Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: cost of a solar heater

  1. Back To Top    #1

    cost of a solar heater

    I have been looking at the solar heaters, at 300+ for a 4X20 is it worth building my own? How much am I looking at spending for a basic hom made system?

    thanks
    Doug
    Intex 15X48 AGP intex 2500GPH and skimmer kit
    Between Portland Oregon, and Olympia Washington

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    6,711

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    With the availablity of kit type solar heaters from sources like ebay and amazon the practicality of using typical hardware store components is hard to justify as they tend to be less efficient and likely more expensive once you value your labor at anything approaching minimum wage.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Mesa Arizona
    Posts
    190

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    I built my heaters. 5 foot circular made from 1/2 inch black sprinkler pipe. I made 4 heaters and plumbed them into the system. The heaters coupled with a solar blanket brought my temps up 25 degrees in a matter of days.
    My heaters were very easy to make and the cost was about 30 bucks a heater and then the plumbing stuff was about 50 dollars. A few small odds and ends after that.
    The heaters do work well but I'm in a very sunny area. Mesa Arizona but I'm able to extend my swim season by 4 months at least.
    I'm going to build a few more just to make heating easier but I don't expect to be able to extend the swim season longer, just easier to heat so I don't need to leave the pump on so long every day.
    Another issue is you'll need someplace to put the heaters where you get the most sun but also out of the way or preferably out of sight. These heaters aren't the prettiest things in the world but the do work very well.
    I ended up using about 250 feet of pipe for each heater so if you buy 1000 feet at Home Depot or Lowes, you should be able to get that for about 80 dollars. A few dollars for some cross members to hold them together, some plumbing parts, a shut off valve or diverter valve and you should be good to go.
    It didn't take long for me to build them. About 5 hours to build the heaters and another hour or so to plumb them into the system.
    Mesa Arizona. Old school 26,000 gallon in ground plaster pool with sand filter built in 1984.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    Commercial panels are not very expensive and are significantly more efficient than home made panels.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    What about the domed shaped smaller ones, VS. The bigger mat?
    I could add smaller domes as funds become available. Or just save for a mat, or do my own.
    I really need to get the temp of the pool up some so it is more enjoyable.
    Intex 15X48 AGP intex 2500GPH and skimmer kit
    Between Portland Oregon, and Olympia Washington

  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    The amount of heat you get out is a function of the size of the panel. The domes are very small, and thus don't produce much heat. For the cost of two domes you can get a mat that will produce way more heat.
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    6,711

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    From what I have heard, the domes are great if you don't have much room, mats are better on a cost per BTU fucntion if land area is not at a premium, or if you have an appropriate south facing roof.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    Just remember, depends where you live they should come down in winter or they will freeze and bust. No you can't get all the water out of them either. And wind can play havock on them so make sure you anchor them down good. I have 4- 2x20' ones for a 30' pool and they work great. I built a lean to so they will lay down better. The will eat your shingles on a shingle roof too. And shingles will wear on them too.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Mesamav
    I built my heaters. 5 foot circular made from 1/2 inch black sprinkler pipe.
    Mesamav, might you be able to post more info about your project, preferably including some pictures? Although I usually have the opposite problem (too hot during summer), it would be nice to extend the season earlier and later.

    Brad

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Northwest IN
    Posts
    31

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    I have been knocking around the idea of solar too but I don't want to mount anything to my roof and I don't have a lot of room in my yard for them. Would having a glazed collector make up for having less surface area?
    27'x52" Round 17,115 gallon AG, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Two Speed 2hp - .25hp Pump, and Nature2 Sanitizer/Chlorinator

  11. Back To Top    #11
    cramar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sault Ontario
    Posts
    1,143

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    It's all about amount of surface area.
    I contemplated building one, I finally just sucked it up and order a couple of Fafco's.
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
    Foam Cove, Taylor K-2006 kit, BBB method, 8'X20' Fafco Sunsaver Hard Plumb, DIY Fountain, Margarittaville Fiji


    My Build: one-man-one-pool-and-one-deck-agp-pics-t37172.html
    My Build 'To-Do' List for other DIY'ers: my-pool-build-list-t40249.html?hilit=list

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1
    From what I have heard, the domes are great if you don't have much room
    If you don't have much room, you will get very little heat, which is not something I would ever call "great". The average dome heater provides plenty of heat for a 4' x 12" kiddy pool, but isn't going to do much of anything on a larger pool.
    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

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Northwest IN
    Posts
    31

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    You can't fight physics so I guess I am going to have to get creative with how I set them up.

    Thanks, Wade
    27'x52" Round 17,115 gallon AG, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Two Speed 2hp - .25hp Pump, and Nature2 Sanitizer/Chlorinator

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Buckeye, AZ 85326
    Posts
    618

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    I made my solar coils as well. They do work but you need a lot of them to make a real impact. We bought a solar cover this year and it has been worth every penny ($112.00). Our water has been 85*+ since about the middle of April.
    Heres a little chart as to what to expect around the Seattle.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    11,872 Gallon IG Shotcrete play pool
    Blue Granite Pebble Sheen finish
    Hayward SwimClear c4025, Navigator & Tristar 1.75hp pump
    2' Powerfall

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Mesa Arizona
    Posts
    190

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    Quote Originally Posted by bsnelson
    Quote Originally Posted by Mesamav
    I built my heaters. 5 foot circular made from 1/2 inch black sprinkler pipe.
    Mesamav, might you be able to post more info about your project, preferably including some pictures? Although I usually have the opposite problem (too hot during summer), it would be nice to extend the season earlier and later.

    Brad
    Well, I wanted something simple with as few connections as possible to prevent leaks. I coiled black plastic pipe (in ground sprinkler pipe) into 250 foot circular coils. They end up being about 4 feet in diameter when you done. I built 4 of them for my 15 x 32 foot inground pool and they work great but I'm going to build a few more.
    You can also use them to cool the water as well. Just run the pump at night instead of daytime.
    I don't have any pictures of them but I'll take a few tomorrow and post them.
    Mesa Arizona. Old school 26,000 gallon in ground plaster pool with sand filter built in 1984.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: cost of a solar heater

    Thanks for the great info. The little dome is out, and I am going to try the DIY coil heater, I have a 500' rool of thin walled tube that is doing mothing, and some plywood, with a 1X4 around the outside. So I am going to line the board with tar paper, and then coil about 200' on the board. Then cover it with green house plastic.
    Would love to see photos of others working systems.
    I have quite a bit of room, so that should not be an issue.
    Intex 15X48 AGP intex 2500GPH and skimmer kit
    Between Portland Oregon, and Olympia Washington

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •