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DIY solar swimming pool heaters

If you are the owner of a pool and would like to extend the summer hours back a little into the spring and forward a little into the fall without having to swim in freezing water, use this simple solar water warming solution. It is used in industrial settings but can easily be adapted for the homeowner.

Measure the area of pool

Measure the square metres of your pool so you can get a general idea of how many black bird balls you need. This is not a critical measurement as any extra balls will just form another layer. The bird balls are made of a high density polythene but are hollow allowing them to float on the surface of the water, covering a little over 90% of the surface. Most pool manufacturers will tell you on your documentation what the surface area of your pool is. A simple math formula is pi(r) squared where "r" is the radius of the pool.

Buy the balls

These types of balls can be found anywhere you can buy playground balls. Typically they are around 10 cm (4 inches) in width. If you figure on getting 90 balls per square metre, you should have plenty to cover the surface of the pool.

Install the heating balls

When you are ready to heat you pool, just pour in the balls. They will automatically situate themselves across the surface of your pool. It will slow down evaporation, keep away the birds, reduce algae formation and slowly warm your pool water. To remove them for swimming, simply skim them off the surface with a large open weave netting bag or use a large skimming net.

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About the Author

Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.