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Thread: Advice needed for diverter / solar heating - DIY

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    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2

    Advice needed for diverter / solar heating - DIY

    I have a new 30' round above ground pool (54" high wall, 48" deep water). My pump is a 2HP two-speed that can move enough water to "spin" the solar cover when it's on high.

    I am planning to build my own solar water heater "device" out of black rubber hose. I need to insert a diverter at the pump return so that I can use the pump to push water through the hose before it renters the pool.

    My general plan goes something like this:

    100' rubber hose coiled back and forth and mounted to a 4'x8' sheet of plywood. The wood will be painted flat black and the hose will also be black. I will prop the wood panel up so that it will be facing the Southern sky to maximize exposure.

    I need some advice on what kind of diverter to use to redirect the water through the hose as well as where to get one. I have the standard sized hoses on my cartridge filter system and the hose will simply lip up over the wall of the pool for its return (I do not plan on returning the water to the return line. Also, because the heating process will be slow, I will need to be able to divert only a small flow of water through the hose so that it will run slow enough to actually be able to be warmed.

    I'm aware that the amount of heat I will be able to add to the pool will be small. I don't expect to warm all 22,000 gallons from 68 to 80 degrees... I have a solar cover and the pool was built on top of about 3" (minimum) of sand and with an insulating ground pad. This is intended to be simply one of the pieces of the overall puzzle to aid in maintaining a comfortable water temperature in the early and later parts of the swimming season in Connecticut.
    Above-Ground, Round, 30' resin pool (54" pool wall is the only metal). 120 Square Foot pressure-treated deck (above rim of pool). 2HP pump with cartridge filter, Hayward AquaBug vacuum, solar cover, and cover reel.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    SouthWest Alabama
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    22,345

    Re: Advice needed for diverter / solar heating - DIY

    Welcome to TFP.

    Unless you're absolutely stuck on building your own you're much better off buying ready built panels. They're way more efficient and time you build enough to work even a little it's cheaper to buy the ready built units.

    You can use a 3-way valve to divert the water to the unit and it'll allow you to adjust the amount that gets diverted.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Connecticut
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    2

    Re: Advice needed for diverter / solar heating - DIY

    Thanks for the quick response!

    My initial thought was that a pre-built device would be overall better. However, they don't really "fit" in terms of size and shape to what I'm looking for. Additionally, the 100' hose and lumber to make the heater is about $90-$100. I can't touch a pre-built for less than $150 (and I would need two of those to suit the size pool I have according to the info on the box).

    Right now, I have a 100' length of black garden hose connected to my outside faucet. I'm adding some water to the pool because it's a little low. The water coming out of the tap is around 65 degrees, but it's almost 80 degrees by the time it reaches the pool! Admittedly, I am running the water very slowly and almost the entire length of hose is in direct sun. But, there is also no additional heat-gathering going on - it's lying in the grass over its length to get to the pool. Clearly, the method works. And, it's essentially the exact same design of the $150 pre-built device (except that I know the 100' garden hose is high quality and guaranteed for life).
    Above-Ground, Round, 30' resin pool (54" pool wall is the only metal). 120 Square Foot pressure-treated deck (above rim of pool). 2HP pump with cartridge filter, Hayward AquaBug vacuum, solar cover, and cover reel.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,879

    Re: Advice needed for diverter / solar heating - DIY

    Certainly your approach will work, but you will get several times as much heat out of a single commercial panel as you will get out of your 100' of hose, so the commercial panel will be much more cost effective.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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