Heating and keeping the swimming pool water warm for enjoyable pool activities is a breeze with the top-quality solar rings for pool fixtures. These devices do not require complicated setups and can raise pool water temperatures by 5-15℉. Homeowners with solar rings in their swimming pools will never worry about expensive pool heating again.
The only concern homeowners have is which solar ring to buy. We understand families’ apprehension when choosing such devices. So, our team scoured the online marketplace and analyzed top-selling solar discs to determine the top-rated possible product to recommend. Interestingly, we found three factors that solar ring buyers consider.
- Pool Size: Solar rings come in a wide size range (five to fifteen feet in diameter), so it’s important to take the pool’s measurements to determine what solar ring size is best.
- Heating power: Generally, solar rings can raise the pool’s temperatures by 5-15℉. However, some are more efficient than others, which means paying close attention to the ring’s heating power is a must.
Most homeowners recommend solar disks with 50% water heating abilities and excellent insulation for more effective thermoregulation.
- Quality: A good solar ring should be made from high-grade UV-resistant vinyl. Similarly, it should be sturdy enough to withstand constant use.
Solar ring buyers might also consider other factors, such as added features and overall value. We will examine and describe these attributes in the following solar disk reviews.
|Top 1||Top 2||Top 3|
|Preview||Solar Sun Rings SSR-SB-02||Intex 29023E||Solar Sun Rings FBA_SSRA-101|
|Weight||2 pounds||5 pounds||3.19 pounds|
|Diameter||5 ft||15 ft||5 ft|
Top 6 Solar Ring for Pool Reviews
1. Solar Sun Rings SSR-SB-02 Solar Pool Heater
The Solar Sun Rings SSR-SB-02 continues to impress with its pool water heating and evaporation prevention capabilities. I would not be surprised if this product earns the trust and respect of more homeowners than other solar disks on this list.
I like this solar ring’s 60-inch diameter, which is quite impressive. Six of these will be enough to cover 70-80% of a 12×24-foot swimming pool, whereas other solar rings might require an additional pair.
With high-quality UV-resistant vinyl forming its foundation, this solar ring has an admirable water-heating capability. It absorbs 50 percent sunlight and directs it to the swimming pool’s bottom as heat.
I am impressed with this solar ring’s vinyl construction and the blue reflective material at the base, which are thicker than my old rings. The feature is perfect for preventing cold air from mixing with the swimming pool water at night, ensuring the water remains warm until the following morning.
The solar ring’s thoughtful design also reduces water and chlorine evaporation by 60 percent, thus resulting in extra savings.
The six-pack version offers excellent value for families with small swimming pools. However, I recommend the Solar Sun Rings 10 pack for a better bargain, especially with a 16×24-foot or 21-foot diameter swimming pool.
My only lament about these solar rings is the tricky inflation. Too much air can make these devices wavy, reducing their passive heating capability and warmth retention.
- 60-inch diameter solar discs for better pool coverage
- Heats the pool water by absorbing 50% sunlight
- Robust construction for long-term usage
- Reduces chemical and water evaporation by 60%
- Good value for small swimming pools
- Tricky to inflate
2. Intex 29023E 15-Ft. Solar Cover
I prefer solar covers to solar disks because they are more efficient in heating the water, and minimizing evaporative heat losses. Unsurprisingly, I tip my hat to the Intex 29023E, a 15-foot solar cover ideal for above ground pool applications.
Unlike solar rings that leave some pool areas uncovered, this solar cover is like an insulating barrier for a 15-foot circular swimming pool. Its outer edge fits snugly against the pool’s interior wall, forming a tight layer that prevents dirt and debris from entering.
Of course, dust and particle protection is not the only advantage one can get from this solar cover. Families can also rely on more efficient pool water heating. If the Solar Sun Rings can deliver 50% sunlight to the water and heat it, I am confident this solar cover can do it just as well.
I had a friend who used this cover in their circular pool. The swimming pool water was already at 101℉ within three hours of direct sunlight exposure. This solar cover’s water heating capabilities stem from its 100% pool coverage, raising the temperature faster than conventional solar rings.
Its full pool coverage also makes this solar cover better at preventing heat and chlorine evaporative losses. Families will schedule less frequent swimming pool chlorine treatment because this solar cover retains 95% water.
Placing this solar cover on the swimming pool’s surface is a cinch, as long as one notes its size. The carrying bag is a bonus, ensuring more efficient storage.
Unfortunately, some swimming pool owners say this solar cover does not last long due to prolonged exposure to high chlorine levels.
- Recommended for 15-foot diameter above-ground circular swimming pools
- Better evaporation reduction than solar rings
- Impressive water heating capability
- Effortless to install in the swimming pool
- Comes with carry bag for easy storage
- Not as durable as other solar covers
3. Solar Sun Rings Circular Solar Cover
The only significant difference between these floating pool heater rings and the SSR-SB-02 is their quantity per package. This product is a single solar disc, while the latter has six items per pack.
Hence, the FBA-SSRA-101 is more suitable for replacing worn or damaged solar rings, ensuring families continue their passive pool water heating activities.
This solar ring’s five-foot diameter is perfect for practical-minded homeowners. They can buy four of these to heat their 12-foot circular pool. Add one more, and be sufficient to elevate and maintain a 15-foot pool’s ideal water temperature.
Like the SSR-SB-02, this single-unit solar ring has a high water heating efficiency. However, it will be ineffective if people only use one disc in their swimming pool. Hence, the SSR-SB-02 offers better value because one already pays for six. Of course, this solar ring will be ideal for families who need only one or two.
From my experience, this solar ring can raise the pool’s temperature by at least 7℉. This is not all that surprising, considering the SSR-SB-02 guarantees a maximum temperature increase of 15℉. Its heat retention capabilities are also spot-on.
I like the redesigned grommets, allowing water on the solar ring’s surface to pass through the openings. This design feature prevents the solar disc from sinking, enabling it to continue its job.
Although this solar ring excels at heating the pool water passively, its quality is a hit or miss. Its performance also hinges on how well users inflate the solar discs to the ideal pressure.
- Five-foot diameter solar ring for better pool coverage
- Reengineered grommet design to keep the ring afloat
- Raises pool water temperature by at least 7℉
- Good heat retention
- Tricky inflation
4. GoFloats GF-SOLAR-60-3 Solar Heaters
Most solar rings have a circular design, making them less effective in covering swimming pool surface. So, when GoFloats introduced its GF-SOLAR-60-3, I knew these solar discs for pool would create a buzz among homeowners who want a more efficient way to heat their swimming pool water passively and economically.
Some people might consider these solar discs unusual, but their unique design makes them more space-efficient, regardless of pool shape. Locking these octagons together should provide sufficient swimming pool coverage with only a few of these products.
For example, three inflatable solar heaters are sufficient for 93-112 sq. ft swimming pools, covering about 80% of the pool’s surface. Determining the solar disc quantity required is also simple: multiply the swimming pool’s width and length, and divide the result by 30 to get the number of solar octagons required.
Setting these octagons is a breeze because of their straight edges. And each solar disc can cover 25 square feet of swimming pool surface area.
The product’s water heating capabilities are also noteworthy. Although I did not run tests, users say this solar disc can raise water temperature by at least 7℉ within three days. Retaining temperature gains during the day is also a cinch with these octagons’ air bubble blanket, trapping heat when the outdoor air temperature drops at night.
Sadly, this solar disc also suffers from inconsistent quality control. Most products have a trustworthy design and performance, but a few might not.
- More space-efficient octagon shape
- Five-foot diameter eight-sided solar discs
- One octagon covers 25 square feet
- Hassle-free setup
- Good water heating and temperature retention
- Inconsistent quality control
5. Solar Sun Rings SSRA-100 Pool Water Heater
Solar Sun Rings returns with the SSRA-100. These solar rings for pool heating have a similar performance to the FBA-SSRA-101 and SSR-SB-02, except for the built-in anchors to prevent them from drifting.
Like other Solar Sun Rings products, this solar disc has a reliable pool water heating performance, which should be similar to the SSR-SB-02 and FBA-SSRA-101. Hence, raising the swimming pool water temperature by 5-107℉ is possible.
I also like this solar disc’s ability to reduce evaporative heat losses, ensuring my swimming pool has the correct temperature for my kids. Moreover, families can save more by treating the pool with chlorine less frequently than without this product.
My favorite thing about this solar ring is its high-quality vinyl construction and air-bubble layer design – perfect for keeping temperature gains during the day. I can go to bed knowing my pool water will still be warm the following day. Continuous pool water heating should raise the water temperature to ideal levels within five days.
This product’s advantage over the FBA-SSRA-101 and SSR-SB-02 is the integrated anchors. The disc will never drift around, ensuring more efficient swimming pool coverage and maximizing heating capabilities. Its five-foot diameter should be perfect for circular swimming pools, although I still prefer the GoFloats GF-SOLAR-60-3’s octagon design.
Like many SSR solar rings, inflating this solar disc can be tricky. Excessive air pressure can undermine this solar ring’s water heating performance and swimming pool surface stability.
