Heating an Above Ground Pool  

by Pool Builders on 08-15-2008 in Articles

With cooler weather right around the corner it just might be time to start thinking about heating your above ground pool. Think back to all of the fun you had this summer. Why not let your family enjoy the pool as long as possible.

Heating an above ground pool does not have to be that expensive. Solar covers and solar panels are both reasonably priced and require no additional expense once they are purchased and installed.
A solar cover should always be your first purchase. A good cover will extend your swimming season by two months. Your cost should be anywhere from one to two hundred dollars.

If the pool is a team effort, and help is always available, taking the cover off is not that difficult. If you are a one person operation when it comes to pool care you will need a solar cover reel. There are many different kinds to choose from.

Solar cover reels designed for above ground pools mount in the middle of the pool. The reel picks up the cover at the center point and brings both sides in together. This type of system is very functional and in many cases the best way to go. It does, however, leave the cover rolled up across the center of the pool.

In ground type reels are mounted at one end of the pool. When the cover is rolled up it is out of the way. The only problem is you have to build your own mounting platform. This is not that difficult and will keep your cover completely out of the way when not in use.
Your next addition to the pool should be a solar panel or two. 'These again are inexpensive and very easy to hook up. They will plumb right into your existing filter system. Solar panels can be mounted next to the pool, on a fence or on a roof top.

If the panels need to be placed a long distance from the pool a secondary pump may be required. This will add to the cost and the labor of your panel heating system but this is a one time cost, not a monthly bill.

The addition of a solar cover and solar panels will have you swimming most of the year. If more heat is desired your next step is to install either an electric or gas heater.

These heaters are easy to install. They will plumb right into your return line. The water comes out of the filter, goes into the heater and hot water goes back into the pool through your existing return.
Many above ground pools use flex hose from the filter to the pool. If a heater is to be installed you will need to convert the return line to solid 1 1/2" PVC pipe. This is a good investment for any pool filter system because you will never again be changing leaky flex hose.

There are many things to consider when choosing between gas and electric. A gas heater will heat the pool faster than an electric one and is a good choice for occasional use. An electric heater is less expensive to operate and is a better choice for daily use.

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