30 DIY Solar Pool Heaters – A Creative Way to Heat Your Pool

diy solar pool heater

Having a pool in your backyard is awesome. But even better is having a heated pool. Now manufacturers of heated pools make it look as though the process that goes into heating pools is complicated.

While heated pool mechanisms may seem as though they require rocket scientists to decipher, I am here to let you know that with a little creativity and will you can have our very own heated pool.

In this piece, I have compiled a list of DIY solar pool heaters to provide you with the creative inspiration you need to get started on the project. They are super easy and fun to get into.

After you've used one of these ideas to make your DIY solar water heater, come back and browse my other free plans so you can build a solar water heater, clay pot heater, outdoor firewood rackoutdoor fireplace fire pitporch swing fire pit.

Recycled Sliding Glass Door Solar Pool Heater

Yes, you can build a solar-powered swimming pool heater from common materials you have lying around. This DIY solar pool heater is built using a sliding glass door meant to be thrown into the bin.

Instructables provides a 12-step PDF tutorial to guide you through the building process. The sliding door solar panel is rested at an angle on the above ground pool.

To hack the project, in addition to the sliding glass door, you will need pressure treated wood (2x4s), plywood, copper tubing and copper flashing. The copper material in this project should cost you approximately $250.

2. Irrigation Hose Solar Pool Heater

 Irrigation Hose Solar Pool Heater

Some individuals have experienced success with building custom-made metal heat exchangers and other with simple irrigation hoses on a slope. This DIY solar pool heater, however, is a combination of the two designs.

The DIY solar pool heater is basically an irrigation hose coiled on a 0.75-inch plywood sheet measuring 4x4. The pipe is screwed onto the surface with copper brackets and painted black. The frame is mounted at an angle.

The setup also includes a ball valve to keep the water in the heater moving but slowly. This allows for the water to get hotter before it exits the solar heating system.

Adding to this, the frame features collapsible legs making it easier to store during winter. The blog tutorial by Silent9 guides you through the project.

3. Simple DIY Solar Pool Heater For a 30,000-liter In-ground Pool

Simple DIY Solar Pool Heater For a 30,000-liter In-ground Pool

Heating a large pool is no easy feat. Ideally, you would need large solar heating panels to pull this off. However, with some bit of creativity and the blog tutorial by Rimstar, you can easily hack the project.

This DIY solar pool heater is made from irrigation piping. These are coiled and mounted on four slanted frames. The setup has the ability to raise the temperature of the pool by about 9 degrees Celsius.

Throwing in a pool blanket during the night can help to retain the heat of the water and help it heat up fast. The blog tutorial features images and a guide to building the efficient DIY solar pool heater.

4. Ready-Made Solar Pool Heater

Ready-Made Solar Pool Heater

If this is a DIY project, why would this pool heater be ready-made? Well, the term readymade refers to the fact that the solar panel comes constructed. You, however, have to piece everything else together.

These solar pool heaters take some water from the pool, heat it up and then dump it back into the pool getting it warm over time.

It is a cheap system yet very efficient. As such, you have to connect pipes letting in water into the pipes and out back into the water.

The panels have to be slanted to reduce the water flow in the panel and provide for enough time to heat up the water. The Understand Solar blog tutorial sheds some light on this project.

5. DIY Floating Solar Panels

DIY Floating Solar Panels

The video tutorial by the Hometalk blog shows just how creative you can get and how easy it can be to build a DIY solar pool heater.

To build the floating DIY solar panels, all you need is some PVC pipe, several 90 degree female to female PVC angles, foam pipe insulation, wire ties and a black plastic.

Putting these materials together is a piece of cake. The unit is light enough to float on the pool. The foam pipe insulation aside from helping to retain the heat also adds to the floatation of the system.

For a small pool, 5 of these floating solar panel heaters will work perfectly. Larger pools will need more of these units.

6. DIY Underwater Solar Pool Heater

DIY Underwater Solar Pool Heater

If you love to swim, you obviously have thought of how great it would be to swim all year round - without the cold keeping you away from the pool.

If you have thought of getting a Jacuzzi, how about getting a DIY pool heater first? This blog tutorial by Conserve-Energy-Future details how you can build an underwater heater for our pool.

The system gets its energy from sunlight. While it can work in cloudy weather, its level of efficiency is reduced. Overall, the system is cheap and will cost you about $50 to build.

