15 DIY Solar Pool Heater ideas

Everyone loves a good dip in the pool on a hot summer’s day. However, as it gets colder, swimming in the cooler water becomes less enjoyable for many. Once summer is over, you can either close the pool until the next year or extend its usage.

The latter can be done with a DIY Solar Pool Heater kit and for anyone who wants to extend the usage of their pool, here are 15 ideas of how you can do it at home.

1. DIY Solar Pool Heater for Above Ground Pool


This person explains that his house blocks the sun from reaching his above-ground pool in the evenings. He and his wife always wanted to enjoy the pool after work and found it got too cool, so he decided to put together a DIY Solar Pool Heater using plywood painted black and vinyl irrigation hose.

Read more about his process and download the guidelines.


 2. Solar Pool Heater – DIY in under $50

In this video, a dad crafts a solar pool heater for his kids’ small pool. He explains how he used a wooden plywood board, black tubing and plastic wrap and all of the material came in for under $50.

The total process took one to two days to make and when you watch the video, you’ll see it’s so simple that even his kids help him out with some parts of building the heater. This is a fun project to get the whole family involved in.


3. Make a Solar Pool Heater with Garden Store items


You don’t have to visit a hardware store to buy special tubing to make this specific DIY Solar Pool Heater. This blogger shows you how to make an inexpensive option using a black garden hose.  You can choose to attach it to some wooden pieces to secure it or wind it tightly and use some rope to hold it together.

Find out how to make it here.


4. DIY Floating Solar Pool Heater

You can also make multiple floating solar pool heaters. These are made using PVC pipe (straight and elbows), 6mm thick black plastic, black pipe insulation, and duct tape. By adding 4 or 5 of these to a pool, and as the sun warms up the plastic, you will notice your pool heating up as well. Watch the video to learn more about how this idea can also be improved upon.


5. Solar Pool Heater – A Weekend Project


If you’re looking for a weekend project and also want to find a way to heat your pool, here’s a great DIY idea for you. This process is perfect for someone on a budget. Normal heating pumps and gas heaters can cost upwards of $3000 but this one is just a fraction of that price.

This DIY’er explains how he made a large enough heater to accommodate his inground pool that holds 22000 gallons of water.

Click here to read more.


6. DIY Solar Pool Heater – 3 steps to increase the temperature

This vlogger explains how adding copper wire to his prefabricated pool heaters on the top of his deck helped in increasing his pool temperature by 30 degrees. Prefabricated sheets, solar blankets and copper wire are a more expensive DIY option but if you’re looking to get your pool to a warmer temperature quickly, this is a great video to watch.


7. Using a Child’s Toy and Garbage Bag for DIY Pool Heater


This is a very low budget solution for heating your pool on colder evenings. All you need is hula hoops, garbage bags and pool noodles plus a few other household items like scissors and tape. The important thing to remember is that the garbage bag has to be black. If you use any other color, it will not absorb the sun’s heat and your pool water will remain cold.

Find out how to make this DIY.


8. Using a Double-Glazed Window to make a Solar Pool Heater

This is a little bit harder of a project than some of the other ones that have been highlighted on this list. However, if you are a handyman and like challenging DIY tasks, this is for you. You may even be able to find a use for some old windows that you have lying around in the garage or basement.


9. Homemade Solar Pool Heater – Existing Pump


This website takes advantage of an existing pool pump and shows you how to build a solar pool heater using items from your local hardware store. If you do not want to invest in a new pool pump, this detailed guide will help you with the products and steps needed to make a working solar pool heater at home.

This process also advises adding a timer to the pool pump. This gives the water enough time to heat up before it is pumped back into the pool and avoids cold water being circulated.

Click to follow this step-by-step guide.


10. Solar Pool Heater using Polycarbonate Sheeting

A different approach to making a homemade solar pool heater, this man shows you how to make one using polycarbonate sheeting. Polycarbonate is a type of thick plastic that comes in transparent sheeting.

It is flame retardant, chemical resistant and does not take on water damage. You do need to use some electrical tools to make this one but if you have them available, this is a great video to help you make your inexpensive solar pool heater.

Recommend Read: 10 DIY Solar Water Heater Plans

11. DIY Solar Pool Heating with corrugated metal roofing


This is a unique idea for a homemade pool heater.  The heat absorbers in this process are a few sheets of fluted metal roofing. A pump is used to direct the water from the pool to the header at the top of what is known as the “collector”. The water runs through the heated tubes and at the base of the collector, it is then channeled back into the pool.

For a total collection area of 4.33ft x 16 ft, the project comes in just under $300; quite inexpensive compared to some projects and prefabricated options that are over $1000.

Find out more here.


12. DIY Solar Pool Heaters with Copper Wire

This hack uses aluminum backed copper coil as the mean heat absorber.  This is a lightweight system and the way it is constructed allows for someone to connect multiple smaller units together if your pool is large.  This YouTuber emphasizes the speed at which the temperature gets hot; in his experience, it got to 125F in just 5 minutes.


13. Homemade Tilted Solar Pool Heater


This article we found helps you build a DIY Solar Pool Heater and create an angled setup if you don’t want to lean up against something or even just place it flat on the side of the pool where someone might easily trip over it.

The most important factor in creating an angled heat absorber is that it will catch more of the sun’s rays as the day goes on.  All of the items used are ones that you might already have at home, and if not, they are easily accessible.

Click to read more about this process.


14. DIY Solar Pool Heaters – rooftop

The hottest part of your house is most likely the roof of your house because it gets almost a full day’s worth of sun. This video shows you how to actively heat your pool by using prefabricated solar sheets and securing them to your roof. The water is pumped from the pool up onto the roof, runs through the solar sheets and then flows back into the pool, much warmer than what it originally was.

You can turn the pump off when you no longer need to heat the pool.


15. DIY Lily Pad Solar Pool Heaters


Want to heat your pool and make it look decorative at the same time? This article shows you how to do just that and all for under $100.  All you need are some differently colored hula hoops, black plastic and tape. Your guests can enjoy being in the pool, and you don’t have to remove any bulky wires or hosing for their comfort.

For more check out these instructions.

Lots of inspiring and cheap ideas

As this list shows, there are a lot of different options when it comes to creating a DIY Solar Pool Heater. Whether you have a small budget or a larger one, whether you’re seeking a quick idea or a weekend project, we hope this article helps you.

In conclusion, just because the weather gets colder doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying your pool. Use one of these 15 ideas and make yourself a homemade solar pool heater to extend the pool time for yourself and your family.


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