Help Needed on DIY Solar projects

Riffindus

New member
Apr 2, 2017
4
Corona
#1
Hello All,

I am a new pool owner. My pool size is 23000 gallon and i live in Southern California. My pool temp was low and i was looking for some heating option. Initially i tried a solar cover, i bought 16 mil crystal clear solar cover which covers 98% of my pool 24/7. I have not noted much change in the pool temp and my kids are not coming into the pool. We are in spring and the temperature here goes to 78 to 80 during day time.

I was thinking about Heat pump installation but the estimate is coming up very high.

I am planning to do DIY solar projects posted by many people in youtube or pintrest website. If i get black hose for 800 feet and run water using a pump, will this improve my pool temperature? does this work at all? all the people who post video measure the water coming out from the hose but how it will change overall pool temperature having low flow on it to get maximum heat transfer?

I am confused, if i do this project, will i be able to raise my pool temp. to atleast 80 degree? what would be the experts recommendation? Please let me know.

Aariff
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#2
:wave: Welcome to TFP!!!

It is just NOT cost effective to try to DIY a pool heater with hoses. Solar heating is all about sqft of exposure to the sun and when you do the math on how much hose is required to get adequate exposure, it just does not make sense. Plus to be as effective as possible you want to have many parallel paths for the water so and have high flow rates. FYI, this house had 2500+ feet of 3/4" black poly in 10+ parallel paths. It did ok, but not as good as the solar mats I have now ... and the poly was always springing leaks.

The people in the videos have it all wrong, ideally you want high flow rates and only to raise the water temperature a couple degrees. Way more efficient to heat a lot of water a couple degrees than a little water a lot of degrees.

By far the best bang for the buck is to buy commercial pool solar mats and use them instead of trying to DIY a bunch of hose. You can still DIY the panel install. I bought my solar panels used off Craigslist and installed them myself (which was easy since my roof is nearly flat). You also absolutely want a controller so that the solar heating is only running when the heat is available. If you are running it at night or when cloudy or raining, you will actually cool your pool water.

BTW, to size the amount of solar heating mats you should have, generally you want 50%-100% of the surface area of your pool. That 800 feet (assuming 1" diameter) is only 67 sqft. If your pool is ~450 sqft, that hose would only give you 15%. Each of my 10 solar panels is 50 sqft.

All in I was at about $1500 with panels, controller, and everything for the install. But, I can now have water in the 80s in late Feb.

But, there are mats on Ebay that are about $60 for 40sqft a couple of those will likely be much more efficient (and likely cheaper) that trying to create a bunch of parallel loops of hose once you consider all the fittings.
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
24,993
DFW, TX
#3
Welcome to TFP!

I also DIY'd my solar panel installation, there are pics in my pool thread, link in sig. We've been swimming for a couple of weeks now, water is in the mid-upper 80s mostly. Also, a solar cover helps significantly to raise epool water temp by reducing heat loss to evaporation over night. A cheap, thin 8 mil solar cover can help to raise the water temp 5-8 degrees.
 
OP
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Riffindus

New member
Apr 2, 2017
4
Corona
#4
Thank you Jblizzle and Pooldv.

I understand now that the black hose are not going to give me enough coverage to help warming my pool water. yes my pool surface area is ~500ft. i should go same like you. only problem is my roof is too high, i cannot do it myself, i have to hire a roof guy. Also i am planning to go for solar panel for electricity next year so i don't want pool solar panels to occupy my roof space.

Pooldv, i have 16 mil clear solar cover, which covers almost 97% of my pool but still the water is at 72 and it reaches 78 during peak sun but it is only under the surface of the pool cover not in the depth area.

Jblizzle, can you tell us, how much does your pool temperature increases when you use solar panels?
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#6
Last spring I was tracking it and I could add about 6-7 degrees in one day. But since I don't use a cover I was losing about 4-5 degrees at night.