DIY Solar Water Heater


Can you make your own solar water heater? 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!

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Making A Solar Water Heater VS Buying One Instead?

The pros and cons of making a solar water heater versus buying one instead depend on the type of solar heater and the individual’s skill level. Building a DIY solar water heater is generally more cost effective than purchasing an off-the-shelf model, but it requires an understanding of the various types of solar heaters and involves significant labor to build. Passive solar water heaters are typically the easiest to make and can provide hot water without any additional energy input. Batch water heaters require more labor and materials, as do active systems, but they can be built with a variety of materials. Building a DIY solar pool heater is also possible, though it requires even more skill than most other types of solar heaters. If you have the tools and know-how to build a DIY solar water heater system, you can save money in the long run. On the other hand, if you don’t have the time or experience to build a batch water heater or any other type of solar heater from scratch, it may be better to buy one instead.


  • Building a solar water heater can be a great way to cut down on energy use.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Actually building a solar water heater may take a long time, so if you need a heater right away, it might be a better choice to have one professionally installed instead.

What Should I Consider Before Making My Own DIY Solar Water Heater?

Before attempting to make your own DIY solar water heater, there are a few important considerations that you should take into account. Firstly, it is important to understand the basic principles of how a solar water heater works and the components it requires. A solar water heater typically consists of a solar collector which absorbs heat from the sun, a storage tank to hold heated water, and a water heater system connected to the storage tank to heat the water. Depending on your needs, you may also require additional components such as a garden hose, electric water heater, or even a passive solar pool heater. Secondly, you should assess the amount of space and resources available for constructing your own solar energy system. Make sure that you have access to adequate materials such as copper pipes or aluminum plates for constructing your own solar collector and insulated storage tank for your water heater tank. Finally, consider researching safety regulations related to installing and using home-made solar equipment in your area before proceeding with your project. With careful planning and research, making your own DIY solar water heater can be an inexpensive way of harnessing renewable energy from the sun.

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
  • Plywood
  • Fiberglass insulation
  • Glass pane for covering the solar panel
  • Solder flux
  • Jig
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Solder
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • ¾-inch drill bit
  • Sander
  • Sharpie marker
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • 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.

Extra Information That Will Help Readers

DIY solar water heaters are a great way to save money on energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint. They let you heat water quickly and cheaply with the power of the sun instead of using electricity or gas. When building one of these systems, it’s important to think about things like size (so it covers the right area), insulation (so it works as well as possible), and the materials used to build it (as some may be more durable than others). You should also think about what kind of mounting system would work best for you. Roof-mounted systems can work well for larger homes, while ground-mounted systems might be better if you don’t have a lot of space. Lastly, make sure that the design you choose meets all local codes and rules so that everything stays safe while it is being installed and used. Taking this knowledge into account, anyone can confidently build their own solar water heater.

What Can You Do With Them?

There are three main ways to use these water heaters: First of all, they are a good way to heat the water in your home without using electricity. This is done by heating the water in the tank with the sun’s energy, which can help you save money on your energy bills. Second, these systems are great because they can keep water hot even when the power goes out. This is because they don’t need electricity to work. If the power goes out, you won’t have to worry about not having hot water. Lastly, these systems are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint because they don’t make any pollution or emissions when they’re in use. Because of this, they are a good choice for people who want to reduce their impact on the environment. With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why DIY solar water heaters are still widely popular.

What to Expect from Using It for the First Time

In general, the steps for setting up a do-it-yourself solar water heater are as follows: First, make sure you have all of the supplies and tools you need. This is made up of a solar panel, copper tubing, insulation, and other parts. Second, build the heater’s frame out of wood or metal. Third, attach the copper tubing to the frame and connect it to your plumbing system. Fourth, put the solar panel on top of the frame and connect it to the copper tubing. Fifth, use foam or another type of insulation to cover all of the heater’s exposed parts. Lastly, fill your tank with water and turn on your pump to start moving hot water through your system. With these easy steps, you can easily build a solar water heater for your home.


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!

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