How to Hook Up a Pool Solar Heater

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During the hot summer months, the sun does an adequate job of keeping your pool's water warm. However, if you want to extend your swimming season, hook up a pool solar heater. A solar heater will allow you to open your pool earlier in the year, or to close it a month or so later than you normally would. In addition to extending the swimming season, a solar water heater will warm the water on those occasional cool summer days.

  • Place the solar heater in a location that gets plenty of sun. For the best results, place it in a location that gets afternoon sun. In addition to getting good sun, the solar heater must be placed within hose distance of the pool filter.

  • Take the solar heater out of the box, but do not roll it out. Keep the packing restraints on the solar panels until later in the installation process.

  • Plug the pool return and skimmer to prevent water from flowing out of the pool while installing the solar heater.

  • Turn the pool filter off, disconnect the hose from the pool inlet, and attach it to the inlet on the solar heater.

  • Attach a hose from the solar heater's outlet to the pool inlet. The solar heating kit comes with an extra hose for this connection.

  • Unplug the skimmer and the inlet.

  • Turn the solar heater to the "Off" setting and turn the pool filter on. Water will enter the solar heater, but it won't flow into the pool because it's in the "Off" position. This is a good time to check your hose connections for leaks. If they are leaking, turn off the filter and tighten the connections.

  • Switch the solar heater indicator to "On." The water will flow into the pool return. Because the trapped air inside the solar heater is being pushed through, you'll see bubbles in the pool return. Wait until all of the air is out of the solar heater, then turn the pool filter off.

  • Roll out the solar panel. Now that the solar heater is properly connected to the pool and filtration system, unroll out the solar panel and lay it flat on the ground. Let the solar panel and accumulated water in the panel heat up for about 15 minutes.

  • Turn on the pool filter to allow the warmed water to start heating the pool.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you first unroll the solar panel, it will begin to roll back up. Place a smooth weight of no more than 15 lbs. on the end of the solar panel to keep it flat. Over time, the heat and water will keep the panel flat.

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