7. Cheap DIY Pipe Solar Pool Heater

Cheap DIY Pipe Solar Pool Heater

Truth be told, heating a pool can be a costly endeavor. But this does not have to be your experience.

There are numerous creative and cheap ways to heat up your pool’s water. Depending on the size of your pool, you have to choose the most feasible.

WikiHow shares how you can heat the water before it even gets into the pool. Get a long dark-colored hose to fill the pool. The longer it takes the warmer the water gets. 600-inches should suffice.

You could have an even longer pipe if you want. You could also coil the hose and mount it on a frame and place it at an angle to expose more pipe to the sun.

8. DIY Homemade Solar Pool Heater

DIY Homemade Solar Pool Heater

After a long day at work, a warm pool at night sounds inviting and perfect to relax before heading to bed. But the cost of using electricity to heat your pool is through the roof.

As such, The Earth Project blog presents a solar heater option. This DIY solar pool heater is energy efficient and easy to build.

The blog explains the basic parts of a solar pool heater. These parts include a collector, solar PV module, a pump, PVC piping, and valves.

Understanding these parts helps you to replicate the DIY solar pool heater using the readily available material.

9. Circular PVC Tubing Solar Pool Heater

Circular PVC Tubing Solar Pool Heater

Solar panel heaters are easy to build. Easier than what many of us envision. Adding to this, they are inexpensive as well. According to The Things Well Make blog, all you need is a black garden hose.

The garden hose is coiled and held in position. This DIY solar pool heater is mounted on a cross made from recycled wood pieces.

You then connect the pool filter to the hose. This ensures water is filtered as it makes its way into the pool.

A black hose is used as the color black absorbs heat which in turn heats up the water passing through it.

10. Floating Hula-Hoop Solar Pool Heater

Floating Hula-Hoop Solar Pool Heater

Now, this is one ingenious idea for heating your pool. The project by the Sustain a blog tutorial is made from hula-hoops and needs no electricity to work its magic.

Gather several hula-hoops and attach polythene films to each of the hoops and then toss them into the pool. The black polythene films will trap solar heat and warm up the water underneath.

The resulting system resembles lily pads floating in a lake. The beauty of these solar pool heaters is that they are easy to build and to remove when you need to use the pool unrestricted.

11. Black Hose Solar Pool Heater

Black Hose Solar Pool Heater

As the weather warms up, kids are all ready to get into the pool. The only problem is that the water is still cold.

While you could stop your kids from jumping in, how about building a DIY solar pool heater? This solar heater by the Half-Ass Craftsman blog is simple to build and most importantly, uses the readily-available material.

According to the blog tutorial, you need a 4x8 treated plywood sheet, a black hose and a pack of zip ties.

With these materials, all you need to do is mount the hose on the board and use the zip ties to hold them in place. You should be warned though, working the long hose may prove to be a challenge.

12. Simple DIY Solar Water Heater

Simple DIY Solar Water Heater

Solar pool heaters are basically solar water heaters. Only that the water they heat is that for a pool. That said, solar water heaters come in many different designs.

However, the I Will Try blog shares its simple design version to inspire you to start on the project. The solar water heater design is efficient with every surface of the collector being in direct thermal contact with the water.

The blog tutorial shares the basics of designing the solar water heater but you can always make your adjustments. The water heater by the I Will Try it blog measures 96-inches long by 22-inches wide.

The system provided about 530 Watts and heated 20 liters of water from about 24 degrees Celsius to 47 degrees Celsius.

13. Homemade Roof Solar Pool Heater

Homemade Roof Solar Pool Heater

Not unless you love taking a dive in ice cold pool water, you will have to get some form of pool heater. And not the commercial ones that leave you with insane electric bills every week or month.

The Solar For Energy blog provides a guide to building a DIY solar pool panel using inexpensive material and mounting it on your roof to save on floor space.

Following the blog tutorial, you can build the heater with little to no technical knowledge. You do however need to have some basic information about the solar pool heater components to build an efficient one.

14. Small Solar Pool Heater With a Submersible Pump

Small Solar Pool Heater With a Submersible Pump

Effective and efficient solar pool heaters do not have to be expensive. As a matter of fact, with a little creativity, you can whip up a simple and straightforward DIY solar pool heater like this one.

The system built by the Green Terra Firma blog is small, simple but highly efficient. This DIY project makes use of a PV module to generate power from the sun.

