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Solar Pool Heater

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38

Models Considered

64

Hours of Research

4

Experts Interviewed

409

Consumer Reviews Analyzed

E xtending the swimming period and enjoying the most of your pool, whole year round for that matter, can be achieved without your annual costs rising through the use of solar pool heaters that use green energy to warm up the water, providing a cost-effective, as well as eco-friendly solution as opposed to traditional water heating methods. There are already plenty of models available, and, depending on the pool type and its size, it might prove difficult to find a unit that can match your needs. So, to ease your searching, we offer you our best recommendations.

7. Kokido K835CBX/RV – Best for Above Ground Pools

Check Price at Amazon



Specifications:


  • Panel size: 22” x 22” x 12.6”
  • Pool type: Above-ground
  • Pool size: 12’ round or rectangular
  • Set-up place: On rack

  • Temperature increase: ~5°F
  • Compatible with pool pump: N/A
  • Warranty: 30 days





It is compatible with pools up to 12’ in size that are either round or rectangular, the maximum volume it can cover being 10,000 liters. It is lightweight and compact, which makes maneuvering it for the installation process a cinch. Moreover, the quick and easy installation procedure makes its setup a fun DIY project. It even allows connectivity to other heaters so that it is usable regardless if your pool is within the recommended size limits of the system or not.

When you acquire it, you also receive 4’ hoses, stainless steel clamps that won’t rust or corrode with the passing of time, fittings, as well as an integrated rack that you can set at the optimal angle so that it receives as much sunlight as possible. Another included items is the protective cover that keeps it safe when it’s not in use, and that you can attach in-line as it is compatible with 1.25” and 1.5” flexible hoses. The warranty isn’t all that impressive though, being limited to only 30 days.

What we like:
  • Easy to store due to its compact size
  • Connectible with other heaters so that it covers larger-size pools
  • DIY installation
What we dislike:

✖ Hoses aren’t very qualitative

Overview

Suitable for pools up to 10,000 liters in terms of volume, this compact and easy to move heater can be connected to other systems with ease so that it becomes able to provide heating for larger-size pools. Moreover, costs involved with acquiring it aren’t high as opposed to most models either.


6. SunSolar 2-2ftX20ft – Best for Water Circulation

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Specifications:


  • Panel size: 2’ x 20’
  • Pool type: Above-ground and in-ground
  • Pool size: N/A
  • Set-up place: Roof, rack, or ground

  • Temperature increase: ~10°F
  • Compatible with pool pump:
  • Warranty: 5 years





Two solar panels that each measure 2’ by 20’, as well as a mounting kit for roof setup come with the purchase. It isn’t limited when it comes to pool type (usable for in-ground and above-ground pools). It works with the pre-existing water pump, which means that no changes are required to set it up. Temperature increase works by 10°F depending on weather conditions, as well as pool size.

With the purchase, you also receive standard connectors to attach it to any 1.25” or 1.5” flexible hose, and it will take around 30 minutes to have it fully operational. The set features a MAX-FLOW design, which has 2-inch OD headers, therefore it will increase water circulation, while thanks to its interchangeability, you can easily connect more panels, depending on pool size. Backing is provided for 5 years against manufacturing defects.

What we like:
  • Roof kit is included with the purchase
  • Large and sturdy panels
  • Compatible with use for in-ground and above-ground pools
  • Simple design for DIY installation
What we dislike:

✖ Prone to leaks

Overview

You can either install on the ground next to the pool or use the roof kit to mount it on your house. As it works with any water pump, you need not make any acquisition past this point. Moreover, with the purchase is included an add-on kit that helps prolong the pipe.


5. SunHeater S120U – Best for the Money

Check Price at Amazon



Specifications:


  • Panel size: 2’ x 12’
  • Pool type: Above-ground and in-ground
  • Pool size: 24’ round pool, 15’x30’ rectangular
  • Set-up place: Roof, rack, ground or fence

  • Temperature increase: 10 °F
  • Compatible with pool pump:
  • Warranty: 5 years





It provides total installation flexibility, so this is your pick if you seek versatility as it works on the wall, rack, land, or fence. The rate at which temperature increase is provided spans from 6°F to 10°F depending on how favorable weather conditions are. All required accessories are included to minimize costs, and one of its highlights is that it is meant to take the pressure off the pump to prolong its lifespan.

It features interchangeable connectors that let you attach it to other systems for use with larger-size pools. The wind vents assure integrity irrespective of weather conditions, while the collector tubes raise the flow rate and help ease the draining cycle. For the whole system, the manufacturer grants a 5-year warranty against defects.

What we like:
  • All necessary accessories are included
  • Better water flow
  • Installation flexibility and freedom
  • Simple design, with DIY approach
What we dislike:

✖ Some users reported leaks

Overview

The design it features helps maximize sun exposure. Temperature increase goes as far as 10°F to provide optimal swimming conditions. To top all that, the system doesn’t cost as much as other similarly-abled products do, so it makes for a budget-smart option.


4. SmartPool S240U – Best for Large Pools

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Specifications:


  • Panel size: 2’ x 20’
  • Pool type: Above-ground and in-ground
  • Pool size: 30’ round pool, 18’x36’ rectangular
  • Set-up place: Roof, ground, vertical, fence

  • Temperature increase: 10 °F
  • Compatible with pool pump: N/A
  • Warranty: 5 years





It is a DIY installation project you can take up on your own, two panels are included with the purchase, and it works for all pool types regardless of their shape. The polypropylene build and fiberglass-reinforced over-molded header add to its lastingness and durability. Moreover, the threaded design of the headers enables roof mounting, poolside, vertically, or on the fence.

The interlocking channel provides an easy manner to connect individual panel sections together for added heating power. Windy weather doesn’t present an issue as the wind vents preserve panel integrity. The high temperature increase makes it quite appealing for those who have kids. In terms of compatibility, it is suited for round pools up to 30’ in diameter, while for rectangular-shaped pools, it is suited for those up to 36’ in length by 18’ in width. The internal baffle provides water flow optimization as it diverts the water through the panel. The web-type design maximizes surface area and heating efficiency. In terms of backing, the manufacturer warrants it against defects for 5 years.

What we like:
  • Simple to install
  • Wind-resistant
  • Can support additional extensions
  • Versatile installation process
What we dislike:

✖ Design could use improvement

Overview

The easy DIY installation and freedom in placement make it perfect for any handy person. Pool water temperature increase is quick so that it ensures the creation of proper swimming conditions for you and the kids. Furthermore, it is manufactured with durability in mind to ensure it lasts for years to come.


3. Doheny’s Solar Heating – Best for Water Temperature Increase

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Specifications:


  • Panel size: 2.5’ x 10’
  • Pool type: Above-ground
  • Pool size: Medium
  • Set-up place: Roof, rack, ground

  • Temperature increase: 15 °F
  • Compatible with pool pump:
  • Warranty: 5 years





The easy installation takes only an estimate 30 minutes and is only one of the perks you enjoy with this pack as it actually includes 2 panels that measure 2.5’ by 10’ each. This precise aspect makes it capable of 15°F temperature increase, which means that it is suited for areas where the weather isn’t all that friendly in summer and where extra help is needed for fun times poolside.

Everything needed for setup is included without you being asked for any extra charges, even wind vents that make it dependable even in harsh wind conditions. It is usable for medium-size pools that are situated above the ground no matter what size or shape they have. Of course, the on/off diverter valve makes it possible to shut off the hot water option with ease when the desired temperature is reached, which is an undeniable perk that not all systems offer. Furthermore, the company backs it with a 5-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

What we like:
  • On/off diverter valve
  • You can install it on your own
  • Eco-friendly operation
  • Water is warmed up to as much as 15F
What we dislike:

✖ Not usable with in-ground pools

Overview

It takes approximately 30 minutes to set it up and enjoy its water heating services to swim under the best of conditions. As a matter of fact, temperature increases is provided by up to 15°F, more than what most systems provide.


2. Smartpool WWS601P – Editor’s Choice

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Specifications:


  • Panel size: 4’ x 20’
  • Pool type: In-ground
  • Pool size: N/A
  • Set-up place: Roof, or on the ground

  • Temperature increase: ~10° – 15 °F
  • Compatible with pool pump:
  • Warranty: 4 years





The panel is made from tough polypropylene, thus it will not rust, scale or corrode with time, allowing you lengthy usage. It measures 4’ in width and 20’ in length, and it weighs 19.4 pounds. It includes an in-ground hardware kit that grants easy connection and spares you of extra costs. Moreover, you can either place it on the roof or directly on the ground, whichever setup suits you best. However, if you plan on adding more panels, you’ll have to buy additional assembly kits.

The system relies on the pre-existing pool pump, and it is specially designed to maximize exposure to the sun. It features wind vents that preserve the panel’s integrity even on windy conditions, while thanks to its interlocking channels, you can add more panels, depending on your needs and preferences. It has a direct flow system which means that it has one header hole for each heating tube, therefore it will increase the warming-up process while allowing you better flow when draining it. In terms of backing, the manufacturing company covers it from defects for a total of 4 years.

What we like:
  • Easy to install
  • Can be placed on the roof or ground
  • Wind vents for windy weather
  • Sturdy and time resistant
What we dislike:

✖ It can be used only with in-ground pools
✖ Requires additional kits for more panels

Overview

It can be placed on your roof, or directly on the ground near the pool, and it can be used with in-ground pools. Additionally, it will require you to buy additional kits if you want to connect more panels together, and it comes with windy vents to protect it during windy conditions. Moreover, it is time resistant and durable, since it’s made from polypropylene.


1. SunQuest Complete Kit – Best Overall

Check Price at Amazon



Specifications:


  • Panel size: 2’ x 12’
  • Pool type: Above-ground, in-ground
  • Pool size: 24’ round, 15’x30’ rectangular
  • Set-up place: Rooftop, rack, on the ground

  • Temperature increase: 10°F
  • Compatible with pool pump:
  • Warranty: 5 years





The explicit included manual makes installation a fun DIY project that you finish in record time. All pool shapes and types that fall within the size limit mentioned in the spec sheet above work with it, and depending on influential factors (weather conditions), increase of water temperature can go as high as 10°F. There is an alternate pick in terms of size, a 4’ by 18’ that is suited for larger pools. Moreover, the company warrants it free of defects or else repairs are performed for free for a total of 5 years

Design

The 2” headers and MAX-FLOW design it boasts optimize its capabilities in terms of water circulation. It even helps reduce pressure on the pre-existent pool pump due to its universal compatibility. Another design highlight is that freedom to mount it anywhere you like is provided 100%, which means that you can put it on a rack, in the vicinity of the pool, or even on the roof.

What we like:
  • Several installation methods
  • Complete accessory array
  • Improvement of water circulation
What we dislike:

✖ Poor hose quality

Overview

The DIY installation is an undeniable perk, but what situates it at top of the market is its suitability for all pool types and the fact that it isn’t restricted in any manner when it comes to setup manner. Moreover, it provides warm pool water at no cost and in an Eco-friendly manner.


