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40 DIY Solar Pool Heaters-An Efficient Way to Heat Your Pool

When I first ventured into the world of DIY solar pool heaters, it was driven by a desire to extend my family’s enjoyment of our pool throughout the year. The thought of being able to swim comfortably, even as the weather cooled, was incredibly appealing. Plus, knowing that warm water could offer therapeutic benefits particularly for my partner’s arthritis, added another layer of motivation.

The idea of buying a traditional pool heater seemed daunting due to the high cost involved. However, the prospect of crafting our own solar pool heater was both exciting and empowering. We saw it as a practical way to harness the sun’s energy and make our pool more sustainable while keeping costs down.

Searching through various DIY solar pool heater designs was like embarking on a treasure hunt. Each plan we came across offered unique features and possibilities. We carefully considered factors such as materials needed, complexity of construction, and effectiveness in heating the pool water.

Ultimately, when we found the perfect DIY solar pool heater design for our needs, the satisfaction of bringing it to life was immense. Witnessing the warm water in our pool, heated solely by the power of the sun, not only extended our swimming season but also deepened our appreciation for renewable energy solutions.

You may also like to read diy pool fence ideas to keep kids away from the pool for their safety.

1- DIY Solar Pool Heater With Diverter

In this instructional video we will learn how to get the most from our time and money by creating something that does more than one job. What I like about this DIY solar pool heater is it not only heats the water in the pool, but also helps to heat the home and provide electrical energy for the home.

Use these instructions to learn how to build a solar heater for your pool by simplesuburbanliving that has a diverter so the harnessed energy of the sun can be used for different things.

The builder of this model uses the solar power to heat pool water, heat the home through a wood burning stove and for solar energy.

It’s not as complicated as it might sound, it all starts with the basic black hoses coiled and attached to plywood. A simple DIY project that is made easy with these free video instructions.

DIY Solar Pool Heater
DIY Solar Pool Heater, Image via: simplesuburbanliving

2- Recycled Window Pool Heater

An old double glazed window can be recycled into a new DIY solar pool heater like in this YouTube video. A black water hose fitted between the two glazed window panels will heat the pool water quickly. The water is continuously running through the hose encased in the double glazed window to keep the warm water flowing into the pool.

The sun does all the work and it costs nothing to have it running all day to keep the pool heated. Follow this YouTube video to learn how to build a solar pool heater.

3- Polycarbonate Sheet Heater

In this diy idea we have a YouTube video that will show you how to create an efficient DIY solar pool heater using polycarbonate sheeting. The pool water will circulate through the black sheeting to be heated, then returned to the pool.

The constant flow of sun-warmed water will keep your pool at just the right temperature for relaxing after a hard day at work. This homemade solar pool heater on youtube will extend the amount of time you will be able to use the pool as the days begin to turn cooler at the end of summer.
A DIY pool heater like this one will also enable you to heat pool water and start enjoying your pool earlier in the spring.

4- Easy DIY Pool Heater

We recommend this project to beginners or those who have a small pool. Use these free instructions to build floating diy swimming pool heaters by diyeasycrafts in less than one hour. Easy to make, easy to use, and very inexpensive.

PVC pipe, pool noodles, black plastic garbage bags and duct tape can be transformed into an effective diy pool heater that will warm water to a comfortable temperature. Create as many or as few as you need for the size of swimming pool you have, Can be used for in-ground or above ground pools.

Toss them into the pool to float on top of the water and collect heat from the sun. That collected heat on top will transfer to the water below and effectively raise water temperature.

Remove the floating DIY solar panels or leave them in while you swim.

Easy DIY Solar Pool Heater
Easy DIY Solar Pool Heater, Image via: diyeasycrafts

5- Recycled Sliding Glass Doors

Use these step-by-step instructions to build a homemade pool heater by instructables from recycled sliding glass doors, perfect for an above ground pool. we recommend this diy glass pool heater to those who have tight on budget. You’re only 12 easy steps away from a warm swim anytime of year.

homemade pool heater
Recycled Sliding Glass Doors Pool Heater, Image via: instructables

6- Rooftop Hose Heater

This idea we have for how to make a solar pool heater by instructables could not be easier or cheaper. Any structure that is close to your outdoor pool can be used, along with a black garden hose and pump, to keep pool water at a comfortable temperature.

