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No matter you own in-ground or above ground pool, solar pool heater for above ground pool or in ground pool are necessary things in winter and definitely a good investment to enjoy warm water. Not only will they save money, but also they are environment friendly.

Are you looking for the best solar pool heaters for above ground? Many people go through a ton of confusion when it comes to solar pool heater panels. The reason is clear, because there are many solar pool heater panels are available in the marker.

As a result, people who are planning to buy the best solar pool heater panels go through confusion. To solve this problem we have tested a considerable number of solar pool heater panels in the market and ended up with only ten which passed our examination and met expectation.

Here we have some well-researched products handpicked just for you. Check out the 10- products below to find your own.

1. SunQuest 8-2X12 Swimming Pool Heater

Coming in at the top of the list for our products are the eight 2 feet by 12 feet panels that allow for an effortless and cost-effective pool solution. The rubber panels can be placed in both vertical and horizontal orientation. It depends on the needs of the pool and the owner.

In addition, if you are glancing for the best solar pool heater blanket then the SunQuest 8-2×12 will be a fantastic choice for you. The cover is quite powerful and provides very satisfying performance.

By keeping the end-user in mind, the product comes with any and all the necessary parts one may need to make the entire installation.

If you own an in-ground pool and looking for high-performing and hassle-free in ground solar pool heater then picking this incredible pool heater will be a great decision you have ever taken.

Best Features of SunQuest 8-2X12 Solar Pool Heater panels

SunQuest 8-2X12

The system is meant to end user-installable, and as such, the product designers left no stone unturned in order to include from various different plumbing fittings to individual screws.

Thus, giving the end-user the confidence, they need to build their own pool heating system and save greatly on gas heating.

Both In-ground and Above Ground Heater

Typically, the systems for in-ground and above ground pool heating are different. This is due to the heat retaining characteristics of the category of the pool. However, one need not worry about such things.

The kit is made to the industrial quality check that allows it to be a solid heater for pools as well as in-ground pools.

All one needs is to hook up the kit (once assembled) with the existing water pump(s) of the pool, and there you have it – instant free of charge pool heating for the foreseeable future. 

Excellent Compatibility

The complete system comes with standard 1-1/2” & 1-1/4” connectors for flexible hoses connection and 1-1/2” connectors for rigid piping.

Additionally, the system can be ordered with 2” connectors that designed for two-inch rigid PVC pipes.

Increases Temperature

The goal of the entire endeavor is to allow for effectively free pool heating by harnessing the power of the sun. As such, it is paramount to know how much heating can be expected.

From extensive testing as well as customer feedback, it has been found that the system can increase the pool temperate up by 10 degrees Fahrenheit from the pool surface temperature, which is an impressive stat for any pool.

Why should you buy SunQuest 8-2X12 Swimming Pool Heater?

1. The effective zero-cost alternative to traditional gas burning heating systems. With the perks of being eco-conscience.

2. The kit comes with all necessary parts included for both on the ground and roof installations.

3. Simple “set it and forget it” style equipment requiring little to no maintenance.

Pros

  • Highly durable panels
  • Resilient to almost all-weather conditions
  • Offers a large selection of connector fittings
  • Flexibility on the location of system set up
  • Suitable for both inground and above ground pools

Cons

  • Can be cumbersome to unroll the panels
  • Is susceptible to micro leakages

2. SunQuest 8-2X10 Swimming Pool Heater

It is often said by many that finding for the best solar pool heater blanket is one of the toughest work. However, if you own this incredible swimming pool cover then it will make your job easy and comfortable.

Most importantly, you do not have to go through a ton of confusion that which one should you pick. It is designed to provide optimum performance.

Losing out to number one on the list by the smallest of margins, we now meet our highly respectable number two. Like the predecessor, this also comes in a complete kit with eight panels. There is no surprise there as they both hail from the same manufacturer.

However, what sets the number one and number two apart is the relative ability of the eight panels to head up a pool. The performance level for solar pool heaters above ground is still formidable.

As the name suggests, these are 2 feet wide like the number one but only 10 feet in length. Thus, making it 2 feet shorter lengthwise.

In addition, in the event that you are finding the reliable and durable in ground solar pool heater then you should try on thin incredible pool cover. The solar cover is ease of use.

