Can you make your own solar water heater?
Is it a good idea to do this?
What are the pros and cons of building your own solar water heater?
Here are a few pros to keep in mind:
- Building a solar water heater can be a great way to cut down on energy use within your home as well as within factories that generally make these types of heaters.
- You can save money on the cost of installation by creating and building a solar hot water heater and then installing it yourself, too.
- If you enjoy working on projects, you’re sure to have fun building solar hot water heater components and then using it regularly for your home.
And here are a few cons:
- It can be very costly to buy all the supplies needed to make a solar water heater big enough to continually heat a household’s water.
- Learning to make solar water heater setups is not a good idea for beginners, and it should be attempted by those who are at least an intermediate level with DIY projects.
- Learning how to make a solar water heater takes a long time, so if you need a heater right away, it might be a better choice to have one professionally installed instead.
Although there are some downsides to building solar water heater setups yourself, this can be an exciting project that makes a big difference in your household as well as the environment.
In this article, we’ll teach you the basics of how to build a solar water heater for your home. You’ll find out which materials and equipment you should have on hand before you begin, and you’ll learn a step-by-step guide for one of the many methods of putting together the perfect water heater.
By the time you finish reading, you should be ready to build a solar hot water heater that you and your family can use for a long time to come. Check out the information below to learn how to make homemade solar water heater devices right away!
DIY Solar Water Heater Materials and Equipment Needed
- (2 total pieces) 52 inches of 1-inch diameter copper tubing
- 60 feet of ¾-inch diameter coil of copper tubing
- 1-inch thick copper sheet
- 2×4 lumber
- Fiberglass insulation
- Glass pane for covering the solar panel
- Solder flux
- 1/8-inch drill bit
- ¾-inch drill bit
- Sharpie marker
- Measuring tape
- Safety gear: glove, hat, goggles, sturdy shoes, etc.
How to Make a Solar Hot Water Heater
1. To start your solar water heater build, use the jig to put a thin line down the middle of the first 52-inch copper tube.
2. Use the measuring tape to measure 2-inch sections of the copper tube. Mark these sections with a Sharpie marker. You should have 21 total sections when you’re finished.
3. Use a ruler to mark each of the other pieces of copper tubing at the same locations.
4. Drill your pilot holes using the 1/8-inch drill bit. These pilot holes should be located at each of the 21 marks you made on the first copper tube.
5. Use a ¾-inch drill bit to drill each hole slightly larger, after you have placed the pilot holes.
6. Repeat the same process on the second copper tube.
7. Very slowly and carefully unroll your coil of copper tubing to keep it from becoming knotted.
8. Measure 90-inch sections of the copper tubing and cut these sections.
9. Use the sander to sand the ends of the copper tubes. Cover with flux used for soldering.
10. Push each of the smaller 90-inch copper tube pieces into the holes that were drilled into the original 52-inch copper tube. Make sure they fit in far enough, but not so far that they touch the back wall of the larger tube.
11. Solder the smaller tubes onto the larger one.
12. Bring over the second large copper tube and solder the first and last smaller copper tubes into place first. This will make it easier to place the inner tubes.
13. Place the remaining small tubes into the corresponding holes on the second larger tubes and solder them into place. Take care not to bend them out of shape as you do this.
14. Work outside for the next step, and put on gloves. Firmly press the copper tubing you’ve constructed against the copper sheet. Make sure that it is firmly, flatly pressed into place.
15. Paint the exposed parts of the sheet with soldering flux.
16. Slowly and carefully work your way through the individual small tubes, soldering each one to the copper panel.
17. Construct a simple wooden frame to hold the panel. Use 2×4 lumber and connect with screws. Drill holes in the sides of the frame to allow the large copper tubes to sit in place.
18. Attach the plywood to the back of the frame using screws.
19. Secure the back of the frame with additional pieces of lumber, running horizontally.
20. Remove one side of the frame and slide in the fiberglass insulation. Then slide the solar panel you have constructed into place on top of the fiberglass. Replace the side of the frame.
21. If necessary, drill screws and washers through the copper sheet and into the support beams on the back of the frame to hold the panel into place firmly.
22. Cover the panel with glass and mount it outdoors.
23. Connect the panels with radiator hose and PVC piping to the house’s water line.
So what do you think about this solar water heater build your own project? Are you ready to tackle the project of learning how to make solar water heater setups? This project takes some time to complete, and it may sound overwhelming to those who haven’t got a lot of experience in DIY projects yet. However, this solar water heater DIY is a fun experience and it can really benefit your home in the long run, too.
Remember that learning how to make solar hot water heater components may not be ideal for beginners. It takes a little knowledge of how to use power tools and a solder, and the project is a little bit complicated for those who are new to the idea. An intermediate DIYer should have no trouble working through the steps required to build your own solar water heater.
What are some troubleshooting tips to remember as you learn how to build solar water heater elements?
- Don’t push the smaller copper tubing all the way to the back of the larger copper tubing when you’re learning to build solar water heater structures. This will prevent the tubes from being long enough to reach to the bottom of the panel.
- Be careful when assembling the frame and panel so that you don’t scratch or damage the panel with screws. Try not to allow the tubing to get bent out of shape as you construct your solar water heater home made setup.
- Make sure to set up the panel in your yard in a location that receives plenty of direct sunlight. Check it regularly throughout the day for a few months to see how it’s doing in terms of light versus shade.
Keep this information in mind as you complete your solar water heater homemade project. Don’t forget to check on it regularly, too, to make sure everything is up and running the way it’s supposed to. And keep in mind that you may need to speak with your local city or county, or with your HOA, to determine whether or not you can install this type of product before you ever learn to build solar hot water heater panels.
Good luck, and happy heating!