To build this diy pool heater, use at least a 100-foot black hose and spread it out across the roof so it will be exposed to direct sunshine. Place a submersible water pump in the pool and connect it to one end of the hose so the waster will be sucked into the hose, travel through the solar heated portion of hose on the roof, then back into the pool.

This easy DIY pool heater is a temporary fix so the water can be heated earlier in the spring and kept warmer in the fall to extend your swimming season.

how to make a solar pool heater
Rooftop Hose Heater, Image via: instructables

7- DIY Roof Pool Heater

Use a nearby roof to hold the homemade solar pool heater like this one at whereisholden. A roof is an ideal place to place all the components to get them up and out of the way, while keeping the panel exposed to direct sunlight for most of the day.

A cabana, pool house, green house, garage or any other structure that is close enough to the pool can hold most of the DIY solar pool heater components on the roof. The circulating hoses is all that will need to come down the building sides and into the pool.

Easy to construct with these detailed instructions, and it’s an efficient and space saving way to heat pool water.

homemade solar pool heater
DIY Roof Pool Heater, Image via: whereisholden

8- DIY Solar Pool Panels

When you’re tired of paying the monthly gas or electric bill for heating your large pool, use this pictorial instruction to build solar panels by mindchallenger that will heat your pool for free.

DIY Solar Pool Panels
DIY Solar Pool Panels, Image via: mindchallenger

9- Hula-Hoop DIY Pool Heater

Here we have an ingenious idea for solar pool heating that uses hula-hoops and no electricity. This is one of our most favorite diy solar pool heater built by insteading. Take a few hula-hoops, attach polyethylene film and then toss them into the pool to catch sun rays and heat the water. These hula-hoop heaters look like lily pads floating on top of the water. Easy to remove when needed.

Hula-Hoop Heater
Hula-Hoop Heater, Image via: insteading

10- One Hour DIY Pool Heater

If you want to get bust enjoying your pool and slash pool heater costs, here’s the perfect idea for you. Create this simple pool heater by instructables in one hour with a black hose and piece of plywood. Easy to follow instructions will get you finished building and in warm water in less than a day.

One Hour Heater
One Hour DIY Pool Heater, Image via: instructables

11- Decorative DIY Pool Heater

Here’s a plan for a pool water heater by Mildevco that ends up looking like part of the landscaping. Easy DIY project that looks as good as it works. Coiled black hoses laid on top of decorative gravel surrounding the pools adds an instant decorative element that softens the look of the gravel.

Decorative Pool Heater
Decorative Pool Heater, Image via: Mildevco

12- PEX Tubing and Aluminum Fins

Detailed instructions will enable you to build this very efficient DIY pool heater by builditsolar with inexpensive materials. PEX tubing and aluminum fins are used to create a diy solar panel that will heat an in-ground or above ground pool.

PEX Tubing and Aluminum Fins
PEX Tubing and Aluminum Fins, Image via: builditsolar

13- Out Of Sight DIY Pool Heater

If you prefer your solar pool heater to be out of sight build it on top of a nearby tool shed with these detailed instructions. Perfect for a small above ground pool, this solar heating system by instructables will keep the pool water warm and not take up any valuable landscape space.

Out Of Sight Pool Heater
Out Of Sight Pool Heater, Image via: instructables

14- Corrugated Metal Roofing Pool Heater

A couple of sheets of leftover corrugated metal roofing can be transformed into an efficient solar powered pool heater by builditsolar.

Corrugated Metal Roofing Pool Heater
Corrugated Metal Roofing Pool Heater, Image via: builditsolar

A small solar panel powers a pump that pumps water out of the pool and onto the metal corrugated roofing, The hot metal heats the water as it trickles down through the valleys of the metal. The heated water is returned to pool through a channel located at the lower end of the metal roofing. Easy and inexpensive to build.