- Prevents water and chlorine evaporation
- Safeguards water temperature gains
- Equipped with anchors for solar ring stability
- Raises water temperature by 7℉
- Five-foot diameter solar rings to cover more water
- Inflation can be hit or miss
6. Solar Sun Rings SSSA-SB-02 UV Heater Solar Cover
The Solar Sun Rings SSSA-SB-02 are almost similar to other discs from Solar Sun. I say “almost” because this product does not have the conventional circular design. Instead, it has a square form, making it suitable for rectangular swimming pools.
Like the octagon-shaped GoFloats GF-SOLAR-60-3, I like these solar disks better than round ones because we have a rectangular swimming pool. With its 25-square-foot dimension, this solar disc can effectively cover the swimming pool. Plus, regardless of whether the pool is above or in-ground, this solar disc should fit right in.
I do not question this solar disc’s pool water heating performance. After all, it comes from the same brand that many homeowners trust. Raising the pool water temperature to 15℉ should not be a problem. Retaining the ideal water temperature is also not an issue because of these solar discs’ thoughtful design.
Heat retention matters because I want our 90-degree swimming pool water to reach about 105 degrees for more comfortable and enjoyable swimming. More importantly, I can go to bed knowing our swimming pool water will still be within 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit the following day.
I like its high-quality UV-treated vinyl material, which is similar to the other Solar Sun rings, making this solar disc resilient against UV damage. The air pockets are also perfect for converting at least 50% sunlight to heat.
Unfortunately, I found some users who complained of this solar disc’s questionable durability, deteriorating after only several months of use.
- Square-shaped solar discs for rectangular swimming pools
- Compatible with both above and in-ground pools
- UV resistant material
- Effective in raising and retaining pool water temperature
- Questionable durability
What Are Solar Rings for Pool/who This is for?
Solar rings for swimming pool fixtures (in-ground and above-ground styles) are passive heating objects that do not require complicated setups. These products have a straightforward design that people can toss onto the swimming pool to heat the water, prevent evaporation, and retain the ideal water temperature at night.
Not everyone needs solar rings for their respective swimming pools. For example, homeowners do not need these devices if they live in tropical regions where it is warm all year round.
Hence, solar rings are ideal for homeowners living in regions with slightly colder climates. One must factor in these devices’ 15-degree maximum water heating capability in determining the appropriateness of getting a pack for the swimming pool.
For instance, families living in 80-90℉ weather will find the additional 5-15℉ perfect for more enjoyable swimming. On the other hand, households in 60 to 70-degree climates might find these technologies insufficient to heat their pool water.
It should be noted that solar rings work excellently with other pool heating technologies, such as a pool heat pump. Otherwise, the water temperature elevation is unlikely to exceed the 15℉ threshold.
How Does It Work?
Pool solar rings work to raise the swimming pool water temperature by 5-15℉.
A solar disc has two vinyl sheets with anti-UV treatment to make it withstand the scorching sun. An upper layer consists of air in a bubble wrap. This section does two things.
First, it focuses UV rays on the bottom layer that, in turn, radiates heat to the swimming pool water. It’s like a microscope’s condenser lens that concentrates light under the specimen. The bottom section can absorb as much as 50 percent of UV light, allowing it to convert that much into heat.
Second, the top layer’s air section acts like an insulating barrier at night. Environmental temperatures can drop significantly without the sun, thus affecting the pool. The solar disc’s topmost section prevents rapid water temperature decrease, ensuring the pool water will still be warm the following day.
Solar rings also minimize evaporative losses during the day, ensuring the swimming pool maintains a temperature of five to 15 degrees Fahrenheit higher than without these devices.
What Are the Different Types of Solar Rings for Pool
Passive water heating technologies for swimming pools come in three types.
- Solar Pool Cover
Also known as a “solar pool blanket,” a solar pool cover is the most effective passive water heating system for swimming pools. This device covers the whole swimming pool’s surface to prevent up to 95% of water losses.
The cover produces a greenhouse effect, which means it keeps the heat in the swimming pool water and retains its temperature for extended periods. Like solar rings, the cover can raise the pool’s temperature by 15℉.
- Solar Ring
Solar rings are water lily-like contraptions floating on the swimming pool’s surface. These discs function like a solar pool cover, but their temperature-raising and evaporative heat loss prevention abilities are less profound.
For solar rings to work effectively, homeowners need to cover 70-80% of the pool with these. So how many solar rings are necessary will depend on the size of the pool.
