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HomeGroundHow To Hook Up Solar Panels To Above Ground Pool

How To Hook Up Solar Panels To Above Ground Pool

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Pool Heating:

Above ground Pool Solar Water Heater Set up

Q: Will I need to up-size my pool pump to push water up to the roof?A: I have installed dozens of solar systems and never had to upgrade the pump. As long as you have a 1 hp pump or greater, you should have no problem, even pushing the water up 2 stories. You will notice that the filter pressure will rise 2-4 lbs on the pressure gauge, but most pumps can handle the extra resistance without a problem.

Q: I have a pressure-side pool cleaner, will this conflict with its operation?A: If you have a booster pump type pool cleaner, it is recommended that you not operate it at the same time as the solar pool heater. The Solar Controller has a booster pump override to shut off the booster pump when the valve actuator opens to send water to the solar panels.

Q: Can I mount the solar panels on 2 different sides of the roof?A: Yes, after exiting the first panel set, run a pipe to the second panel set, and so on, then back down to connect to the return line.

Q: Do I need to install the Solar Controller?A: It is recommended for best results. If it starts to rain, or heavy clouds form, sending water to the solar panels will cool the water, and reverse the heat gains made earlier.

Q: What If I need to remove the solar panels to replace my roof?A: The panels can be removed in a few hours, no problem.

Equipment Required To Build Your Solar Pool Heating System

There are 3 major components to consider in a do it yourself solar pool heating system. They include:

1) The solar collector arrays: The collectors are the most important parts of the solar pool heating system. They are most commonly mounted on the roof of your house. Sometimes they are mounted on the ground too if the roof is not an option.

The two most popular options for collector arrays are Strip Solar Heating and Panel Systems. Each has their advantages and disadvantages-what you choose will depend on several factors such as you location, size of pool and your budget. I recommend that you do some research into which option is most suited to your situation.

2) The controller & Booster Pump: The controller is used for directing the water from the filter and pump to the solar collectors for heating. Although you could install a manual valve system, a solar controller makes life easy and maximises the efficiency of the system. Solar heating controllers regularly check water temperature and automatically regulate the system to your chosen temperature.

The solar booster pump is not completely necessary and you could use the filter pump to do this. However, the filter pump is designed to filter water so it is recommended you get a booster pump designed for pool heating. Youll maximise the heat you get and also minimise the running costs.

Securing A Solar Panel Rack

Once the solar rack has been built, secure it to the ground to keep the solar panel installation from collapsing in high winds. Long rebar pieces, bent at the top is a good method to secure the rack to the ground.

As you assemble the solar panels and stretch them across the rack, take care to properly connect the panel segments snugly together. Use the directions and materials included with your solar panels to secure the solar panels to the rack.

Straps and screws are commonly included with most systems to secure panels to a roof or rack. You can use pipe clamps, from any hardware or home store. Ive seen adhesives like Liquid Nails used to further secure the solar panels to the solar rack, but not if you plan to store your solar panels inside during the winter.

Once the panels have been secured to the solar rack were ready for plumbing!

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Using A Childs Toy And Garbage Bag For Diy Pool Heater

This is a very low budget solution for heating your pool on colder evenings. All you need is hula hoops, garbage bags and pool noodles plus a few other household items like scissors and tape. The important thing to remember is that the garbage bag has to be black. If you use any other color, it will not absorb the suns heat and your pool water will remain cold.

The Vacuum Relief Valve


Add a simple vacuum relief valve up at the top portion of your plumbing. This is usually right at the back upper corner of your collector array. The valve keeps the water loop from being completely closed so that when the pool pump is turned off, water doesnt remain stuck in the collector array. Instead, it will simply drain back down into the lower plumbing and into the pool.

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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.

Building A Solar Panel Rack

The rack is very useful in a solar pool heater application. Sure, you could just lay the panels on the ground, but they will last longer and absorb more heat when mounted on a triangular rack, built at an angle to the sun. Mounting panels on a roof may be too much vertical lift for smaller aboveground pool pumps.

A solar panel rack is a simple contraption that does several things:

  • Keeps solar panels clean and protected
  • Gives the appropriate pitch for maximized sun exposure
  • Allows for easy draining of the pool water through the system

Building the Rack

The rack is often something that is not included with the purchase of solar panels, which is why most installations are custom-built by the owner or a professional installer. When it comes to the construction of the rack, it is really nothing more than a wedge that props up the panels to give them a pitch of about 35 degrees off the ground.