The unit also sports a DC submersible pump and black-colored tubing. The solar pool heater is automatic. It turns on when during the day and turns off at night. It runs slower on cloudy days.

15. 6 Panels Parallel Configuration Solar Pool Heater

6 Panels Parallel Configuration Solar Pool Heater

The solar panels for this project were constructed from polyethylene pipes and fittings. These were coiled into a circle and mounted onto timber and plywood frames.

The entire project according to the Rimstar blog tutorial costs almost a tenth of the cost of a commercial solar pool heater. Each panel is light and measures about 48x48-inches.

The black polyethylene pipe was coiled into the frame for support. The 6 panels were then connected in a parallel design which is efficient and provides sufficient heat to the water.

16. DIY Solar Pool Heater Under $100

DIY Solar Pool Heater Under $100

It feels like heaven to go for a swim in the summer. Yes, even those cool summer days. However, it would be lovely to own a heated pool.

If you have been thinking of how you can get one for yourself without spending a fortune, then Martin from Hack A Day provides you with the best solar pool heater solution yet.

The design featured is simple and straightforward. Cheap parts are used to piece the unit together. It is basically a 0.5-inch irrigation hose wound up in a spiral.

The unit also features a 12V utility pump and a timer that allows water to sit in the pipe for an hour before being pumped into the pool.

17. Large Rack-based Solar Pool Panel Heater

Large Rack-based Solar Pool Panel Heater

If you have a large pool, you obviously need a large enough solar pool heater to heat up the water. Natural gas is a better heating option compared to electricity. But it still is expensive.

A large 7 solar panel system will solve your problem. The racks designed and constructed should be mounted on an angle facing the sun.

While the system is large, the Mind Challenger blog takes you through its construction with ease. The support for this system should be strong and firm.

18. Unglazed and Inexpensive Plastic Solar Pool Panels

Unglazed and Inexpensive Plastic Solar Pool Panels

The process of installing pool solar panels can get complicated. This is especially if you are not exactly familiar with the materials that are used in the installation process.

To guide you through a DIY solar panel installation, the Arizona Accurate blog provides a tutorial.

In this tutorial, you learn how to make a solar pool heater using inexpensive plastic pool solar panels. These are easy to deal with and are most importantly affordable. They are however less efficient than the high-end solar pool panels.

They need a lot of energy to provide sufficient heat to warm up the pool waters compared to the steel, copper, glass and aluminum units. The guide contains step by step instructions and is easy to hack.

19. DIY 1-Hour Solar Pool Heater

DIY 1 Hour Solar Pool Heater

This is a simple solar pool heater. Building this system as guided by the Instructables PDF tutorial will only take an hour. Additionally, if you already have the PVC tubing, plywood and tie wraps you will only spend $5.

The tutorial presents a list of all materials needed. In addition to the above-mentioned materials, the list includes wood dowels, a drill and drill bit and tie wrap cutters.

For this simple solar pool hater, do not place it on a 2 story house as the water pump will strain to pump the water that high.

20. DIY Solar Thermal Decorative Pool Heater

DIY Solar Thermal Decorative Pool Heater

Here is a plan by Mildevco blog that blends in with the landscaping. This DIY project is easy. In addition to its attractive design, the system also works great.

The black coiled hoses are laid on top of the decorative gravel around the pool. They immediately work to soften the gravel look.

Though simple and creatively decorative, the system features all basic solar pool heater parts and is efficient.

21. PEX Tubing and Aluminum Fins Solar Pool Heater

PEX Tubing and Aluminum Fins Solar Pool Heater

If you are looking for a different, unique and efficient unit, this solar pool heater is the unit for you. This system makes use of the PEX tubing for the pool heating collector risers. They also feature aluminum fins.

The collector proves easy to build and the combination of the PEX tubing and the lack of glazing makes it a rather inexpensive collector to build. Overall, the unit is as efficient as commercial plastic collectors.

While complex looking the Build It Solar blog provides a tutorial that guides you through building this efficient unit. The fins will heat both an in-ground and above ground pool.

22. Easy Solar Pool Heater With a Diverter

Easy Solar Pool Heater With a Diverter

Solar pool heaters are imperative if you want to continue taking a dip even when the cold season kicks in. you can build a DIY solar pool heater and be sorted for a long time.