- Liquid Solar Cover
Chemical-based liquid solar covers offer convenient application and modest heat retention capabilities. The product forms a solar cover-like film on the swimming pool surface, heating the water and preventing up to 40% evaporative losses. The top-rated part about this product is its versatility. One can use it in any swimming pool.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Solar Rings for Pool
Many homeowners consider solar sun rings for pool applications heaven-sent in heating their swimming pools and keeping the water warm for more enjoyable summer pool times. However, we recommend appreciating these devices’ pros and cons before buying.
The principal advantage of solar discs is their practicality. It does not cost a fortune to cover 70-80% of your swimming pool with these floating devices. Moreover, you can buy in packs to increase cost savings.
Solar rings are also straightforward to use as they’re easy to inflate. You can toss them into the pool right after unboxing. These products have magnets connecting individual discs on the water’s surface to guarantee better pool coverage and heating.
These passive heating devices also form a barrier on the swimming pool’s surface, preventing loose leaves, debris, and other particles from contaminating the water, and making cleanups hassle-free.
Although less efficient than a solar blanket, solar rings can still reduce evaporation during the day. These devices also maintain the pool’s chemical equilibrium, making it unnecessary to replenish chlorine and other treatments frequently.
First, only long exposure to sunlight can make solar rings work, which can be problematic for homeowners living in areas with frequent overcast skies and shorter daylight.
Second, these devices cannot raise swimming pool water beyond 15℉ from the current water temperature. Most products can only increase the temperature by 8℉ in four days.
Solar rings heat the water passively, which means they’ll take quite some time. For example, it would be great if the solar disc heats the pool water by 15℉ in a few hours. Sadly, this is usually not the case.
Finally, not everyone likes the design of solar rings. Moreover, debris and algae can accumulate on the solar disc’s surface, and their longevity usually does not extend beyond three years.
How We Picked and Tested
Buying solar rings for heating the swimming pool water is less complicated than it sounds. Our team assessed and analyzed solar discs on the market, focusing on the following attributes.
- Solar ring size and shape
Most solar rings have a circular shape, leaving some areas uncovered. However, they are ideal for round and oval pools, allowing the curved edge to cover the pool’s sidings.
On the other hand, square-shaped solar pool panels are perfect for rectangular swimming pools. Other brands have an octagonal shape resembling a beehive when solar discs raft together.
The solar disc’s size matters depending on one’s pool dimensions. Large swimming pools will benefit more from oversized solar rings.
In contrast, small-diameter solar discs will be more applicable to small-sized swimming pools.
- Heating power
Homeowners must always choose solar rings with a high water heating capability. This attribute ensures the water temperature stays warm longer. You can rest assured that any product hand-picked by us will have a decent heating capability of 50%.
We also checked the products’ insulation properties because these can improve the solar ring’s water-heating abilities.
The top-tier solar rings must feature heavy-duty vinyl materials with adequate anti-UV treatment.
The seams between sections must also be robust to ensure quality and longevity. Hence, we examined product specifications and compared them with real-world experiences to determine solar ring quality.
- Added features
Magnets are a must-have for these floating devices to prevent them from straying from one another. Anchored solar rings are excellent for ensuring the devices do not move.
We also considered compatibility. For example, some solar discs are only suitable for inground pool applications, while others are perfect for above-ground ones. Still, some brands are compatible with different swimming pools.
We analyzed the solar ring’s water heating capabilities, material construction, size, and extra features and compared them with the list price. This action allowed us to include only products with good value for the money.
We examined each solar disc based on the attributes mentioned and scored them individually to determine the best solar rings for pool on this list.
How many solar rings do I need for my pool?
The number of pool warmer rings depends on the disc’s diameter and the pool’s size. Solar pool heating experts recommend covering 70 to 80 percent of the water’s surface.
Suppose you have a 72-foot (12×24) perimeter swimming pool. 70% of this is about 50 feet, while 80% is 58 feet. You can peg it at 54-55 feet.
Assuming a solar disc is five feet in diameter, you can place 8 rings in your pool to cover 60 feet (about 83%). Placing 7 will cover 55 feet (or 76%) of the pool’s surface.
Usually, manufacturers will provide the recommended number to use in any swimming pool.
How long does it take to heat a pool with solar rings?
Solar rings can heat a swimming pool by around 5℉t in ten to twelve hours, depending on prevailing conditions. However, it is possible to reduce the time if you have other pool water heating technologies.
Homeowners must recognize that solar pool disks passively heat the pool water, making it dependent on external factors. For example, swimming pools in shaded areas or persistent overcast conditions might take longer to heat using these products.
How long do solar sun rings last?