Best Features of SunQuest 8-2X10 Swimming Pool Heater

SunQuest 8-2X10

The panels of this heater’s system are from high-density UV protected polymers that allow the panels to be rolled up for shipping. This not only reduced the size of the package that arrives at your front door but also makes it easier to maneuver around for set up

Flexibility of set up

While it is extensively mentioned that the kit comes with eight panels, but in no way does this mean you must use the eight – no less, no more. In reality, you have the freedom to choose how many panels you need to set up for a particular pool.

The relatively smaller size means that these can be placed with for versatility as they can fit into smaller open areas. In addition, if needed, one can just buy an extra panel or two to get the perfect set up.

Can be placed anywhere

The true brilliance of this is its ability to be set up anywhere and everywhere. Unlike solid glass solar panels, you do not need a specialized support structure to hold up the structure. One can simply lay the panels down on the roof and call it a day.

In fact, the product is made to go one step further. The set does not even have to go on the roof. As long as there is adequate sunlight, it can be laid out on the ground and still be an effective heating element.

System modularity

As previously discussed, this is a kit consisting of various components and not just one unit. The modular design of the system allows for easy set up as well as easy repair or replacement.

Let us say one of the panels is damaged. Well, you do not need to dismantle the entire setup.

All you need to do is cut off the water supply and simply remove the damaged panel, and if it is beyond repair, a new replacement could be put in without having to bother with any of the other fittings.

Why should you buy SunQuest 8-2X10 Swimming Pool Heater?

1. Its relatively smaller size allows for more flexibility to set up.

2. Its highly capable system is able to increase temperate up by 10 degrees Fahrenheit with zero cost.

3. A simple set up process allows for self-installation.

Pros

  • UV protected flexible polymer construction
  • Can be placed almost anywhere
  • Parts are easy to replace if damaged
  • Can be used in vertical and horizontal orientations
  • Comes with easy to follow instructions for set up

Cons

  • Requires additional purchases of pipes to connect with water pump
  • Performance is highly dependent on the sun

3. SunQuest 4-2X20 Solar Pool Heater Panels Complete System with Roof Kits

Till now, we were looking at systems that were primarily designed to be placed in a vertical orientation. Now we are looking at the system that is to be placed in a horizontal orientation.

If you are thinking od buying the in ground solar pool heater then it can be a great choice for you. It is constructed to provide equal performance for both in-ground and above ground pool.

There are 4- panels in this solar pool heater above ground kit, and each of the panels is 20 feet long and 2 feet wide. The reduction in the number of panels does cause a reduction in performance as the surface area remains the same as number two on the list.

The SunQuest 4-2×20 is one of the best solar pool heater blanket in the market because of its optimum performance and durability. If you are looking for an effective swimming pool water heater for your above pool then it must be a good choice for you.

Best Features of SunQuest 4-2X20 Solar Pool Heater panels

SunQuest 4-2X20 Solar Pool Heater panels

The horizontal orientation option is perfect for a solar pool heater for above ground pools. The simple reason for being that, one can just lean the panels on the sides of the above ground pool.

Ideal for placement a wall

Not everyone is keen on placing a panel system on their roofs as it may take away from the architectural expression of their homes. In addition, it should be noted that not all pools are permanent fixtures in one’s backyard.

The pools can be on a makeshift styled one. And it is here that this solar pool heater for above ground pools truly shines the most. The panels can easily be rested against the wall and removed when the pool itself is removed. Thus, keeping the precious real-estate flexible.

Reduced back pressure on the pump

The horizontal orientation means that that pump will not have to work as hard to keep pushing the water up against gravity. This means that the power of the pump can be lower than the products prior, and the output would be the same.

Faster assembly time

In comparison with all the other systems we have seen until now, this has the lowest number of panels. This means that the least amount of time is required to lay out all the parts needed and actually assembling the system.

Why should you buy SunQuest 4-2X20 Solar Swimming Pool Heater?

1. Suitable for the position on the ground, especially next to an above ground pool.

2. Its weather resistance for high-quality polymer construction material.

3. Provide similar performance as rivals but with few parts.

Pros

  • Reliable, consistent heating ability
  • Flexibility in set up structure
  • Few parts that can be faulty
  • Designed to be compatible with pre-existing water pumps
  • “MAX-FLOW” design allowing for reduced back pressure on the pump

Cons

  • Difficult to install single-handed
  • Prone to bulging if not installed properly

4. SunQuest 6-2’X10’ Solar Swimming Pool Heater System with Diverter Kit

Similar to the last product on the list, this solar pool heater above ground system is also meant to be used primarily in the horizontal position. As for the difference with the previous one, well this has an addition of two more panels,

This greatly increases the effective surface area for the pool that needs that extra power to heat up its larger volume of water.

