As pool owners, being able to heat your pool is a luxury that we’d all like to have, without it costing us an arm-and-a-leg. We’ve got a DIY solution at a fraction of the normal cost. Granted, you’ll have to spend a bit of money to get the materials needed to construct your DIY solar pool heater, but the actual heating won’t add to your electricity bill.
As the South African sun heats up, spending as much time in water will be a most welcome way to keep cool in the heat. However, we don’t all like getting into an ice-cold pool – no matter how hot it is.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- Plastic hula hoops
- Thick black plastic or pond liner
- Spring clamps
- Soldering iron or epoxy glue instead
Now that you’ve got your hula hoops and thick plastic covering, this is what to do to make the pool heating system:
- 1.Place the hula hoops on the plastic and cut out a slightly larger circle using a pair of sharp scissors. Cut an extra 10cm all the way around the hula hoop to secure it. You can cut away any excess plastic later on.
- 2.Use the clamps to hold the plastic around the edge of the hoops while you secure the plastic to the hoops. A soldering iron is a practical way to fasten the plastic to the hoop, but we used epoxy glue as an easier and faster way to fasten the plastic.
We cut the plastic about 2 centimetres larger than the hoop, and then we mixed up enough epoxy glue to apply to the bottom of the hula hoop. Once the glue has been applied to the hoop, press it down onto the plastic. Repeat this until the entire hoop is secured in place for a watertight seal.
- If you’ve chosen to use a soldering iron, blunt the tip first then use it to fuse the plastic to the hoop. You have to stretch the plastic over the base and clamp, moving the clamps as you fuse all around the perimeter.
- 4.As you fuse one spot you need something to immediately press down to ensure that the plastic liner fuses nicely with the hoop for an airtight bond. This is why we think epoxy glue would be an easier solution.
- 5.After fusing or bonding together the plastic and hoop you can cut away any excess. We recommend that you make a few holes in the centre section of the plastic to prevent air bubbles accumulating underneath the hoops.
How the solar pool heater works:
The solar hoops absorb solar heat and pass this into the water. You’ll need quite a few hoops to cover the surface of a pool, so get as many as you feel necessary.
Another great bit of advice is that, once you have the solar hoops floating on the top of the pool, set the pool pump timer to only work at night. This will allow the solar hoops to heat up the water and it’ll help cut down on your electrical bill.