Cheap Solar Water Heater

Budget pool heater


Budget build of a solar-powered water heater/pool heater made from materials you may have around the homestead

I have been diverting water from the pool pump to some drainage hose coiled up in a makeshift greenhouse. It was working relatively well but there were 2 big drawbacks.


  1. For it to work the main pool pump would have to be running. 
  2. I kept developing holes in the drainage hose.


I am not sure how many watts the pool heater uses but it can’t be cheap to run, and the drainage hose is meant to drain so I was constantly dealing with leaks.


I had a look around to see what I could use. I have a dc powered pony pump, some black garden hose, irrigation hose a 40-watt solar panel, and an old scooter battery. Also, I found some old windows to upgrade the mini greenhouse.


The input water line essentially uses gravity to prime the water pump and I put a light switch to turn it off and on. I plan to add a solar switch so it will automatically turn on when the sun hits it.

pump and battery

The pony pump was not a great choice as it was extremely loud. After looking through my pump bucket (yes after years of boondocking I have a pump bucket) I found a dc powered pump that is very quiet. It is difficult to gauge how much it warms the pool. I may have to do an experiment with a much smaller amount of water.


I have also made an outdoor shower that I will write a blog about.


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