15- Black Hose DIY Solar Pool Heater

Black hose gets hot in the sun and can easily heat pool water to a comfortable temperature. Follow these detailed instructions that also contain step by step pictorial instructions, to build your own homemade solar pool heater by pasarlascanutas.

Black Hose Solar Pool Heater
Black Hose Solar Pool Heater, Image via: pasarlascanutas

16- Coiled Hose Solar Pool Heater

Solar swimming pool heaters are almost as easy to create as coiling a hose. Most people know how hot water left in a black hose can get when it has laid in the sun for a few hours. Multiply that by several hundred feet of coiled black hose that constantly has water going through in and back into the swimming pool.

The circulating water gets hotter as the sun gets higher in the sky when the DIY solar pool heater coils like this one at rimstar are placed on a west facing slope in your landscape.

These free detailed plans will show you how to creat coiled solar heaters that will heat your pool, no matter what size it is. You may also like to check out DIY solar air heater ideas for you garage to keep it warm.

DIY solar pool
DIY solar pool, Image via: rimstar

17- Black Hoses in the Sun

Everyone knows how hot a black hose gets when exposed to direct sunlight. This plan takes that knowledge, harvests the energy and uses it to create one of the best DIY pool heaters around. Use more black hose for larger pools, less for smaller pools.

 best DIY pool heaters
best DIY pool heaters

18- PVC Pipe Pool Heater

PVC pipe is so easy to work with, water tight, durable and it’s affordable, making it the ideal material to use for construction of a DIY solar pool heater by builditsolar.

This simple design is easy to create and heats water very efficiently. This design can be customized to heat a hot tub, above ground pool or in-ground pool.

Download these easy to follow instructions and get started build your own PVC pipe pool heater this weekend.

homemade solar pool heater
PVC Pipe Pool Heater, Image via: builditsolar

19- Corrugated Sheet Plastic Solar Pool Heater

This material is durable, cost effective, readily available and makes an ideal collector for heat so the temperature of pool water can be raised to a comfortable level.

Heat pool water without raising your energy bill by using corrugated sheet plastic to create a homemade solar pool heater. The channels running lengthwise in the corrugated plastic make the perfect channels for water to run across and become warm before returning into the pool.

Step by step instructions show you how to successfully create this DIY solar pool heater so you can start warming pool water this weekend.

Corrugated Sheet Plastic Solar Pool Heater
Corrugated Sheet Plastic Solar Pool Heater

20- Solar Heater Pool Cover

A solar cover for your pool not only warms up the water, but it will also give you an extra two months of pool time each year. The cover heats the water up earlier in the spring so you and your family can enjoy swimming in spring and it will keep the water warmer longer in fall so you can get in one last month of swimming before winter sets in.

No electric usage for this pool cover by greenterrafirma, and it’s efficient at heating the pool plus keeping debris out of the water. The heater turns on automatically when the sun comes out in the morning and shuts itself off when the sun sets at night. Easy to construct, easy to use.

DIY Pool Heater
DIY Pool Heater, Image via: greenterrafirma

21- Above Ground Solar Pool Heater

A hose and a circulation pump is about all that’s needed for this DIY project by harizanov. Bring the temperature of your above ground pool warm several degrees by placing several feet of black hose on a nearby rooftop of sunny hillside and connecting it to a circulation pump in the pool. The water will circulate through the black garden hose to be heated, then returned to the pool. Easy to follow instructions will walk you through the process so you can get this DIY solar pool heater put together and start heating your pool water tomorrow.

Above Ground Solar Pool Heater
Above Ground Solar Pool Heater, Image via: harizanov

22- Black Tubing DIY Pool Heater

Easy to create and use, this DIY solar pool heater by rimstar will extend the amount of time you can use the pool each year. This solar heater will also work great for an outdoor hot tub or above ground pool.

Easy to place on a nearby rooftop or other out of the way location, so the appearance is not an issue. Exposed black tubing attached to a square of plywood will soak up the sun and heat water as it passes through it.

