How to Turn Off (and Turn On) a Solar Pool Heater | What Did I Do?

Solar pool heaters provide an eco-friendly way to extend the swimming season by harnessing the sun’s warmth. But during long periods of disuse, cold weather, or maintenance, shutting down a solar pool heater properly is crucial to prevent damage and save energy. So, how to turn off a solar pool heater?

The process involves turning off the pump, closing valves, and draining the solar panels if needed. But it’s not always straightforward.

This article will walk you through the complete procedure for safely turning off a solar pool heating system step-by-step. Read on to learn how to properly turn off a solar pool heater at the end of swimming season or whenever needed!

How to Turn Off (and Turn On) a Solar Pool Heater

How Do I Turn Off a Solar Pool Heater

Turning off a solar pool heater involves disconnecting the power and water supply to the panels and control system:

Step 1: Locate the Solar Heater System

Note where the solar panels are installed – usually on the roof or a nearby rack. Identify the electronic control unit, often located near the pool pump and filter.

Step 2: Turn Off the Pool Pump

Find the switch or button that controls the pool circulation pump. Flip it to the “off” position to stop water flow through the system.

Step 3: Close the Solar Panel Valves

Find the intake and return valves along the solar piping. Turn the handles to completely close both valves and prevent water from circulating to the roof panels.

Step 4: Drain the water from Solar Panels (Optional)

In freezing conditions, unscrew the drain plugs to empty water from the solar panels. This limits ice expansion damage.

Step 5: Cover the Solar Panels (Optional)

In cold climates, drape a waterproof tarp over the panels to protect them from snow accumulation and ice melting inside the panels.

Step 6: Restarting the Solar Heater

When ready to use the solar heating system again, simply reverse the steps. Open valves, uncover panels, turn on the pool pump switch, and allow water to flow through the panels once more. Give it a day or two to get back up to full temperature.

And that’s all there is to properly shut down a solar pool heater for storage or winterization. Protecting the system will save on repairs and downtime.

When and Why You Need to Turn Off the Solar Pool Heater

The main times when you should shut off the solar heater include:

  • Closing the Pool for the Season – At the end of the swimming season when you close down the pool, you’ll want to drain the water and winterize the solar heating system. This protects the panels and piping from freezing damage.
  • Long Vacations – If you’ll be away from home for multiple weeks, it saves energy to power everything down. Prevent overheating and water evaporation.
  • Freezing Weather – In climates with cold winters, temporarily turn off and drain the water to avoid ice expansion damage.
  • Maintenance and Repairs – Shut off flow and electricity when inspecting, cleaning or repairing any solar heater components. Safety first!

Turning off the solar pool heating system is vital to save energy, prevent equipment damage and perform maintenance.

Turning On the Solar Pool Heater Again

Winter’s over, and it’s time to wake up your solar pool heater. Here’s your morning routine:

Step 1: Open Valves. Unleash the water flow. Open those valves wide to get the circulation going.

Step 2: Turn On Pump. Flip the switch and let the water dance through the system.

Step 3: Uncover Panels. If you went for the optional winter blanket, unveil those panels to let them soak up the sun.

Step 4: Allow Water Flow. Let the water meander through the system, and watch your pool temperature climb like a determined mountain climber.


And there you have it – the aquatic ballet of turning off and on your solar pool heater. To sum it up: turn off the pump, close the valves, and if you’re feeling extra cautious (or live in a winter wonderland), drain and cover. But, here’s the golden rule – completely power off the system before taking any drastic measures like draining or covering. Safety first, folks!

As you prepare your pool for its seasonal transitions, share your thoughts, experiences, or quirky poolside stories in the comments below. Thanks for diving into the solar pool heater saga with us. Until next time, stay cool, stay warm, and may your pool water always be just the right temperature!

Turning Off Solar Pool Heater FAQs

Q. Why Should I Turn Off My Solar Pool Heater? Turning off the heater saves electricity from the circulation pump, prevents overheating in hot weather, and avoids freeze damage in winter. It also allows safe maintenance.

Q. Do I Need To Drain The Panels When Turning Off The System? In climates where deep-freezing occurs, it’s best to drain the panels so expanding ice does not crack them. In warmer regions, draining is unnecessary.

Q. What Happens If I Don’t Drain The Panels Before A Freeze? Any water left in the panels can freeze and expand, potentially rupturing fittings and cracking the panels. Always drain in freezing weather.

Q. How Often Should I Turn Off My Solar Pool Heater? Most people turn off the heater when closing the pool for winter. You may also power it down for long vacations or maintenance needs.

Q. How Long Does It Take To Restart The Solar Heater? Once turned back on, thawed, and refilled, the solar panels usually restore your pool to the desired temperature within 1-4 sunny days.

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