Solar heater creation - pump needed

ajk242

Active member
Jul 16, 2016
25
Brockway, Pennsylvania
So my natural gas heater needs a $900 part to get operational, i am opting to just leave it collect dust. My inground pools sits approximately 4 feet above the deck out my back door which is partially covered. The roof of my covered deck is rubber and gets HOT during the day. I am considering coiling 100-200ft of black hose on my rubber roof and pumping water out of my pool, up onto my deck roof, through the hose and back into my pool but i have no idea what type of submerisble pump to use? Sump pump? Sewage pump?
I will need someting capable of probably 15ft of vertical lift. Any help thoughts or guidance is appreciated.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,256
Tucson, AZ
Over and over we post that trying to make a DIY solar heater is just not cost effective. Solar heating is all about sqft of exposure to the sun and heating a lot of water a few degrees.

What is the size of the cover? It is far more cost and heat effective to buy commercial solar panels designed for the purpose.
 

kevreh

In The Industry
Jun 2, 2007
413
Annandale, VA
What temp do you like your pool at? Even with commercial solar panels, which $900 will let you buy a few of, you may not get a lot of warmth out of them being in PA. A solar cover will help keep some warmth so its not lost at night.
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
What temp do you like your pool at? Even with commercial solar panels, which $900 will let you buy a few of, you may not get a lot of warmth out of them being in PA. A solar cover will help keep some warmth so its not lost at night.
+1
You could easily spend $600 on panels and a controller, and still not get the temps you are looking for. What kind of temperatures would you expect out of the solar heater?
 

txnole

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2014
544
Amelia Island, FL
I have and love solar, but this is NOT the application that's going to net you much warmth unless your willing to spend more than $900. Fix the heater and move on.
 

ajk242

Active member
Jul 16, 2016
25
Brockway, Pennsylvania
So basically i was going to coil the hose on the rubber roof, the heat from the roof would heat the hose and any water running through it. An increase of 10 degrees would be fine with me as it would get me into low to mid 70's. And i already have a solar cover installed. The pool is 14x30 with a shallow end of 4ft and a deep end of 5.5ft.
 

kevreh

In The Industry
Jun 2, 2007
413
Annandale, VA
I get about 2 degrees of temperature differentiation (difference between water going in to water coming out) on a sunny day in my pool with 2x 4'x12' Vortex solar panels, and those things are optimized to extract heat from the sun. The hose you have will probably let too much water flow through them.

I guess you may get 10 degrees rise after a couple days as long as the water only flows through them when sunny.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,256
Tucson, AZ
100ft of 1" hose is 8.3 sqft. One typical 4x10 solar panel is 40 sqft. So that would add at least 5 times the amount of heat to the water than your hose coil. Or on eBay there are many 2x20' panels.

For solar heating generally you want 50-100% of your pool surface area in solar panels.

I have 500sqft of solar panels for my pool. When I bought the house the previous owner tried to do a DIY setup with over 2500' of black 1" poly pipe. It did not work very well and always was springing leaks.

The math just does not add up when you start comparing costs of diy vs commercial panels for similar sqft of exposure.