But the system does not need to serve one purpose only. Adding a diverter to the system can have the unit funnel the hot water for use in other parts of the home.

It is however not recommended that you drink the water. The Simple Suburban Living blog provides a blog tutorial and a video tutorial to guide you through the DIY project.

23. Out Of Sight Pool Heater

Out Of Sight Pool Heater

If hidden, efficient systems intrigue you, then you will love this DIY Solar Pool heater by Instructables. Well, the solar pool is not exactly hidden, but it is built on top of a shed and is out of sight.

The blog tutorial provides details of building the unit. But overall, the solar pool heater is simple, easy to build and perfect for a small above-ground pool.

This pool heater will take about 10 minutes to heat up the water in the pipe. Best of all, it does not east up valuable landscape space.

24. DIY Solar Deck Pool Heater

DIY Solar Deck Pool Heater

For your deck pool heater, this solar pool heater provides the perfect solution. Instructables details the process of building this simple solar pool heater from scratch. It does so in 7 simple steps.

All you need is a 4x4 plywood piece, a vinyl irrigation hose, and UV resistant zip-ties to secure the hose. The plywood needs to be painted black.

Since the hose is not coiled in a circular fashion, you may have to deal with kinks on the hose’s length. Be careful not to break the hose in the process.

Overall, the pool heater is efficient and highly effective.

25. DIY Solar Swimming Pool Heaters

DIY Solar Swimming Pool Heaters

Installing solar pool heaters can significantly reduce your swimming pool heating costs. The Energy.Gov Blog provides insight on how basic solar pool heaters work.

Understanding the mechanism is the first step of replicating the system using locally available material.

To this effect, the blog features a list of components needed for the project. These include; a solar collector, a filter, a pump and a flow control valve.

When building your solar pool heater, you need to consider the size of the pool, number of swimming lessons, desired pool temperature, and regional climate. All these will help you determine the size of the pool heater.

26. Simple Solar Spa Heater Mounted on Your Roof

Simple Solar Spa Heater Mounted on Your Roof

Aside from having a warm swim, it also is nice to take hot showers or relax in your bathtub or spa without having to worry about insane energy bills. To help you keep things hot and steamy, here is a simple DIY solar project.

The entire project is simple and costs about $60 to set up. With the guidance provided by the Tree Hugger blog, you can make your own DIY water heater and install it on your roof.

With some minor tweaks, you can also use the system to heat your bathtub, sink or pool.

27. DIY Landscape Tubing Solar Pool Heater

DIY Landscape Tubing Solar Pool Heater

We all love to swim under the clear blue skies even when the weather is cold and unfavorable. However, at such times, we find ourselves wishing pool waters were warmer.

Well, you do not have to wish anymore with the Green diary DIY solar pool heater tutorial. Building this system according to the blog tutorial requires a solar PV panel, junction tubing, landscape tubing, submersible pump and a pool cover.

The unit can be mounted on a roof like in the tutorial or left by the side of the pool. Whichever area you choose, ensure there is direct sunlight.

28. Efficient and Simple Solar Pool Heater

Efficient and Simple Solar Pool Heater

The sun is a free power source you need to take advantage of. Harnessing the solar energy can get you a heated pool and even a cool pool in the night if you so wish.

This solar pool heater is basic and simple. It exposes the water to a solar collector directly and pumps the water in it back to the pool creating room for more.

The blog tutorial by Home Of Solar Energy shares the details of building the unit.

29. DIY Automatic Solar Pool Heater

DIY Automatic Solar Pool Heater

Many swimming pool builders insist that solar blankets or covers are most effective. Yes, they are simple and do get the job done, but they are not the only solar pool heating systems available.

The blog tutorial by Engineers Garage details a simple process of assembling a solar pool heater. The heater is made using a photovoltaic unit, a DC submersible pump and black tubing.

The system shuts off automatically at night and runs slower when it is cloudy.

30. Portable Solar Pool Heater

Portable Solar Pool Heater

Solar power is intriguing, to say the least. It is quite an attractive process that needs some bit of creativity to replicate using simple materials. This solar pool heater by the Roy Spencer though basic gets the job done.

Unlike most solar pool heaters, this unit is portable. To build this system, you need to invest 6 hours and approximately $260.

And there you have it – 30 creative and simple solar pool heater to build today. Choose any that meets your fancy and needs.

Feel free to share the end product with the rest of the world.

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