How to Install a Solar Heater on a Pool

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In some areas of the country, summer swimming only lasts two months. You can't change the weather, but you can keep your pool water warm and extend the swimming months by installing a solar heater on your pool. A solar heater not only is energy-efficient, you don't have to spend a lot of money hiring a pool professional to install it. Installation is basic, so you can get the solar heater up and running on your own.

  • Find a sunny place to put the solar heater -- the ideal location gets strong afternoon sun. Make sure the location is within hose distance of the pool filter. Leave the solar heater rolled up in its packing material until the end of the installation process.

  • Shut off the pool filter.

  • Plug the skimmer and the pool return valve openings to keep water from escaping the pool during the heater installation process.

  • Disconnect the hose from the pool intake opening. Connect it to the intake opening on the solar heater, which will be cleared labeled.

  • Connect the hose that comes with the solar heating kit to the outlet on the solar heater. Push and twist the hose to make the connection. Attach the other end of the hose to the pool's intake opening in the same way.

  • Turn the solar heater to the "Off" position. Unplug the skimmer and the return valve openings.

  • Run the filter to allow water to enter the solar heater; since the heater is off, water won't leave the heater. Check the hose connections for leaks.

  • Turn on the solar heater after the pump has run for about five minutes. The water will now flow from the heater into the pool. It's normal for bubbles to appear in the pool-return water flow; the will disappear once all the air is out of the heating panel

  • Unroll the solar panel. Allow it to lay flat on the ground to absorb the sun's heat. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then turn on the filter to push the warmed water into the pool.

Tips & Warnings

  • The solar panel will naturally try to reroll after you untoll it. Place a smooth object on the end of the panel to prevent it from rolling. Over time, the panel will remain flat.

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  • Photo Credit swimming pool tiles image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com
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