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Thread: New Pool. Considering Adding a Solar Heater Myself after Install

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    New Pool. Considering Adding a Solar Heater Myself after Install

    The hole for my pool has been dug and they are coming to install the actual pool mid next week. I am considering installing a solar heater when the install is complete to extend our seasons but wanted to get some opinions. I would like to install myself. My pool is a kidney shaped pool that is about 19,000 gallons and has a surface area of 594SF. I have a detached garage adjacent to the pool that has one pitch of the roof pointing east and one west. The detached garage is 20 x 30? I was thinking installing solar panels on each pitch of the garage. I am near Columbia SC so we have mild winters and smoking hot summers. I understand we probably still couldn't swim year round but how many months out of the year do you think we could get out of it with solar heat? Can anyone point me towards a good diy system to use? Estimated cost for a good solar system? Life expectancy of the system? Thanks for any help you can provide.

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    AimeeH's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool. Considering Adding a Solar Heater Myself after Install

    Hi and welcome to TFP from another palmetto state resident

    I'm SE of Columbia between cola and Sumter. I think you could extend your season with solar panels but how long, I can't wager a guess because I'm not sure how much they warm the water which would depend on many factors like hours of sun and pump run time. I can say we are pretty much guaranteed 5 months of pool use in our pool with kids that don't mind chilly water in April and even as far as October in some years WITHOUT solar panels. But for me, I like the water to be above 80 before I get in, so that's usually May. I wish we had solar panels.

    You know how the weather is here.....it just depends on the year. This year kids got in around March 14. Other years not until later in April. About 3 years ago I remember it being in the 90's St. Patrick's day weekend and I had pool open then too. Some years we are hot until late Sept-oct

    A more knowledgable person on solar heat capabilities should be able to chime in here.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool. Considering Adding a Solar Heater Myself after Install

    There are several of us on here that have done our own DIY installs, and several of us have documented our projects, here is a link to mine from a couple of years ago. Solar Panel Replacement / Update There are a variety of factors the effect swim season with solar, one of the big ones is what do you consider acceptable swim temperatures? A person that is comfortable swimming in 78 degree (Olympic competition pool temperature) will have a lot easier time with solar heat than someone that wants their to pool to be at 99 degree bathtub temperature. Now for a hopefully real meaningful answer, if you also use a solar cover I suspect you can get acceptable (80+ degree) swim temperatures roughly from the last frost in the spring to the first frost in the autumn. The biggest problem with solar heating a pool is doing it those shoulder seasons as you have multiple things fighting against you at once, shorter days, less intense sunlight and cooler weather. As a result all it takes is one early season cool front to end your swim season, afterwards the weather may warm back up, but there is not enough heat being provided from the solar panels to rewarm the water, it may even inch back up, then a cloudy day or two sets you back a week and eventually it is a losing battle.

    Ike
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool. Considering Adding a Solar Heater Myself after Install

    Our solar panels have given us many swim days where we wouldn't have been able to swim otherwise. I bought mine at Solardirect.com. A solar controller is needed if you aren't there to close the valve when it cools off or rains. So,around panels are as good at cooling the pool as they are at warming it. I am running them at night now to cool the pool. I spent under $2k on my stuff. Pics in link in sig.
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    Re: New Pool. Considering Adding a Solar Heater Myself after Install

    Thanks for the input guys. I am going to check out your projects and make a decision whether or not to move forward soon.

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