Here’s a do-it-yourself project to use the sun’s energy to heat your water. This couple heats water through black hoses on top of their carport. The black hoses attract the heat from the sun. The heated water flows into their electric water heater for additional heating only when required.

Placing the hoses on the carport roof, virtually hides them from view.

They started with a length of fairly heavy black hose and created a spiral. They taped the hose together to ensure it laid flat. This hose was thicker than usual. The second hose used was 3/4″ and much easier to work with.

To easily lift it up to the carport roof, a cross brace was created to hold it in place. Once on the roof, the wooden cross brace was removed and used again for the second hose. When connected together, the hoses provided 300′ of heating for 11 gallons of water. After filling the hoses with water, the tape was removed. The water holds the hoses in place.

PVC pipe was used to run cold water up to the hoses. A 5 micron filter was installed to trap sediment at the cold water input point. The heated water runs down more PVC piping underground into the cold water inlet of the electric water heater in the house. If the water is not hot enough, the water heater will provide further heating. Even so, it reduces the cost of heating the water as you are starting with already warmed water.

There is an additional water outlet outside by the carport. When tested at 11 am, the water was 120 F. By 1 pm, it reached 140 F. This outlet could be set up as an outside shower. This would be great at a cottage by the beach to reduce the sand trekked into the house. Also great for filling a kiddie pool to supplement the cold water. Lots of uses for this setup.

What a great way to save electricity by using a solar energy water heater.
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For more ideas to save energy in the home, see the Green Home page.

Filed under: Green Home