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Thread: Solar heater instead of blanket

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    Solar heater instead of blanket

    Does anybody run a solar heater and not a blanket. My solar blanket is a pain to get on and off (above ground pool and I have to lift off reel), and I don't really have a place to put it. We actually only use it for about a month, and the rest of the summer we have more issue cooling the pool off. So I noticed that we can get a solar heater for fairly cheap and was wondering if it will heat the water enough to compensate the overnight heat loss, and still warm the pool enough to swim in. Also, if we have the panels at the same level as pump do we need a supplementary pump for the solar heater?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Solar heater instead of blanket

    You don't normally need a supplementary pump, especially if the panels are below water level.

    Solar panels always help, even if you don't use a solar cover. Without a solar cover, you won't get nearly as much benefit from the panels as you would if you used a solar cover, but they will still help. How much they help depends on how large an area of panels you install.
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    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: Solar heater instead of blanket

    If you get a solar panel large enough, you should be able to overcome the heat loss. I used to run my pool this way but there are several negatives doing this.

    1) Because the heat loss is more during the night without a cover, it takes more solar run time to bring the pool back to termperature. This means more run time at high speed (for me) and more energy $$. A shorter solar run time means I can run more on low speed and save money.

    2) Because of higher water temperatures, the evaporation rate is higher with a solar pool and without a cover, you not only lose more heat but also more water due to evaporation. This not only increases the cost of water but if you have hard water like I do, it will increase the hardness over time much faster than with a solar cover.
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