Solar Pool Water Heater for Pool with Chlorine - How to

Discussion in 'Solar and Geothermal Water Heating Forum' started by Dave DB, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. Dave DB

    Dave DB New Member

    Apr 4, 2020
    Hi all,
    So I want to put up a Solar Pool Water Heater for a Chlorine Pool. I want to start off super simple and then develop this into a better system as time goes on.

    To start off, I simply want to put the piping right onto the Garage Roof. All the filter and pool pump mechanics are already in the garage, the roof faces south, and my train of thought is simply that asphalt shingle roofs will generally get to about 170 to 200 degrees in the summer in full sunlight. I do understand that as the roof gets covered with the piping that part of the shingle will of course not get that hot; eventually the plan would be to cover it with a plexi-glass\glazing and frame around the piping to retain heat. The combustion point of wood and liquefaction of asphalt shingle are between 550-600 degrees, so if I got that hot I would then change it so it's not directly on the shingle, but that's for another day.

    In the short term though, I cannot decide between Pex (way cheaper and less work), or copper pipe. Assume that the PEX is sprayed black and the UV is not a factor.

    My main concern for the copper (other than price) is that as I understand it the high Chlorine content of the pool water would be really corrosive to the pipe, and then also freezing temps in the winter (Assume the fittings for the copper are in the garage and only the continuous coil is on the roof). For the PEX Pipe of course is the temperature exceeding 200 degrees around it, which I don't think we would get to unless I enclosed the system with framing and plex-glass\glazing. In general, if I am correct, the general other trade-off between copper and PEX is the thermal properties of copper vs the price of the pex.

    Note, I am not sure ultimately how hot an enclosed panel\box with glazing would get, but I was think a series of mechanical vents if that opened if the temp exceeding a certain temp would\could do the trick.

    Note, I don't want to start a discussion about just buying a pre-made, pre-fab, commercial panel. This is a DIY project. With all that's going on with the world just want to do something simple, cheap, and on my own.

    Also, I wonder what the optimal size would be, 1/2", 3/4" or 1", using a 1 HP Pump considering rate of flow and the heat absorption of the pope and then that transfer of the heat to cooler water running through it.

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated: PEX, Copper or an alternative piping and also, 1/2", 3/4" or 1" sized pipe?
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  2. fitter30

    fitter30 Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2020
    Retired service tech
    Peace valley missouri
    Pex isn't rated for pool water will not last cpvc is rated but has a 200* limit. One way to regulate the heat of the water is when thermostat satisfies the pumped water going through the collector stops drain valves open up drain the collector back into the pool.
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  4. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Mar 15, 2006
    Pump Controls Technician
    Lubbock, Texas
    I used three 1000' rolls of 1/2" black poly pipe teed in parallel. Works great as long as the sun shines. The problem with solar heat is that you don't really need the heat when the sun shines. However, you don't have any heat when the sun is not shining, which is when you really need it. :)
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