DIY Solar Pool Heaters

Did you know that it is possible to craft your own solar pool heater? Find out how by reading below.

The summer season always hints at a fun family time with a lot of activities like barbecues and family gatherings. Of course, outdoor sports and swimming are fun to do in the summer with your family. However, in many places, the summer seasons can be quite short and the whole year is generally too chilly for you to be able to enjoy your pool. An option available to you in order to extend your swimming season is by installing a pool heater. Pool heaters, however, can be quite expensive to operate since they use electricity or gas in order to function. An alternative that is better is the solar pool heater.

If you have finally chosen to have the greener option of installing a solar pool heater in your pool, the next step would be for you to actually get one. However, since the initial cost of installing a solar pool heater is rather expensive, you may want to try a DIY solar pool heater.

Tips for Making Your Own Solar Pool Heater

Here is how to make a DIY solar pool heater:


In the pump already found in your pool, make a break in the return line from the filter to the pool. After doing so, inert two “T” joints in the return line, with a valve in between. One pipe from the first “T” joint will be responsible for sending water to a solar collector. The second “T” joint will function as the return from the collector. In order to control how much water will be diverted to the solar collector, the valve is inserted and placed between the two “Ts”. The valve is ideally used when the water has reached the temperature you want or in the evening when you do not want to send the water through the solar collectors.


The heart of the whole system for the solar pool heater is one or more solar collector units. Since this process is for a DIY solar pool heater, you will make the solar collector units in its simplest form which is a large box that is painted in black. This is where the black PVC pipe is “snaked” back and forth for maximum exposure to the sun. There is a glass cover that keeps the air temperature inside the box warm. To do it yourself, use black PVC pipe that has the same diameter as the existing pump lines in your pool. You can use glue to connect collars and couplings but make sure you allow a 24 hour drying time. You can also do this with stainless steel clamps. You can also purchase a commercial collector unit to install yourself. Choosing either of the two options will require basic plumbing skills and the proper tools.

Mounting the Collector

The solar pool collectors can then be mounted on the roof of a house or even flat on the ground, as long as it is properly exposed to the sun. If you choose to install it on a roof, it is vital that you make sure it can withstand strong winds. Remember, the larger the collector, the more heat it can produce. Collectors should also always face south.

Safety Valves and Drainage Openings

In order to disconnect the solar pool heater for service, it is vital to place a valve on both the send and return lines.