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Thread: Poor Man Pool Heater?

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    Default Poor Man Pool Heater?

    Hi folks:

    Has anyone heard of heating pool water by ciculating it through a long black garden hose on the patio?

    My pool builder suggested I give this a try after we found it too costly and troublesome to retrofit a propane heater. I'd have to excavate a lot of patio and driveway. Electric is still an option, but the initial cost is high, the BTUs are low. I think you have to run an electric heater all the time because of the low BTUs compared to propane.

    It looks like a garden hose will connect directly to my sliding board water line. My patio is often hot to stand on and I have enough of it to spread 300-400 feet of hose. Then there is blacktop after that. I realize it will probably be a pain to setup and take up the garden hose, but I want to give it a try.

    Oh and I don't expect the kind of results a real heater would produce. That would be silly. I am reading online of pool owners in climates North of me getting 20 degree warmer water after it runs through the hose. The problem is there isn't enough of that 20 degree water to make an incredible different. I am expecting a 3-5 degrees in the entire pool.

    Thanks,
    Bill

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    Default Re: Poor Man Pool Heater?

    A lot of people have had success with homemade solar heating. You may want to consider running several parallel "hose heater circuits" instead of just one long hose.
    Are you planning to put blacktop on top of the hose?
    Also consider: a thermal blanket will go a long way to keeping the heat you do get into your pool.
    Last edited by Watermom; 04-18-2012 at 05:04 PM. Reason: added the word "heat" in the last sentence
    12'x24' oval 7.7K gal AG vinyl pool; ; Hayward S270T sand filter; Hayward EcoStar SP3400VSP pump; hrs; K-2006; PF:16

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    Default Re: Poor Man Pool Heater?

    For what it's worth, my dad ran black hose on his shingled roof in the same fashion you describe to grab some free heat. It was a long time ago and I don't remember what the actual numbers were, but the heat was noticeable. Hose is cheap and easy; I can think of no reason why you shouldn't try it (you can always sell 'em on craigslist if you dislike the results to recoup some of the initial expense). While at the store buying hose, you might look for a way to create a restriction in the hose to increase the dwell time of the water in the hose and give it more opportunity to soak up heat. I'm think of some quick-disconnect hose couplers I saw that had surprisingly small orifices in them, but you could also use clamps or pliers to squeeze the hose diameter.

    If you like the amount of heat increase but dislike the trouble of laying out and then picking up hose, you could spend a little more and buy some plywood, paint and staples. Paint the plywood black then staple the hose in a spiral onto it. Then you can just move your homemade solar heater by moving the plywood.
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    Default Re: Poor Man Pool Heater?

    Quote Originally Posted by MountainStone View Post
    While at the store buying hose, you might look for a way to create a restriction in the hose to increase the dwell time of the water in the hose and give it more opportunity to soak up heat.
    Don't do this -- it's unnecessary, and will cause problems. The net heat gain to the pool will be the same, regardless of whether you move 1 GPM with a 10 degree delta (difference between in and out temps) or 10 GPM with a 1 degree delta.

    It will make a difference, if you buy black hose, instead of shiny green hose, though!

    Probably you can test this, just by putting a water hose connection between the pump and filter, and allowing whatever water will flow through a 5/8" hose to bypass the filter. Put a valve on it, so you can turn it on and off -- running it on cool cloudless nights will actually COOL the pool. (Something you may WANT to do, in August!).

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    Default Re: Poor Man Pool Heater?

    Hi Bill,
    I have dabbled with the garden hose long ago to see if the idea would work and it did. Wound up with 1200 feet of 1/2 inch black poly pipe configured in 12 parallel 100 foot runs. Made a couple 1x12 manifolds from PVC pipe and adapters. The pipe is layed out on black rolled roofing material in my back field. The configuration is roughly 8x50 feet. The whole assembly is located about 80 feet from the pool and fed with 1.25' buried pipe. Works like a champ. I used tarpaper initially but it soon deteriorated so went with rolled roofing material. As for flow, you actually want as much as you can get, theoretically. You get maximum heat transfer at a maximum temperature differential so the cooler the pipe is the more heat it absorbs. From a practical standpoint you can cut the flow but you don't want a big temperature rise. I forget what my numbers are but I know my flow is less than 10 GPM and I remember the rise was around 4 deg F. The 1/2 inch black poly comes in several pressure grades so use the cheapest you can find. Cheaper means thinner walls which is better too.
    Hope this helps.
    Al

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    Default Re: Poor Man Pool Heater?

    I live on long island ny and have a short swimming season, I'm knocking ice off the pool one day and taking off the cover the next. I have never taken a reading but we start with 30,000 gal of COLD water. I tried the hose thing even built a solar panel and considered a solar fence everything worked well. The problem was that I couldn't heat enough water to make a real difference heck I could hardly melt the icebergs. I do the work on my pool at night last year the mosquitoes were killer so I had some bricks from a wall I just knocked down and also had about 20' of 1/2" copper pipe. So kill 2 bird's with 1 stone I built a little furnace/still , made a firebox piled bricks around it hung the copper coil from a piece of tin which was also the roof no mortar no nothing a real piece of sh*t. Used my return line to pump the water to the coil my filter running anyway might as well use it. It worked awesome got rid of the bugs all the scrape wood from around my house and was by far the best heater so far and it didn't cost a dime. It worked so well this year we upgraded my new one is sweet I think my pool will actually be warm before half the summers over. The new one cost $40 and wood is free so the price is right. I know you asked about solar but you might be better off with a little fire. If your interested let me know I will help anyway I can

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