We have a 16′ x 3.5′ above gr. pool for the kids, one that rises to full height as the water fills,blue soft sides.We fill it from “well water” so it is ice cold by the time the approx. 3900 gallons fill. The kids are freezing! Last year I just drained it in Aug-still to cold to swim in.In northern Indiana the nights cool down and whatever heat up we had during the day is cooled off at night. Does anyone know of a “cheap” way to warm the water? Pool heaters are to expensive, I’m going to try the solar covers but we also have trees! Not a full day of sun hitting across the water. Wondered if anyone else has had this problem. Someone suggested hooking the hose to hot water in the kitchen but pool is filled now,besides how much can a 50 gal water heater warm! If I can find- Do farmers use something to keep the water from freezing in those big metal cattle/horse watering pools (don’t know what they are called!) and would that continue to warm up water if freezing is not the issue? I would take out before anyone got into pool of course. I really do not want to run kids all summer to the spray parks and pools, besides their water is cold also!

Don’t know if this will help y’all, but when I was a kid my father made a solar heater for our above-ground pool that worked very well (but that was in Arizona). He spread coils of black plastic pipe on the house roof, and hooked the pool pump to it. The water got hot enough he ended up installing a bypass valve to divert some of the water straight to the pool to keep it cool enough.

A cover of any sort would likely help it stay warmer. It would keep the breeze blowing across the top of the pool from pulling the heat out I would think.

Tree Trimming and a solar cover are going to be the least expensive way to heat the water in your pool. A 50 gallon water heater is going to heat just that 50 gallons then it will be flowing to quickly through it to warm it at all, it will just stay on and cost. Stock tank heaters keep part of the tank ice free so the animals don’t have to break the ice to find water, but they will not heat a 3900 gallon pool. Another suggestion for the next time you need to fill the pool, ask your local fire dept, I was a member of my local Vol. Company and we filled pools every spring, some folks gave us a donation for the company, but just knowing that we had thousands of gallons of water available if needed to fight a fire made everyone safer…

The best & cheapest pool heater that I know of is black garden hose draped over a dark-colored roof, or a driveway, or some other area that gets a lot of sun. When I had a house with a pool, the pool heater died and we draped about 200 feet of hose over the garage roof (which was next to the pool) and put a submersible sump pump in the pool to push the water through the hose & back into the pool.

More recently, I gave this tip to a neighbor, who lays a black hose on his blacktop driveway on sunny days to get the same effect & avoid running his gas pool heater. He just taps off the pool filter to push the water through.

In any event, you will need a good “solar” type cover to help keep the heat in when you aren’t using the pool. Solar covers also help heat the water even when partially shaded.