Using solar water pipes as shadebars?

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Joined: Mon 10 Sep, 2012 12:06
My Pool: 16'x36' in-ground still being built.
Location: Los Angeles

Using solar water pipes as shadebars?

Postby MikeInSoCal » Mon 10 Sep, 2012 12:10

We are in the final stages of building a pool (16'x36') and guesthouse. We'd like to add solar heating. We also need to add shade bars on the eaves of the guesthouse, so we're thinking we can combine these two by making the shadebars out of waterpipes. The problem is that black pvc pipe is kinda ugly, especially compared to the more traditional shadebar choice of wood. Plus the pipes have to turn a corner, which means using clunky looking pvc elbows.

We though about using 1"x1" or 1"x2" stainless steel tubing and painting them dark brown, but a little Google research seems to say that chlorine is bad for stainless steel. (Although I think we're going with a salt system, but my understanding is that that has chlorine in it, too.) From another thread here, it looks like copper is out as well.

We cant just put massive commercial panels on these eaves, because we don't want complete shade. Instead we're looking for a more decorative trellis look, like 1" width of wood, alternated with 1" width of open. Except with water pipes instead of wood.

Any ideas on how to do this and still look nice?

Below are links to a couple pictures of the guesthouse with the bare eaves. Contrary to what the pictures might suggest, the guesthouse gets continuous sun after 9:00 a.m.. The lengths of these eaves is 56". The front width of the guesthouse is 23' and the side where the eaves are is 17'. This gives a potential area of about 30% of the pool area. Not optimal, obviously, but it's the best we've got and better than nothing.

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