Today is May 26, 2009. I live in Northern NJ. We opened our 21ft. round above ground pool on May 18.
It’s only been about a week, but the solar heater appears to be working. Our pool water is warmer than usual at this time of year. When we opened the pool the water temperature was 58 degrees. Over the past week it peaked at 72. We had a few sunny and 80 degree days last week and Memorial day weekend, though the nights have been cool which obviously reduces the water temperature overnight. We do have a lot of trees around the yard, so the pool only gets sun from 12;30 to approximately 6:00 pm. We do not use a solar cover. On 2 days where I closely monitored the water temperature, it jumped about 4 degrees from morning to end of day.
Our pool filter is located on the shady side of the pool. Purchased 2, 24ft. sections of standard 1 ½” filter hose to connect the solar unit in a sunny spot. Checked stores for black, but had to settle for beige hose. Initially, I connected the extended filter hoses directly to the unit. Had trouble with some minor leaks, and used 2 hose clamps at each connection. A few days later disconnected the unit and started over. This time I used the long and short supplied black hoses to connect to the unit, than connected the black hoses to the long filter hoses (nice tight fit). For all connections, used 2 standard filter hose clamps to ensure no leaks or accidents, and would recommend using the 2 clamps at each connection. Using the long hoses, the pressure through the hoses is fine, the return back into the pool is same as if it were a 4 foot hose directly from the filter. The water returning into the pool feels slightly warmer that the pool water, and the long return hose is slightly warmer than the feeder hose from the filter to the unit. The solar unit is quiet, you can barely hear the water running through it.
In summary, so far we are satisfied with the solar heater. We are looking forward to see how it performs when the NJ weather warms up in June and July, and when the nights will be warmer to help reduce the overnight loss in water temperature.
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