This simple design is highly efficient and is affordable to construct. This design can be expanded and used to heat water inside the home so the need for a water heater that uses energy can be eliminated.

DIY solar pool heater
Black Tubing DIY Pool Heater, Image via: rimstar

23- Above Ground Pool Heater

The price of an above ground pool makes it affordable for most every homeowner. The wide array of sizes also make them adaptable to most backyards. However, unless the above ground pools sits in direct sun all day the water can be remain a little on the chilly side.

That is an easy fix with this DIY pool heater by instructables that is designed with above ground pools in mind. A coiled black hose and half a sheet of plywood is the bulk of the items you will need to construct this DIY project. One of these easy to build solar heaters is all you will need for a small pool.

DIY Solar Pool Heater
Above Ground Pool Heater, Image via: instructables

24- Effective Solar Pool Heater

Heat your in-ground pool with this effective DIY solar pool heater by drroyspencer that is easy to build. Less than $300 and just a couple hours of work and you will start raising the water temperature in your pool this afternoon.

The build can done cheaper, but this builder wanted to use eco-friendly black garden hose and those are a little on the pricey side. Use less expensive black hose or tubing and save money while heating your pool water to a relaxing and comfortable temperature.

Two 4 feet by 4 feet homemade solar panels is efficient enough to effectively heat a normal sized in-ground pool. One panel can heat a small pool and three can heat a large pool.

Follow these detailed instruction to build as many DIY solar panels as needed to heat your pool water.

Effective Solar Pool Heater
Effective Solar Pool Heater, Image via: drroyspencer

25- Small Solar Pool Heater

A bilge pump and the sun will do all the water pumping and heating so your pool will stay at a comfortably warm temperature. No more cold water that takes your breath away when you jump into a pool heated with a DIY swimming pool heater Youtube video.

Follow the instructions of this YouTube video to create your own small solar pool heater.

A bilge pump is used on boats to pump water out of the craft as needed. For this DIY project, the bilge pump will pump water out of the pool and into a coiled black hose so the sun can warm the water. The warm water is then returned into the pool so the entire water temperature of the pool water rises.

26- Cheap Pool Water Heater

Here’s an idea that will keep your money in your pocket while heating your pool water. For under $100 you can create this easy pool water heater by livedan330 using black hose. You’ll be saving that much in the first few weeks after you build this cheap heater.

Cheap Pool Water Heater
Cheap Pool Water Heater, Image via: livedan330

27- Folding Portable Pool Heater

These free detailed instructions make this DIY project easy to build. Written and pictorial instructions will prevent you from making any mistakes while building this pool heater.

This DIY pool heater by instructables is foldable and portable making it perfect for storing during the hot summer months when you don’t need warm water to swim in. Use in the spring and fall, then store in the summer and winter when it’s not needed.

Folding Portable Pool Heater
Folding Portable Pool Heater, Image via: instructables

28- Solar Heater For Above Ground Pool

Above ground pools are popular and affordable, but a store bought pool heater costs almost as much as the pool does. Save yourself some money and warm that cold pool water with this DIY above ground pool heater by Instructables that you can build for under $50.

Step by step instructions provides a list of the components needed for this project and written instructions. Everything you need to know to build this solar water heater for your above ground pool. Here is some more DIY solar water heater ideas you may like to check out.

Solar Heater For Above Ground Pool
Solar Heater For Above Ground Pool, Image via: Instructables

29- Rooftop Solar Water Heater

Here is a great idea for building a DIY solar pool heater by Instructables that will heat the pool water without being in the way. A small frame is built and attached to the rooftop to hold everything needed to capture the warm sun rays and heat the water before returning it to the pool.
Save money and swim in warm water almost year-around with this affordable, easy to build solar water heater for your pool.

Rooftop Solar Water Heater
Rooftop Solar Water Heater, Image via: Instructables

30- Jacuzzi Solar Heater

A jacuzzi filled with cold water is no fun, the water needs to be hot and bubbly to be enjoyable. This tutorial will show you how to build an efficient and affordable heater for your jacuzzi in this YouTube instructional video so it can be the hot tub it’s meant to be.
Heat the water with solar power to an invigorating 120 degrees F so you can enjoy a therapeutic soak to relieve stress, muscle tension and/or soothe joint pain.