Moreover, if you are finding for the best solar pool heater for above ground pools then it will be a fantastic choice for you. It is one of the solar pool heater blanket in the market because of its hassle-free performance, durability, and ease of use.

Best Features of SunQuest 6-2X20 Solar Swimming Pool Heater

solar pool heater panels

We have already discussed the benefits of the horizontal orientation, but in the last product, there were fears of what if the 4- panels are not enough. Well, now, with the six panels, it is definitely enough.

Thus, this solar pool heater for above ground pools is ideal in cases of makeshift pools.

Reduced water travel distance

As previously discussed, the panels can be placed horizontally against the sides of the pool. This will significantly reduce the distance the pump has to push the water around in order to complete the cycle.

Reducing the distance traveled by the water has two distinct advantages – (i) hot water reaches the pool faster & (ii) lower horsepower pump can be used.

Ease of disassembly

Till now, we have talked about how easy it is to set up this heating structure, but now it is also important to mention the ease of disassembly. Now, why is this important one may ask?

Well, if your pool is made the shift, then when you put your pool away, you do not need the heating system in place anymore. The panels can be disassembled, rolled up, and put into storage, awaiting the time it will be needed again.

Standardized water pump compatibility

The beauty of this sort of system is that it can plug into any pre-existing pump that one might have to get water into one’s pool. Thus, no additional equipment purchases are required.

Why should you buy SunQuest 6-2X20 Solar Swimming Pool Heater?

1. The horizontal water flow puts less pressure on the pump.

2. Easy to assemble as well as disassemble, if needed.

3. Effectively gets the water temperature up to 80%of the air temperature with no additional power costs.

Pros

  • Ships with a proper roof frame
  • Easily replaceable parts
  • A large variety of connectors included
  • Reduced backflow pressures on water pumps
  • Can withstand light snow without any precautions

Cons

  • Each panel is very heavy
  • Abundant space is required for the 6- very long panels

5. Fafco Sungrabber Solar Panels

Continuing on with the list of the best solar pool heater above ground systems, we come to number 5 on our list. This certainly sets itself apart from all the ones we have seen so far as it is the only one till now, which promotes flat grounded installation as well.

If you are looking for a hassle-free solar pool heater blanket then why not this amazing pool heater when it offers top-notch performance?

Best Features of Fafco Sungrabber Solar Panels

Fafco Sungrabber

Like the others on this list, this heater is for both pools, and in-ground pools alike can be placed onto the roof or set up on inclined support. Apart from those, there is a third position that lays the panels flat on the ground giving unobstructed views.

Flat ground set up

For the easiest setup procedure possible, just lay down appropriate size mat or foams on the garden. Then position the panels at the end and gently unroll them on to the mat or foam base.

This not only reduces the pressure that is put on motors to pump the water through but make it so that one can lay down the panels anywhere any time as there is no need to have a prebuilt structure for support.

Horizontal water flow

The system is designed around horizontal flow among its panel, no matter how many panels are stacked on top of one another. The clear benefit of this that the water does not have to move against the force to gravity.

This ensures that motors will not be overworked and can keep pumping hot water into your pool for longer periods of time.

Perfect makeshift heater

While on the topic of makeshift above ground pools, it is equally important to have a makeshift heater pool of yours. While a more the typical roof or rack setups can serve you for longer periods of time, what to do when you are doing a backyard BBQ and need all the space? Or when it’s the winter months and our pool is tucked away in a storage unit?

It is at that time that this looks more appealing as the simplistic flat ground installation system allows you to have a heater when you want it and remove it when you do not. And all of this is done very efficiently.

Why should you buy Fafco Sungrabber Solar Panels?

1. Water pump stress minimized due to horizontal flow.

2. Very simple assembly and disassembly is possible.

3. Comes standard with 2 2 feet by 20 feet panels, making it perfect if one does not need to much heating power.

Pros

  • Reduced pressure on the water pump
  • Lay flay installment
  • It raises water temperature up to 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Made from lightweight, flexible materials
  • Owner repairable for minor damages

Cons

  • The standard pack has only 2- panels
  • Larger pool setups can be burdensome as well as expensive

6. Smartpool S601P SunHeater Solar Heating System

The Smartpool S601p is one of the best in ground solar pool heater that stands out in the market because of its top-notch performance and hassle-free installation and ease of  use.

Unlike all of the other systems till now, this does not go for the multiple panel strategy. Instead, this follows the big is better moto, having one panel which is 4 feet wide and 20 feet long.

While the name suggests, it is for in-ground pools only; it operates perfectly as above ground heater pools as well.

Best Features of Smartpool S601P SunHeater Solar Heating System

solar pool heater for above ground

Like the others on this list, this heater pools and in-ground pools alike can be placed onto the roof or set up on inclined support. Apart from those, there is a third position that lays the panels flat on the ground giving unobstructed views.

Simplicity

There is no need to fumble with a barrage of connector and dividers, as there is just one panel. One panel that needs to be connected with your existing water motor and there you have it, instant hot water.

Protected from the wind

Given the sear size of the panel, it is a concern of the panel being knocked over by a gust of wind. But the good engineers ask you not to be bothered as they have installed wind vents tactically onto the panel.

With the help of the vents, strong winds can pass through without damaging your panel nor your enjoyment in your pool.

Unique tube-on-web design

Another unique trait of this system is its “tube-on-web” design of the panel. This allows for maximizing the surface area of the tube that is in contact directly with the sun. With the help of this design, the product can heat up rapidly.

However, this is a double-edged sword as the disappearance of the sun would mean faster cooling down of the system.

Why should you buy Smartpool S601P SunHeater Solar Heating System?

1. Internal baffles allow for water to be evenly pumped throughout the panel.

2. Individual fed tubes reduce the bac pressure on the pump.

3. Water can be drained easily for storage in winter.

Pros

  • Only one panel needs to be set up
  • Can be bought with a reel for easy storage of the panel
  • It raises water temperature by 8 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fiberglass reinforced headers
  • It features interlocking water channels for waterways.

Cons

  • Requires a strong frame to hold the large panel
  • Expanding the kit can be difficult due to the individual sourcing of parts.

7. SmartPool S240U solar pool heater for above ground

We have another solar pool heater above ground system with a single massive panel. Like the previously seen big panels, this has the dimensions of 4 feet by 20 feet as well. What steps this apart from its peers is the better affordably.

Best Features of SmartPool S240U solar pool heater for above ground

SmartPool S240U

The best yet most underrated feature of this solar pool heater for the above ground pool is that there is just one panel. This gives straightforwardness to get the pool up and running with hot water in no time.

Headers reinforced with fiberglass

The headers of this massive structure are constantly under stress. And if this point breaks, it makes the entire system unusable. As such, to ward off such cases, the headers are reinforced with fiberglass to provide peace of mind.

Water channel separation

To get the maximum out of the large surface area, it is paramount that the water channels do not mix and flow the entire length of the panel. In order to solve this very problem, interlocking channels are designed into the panel for smooth continuous water flow.

They are making it a solid solar pool heater for above ground pools and in-ground pools equally.

Simple setup

The key advantage of single panel systems is that only one piece needs to be linked up with pipes to the pool and motor. There is no need to fumble around with multiple connectors and dividers.

Why should you buy SmartPool S240U Pool Solar Heater Panels?

1. Relatively inexpensive in the world of solar pool heater above ground systems.

2. It can be easily drained for storage purposes.

3. Able to extend pool season by an entire month.

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Relatively inexpensive for a singular set up
  • Wind vents on the panel
  • Owner repairable for minor damages
  • Temperature by 6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit within a few hours.

Cons

  • May interfere with the existing motor on the filtration system
  • Joints require extra tape to be sturdy

8. Universal Solar Pool Heater Panel 

Keeping on the category of systems, we take another look at a single panel system. Keeping in trend with other single panel systems, this also has a 4 feet wide and 10 feet long panel.

If you are having hard time to find the reliable in ground solar pool heater then it will be a great choice for you.

Additionally, the full name of the system should be taken with a grain of salt, for it is just for in-ground pools but also a solar pool heater for above ground pools as well.

Best Features of Universal Solar Pool Heater Panel

solar pool heater above ground

Apart from being able to be set on roofs as well as on a frame on the ground, this system has another ace up its sleeve; the system can be laid down on the ground and connected to the pool.

Unique panel design

The panel has a unique tube-on-web design that helps maximize the surface area of direct contact with the infrared rays of the sun. This allows the system to heat up faster.

Protection against gusts

One may fear the panel working as a sail and be blown away due to gusts. But fear not for there are specially designed splits in the panel to allow gusts throw without toppling over the panel.

Even water flow

There are baffles in the panel, making sure that water flows through all the channels evenly. This not only reduces the back pressure on the pump but also allows for even and consistent  

Why should you buy Universal Solar Pool Solar Heating System?

1. Water is warmed up fast, especially when placed near the pool.

2. An effective water drainage system is present for winter storage.

3. The panel can be wrapped around a reel and stored.

Pros

  • Separated interlocking channels allow a smooth flow of water.
  • Easy assembly and disassembly
  • Headers are reinforced with fiberglass.
  • Compatible with most existing pumps of the pool.
  • Quickly raises the temperature of the water by 6- to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cons

  • The improper fitting can strain the panel and damage it.

9. SunHeater S120U Universal solar pool heater for above ground

Returning to the realm of multiple panel solar pool heater above ground systems, we see the system consists of two rather large panels. The panels are 2 feet by 20 feet in size.

Best features of SunHeater S120U Universal solar pool heater for above ground

heater above ground pool

The two-panel design allows for the panels to be mounted on a more uneven surface as there are no high points on the panels.

In addition, this also provides the flexibility of leaving one panel out if one is damaged. They are making ideal heater ground pools and in-ground pools.

Flexible design

The polymers used allow flex in the panel to allow for it to mold into the shape of the surface it is being attached to. This makes it so that there, no loose ends, and the surface does not have to be perfectly flat.

Surprisingly affordable

Unlike the system at the top of our list, this is relatively inexpensive. But this does not mean that the product is bad, in fact, far from it. In reality, prices are low only because necessities are included in the package.

Lightweight set up

Even though there are two panels and each of them is 2- by 20 feet, their relative weight is considerably low. Each panel weighs just about 80pounds and is dispersed over a large area. Thus, putting a very little load on mounting structures like roofs.

Why should you buy SunHeater S120U Universal solar pool heater for above ground?

1. The panel is made using polypropylene material, which allows it to be light and durable.

2. It has a simple DIY installation process.

3. Has meshed covers that block of fine debris.

Pros

  • Fast-paced heating
  • Relatively inexpensive for a singular set up
  • Wind vents on the panel
  • Owner repairable for minor damages
  • Temperature by 6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit swiftly.

Cons

  • Expansion requires the purchase of extender kits
  • Prone to minor damages from substances like falling fruits

10. SwimJoy Premium In-ground Solar Pool Heating panels

Lastly, to round off our list of 10 top best solar pool heater for above ground pools as well as in-ground pools, we come to the product that is very good at doing its job without much fuss.

If you are looking for the in ground solar pool heater panels it is going to be one-stop solution for you. The solar pool heater in ground is highly expensive.

However, if the price is not the big deal for you and looking for the supreme quality in ground solar pool heater panels then surely it can be said that you will not find the better alternative than the SwimJoy Premium solar heater for in-ground pool.

Best Features of SwimJoy Premium Inground Solar Pool Heating System

 SwimJoy Premium Inground Solar Pool Heater

The biggest and most reoccurring reason for something to break down is a lack of maintenance. This is where our last contender excess as it needs little to no maintenance to keep its job perfectly.

Innovative panel mounts

There is no need for complex fittings in this system. The patented PPC panel clamps make it so that one can attach one panel with another without needing in hoses or their fittings.

Clever mounting pads

Similarly, there is no need to break out the power tools for assembly and disassembly. The unique mounting pads make it incredibly easy to mount the panels onto the mounting frame.

Industrially rugged construction

All panels are designed to be rugged rather than looking good. As such, the robust structure does not take damage easily, nor does it need to be maintained regularly.

Why should you buy SwimJoy Premium Inground Solar Pool Heating System?

1. The panel is made using polypropylene material, which allows it to be light and durable.

2. It has a simple DIY installation process.

3. Has meshed covers that block of fine debris.

Pros

  • Easy and quick installation
  • Large selection of panels to choose from
  • Needs almost no maintenance
  • Sturdy design

Cons

  • Takes up more space than competitors
  • Expensive

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