DIY Solar Heating for Your Hot Tub

The interwebs are full of great DIY projects for your home, and there’s no shortage of tips to help you build a solar powered hot tub. The typical approach is to use a solar panel to heat the tub water, but some people go further and have their entire spa – jets, pumps, and all – running off the sun. We wanted to share some of our favorite do-it-yourself projects.

1. Cheap solar hot tub heater

This great article shows how to use parts from your local hardware store to construct a heater that the author claims will keep his tub at upwards of 90 degrees on a good day, without using the heater core. If you have a spare afternoon, you can finish this project, and bask in the glory of saving money, while soaking in your warm tub.

solar panel heater spa


2. Solar Hot Tub and Fountain

This article outlines how to build a fairly high quality spa that’s heated using solar power. The author explains how she spent seven years dreaming about how to build this, so you might be taking on a fairly substantial project if you follow her directions. Although it does seem like a good amount of those years were spent simply conjuring up the right solution. They built a nice stone enclosure to hold the hot water, and included a small fountain as well. The primary heating source comes from a number of 3’x8′ panels, a 40-gallon hot water tank, and 1/2″ PEX tubing that wraps around the tub to disperse the heat.

solar spa


3. $350 Homemade Solar Hot Tub

Here’s another great set of instructions on how to build your own complete hot tub, using a large 150-gallon tank, some 2x4s, and a few other common parts. The quality looks pretty good on this one, and it’s something you could pull together in a weekend. The builder claims that his water temperature hit 110 degrees on an 80-degree day, which is pretty impressive!



4. The Fire-powered Hot Tub

Perhaps you don’t have any spare solar panels laying around. That’s OK because you can actually use some good old combustion, in the form of a fire under your tub, to heat the water. This simple plan incorporates another 169-gallon trough, sourced from a livestock supplier, along with a simple fire underneath.

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