We have a set of EnerSol solar panels (black water pipes) which are installed on the roof. Our pool pump sends water up to the panels via black PVC pipes. The water goes through the panels, warms significantly then returns back down to the pool.

When it's running it works great. The water feels warm coming out of the jets and the pool is nice and warm all summer.

The problem is... we are up in Southern Canada and the winters are harsh on the panels. Every spring we have burst PVC pipes in various places which necessitate an expensive call to a plumber. This despite carefully blowing out all the water from the pipes in the fall. (I suspect some water doesn't fully drain due to being at the bottom of the roof slope.)

Are black PVC pipes appropriate in this situation? Anyone have a similar setup with any advice?

  • 1
    Oh my gosh we quit using a heater years ago because of the cost. our solar has drains and we bypass the panel during the winter so we can run the pump and keep the water clean. If you have lots of maintenance a drain leg at the bottom of each run should take care of it. We had thick Ice on the pool this year but the collector survived just fine in and swimming already (and this is in Oregon).
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 23:36
  • You should try to focus on a single question per post. The whole bit about a gas heater, should be a separate question.
    – Tester101
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 23:38
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    Have you contacted the manufacturer? Perhaps checked out their Frequently Asked Questions? Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 0:10
  • @DanielGriscom nice... turns out the company winterizing our pool has not been doing so properly. Even though they installed the panels. Thanks for the link.
    – Sherri
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 1:52

1 Answer 1


It has not been winterized properly. Enersol FAQs have some great tips regarding "removable end-caps on the roof" that need to be opened.

EnerSol FAQs

  • Note: the company closing our pool this year did some extra draining of the panels by getting up on the roof & even put antifreeze up there. Hoping next spring it's in better shape. Will report back if not.
    – Sherri
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 4:44

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