31- Aluminum Can Solar Heater

Aluminum cans can be recycled into a functional and cheap DIY solar pool heater by instructables. Soda cans and beer cans can be recycled and reused to heat the water in your pool so you will save money and help reduce aluminum waste.

Follow these free detailed instructions and build this pool heater today so you can enjoy swimming more months out of the year.

Aluminum Can Solar Heater
Aluminum Can Solar Heater, Image via: instructables

32- DIY Lily Pad Pool Heater

This ingenious idea is functional, affordable, and very easy to make. A hula hoop covered with a black plastic trash bag provides a large ‘lily pad’ surface that captures the heat of the sun and transfers it into the pool water.
The lily pads are kept afloat on top of the pool water by sections of foam pool noodles. For less than $5 each, you can build these water warming DIY solar pool heaters by instructables.

DIY Lily Pad Pool Heater
DIY Lily Pad Pool Heater, Image via: instructables

33- PE Tube Solar Heater

Black pressure equalizing (PE) tubes are typically used in garden irrigation systems, They have thin walls so the water inside warms quickly when the PE tubes are exposed to direct sun. The PE tubes are also inexpensive and easy to work with, making this DIY project by Instructables.com is easy and affordable.

PE Tube Solar Heater
PE Tube Solar Heater, Image via: Instructables.com

34- Large Pool Solar Heater

Large pools cost a lot in electric or propane to heat the water but a DIY solar pool heater by instructables will do the heating job for free.
Follow these detailed instructions and build a solar heater for your large pool so you enjoy warm water to swim in for free.

Large Pool Solar Heater
Large Pool Solar Heater, Image via: instructables

35- Copper Coil Pool Heater

Learn how to create a pool heater with a coil of copper piping in this YouTube video. It’s an easy build that will heat any size pool using only solar power.
Copper is an excellent heat conductor and this DIY solar heater will let you enjoy warm swimming water year-round.

36- Improved Solar Pool Heater

Few people enjoy jumping into a pool of cold water but a backyard pool is sometimes difficult to heat. If you keep the pool water warm with electricity it will increase the utility bill a lot. That is why you need a DIY solar pool heater like this one on Youtube, so you can heat the pool water without increasing the utility bill.

Enjoy a warm swim that will relieve sore, stiff muscles and joints and help you destress for free by using a homemade solar pool heater. This YouTube video will show you how to build an improved solar pool heater that will work for above ground or inground pools.

This solar heater is simple and inexpensive to build and will keep the pool water at just the right temperature for a warm, relaxing swim.

37- Energy Efficient And Cheap

If you are looking for a way to heat the water in your pool that is energy efficient and cheap, then this DIY solar pool heater on youtube is just right for you.

A black water hose that is heated by the sun can keep the water in your backyard pool comfortably warm so you can relax in your pool instead of freeze. This YouTube video will show you how to build a simple plywood frame that will keep the black water hose off the ground and build the rest of the components for a DIY pool heater.

As the water from the pool is circulated through the black hose it will be heated by the sun and then returned to the pool. The pool water will stay warm so you enjoy an earlier morning or late night swim without getting chilled.

38- $50 DIY Solar Pool Heater

You can have warm pool water throughout the year for $50 or less with this great idea. By creating a DIY above ground pool heater like this one on Youtube, you will be able to enjoy more time in your pool. Start swimming earlier in the spring and keep the pool open late into the fall by keeping the water heated through solar energy. If you live in a climate that has mild winter weather, you can enjoy swimming in your pool while your neighbors are indoors sitting by the heater trying to stay warm.

Watch this YouTube video for detailed instructions on how to build a DIY solar pool heater for $50 or less. A couple of black hoses, a sheet of plywood, and some clear plastic wrap are the main components for this DIY project. If you have these items on hand, the solar heater will cost even less than $50.