Top 7 Comparison

Photo Solar Pool Heaters Price
SunQuest Complete Kit Image
Best Overall
1. SunQuest Complete Kit
  • Panel size: 2’ x 12’
  • Pool type compatibility: Above-ground and in-ground
  • Pool size compatibility: 24’ round pool,
    15’x30’ oval or rectangular
  • Installation: Rooftop, rack, on the ground
  • Temperature raise: ~10°F
  • Warranty: 5 years
Check Price at Amazon
Smartpool WWS601P Image
Editor’s Choice
2. Smartpool WWS601P
  • Panel size: 4’ x 20’
  • Pool type compatibility: In-ground
  • Pool size compatibility: N/A
  • Installation: Roof, or on the ground
  • Temperature raise: ~10° – 15 °F
  • Warranty: 4 years
Check Price at Amazon
Doheny's Solar Heating Image
Best for Water Temperature Increase
3. Doheny’s Solar Heating
  • Panel size: 2.5’ x 10’
  • Pool type compatibility: Above-ground
  • Pool size compatibility: Medium-sized
  • Installation: Roof, rack or on the ground
  • Temperature raise: ~10° – 15 °F
  • Warranty: 5 years
Check Price at Amazon
SmartPool S240U Image
Best for Large Pools
4. SmartPool S240U
  • Panel size: 2’ x 20’
  • Pool type compatibility: Above-ground and in-ground
  • Pool size compatibility: 30’ round pool,
    18’x36’ oval or rectangular
  • Installation: Roof, ground or fence
  • Temperature raise: ~6° – 10 °F
  • Warranty: 5 years
Check Price at Amazon
SunHeater S120U Image
Best for the Money
5. SunHeater S120U
  • Panel size: 2’ x 12’
  • Pool type compatibility: Above-ground and in-ground
  • Pool size compatibility: 24’ round pool,
    15’x30’ oval or rectangular
  • Installation: Roof, rack, ground or fence
  • Temperature raise: ~6° – 10 °F
  • Warranty: 5 years
Check Price at Amazon
SunSolar 2-2ftX20ft Image
Best for Water Circulation
6. SunSolar 2-2ftX20ft
  • Panel size: 2’ x 20’
  • Pool type compatibility: Above-ground and in-ground
  • Pool size compatibility: N/A
  • Installation: Roof, rack, or ground
  • Temperature raise: ~10°F
  • Warranty: 5 years
Check Price at Amazon
Kokido K835CBX/RV Image
Best for Above Ground Pools
7. Kokido K835CBX/RV
  • Panel size: 22” x 22” x 12.6”
  • Pool type compatibility: Above-ground
  • Pool size compatibility: 12’ round or rectangular
  • Installation: On rack
  • Temperature raise: ~5°F
  • Warranty: 30 days
Check Price at Amazon

Conclusion


A solar pool heater will not only help you save money in the long run, as it is way more cost-effective than any type of traditional heating, but it is also eco-friendly. Before you decide on which product best suits your needs, however, let’s quickly review some of the best choices you have:

Best solar pool heater on the market: SunQuest Complete Kit
It will help you quickly increase water temperature with around 10°F, as well as allowing you to easily set it up regardless of pool type. Versatile when it comes to its mounting way, you can easily place it wherever you need it. Moreover, there’s no need to buy another pump as it works with the one your pool system already has.

Editor’s choice: Smartpool WWS601P
It heats the water fast and at a considerable level, and it is available at an affordable price which makes its price-to-quality report stellar, so it comes as no surprise that this Smartpool entry is what most customers opted for. Manufactured by a reliable company, it’s a system that you can depend on for years on end.

Best for the money: SunHeater S120U
Impeccable not only in terms of pool water heating performance, but when it comes to upfront, as well as long-term costs, the S120U is what any budget-smart pool owner needs to buy for proper swimming conditions. It is easy to set up, another perk that shouldn’t be overlooked as professional help isn’t needed, so no added costs will be spent on the procedure.

Best for water temperature increase: Doheny’s Solar Heating
Is the area you live in not necessarily the warmest, not even when summer is around the corner? Then fret no longer as the Doheny’s provides increase by up to 15°F to create ideal swimming conditions. Thus, if you have small kids, they can swim under the safest of circumstances as cold water isn’t an issue anymore and they won’t catch a cold after a fun day playing Marco Polo in the pool.

Tobey Hunter
Tobey Hunter
Tobey is the editor-in-chief at Optima Institute, his prior experience as a niche product reviewer in air quality improvement systems helping shape his path to conduct thorough research toward selecting and analyzing products so that customers are satisfied with the provided recommendations. During his carrier, Tobey also gathered technical input that makes him well versed in understanding advancements in modern systems, helping readers in turn to better understand how modern devices help improve life quality.