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Thread: cheap pool heater

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    cheap pool heater

    So I have been looking at different options for heating my pool. Let me say that I am cheap. I don't like to spend money. I am thinking about getting a pond pump, running it to some black tubing, then zip tie the tubing to the frame of the pool where it will get sunlight to warm it, before it discharges back into the pool.

    I can get a 185 gph pump for about $15, and 100 feet of black landscape dripline 1/2" tube for $16. or I could get 20' of black pond tubing for about $12.

    For about $30 I have a hundred feed of water in the sun.

    Has anyone tried this or something like it? Looking at a lot of the "green pool heaters" they all seem to use the pool pump to push water through black tubing or a black plastic maze like a reverse heat sink. I don't like the idea of using my pool pump this way, plus I have an intex, and I understand the fittings are far from standard. thus the dedicated pump. I was originally looking at a sump pump, but did not like the cost or the fact that they don't seem to be designed to run 24/7.

    Thoughts?
    8K Gal, Intex 20' X 48" Ultra Frame Round Pool (PVC Liner), Cartridge Filter
    First pool setup 6/17/13
    I am both a newbie and a cheapskate. Please forgive my stubbornness and ignorance.
    Mental Note: Shocking the Pool does not involve an electric cord...

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: cheap pool heater

    A pool solar panel would be much more efficient. You get the best heat gain with small tubing and high flow so you only get a very slight temperature rise through the panels.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: cheap pool heater

    Here is the y connection I made for my Intex hose system for pumping the water through 400' of 1/2 black pipe. No problems with the pump, etc. The tubing was $20 per 100'.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: cheap pool heater

    Xanadu, that's awesome! How big is your pool and how much (on an average, sunny day) heat do you gain in a day?
    18' round AG pool; 7600 gallons
    Pentair Sand Dollar filter (sand)
    Pentair Dynamo 1hp pump, 80 GPM (?)
    All newly installed in 2011

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: cheap pool heater

    For $80, you could have gotten 40 sqft of true solar panel. With that 400' of 1/2" pipe at best you have 16.6 sqft.

    Solar heating is all about surface area ... and the panels have gotten so cheap (see Ebay), that a DIY solution rarely makes sense.
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: cheap pool heater

    Well, that^ design is good for people with no room for big sq footage pannels/yards. I 'm running 2 of the large solar domes for that reason.
    Intex 16'x48"
    Intex sand filter, ozone SWG

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    Re: cheap pool heater

    I am actually looking for ( in addition to being cheap) little to no space use. That's why I was thinking of running the tubing along the top rail of the pool....

    xanadu: I am looking at your "Y" and trying to figure it out. Is that on the intake or discharge? It looks like you could run it either way? I must admit I am a bit confused. does the other end of the black tubing go on the other side of the "Y" where the valve is currently closed and then you shut off the valve in the middle? My other concern with using the pump is that I don't have a detached pump like yours. My pump is mounted on the sidewall under the skimmer. I am worried I would burn it out by running it in the 100' of extra tubing all the time...
    8K Gal, Intex 20' X 48" Ultra Frame Round Pool (PVC Liner), Cartridge Filter
    First pool setup 6/17/13
    I am both a newbie and a cheapskate. Please forgive my stubbornness and ignorance.
    Mental Note: Shocking the Pool does not involve an electric cord...

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: cheap pool heater

    Well, solar heating and small footprint are pretty contradictory goals.

    Pumps do not burnout as long as water continues to move, although you have a pretty small pump and you should also realize that solar works best at high flow rates.

    So combining, small footprint with low flow, you are not going to get much heat added to the pool.
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: cheap pool heater

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    For $80, you could have gotten 40 sqft of true solar panel. With that 400' of 1/2" pipe at best you have 16.6 sqft.

    Solar heating is all about surface area ... and the panels have gotten so cheap (see Ebay), that a DIY solution rarely makes sense.

    Please show me a link where I can get this solar panel at that price you mention. Thye are over $200 here, and there is no way I am spending that kind of cash when I need around 3-4 of them.

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    Re: cheap pool heater

    Quote Originally Posted by dpallyn
    I am actually looking for ( in addition to being cheap) little to no space use. That's why I was thinking of running the tubing along the top rail of the pool....

    xanadu: I am looking at your "Y" and trying to figure it out. Is that on the intake or discharge? It looks like you could run it either way? I must admit I am a bit confused. does the other end of the black tubing go on the other side of the "Y" where the valve is currently closed and then you shut off the valve in the middle? My other concern with using the pump is that I don't have a detached pump like yours. My pump is mounted on the sidewall under the skimmer. I am worried I would burn it out by running it in the 100' of extra tubing all the time...

    The Y originally was for an out, and in. But I just do the out one now and have the other end of the hose hanging out into the pool sending the water back in.
    I have a 18' easyset, and its a comfy 82 degrees today. Makes about a 5-7 degree differance I think.

    Not sure about your pump.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: cheap pool heater

    Quote Originally Posted by xanadu
    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    For $80, you could have gotten 40 sqft of true solar panel. With that 400' of 1/2" pipe at best you have 16.6 sqft.

    Solar heating is all about surface area ... and the panels have gotten so cheap (see Ebay), that a DIY solution rarely makes sense.

    Please show me a link where I can get this solar panel at that price you mention. Thye are over $200 here, and there is no way I am spending that kind of cash when I need around 3-4 of them.
    Well, I was a little off on my memory, they are $90 for 40 sqft. Did you search Ebay? Here are a few:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/XLong-Inground- ... 4d0fdb131f
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/24-x-20-Ingroun ... 4d096ecade

    Or $165 for 80 sqft:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/48-x-20-Ingroun ... 51aa74d58f

    NOTE: This is in no way and endorsement for these panels or this seller. I have no idea the quality of this product, but present it as an example to my point.
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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