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Old 06-15-2013, 07:07 AM   #1
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Simple pool solar heater


trying to formulate a plan for building a pool heater. Please add or critique as needed. Dumb questions ahead..

A simple box, plywood back, 2x6 for a frame.

Flex black tubing. As small in diameter as I can find for cheap. Leave in a coil

Plexiglass for a lid. Can that stuff be cut easily with a circular saw...will it be sharp.

Is there a better material for a lid ?? cheaper and easier ??

Am I missing something ?...it sounds too cheap and easy

Thanks

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Old 06-15-2013, 07:23 AM   #2
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I made one ,many years back,along those lines--

Plywood back---black garden hose--2x4 frame---and an old patio door.

It got so hot that I had to add a mixing valve set up so all the pool water did not enter the heater.

Worked for years ---it was placed on the ground facing the sun and I used 2x4 props to angle it up ---

To secure the hose to the backing--I drilled holes and used nylon zip ties.

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Old 06-15-2013, 07:29 AM   #3
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Sounds great..I have no concerns about it being too hot. In fact, thats one of the reasons I want the lid..for extra heating.

Especially in this failure of a summer
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:39 AM   #4
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Just how big a pool is this?
Going to take one really big panel to have any effect on the pools temp.
Plexiglass will turn yellow and craze, use Lexan instead.
Yes it can be cut with a table saw, just leave the protective plastic on it when cutting or drillng.
I'd use black heavy duty garden hose. That way when it does not work out you'll still have a nice hose.
How do you plan on cirulating the water?
I would think you would want a low CFM pump so the water has time heat up.
May want to Google "solor pool heater" and see how a real heater is designed.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:52 AM   #5
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Glass will block less energy than plastic if that is an option. Also, painting everything in the interior flat black will absorb better than just the shiny black of a plastic tube.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Just how big a pool is this?
Going to take one really big panel to have any effect on the pools temp.
Plexiglass will turn yellow and craze, use Lexan instead.
Yes it can be cut with a table saw, just leave the protective plastic on it when cutting or drillng.
I'd use black heavy duty garden hose. That way when it does not work out you'll still have a nice hose.
How do you plan on cirulating the water?
I would think you would want a low CFM pump so the water has time heat up.
May want to Google "solor pool heater" and see how a real heater is designed.
Thanks for the tips everyone,

Its just a 21 foot above ground.
I had a commerical solar heater for a few years..but too many leaks and its toast now. So I will connect it to the regular pump and filter

Good idea about the black garden hose and the black paint.

Thanks
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:03 AM   #7
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Creeper--free glass doors are easy to find----go to any window and door company and ask if they can save you one----they are tempered glass and will not shatter if someone breaks it---
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:06 AM   #8
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The one I made worked great---simple tools---cheap---and over heated a pool about the size of yours,until I added valves that allowed much of the water to bypass the heater when it was not needed.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:36 AM   #9
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I just got rid of a door with glass too

Figures
With all the swimming my kids do at the club this pool is little more than a giant bathtub
for games
May as well have it really warm
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:16 AM   #10
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Do you cover it at night? Covering it at night will do wonders for keep it warm.

I third the garden hose....the stuff you were talking about was too small.

If the collector is going to be far enough away....use real glass....it's cheaper than plexi....just breaks easier.

I've actually been amazed at how cheap it is to have glass tempered.
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:49 PM   #11
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There are only a few months usually when the nights stay warm enough to rely just on the blanket. By mid August the nights get so cool that the water can't recover enough to get in. And June this year has so far been a dud.

I'm not worried about overheating. On the store bought one Ive been using it had a bypass valve that I never had to use. Water barely ever saw past 88/90.

It was a series of tiny tubes so the water would pass slower like Joe has suggested. Corrugated plastic. No glass...too many crazy people fooling around, plus I'd like to keep it there through the rest of the year. ..(Flying balls, hockey pucks. lacrosse balls)
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:00 PM   #12
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The garden hose idea sounds good and cost effective. I even have a glass window left over from my old kitchen door. My only question though is when you step down the diameter from the 1 1/2" pump hose to 5/8" garden hose, won't that cause the pool pump to overwork?
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim F View Post
The garden hose idea sounds good and cost effective. I even have a glass window left over from my old kitchen door. My only question though is when you step down the diameter from the 1 1/2" pump hose to 5/8" garden hose, won't that cause the pool pump to overwork?
Useally not on discharge side due they are limited on " head " pressure so just watch the height when you put up the solar panels due some swimming pool pumps are low pressure on purpose ( IIRC useally less than 30 PSIG )

But I will suggest to you that add a thermometer on discharge side to see how hot it get and you may want to add a mixer or sorta like bypass valve to throttle a bit to intermix to drop the tempture a little.

I know some of you readers may recall Scuba Dave in this fourm he did have solar pool heating system and he have pretty good details on them so you may want to take a look at it what he did to his pool system.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:07 AM   #14
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Pool heating is a very good solar application. The systems are simple and relatively inexpensive. Pool systems usually use simple, low cost, unglazed plastic collectors. The pool itself is the thermal storage for the system, and the pump you already use for filtering pool water will also circulate water through the solar collectors. All of this leads to inexpensive systems -- some of the simplest solar pool heating systems cost as little as $100.
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:32 PM   #15
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Works!!!
Mike was correct about needing a mixing value. May as well add this hose bib while its easy. I could, in therory, just leave everything where it is, but I'v already made the box, so I will just place the hoses in there.
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