You can use pressure treated two-by-fours to build the frame, topped with 4×8 plywood sheets. Or, you can build a frame with angle iron or strut channel, bolted together a more expensive option. Painting the rack or platform black can help protect the wood and help to blend it visually. And will add a bit more absorption of the solar energy.

If you have a hillside not far from the equipment, you could build a flat rack, position it on the hillside, and run pipe across the yard, or bury the pipe. A flat rack can also be made easily with 4- or 8-foot plywood, pitched at 35 degrees.

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Solar Pool Heater Plumbing

The plumbing is just as simple as any of the other steps in the installation. That being said, ask yourself two questions before connecting the pipes coming out of your filter to the solar heater panels.

1. Do you want to install a valve to be able to bypass the solar panels?2. Do you want to automate this process with a solar controller?

A bypass valve, either two two-way valves or one three-way valve, will allow you to control the speed through the panels , and allow you to bypass the panels at night, or when its not sunny. This is important, because when the panels are cooler than the water, running your pool water through the panels will cause your pool water to lose heat! So in general, you should always install a to give you the options of solar-on and solar-off.

An optional but recommended upgrade, a solar controller includes a bypass valve and an automatic valve-turner device. The panel has a thermostat knob, and when conditions are right, the sensors will signal the controller to open the bypass valve and send water through the solar panels. When conditions are poor for solar heat, the bypass valve is automatically closed. Solar controllers create optimum solar absorption, and I highly recommend them for all serious solar pool systems.

What else?

If you have any questions on how to install solar pool heaters on your aboveground pool, give our solar pool heating experts a call at 800-288-7946!

One Vs Multiple Banks Of Panels

Pool solar heating panel hookup to pool pump.

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.

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Plan For Pvc Plumbing

Velocity matters!

Plan for the plumbing and fittings required. PVC is the recommended material. ABS is not recommended as it is not designed for pressure nor heat.

Ensure not to exceed maximum velocities allowed on pipes when selecting pipes diameters as per table on the left.

For an aesthetically pleasing installation, we recommend Black PVC Pipe & Fittings. Black PVC pipes and fittings will blend nicely with the solar pool heating system and they dont fade in the sun over time as painted pipes do.

Kokido Solar Pool Heater

  • Beautiful appearance
  • Durable construction that is sure to last
  • Had an integrated rack for easy setup and maximum sun exposure
  • Easy to install
  • Hose size may not be suitable for standard pools

If you are on the hunt for a well-made solar pool heater you can trust, then I would suggest that you try the Kokido Keops Solar Dome above-ground heater. Kokido is another reputable brand in the industry. They deliver beautifully designed and high-quality products with the customers satisfaction in mind.

I prefer the Kokido solar pool water heater because it is energy-efficient. It is equipped with high-grade solar panels and increases pool temperature using just the energy from the sun. This heater is a good investment. Extend your summer and enjoy your above-ground pools even during the colder months with this solar heater.

The Kokido solar pool heater is also cost-effective. Its construction is made of durable materials. It is designed to withstand exposure to different outside weather conditions. Its longevity guaranteed and will save you the money from buying frequent replacements.

I also like that the Kokido solar pool heater has an integrated rack. I find it useful and convenient. It enables you to set up your heater at an angle that ensures maximum sunlight exposure for the optimal performance of your heater.

The design of the Kokido solar pool water heater is also a plus. It has a beautiful appearance that blends well with its surroundings.

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Water To The Solar Heater:

The top is a smooth 1 1/2″ “Y” adapter with a 1 1/2 to 1/2″ threaded adapter in one side with a 1/2″ male to male threaded nipple to a 1/2″ ball valve and a 1/2″ threaded to ribbed adapter that the vinyl hose slides on. I used two hose clamps on each hose fitting to avoid leaks. Sand all smooth surfaces prior to gluing to assure a good seal. IMPORTANT: Do NOT glue any threaded parts. The glue will set long before you get the threads tight. Use Plumbers Grease or Pipe Dope to seal the threads. Even Teflon tape may leak due to the high pressure.

Diy Solar Pool Heating With Corrugated Metal Roofing

7 Besten Solar

This is a unique idea for a homemade pool heater. The heat absorbers in this process are a few sheets of fluted metal roofing. A pump is used to direct the water from the pool to the header at the top of what is known as the collector. The water runs through the heated tubes and at the base of the collector, it is then channeled back into the pool.

