I read all the above reviews plus I did several days of research online to find out that Walmart had the best price for this item. $129 is still a lot of money for this product, and I would have never bought it if it hadn't been a birthday gift. As I am writing, the product went for sale for $99, which really is the cheapest you will find online.
First of all, don't get fooled by the word "solar". Don't expect this to run on a solar panel that converts the sun energy into powering a light bulb. This item is pure and only molded black plastic, that when the sun hits it, it gets warm and therefore, it warms the water that runs through the sprilal tubing.
Also, it says it it cost effective as it doesn't require any power. This is not true. It will only work if it is hooked to your pool's filter. I mean that the filter needs to work in order to circulate the water. No problem if you have your filter going 24/7, but some people with smaller pools or inflatable pools might chose to run their filters just a few hours a day, or maybe it's a small pool with no filter at all.
We ended up purchasing an outdoor timer, that makes the filter, and therefore the solar heater, run from 10:30am to 4:30pm, when the sun is at its warmest.
Also, we've had this for about 3 weeks now, and we have a leak between the filter pipe and the heater that we haven't been able to fix. It's just a few drops so it is not a huge deal, but the leak is there, and for $129 worth of pure plastic, I thought it was worth mentioning.
Finally, keep in mind that if there is no sun, or if there is partial sun, the unit will not get warmed up, and therefore, the water circulating through will be cold. When it's hot outside and lots of sun, the water gets warm on its own anyway.
We also have a solar cover (looks like bubble wrap) and that helps too and it is much much cheaper.
So in the end, I am partially happy with the product. I trully want to believe that it has raised the pool temperature a few more degrees, but I don't know for sure.
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