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Thread: best kind of heater/solar heater

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    best kind of heater/solar heater

    Hello,
    I have a 33,000 gallon L shaped inground pool and looking to improve on a way to heat my pool this summer. I have a heater that came with the pool, but only after 2 years the heater is broke. Last summer I didn't have a lot of money so I didn't even have the heater looked at or try to fix, but I really want to look for a way to ehat my pool this summer. I like more enviromentally friendly ways to heat the pool. Last summer I never used a solar cover or ehater and the pool was great for the entire summer, but I'd like to extend the season a little bit this year with opening a bit earlier. I'd really like to do a solar option. Any opinions or feedback what is the best kind of solar heating to do. I live in northwest Ohio if that helps. I'm willing to invest a little bit of mkoney into something that is worth it. Thanks
    33,000 gallons
    Sand filter
    IG
    Vinyl
    TF-100

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: best kind of heater/solar heater

    The cheapest way to add some heat (or really to keep the heat) is through the use of a cover at night or when it is windy to reduce the heat loss due to evaporation.

    Solar is great, but it can be expensive up-front. It is all about the square footage of the panels relative to your pool surface area. The more panels, the more heat you can get. Having a full system sized and installed for you is likely in the $3000-$5000 range. If you want to DIY, I would think it would be at least $1000+ to have a good sized system (I have about $1500 into mine without automatic controls).

    A cover is still a good idea. A few weeks ago I was gaining about 6 degrees during the day ... but losing 5-6 degrees at night without a cover.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: best kind of heater/solar heater

    So any tips on cover. 12 mil or 16 mil? Blue, clear, black/blue? I've heard so many different reviews. I'm buying a solar cover, or 2 since my pool is L shaped in the next couple days. Also where is a good place to look at solar heat? I'd spend $1000-$1500 to get started on something like that if it was worth it and would last me awhile and actually heated my pool. Thanks again
    33,000 gallons
    Sand filter
    IG
    Vinyl
    TF-100

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: best kind of heater/solar heater

    I have not used a cover, but from reading here ... get the cheapest one you can as it seems like they all have a short 1-2 season life regardless of the thickness. The clear should allow more sunlight to heat the water, but not likely a huge difference.

    I think many DIYer have bought the solar panels off Ebay. I got mine used off of craigslist.

    Do a search and you can find a few recent threads about buying solar panels.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: best kind of heater/solar heater

    I agree with jbliz, get the cheapest cover, not need to go thick. I would get a cover that is as transparent as possible, this will allow more sun heat into the bulk of the pool water. The totally clear covers are more expensive, so I go with the lighter blue somewhat transparent types.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: best kind of heater/solar heater

    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: best kind of heater/solar heater

    On the topic of solar panels, a lot depends on if you have a good mounting location for them, ideally a southern facing roof that does not get any shade is best. If you have that the next question is how much roof area do you have, often the limiting factor will be how much area can you devote to solar panels, and amount will help, but if you want to make a noticeable dent into extending you swim season you you plan on needing an area between 50-100% of the surface area size of your pool. I have a similar size pool to yours, and am in the process of replacing old solar heater with new panels now (old ones came down when the roof was replaced last summer. I am putting up 11 4x12 Techno Solis brand panels for 528 sq ft of panel coverage, I am being limited by amount of southern facing roof area. I bought my panels from poolheatpumps.com and Della has been great to work with on this project, my total cost for the panels was $2,700 and delivery took just over 2 weeks, in addition to this since I already had previous a solar heater I am reusing my solar controller and automatic valve, but did upgrade my pool pump since it was having other issues (cracked housing, leaking), and knew from past experience that it was marginal for the job. I would strongly suggest getting a solar controller rather than try to manually control solar panels, there is too much time where they would radiate instead of absorb heat without one. These controllers are getting cheaper all the time, but you can expect to find a controller, valve and sensors for $300-$500 depending on the features, maybe even less if you shop around. I also expect to spend about $250 on new plumbing fittings, pipes, mounting straps, etc. Then of course there is labor, for me this is a semi DIY project getting the help of a couple of professional roofers to mount the panels.

    The panels I opted for are a compromise between quality and price, I would call them upper middle range, so they should last for a while, but I am not paying the big price premium for an extra couple of more years of service that I might on the upper line panels.

    I hope this gives you some idea of a real world example,

    Ike
    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
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