Solar rings for inground pool and above-ground units can last three to seven years, depending on the material’s thickness and UV treatments. Most pool heating rings feature UV-resistant vinyl, giving these products better durability against the elements than other materials for pool solar discs.
How much heat does a pool lose overnight?
Uncovered swimming pools can lose four to five degrees Fahrenheit overnight. However, some areas can experience a more significant temperature drop.
Solar pool pads and blankets can limit heat loss by at least 50%. For instance, the swimming pool temperature could be 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the morning instead of 62 degrees if you use solar rings for above-ground pools or even solar covers.
What’s the difference between solar rings and solar cover?
The most significant difference between solar covers and solar heat rings for pool systems is coverage.
Solar covers are like blankets on the water’s surface to cover the swimming pool from edge to edge. This product can warm the water by 15 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer while preventing evaporative water and chemical losses. Because they are bigger, covers are better for pools with larger dimensions.
On the other hand, solar rings to heat pool are disc-shaped devices that float on the water’s surface. They have air bubbles to trap heat and prevent evaporation. Sadly, their design means solar pool rings will leave some pool sections exposed, leading to uneven warming.
Solar covers are better at preventing evaporative heat loss, are more effective in heating, and are more suitable for reducing water loss.
On the other hand, even solar pool rings cheap knock-offs are safer because they warn children and pets not to step into the water. Solar covers might make kids think it is safe to step and walk on the swimming pool shroud.
How many degrees will a solar cover heat a pool?
Solar pool circles can heat the swimming pool water from 10-15℉, depending on weather conditions and solar disc coverage. However, it’s safe to say that you can expect to see a 5℉ increase after each day.
Hence, if you have 85℉ pool water, you can expect it to reach 90℉ after a day of solar disc use. It should keep the pool water sufficiently warm overnight, allowing you to continue heating the swimming pool water the following day.
What is the cheapest way to heat a pool?
Solar rings are the cheapest methods to heat a swimming pool. You can spend about a hundred dollars for enough discs to 70-80% of the pool’s surface and never worry about incurring expenses again. Unfortunately, these devices are unsuitable in locations with frequent overcast skies and exceptionally windy conditions.
Some pool owners recommend solar blankets instead of rings to address the question of heating efficiency between pool solar rings vs. solar blanket products. Experts say solar blankets are more effective in heating swimming pools because they cover the entire surface.
Does solar pool heating work in winter?
Yes, solar disks for pools can heat the swimming pool water in the winter, provided you live in an area with warmer weather and constant exposure to sunlight.
For example, Florida winters can produce 76-78℉ swimming pool water. So with solar rings, you can have an 81-93℉ pool, which most people would find sufficient.
Unfortunately, you cannot expect solar rings to raise your swimming pool’s water temperature in the winter if you live in bitterly cold areas. The temperature elevation (5-15 degrees Fahrenheit) is negligible in freezing or near-freezing conditions.
How do you clean a solar pool ring?
Manufacturers have specific recommendations on how to clean their solar circles for pools. Hence, it would be most suitable to read the cleaning and maintenance suggestions to ensure product integrity and longevity.
For example, Solar Sun recommends monthly cleaning its products with a white vinegar solution (water, white vinegar, and pine cleaner). You can remove loose dirt and debris by washing the solar rings with clean water before applying the cleaning solution. Rinse the solar discs thoroughly before placing them back in the swimming pool.
How to make homemade pool solar discs?
Budget-conscious folks fond of recycling or repurposing things can make DIY solar rings for pool fixtures. The steps for making homemade pool solar discs are:
- Prepare several plastic hula hoops (enough to cover 70-80% of the pool). Also, get a stapler and several pieces of plastic trash or garbage bag.
- Grab one hula hoop and insert it inside one black plastic garbage bag. Stretch the plastic bag to smoothen the surface.
- Secure the plastic bag by stapling the edges around the hula hoop.
- Get another hula hoop and plastic bag and repeat Steps 2 and 3.
- Toss the homemade solar discs in your swimming pool.
The best solar rings for pool can provide families with a better swimming experience without spending too much money. These discs might have a simple design, but they can noticeably change the pool’s temperatures.
We can guarantee all solar rings reviewed on this list underwent a thorough evaluation to help families make an intelligent choice. Try any of them today.
Hi, I am Eddie, Cleanenergysummit’s content editor. It’s so much joy to work alongside Justin, as the idea of providing knowledge about using clean energy excites us.
I’ve been working to address any concerns or questions you may have as you transition to using solar electricity to power your home. Tune in to hear our advice and suggestions on anything clean energy. Welcome!