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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Build A "Redneck" Solar Pool Heater - Cheap

A few years back, I bought the kids a 10' x 30" Intex Easy Set Pool for about $50. I set it up on our concrete patio. It was great fun for the kids, but 2 years ago we put a roof over the patio. That means the pool gets no sun until after 3pm, resulting in water temperature never higher than 72 degrees during a heat wave. So this year, armed only with determination, a roll of black irrigation pipe, some 1x2x8 lumber, screws and various plumbing parts laying around the garage, and a Water Pump from Amazon or Harbor Freight, I created a basic solar pool heater for about $50. Of course, I had a lot of stuff "laying around", mainly a coil of  1/2 inch black irrigation hose, but you can buy 500 feet of that for about $35-$50 at your local home store, keeping your total still well under $100. The collector sits on the patio roof and the pump is located next to the pool filter. It's not pretty, it's functional and to the point and built in one afternoon. The project will require a little creativity in making it all fit together. I'm not going to supply step by step instructions, sizes, or a parts list. My goal here is to show you that it can be done, how I did it, and encourage you to use your brain to create something useful, instead of killing it with beer.