Posted by: Solar Pool Technologies Inc. | 2012/04/13

Using Solar to Heat your Pool from the Bottom

A few years ago, the Riley family was gathered by the pool, talking science in general and physics in particular.  Braden and Kristin were 9 and 10 at the time when they asked, “Why do people heat a pool from the top when heat rises?”  Great question!

The sun beats down on the pool and heats the water – at least the top few inches.  That solar energy takes a pretty long time to penetrate to the depths of the pool.  It just keeps radiating upwards.  In spring, the first month of warm days sees a gradual heating of the pool.  Every cool night sucks the warmth out of the water and the sun has to start the process all over again in the morning.  A lot of good potential swim season is wasted.

The key is to get the warm surface water deeper into the pool and circulated to spread the heat as it rises.  Kevin and Terri Riley put their heads together and came up with an innovative solution that turns passive solar heating into an active process with a very inexpensive addition to your existing pool filtration system.  They designed the Heat Snorkel.

With traditional pool plumbing systems, the return lines and jets are located about 8” to 12” beneath the water line.  As the sun heats the surface water of the pool, the pump re-circulates the warm water back through the return jets across that same slice of the pool.  The 80% of your pool that is cold water, stays cold.

Flow of warmed water when using Heat Snorkels

The Heat Snorkel is an extension to your return lines that takes the warmed water down to the bottom of your pool.  Warm water is pulled from the surface, through the pump, returned to the pool and snorkeled down 2 to 5 feet.  Warm water rises to the surface from a greater depth, increasing circulation and heating a greater volume. In less than 5 minutes, you can easily replace your return jets with Snorkels.  Then, instead of taking days to warm your pool, it will take hours. Circulating warm water to the bottom of the pool will greatly expand your swim season!

When the pool becomes bathwater warm, just rotate the Heat Snorkel 180 degrees and cool it with your new fountain.

       heat rises,

       the sun’s energy is free, and

       water heats faster from the bottom than from the surface,

     and combines them in a new way.

This system will also work to increase the efficiency of a solar, gas, wood or electric heater.



  1. I’m extremely inspired along with your writing talents as smartly as with the structure for your weblog. Is that this a paid subject or did you customize it yourself? Either way stay up the nice quality writing, it’s uncommon to look a great weblog like this one today..

  2. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: