How to Make a DIY Pool Heater in 4 Easy Steps

how to make a diy pool heater

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Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 - 4 hrs
  • Total Time: 1 - 4 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $50

One very common way pool owners can extender their pool season is adding a heater. Going the traditional route involves permits, gas lines, electric lines, excavation, and re-plumb pool lines. It can quickly become a large expense. A simpler and more affordable way to heat your pool is buy making a DIY pool heater.

Here is a step-by-step guide to how to make a simple solar-powered DIY pool heater.

How Does a DIY Pool Heater Work?

A DIY pool heater uses the heat from the sun to warm water in a hose that then goes into your pool.

These instructions teach you how to make a simple solar pool heater that will be compatible with any kind of pool and won’t interfere with any existing pool machinery that may already be in place.

The success of your solar pool heater depends on the amount of solar exposure in your area. The warmth and efficiency of your DIY pool heater is affected by sun exposure, so placement is extremely important.


Always be sure to wear and use proper safety materials such as goggles, gloves, long sleeves and long pants while working with any hand or power tools.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Hacksaw
  • Knife
  • Screwdriver


  • Hose clamp
  • 2 Black hose or garden hose
  • Submersible pump or cover pump
  • Plywood
  • Screws


How to Build a DIY Pool Heater

There are many ways to create the area where the sun will hit and heat up the water in the hose. Often this can be done with just supplies lying around your house. Our preferred method, detailed below, uses a sheet of plywood and screws.

  1. Connect the Hose to the Pump

    Connect the garden hose (or other black hose) to the pump with a hose clamp and drop the other end of the hose into the pool. Make sure that the hose is connected to the outlet side of the pump.

    If it is a submersible pump, you can then drop the pump right in the pool to gather water and leave the end of the hose outside of the pool.

    By the end of this step, the pump and hose should be connected with one end of the hose sticking out of the water.


    When you choose a hose for a DIY pool heater, it's better to choose one that is on the longer side. The longer the hose is, the more area your heater will have.

  2. Put Screws Into the Plywood

    Next you’ll make the solar surface where the water will warm up in the hose before travelling to the pool. For this you need plywood that is at least 3x3 feet big.

    Mark out two rows about 1 to 2 inches from opposing edges of the board. Put screws in those rows about 2 inches apart.

  3. Wrap the Hose

    Take the hose coming from the pump and wrap it around each screw, crossing the board after each wrap. It will end up in a zigzag, in a pattern similar to the shoelaces on a sneaker.

  4. Place the Board in the Sun

    With the knowledge that the hose on the board will need to be heated, place the board in a very sunny spot. The sun hitting the board will naturally heat up the water in the hose, so that by the time it goes completely through the hose and exit back into the pool, you’ve got warm water waiting for you.

When to Call a Professional

If you complete this DIY and your pool is still cold or not as warm as you would like, you might need to bite the bullet and get a non-solar pool heater. Call and get a professional opinion on how to meet your goal for pool warmth and what your options are based on your specific pool setup.