For a total collection area of 4.33ft x 16 ft, the project comes is just under $300 quite inexpensive compared to some projects and prefabricated options that are over $1000.

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Diy Solar Pool Heater

Last year my Wife and I bought an above ground pool for exercise and recreation. We discovered that my Home shadows the pool in the afternoon, and that drives the water temperature down several degrees in the Spring and Fall. Since we usually don’t get into the pool on Weekdays until after work, this made for some pretty chilly swims, even when the air temperature was in the 80’s. I decided that a Solar heater that I could mount outside the shadow of the house would be just the thing to bring the water temperature up to more bearable levels.

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.

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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Solar Heat For Above Ground Pools

Solar pool heaters, such as floating solar pool heater, are becoming the preferred method of keeping the family pool warm and comfy all year round. Unfortunately, there are still some people who are not convinced that this is the way to go. If you are one of these home owners, then a look at the advantages and disadvantages of solar pool heaters should help you make the right decision.

Advantages of Solar Pool Heaters

Power Source is Free

The most important advantage of a solar pool heater, such as the DIY solar pool heater, is the energy savings you get. Conventional pool heating systems that require either electricity or natural gas entail expenditure. You will have to pay for the power every time you plug your heater into the outlet. You will also pay for the natural gas that you will need to pump hot water into your pool. The energy source of a solar heater for an above ground pool is the sun. Sunlight is free. You will never have to pay for it to heat the water in your pool.

Friendly to the Environment

The non-reliance on either electricity or natural gas can also reduce the impact of these energy sources in the environment. You may think that your contribution to a cleaner environment is almost negligible. That may be true. However, it is a lot better than contributing to the environments continued deterioration.

Does Not Require Extensive Maintenance

Easy to Install

Ideal Water Temperatures All the Time

Disadvantages of Solar Heaters for Above Ground Pools

Run The Pipes In Between

Installation of a Solar Pool Heating System

A set of PVC or rubber pipes is generally used to connect one panel to the other, using the inlet and outlet locations to do the job. Connect the outlet of the first panel nearest to the pool to the inlet of the next panel directly horizontal to that first panel. Continue doing this for each of the panels from one side of the house to the other until all the panels are connected to one another so that the water can flow freely through each.

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Game 4513 Solarpro Xd2

  • Increases water temperature by 10 degree Fahrenheit
  • Durable
  • Eco-friendly
  • More expensive than other models

The GAME 4513 SolarPro XD2 is one of the best solar heaters in the market today. It is designed to increase the temperature of your above-ground pools so you can thoroughly enjoy your pool even in the colder months of the year.

I like the GAME 4513 SolarPro XD2 like the Game 4721 SolarPro curve solar pool heater because of its optimal heating performance. If it receives maximum sunlight exposure, it can increase the temperature of your pool water by 10 degrees in 3 to 8 days.

What makes this even more appealing is the fact that you dont have to pay for additional electricity charges. It entirely operates with just the energy it gets from the sun. It is entirely eco-friendly and energy-efficient. It provides you an excellent green option for heating your pool. You can reduce your carbon footprint by using this product.

You can also trust the quality of the GAME 4513 SolarPro XD2 solar heater for a product that is sure to last. It is made of durable and reliable materials. It can withstand outside elements. You never have to worry about buying frequent replacements because this product is designed for longevity.

The GAME 4513 SolarPro XD2 solar heater is also easy to install for the users convenience. It comes with the mounting hardware needed and a user manual to serve as a reference. Installation is hassle-free and can be done fast and efficiently.

Diy Solar Pool Heating

Having your own solar pool heating system in place sure sounds very enticing. There is a lot of planning that goes into building a heating system. This guide is intended to give you an overview of whats involved.

But before you go ahead and build one, there are a few things you need to be aware of. First of all, you definitely need to have a pool blanket, since night time temperatures vary greatly and this is the time when the majority of heat loss takes place.

We recommend this one here due to its high rating.

Also, the area you live in and the amount of sun your pool and roof gets is a consideration. In colder areas, like Tasmania, solar heating may not be a good choice for you. It is however perfect for Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and other warmer parts of Australia. Please see our article 4 Top Pool Heating Options to guide you on the pool heating options and what option best suits you.

So lets jump into it and take a closer look at what you need to get started.

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