Making your own solar pool rings is a great way to save money and provide yourself with hours of fun, as well as being environmentally friendly. Depending on the materials you use to make them, they can absorb heat from the sun and provide comfortable warmth to the water in your pool.
What Are Solar Pool Rings?
Basically, a solar ring is a circular cover that sits on top of a swimming pool, and collects the heat from the sun, which creates a warm place to sit or relax around. Solar pool covers are built with two layers of UV-resistant vinyl in a lily pad shape. They’re made in the same way as normal covers, but they’re smaller.
Why Use Solar Pool Rings?
There are many reasons to use solar pool rings. The main reason, and perhaps the most obvious one, is that they provide a warm swimming area for you and your family or friends to enjoy.
They’re especially good on those cooler days in the evening when you just want to cool down with a quick swim. A solar pool ring can heat up the water by as much as 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit). They’re very efficient and effective pieces of kit and will provide you with many hours of fun throughout the summer months.
How to Make a Solar Pool Ring
Materials You Need:
Step 1 :
Place your garbage bag on the ground and place a tube of vinyl over it. Roll the tube out so that the whole thing is laying flat. This will be your stencil and you can do more than one if you want different rings for different areas in your pool.
Now, take your duct tape and make a piece long enough to fit around the entire circumference of your pool noodle (or whatever type of float you are using). Lay this strip down on top of the vinyl, leaving about 3-4 inches hanging off each end. You will use these hanging pieces later to lift up your tape after you have traced the pattern into the vinyl.
Do this for however many rings you decided to make in step 1. It might be a good idea to measure the circumference of your pool noodle before you start.
Step 2 :
Now, take your scissors and cut along the vinyl-covered tube, all the way around. When you are done, you should have one long strip of vinyl with little round circles attached at either end.
Take your tape and wrap it around one end of the vinyl circle, then stretch it over to create a connection with the other end of the vinyl circle. You should now have two loops that look like doughnuts (or bagels, if that is more appropriate for your region). Repeat this process on all of your rings until they are all connected into pairs.
Remember those hanging pieces of duct tape? Now you can use them to lift up the vinyl without scratching it. Simply press down on the tape to grab an edge of the vinyl, then drape it back over your pool noodle (or whatever float you are using).
Step 3 :
Now that you have all of your rings taped together into pairs, take them off and lay them flat on the ground. Take a pair and bring them together until they form one complete ring. Make sure that both rings are touching each other at all points. If they are not, go back to step 2 and fix any gaps in the connections. Once they are touching properly, connect one side with two strips of duct tape so that it holds its shape. Repeat this process for all four ends of the ring so that you have a complete circle.
Take your scissors again and cut the excess length off of each side so that you have perfect circles with flat edges. You should now have one long strip of vinyl with four doughnut-shaped rings attached to both ends.
Step 4 :
Now, take your garbage bag and cut out a rectangle about 3 times as long as it is wide. Fold this rectangle in half width-wise and tape it to create a pocket on one end. Place this pocket over one edge of your pool noodle (or float) where you want the center ring to be positioned. Pull the rest of the bag down around the remainder of your pool noodle to make a sealed area around it where will be trapped once you place the rings on.
Step 5 :
Take your duct tape and wrap it around the edge of one doughnut ring so that it connects to the vinyl bag you just made in step 4. Repeat for all four doughnut rings. You should now have an adorable ring trapped inside a sealed garbage bag, lying on top of a pool noodle (or whatever float you are using).
You can place your quarters inside the hula hoop and garbage bag-covered pool noodle. Make sure that they are placed evenly apart.
That’s it! You now have a simple pool heating hack that’s easy to execute, won’t cost you a penny, and won’t even slow you down!
Are Solar Rings Worth It?
An increasing number of homeowners are installing solar rings in their pools. If you’re wondering if the investment is worth it for you, read on to weigh the pros and cons.
- The pool ring allows you to cover your pool in the absence of direct sunlight. Solar pool rings are especially useful for nighttime swimming, which makes them an investment if you have young children who are often up late or if you’re a night owl yourself.
- A cheap way to keep your pool warm
- Environmentally friendly option
- Inflates/deflates quickly for easy deployment and storage
- If your home is equipped with a solar heating system, then solar pool rings can connect to your existing system with relative ease. Solar rings are an efficient, cost-effective way to heat your pool when you don’t have direct sunlight reaching the water.
- Solar pool rings are only effective in pools that are covered when not in use, meaning that you will need a cover for this purpose. You can purchase a solid pool cover for this purpose, but space blankets are a better option.
- Because it doesn’t have direct sunlight reaching the water, solar heating is not as effective as conventional heaters.
- If you opt for an alternative to solar rings, they won’t be directly hooked up to your existing system. If you’re thinking of changing your heating system, the more efficient and cost-effective option would be to get a conventional heater.
- Having a pool cover doesn’t mean that you’ll never get leaves or debris in your pool unless you’re vigilant about removing them. This will decrease the effectiveness of solar rings if they’re constantly under shade from leaves and other human-made or natural debris.
If you’re considering a solar heating system, then solar pool rings are a good addition to your pool’s equipment list – the investment will help cut costs in the future. When used with an alternative to direct sunlight, such as a cover or nighttime hours, they can heat up your water efficiently and affordably. However, if you like using your pool during the day and night or you want a more effective heating system, throwing in solar pool rings is not necessary for their functionality.