Heating pool with copper pipes in the deck

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Heating pool with copper pipes in the deck

Postby Guest » Fri 19 Apr, 2013 17:52

hello every one.
i am having a 16K gallon in ground pool built. i have a theory of a heater i want to build. my pool decking is going to be dark gray 4 inches thick. i want to lay 1 inch diameter pipe in this cement deck and it is going to be about 130 feet long. my theory is that the sun will heat this dark gray cement and that will heat the copper pipe and then the heat will finally transfer to the water being circulated in it from the pump, finally it will go into my pool.i thought of pump to my main pump, but more likely attach a small pump that is slower to allow a greater delta T (heat transfer).
i heard of this being done in engery efficient homes in heating hot water, but thought it would work great.
has any one heard of this idea? what do you all think.

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Heating pool with copper pipes in the deck

Postby Denniswiseman » Sat 20 Apr, 2013 13:59


I'm not sure about the heat transferance through concrete but I would advise against copper pipe as it would be affected by the cement, plastic would be easier, corrosion resistant, quicker and cheaper.

I would also suggest fitting a thermistor so that you would only pump when there is heat gain, otherwise you could be cooling the pool water
TSH Tech

Heating pool with copper pipes in the deck

Postby TSH Tech » Mon 22 Apr, 2013 23:32

Deck solar heating systems already use this method of heating pools where solar panels will not work. The entire secret is;
1) Use solar water tubing to be encased in concrete decking
2) Ensure the tubing is 2 inches from the deck surface

Copper pipe should never be a method for deck heating for a few reasons. The first is, concrete is highly alkaline and will corrode holes into copper. The plumbing code for homes in the USA states that any copper water supply pipe coming out of concrete must be wrapped in 10mil pipe wrap for this very reason. The second reason is, copper pipe in swimming pools is susceptible to harsh water conditions where water typically is too acidic, corroding holes in the pipe. Copper pipe in swimming pools always seems to leech that green patina, stain surfaces in pools when water is not balanced correctly. Lastly, at $3.04 per pound, copper is one expensive commodity to be encasing in concrete, now that copper is being stamped into bullion lately.

I'd just assume bury 1 inch CPVC in concrete to heat the pool! :thumbup:
Peter C

Heating pool with copper pipes in the deck

Postby Peter C » Wed 26 Jun, 2013 16:56

Copper would work, until it fails and will cost you a ton of money to do it. The earlier radiant heat systmens in the US used copper and ultimatly failed because copper pipe does not do so well in concrete over time.

Heating a pool with the pool deck has been done for the last three decades mostly in California.
There are a few companies that have been doing this with Flexible PVC and similar piping, although they all don't share their exact methods. One company is called Sunworks.

I have researched this for years and am about to do it with pex in NY with a Fiberglass pool. I have run radiant heat in two houses, and snow melt systems so I am familar with PEX. The only think is that PEX cannot be exposed to sunlite and it is unclear how long it will last with the chlorine. At normal chlorine levels, I think I am ok, but at high levels, I think their can be a problem, so I have designed my system so that I can bypass the pool deck/pex when I have to shock the pool with higher-than- normal chlorine levels.

Good luck!

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