Anyone have a heated swimming pool?

3 Replies

I have an above ground pool, about 12000 gallons. It's my intent to build a wood fired heater for it. I have about 200 hedgeapple trees in my yard, and about 800 other assorted trees so the wood supply is basically endless. I'm using a water tank from an RV as a fire pit. It's about 42" long and about 16" in diameter. I cut it in half the long way. For the heat exchanger I'm using 3/4" black pipe. The picture is what the first level looks like. The 3 pipes on the left are complete. The 3 on the right are in the picture for reference. I'm going to build 2 more layers of pipe with the pipe centered over the spaces between the layer below it. A sump pump will circulate water from the pool through the pipes. The top half of the water tank will be like a lid over the exchanger, and I'll drill a few holes in the top to allow the heat to flow around the pipes.

My main questions are this: Should I grind off the black layer of the pipe to allow better heat conduction? I have brazing wire to use in my mig welder, and the appropriate shielding gas. If I coated the bare pipe with the brazing material, would it improve the heat transfer?

I'm hoping to increase the temperature of the pool by 5-10 degrees in 2-4 days and maintain it. The fire and pump would be running 24/7. I was in Argentina on a dove hunt earlier this year. There was an outdoor below ground pool that was heated by circulating the water through a series of pipes in a fire pit next to the pool. The pool was 102 degrees, the air temperature was in the 60's at night.

That is pretty cool. Yes I would grind off the black layer of the pipe.

I have also heard of people putting a radiator type device over the top of a heat pump to capture the heat exhaust when the heat pump is in a cooling cycle. You could do both with a parallel line and isolate this loop when the heat is on.

@Paul Sandhu

Grind off the coating, but don't add material. Even though brazing material is a good heat conductor, it will still serve as insulation is it's added. The limiting factor to your efficiency will be the steel pipe. Copper conducts heat much better (Like 20 times better) than steel, but I get the argument for using material on hand.