/Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System is our pick for the best roof installed solar panel heating system because it is easy to install. The product uses polypropylene and has a panel tube construction.

Youll get two 2-foot by 20-foot panels. They can handle up to 1.5 HP pumps. You will need a diverter if you have a larger pump to avoid damage to the heater tubes. We found the heater does not have U.V. protection, so it breaks down in the intense sun if you live in an extreme environment.

It should raise your water temperature to 10 degrees but results will vary. It depends on how much sun your panel can get each day as to how much it can raise the water temperature.

  • Simple to roll up and store


  • May not fare well in extreme climates

How To Add Solar To An Existing Water Heater

New Poolmaster Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Heater ...

If you are a typical homeowner, your second-largest energy expense is heating water, according to the United States Department of Energy. Just as you can utilize the sun to supplement your supply of electrical power — your largest energy expense — you can also use it to supplement your hot water. The set-up isn’t expensive, and solar hot water panels are virtually maintenance-free, but your configuration has to fulfill certain conditions to be effective.

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How Big Of A Pool Heater Do I Need

Lets touch on gas heater and heat pump sizing. The best way to try to simplify pool heater sizing is this calculation:

Pool Gallons x 8.33 x Desired Temperature Rise / 24 hours = required BTUs.

Keep in mind that a gas heater will need a larger BTU output because of efficiency. Typically a pool heater can range from 75-90% efficient, which means every BTU will yield roughly .75-.90 BTUs of output. A heat pump is quite different, and can potentially provide 3-6 times more heat than the input BTU. If you undersize your pool heater, no matter the type, the result will be slower and lower temperature rise, longer operating time, and shorter seasons.

Are They Difficult To Use And Maintain

One of the best things about solar pool heating systems is that they are less likely to need your attention than your current filter system. They are well-designed to run efficiently and effectively for years to come. In Arizona, you can use them year-round if you plan to swim. It is wisely to have them inspected, cleaned and maintained professionally once a year. That is the same recommendation that you would have for any other pool heating system, though. It is a minimal cost that allows the system to run efficiently.

Once you have them professionally installed by our team, you do not have to manage them much more than that. Our team will teach you how they work and how to adjust the temperature or function of them. As noted, they work well with your pools filtration system, but they tend to be less hands-on than those systems. They are easy to use and simple to maintain.

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The Motorized Valve And Sun Sensor

If you want to automate your heating array, youll need a motorized valve connected to a power source, and a sun sensor. The sun sensor can pick up sunlight conditions, and the motorized valve automatically opens or closes the passage to the solar collectors. Mount the sun sensor up on the roof and wire it to your motorized valve thats going to be installed right at the corner of the first vertical pipe and the elbow going off to the second vertical pipe on that horizontal passageway you made earlier. The valve serves as a switch, sending water up into the collectors when sun conditions are good, and diverting water across that horizontal path to the outlet pipe and effectively bypassing the collectors when conditions arent ideal.

Solar Panel Orientation And Tilt

Pool solar heating panel hookup to pool pump.

Orient your solar panels to maximize the amount of daily and seasonal solar energy they get. Installing a solar pool heating system in North America would orient solar panels south like in this video:

If your roof faces east-west, youll place your solar pool heating system on the ground to face south . This is summarized by the Environmental Protection Agency:

Solar hot water collectors should be oriented geographically to maximize the amount of daily and seasonal solar energy that they receive. In general, the optimum orientation for a solar collector in the northern hemisphere is true south.

In addition, your latitude and the duration of your swimming season will determine the tilt of your collector. If you only need to heat your pool during the summer months, tilt your solar panels at an angle equal to your latitude minus 10° to 15°. If youre heating your inground pool year-round, tilt your solar panels at an angle equal to your latitude.

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Learn More By Calling Us

The entire process of switching to an alternative energy source for your pools heating needs can be easier than you think. It all starts with a consultation. Theres no pressure involved. Well show you exactly what to expect, give you options, and provide you with a clear price on the process. Its easy to see the value they can offer.

Take the time to contact Custom Solar and Leisure today to learn more about installing a solar pool heating system. Call us at 520-247-3060.

How Do Solar Powered Pool Heating Systems Get Installed

When you are ready to consider the investment in your pool, contact our team. We will come to your home and talk to you about the options there is no cost to do this and no obligation to work with us either. Once we take this step, we schedule the installation process for you.

The solar systems can be installed on any type of roof. This includes installing them on any type of shingle, flat, or tile roof. We work with you to ensure the process is as straightforward as possible. This is a customized process to ensure that it is done properly for your home. Every homes solar panel system will be a bit different.

Once this is done, we will install your solar heating pool system and link it to the solar panel system. Then, we can get it operational and teach you how to use it. The entire process is very straightforward and simple to learn.

Our team works hard to ensure that you know what to expect. We spend a bit more time helping you to learn how to get the most out of your system and how it will impact your homes energy use. If you do not have a solar system in place just yet, let us talk to you about how a whole-home system may further benefit you, if you would like to do so.

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