Author: Terry Peterman The first question one might ask when checking out a post on solar pool heating would logically be: “Why is the Internet Electrician tackling this topic when his expertise is in all things electrical”? This is precisely why I did not take on this project as a DIY tutorial. I don’t like to profess to be an expert in a field that isn’t my trade, like this project which is predominately a plumber’s job. I have often teased my good friends whom are plumbers by trade, that if you fail the entrance exam for electrical apprenticeship, they just give you a journeyman plumbing certificate and send you off to work. This is usually followed by an equally rude reply so we just end it there. I have taken on many plumbing projects myself in the past, but as I stated previously, to instruct others in the subject would not be prudent on my behalf.
I would suggest that many backyard pools would be used considerably more often (even in sunny Arizona), if the pool temperature was a bit more comfortable year-round. Many pools in the south do not incorporate any heat system whatsoever, so the time for swimming is typically in the late spring and early fall. The blistering hot summer air can make the pool water too warm to be refreshing in the peak of summer, and the cool desert nights cool the water off at night to where daytime heating cannot make a significant difference to the pool that is much to cool to use on those pleasant days in the winter months.
We are winter residence in Arizona, so our pool time falls in these months that aren’t typically considered pool time in Arizona. The first thing we did after buying our home with a pool here was to add a spa, and a natural gas heater. We get a lot of use out of our backyard because of the heated pool and spa, but the major drawback was the cost. We have been spending around $500 / month in December and January to heat the water to a comfortable temperature of 85F, and topping up the spa to around 100F for our nightly hot tub. The solution that I have been debating for about 3 years now was solar energy. The only question was what system to incorporate. I had countless ideas for a home-made solution, but each time the negative aspects out-weighed the positives. All reasoning pointed towards a professionally installed system that included automatic control, and roof panels to get adequate surface area to provide the best use of the sun’s rays.
I took to the Internet to research the best system, and my conclusion was a system from Heliocol here in Arizona. A good friend of mine was also looking into this issue, and he arranged for a sales rep come out to give us a presentation. Mark was very knowledgeable and gave a straightforward demonstration of how the product was designed and constructed, and the obvious benefits of solar heat. He explained the entire process, the approvals and permits required (if applicable), and gave us a detailed quote for the cost of the system and installation. He also showed calculations for energy cost savings based on personal usage patterns. My usage showed a system payback of around 3 years to recover the cost of the system. Mark also offered to prepare the approval application that we required to send to our H.O.A. for their blessing, a process that is more of a courtesy than a requirement as H.O.A.’s are powerless to block the installation of solar energy options.
The following video captures the installation of the Heliocol Solar Pool Heating system installation.
In conclusion, the experience was an incredibly positive one, from the initial contact with the sales representative, Mark, the communication from the head office by telephone, to the efficient and professional installation by Jeff and Ricky. I would absolutely recommend Heliocol to anyone looking to have a solar pool heating system installed in the valley area of Arizona.
If you have any questions regarding this installation, or about my experience with this company, I would be happy to answer them for you. Please send me an e-mail with “solar pool” in the subject line to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested I will put you in contact with Mark at Heliocol. If you contact Heliocol yourself, please mention that you watched this video by the Internet Electrician, and ask to speak directly to Mark.
Thanks for watching!
Terry Peterman, The Internet Electrician