39- Polycarbonate Sheet Solar Heater

Harness the power of the sun to heat your pool with this idea. This YouTube video will provide the instructions for building a DIY solar pool heater using black polycarbonate sheeting.

The thin homemade solar panel heater in this Youtube video is easy to build and takes up very little space in the backyard. This detailed YouTube video will show you how to build this efficient solar heater so you can enjoy having warm water in your backyard pool.

The solar energy is free and the warm water will make swimming more enjoyable for your little ones. Having warm water in the pool will also extend your pool season beyond the end of summer and into the fall. The DIY solar pool heater will also warm the water early in the spring so your family can be enjoying time outdoors in the pool before summer begins.

40- Off-Grid Swimming Pool Heater

At the end from our list again we have an ideal design for an off-grid homestead swimming pool. This DIY solar pool heater keeps the pool water warm year-round so the water won’t freeze. Great for swimming or for keeping aquatic animals alive throughout the winter.

An 80-foot-long black water hose placed in the sun is used to recirculate the pool water and keep it nice and warm. An above ground swimming pool in the backyard of an off-grid homestead is used for more than just recreation. The water that is splashed out of the pool while playing provides water for growing vegetation around the pool. The water in the pool is also home to frogs and other aquatic life that help promote healthy plant growth on the homestead.

Follow these free plans and build yourself a cheap, efficient DIY solar pool heater for your homestead pool.

Off-Grid Swimming Pool Heater
Off-Grid Swimming Pool Heater, Image via: sugarmtnfarm

Ending Up

A DIY solar pool heater can extend your months to enjoy an outdoor swimming pool. Building your own swimming pool heater is always a cost effective solution as compared to the market bought. With these diy ideas with detailed instructions you can build your own diy pool heater without spending a lot of money also you don’t have to worry about billing to run them.

To answer some common questions that come to your mind I have prepared a questionnaire.


What is the number of solar panels I need to heat a Pool?

Typically an average size of 4’x12′ you need to require 6 to 8 panels to heat a pool.

How Much Energy Does a Solar Panel Produce in a Day?

The amount of energy produced by the solar panel depends upon many factors such as how much time a solar panel gets sunlight i.e cloudy or sunny weather conditions, the size and surface area of the plates of the panel face the sunlight to harness the power of sun to convert into electricity. The amount of energy produced by a solar panel also depends upon its efficiency such as a 200-watt panel produces more energy than a 400-watt panel.

How much time does a solar panel need to heat a pool?

There are many factors that need to be considered to get an idea of getting a pool to be heated such as the initial temperature of water, how much time a pool receives direct sunlight, total mass of water and the local temperature in the surroundings.

How many degrees does a pool lose at night?

A pool can lose upto 5° F if uncovered overnight however a cover pool helps to retain the Sunenergy as well as heat energy produced by the solar pool heaters.


Energy.Gov, energysaver, “Solar Swimming Pool Heaters”, https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/solar-swimming-pool-heaters

Science Direct, Renewable and Alternative Energy Resources, 2022, “Pool Heating”, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/pool-heating

Research Gate, “An Owner-built Solar Swimming Pool Heater and the Associated Do-It-Yourself Manual after 40 years of Operation and Experience”,
December 2014 Energy Procedia 57, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275533768_An_Owner-built_Solar_Swimming_Pool_Heater_and_the_Associated_Do-It-Yourself_Manual_after_40_years_of_Operation_and_Experience

Energy Sage, “Solar pool heaters: Overview and best products”, by: Rich Brown, pub: Jan 24, 2023, https://www.energysage.com/solar/solar-accessories/solar-pool-heaters-what-you-need-to-know/

About Farhan Ahsan

My name is Farhan Ahsan,I am web enthusiast, writer and blogger. I always strive to be passionate about my work. I started my work at the beginning of 2007 by engaging myself with detail reading and exchanging information with others. Since then things and times have changed, but one thing remains the same and that is my passion for helping and educating people, building a successful blog and delivering quality content to the readers. I always love to write about gardening, sustainable life, off grid living and homestead farming.

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