[Pros & Cons] [How] Can You Run Hot Tub On Solar?


Yes, you can run a hot tub on solar! It all depends on the amount of sun you get. Solar-powered heaters can heat water up to 100 degrees with only six hours of sunshine.

Experts advise maintaining your current (read electric) heater and run the solar-powered one to complement the main one.

Two types of solar-powered hot tubs exist:

  • With the first option, water passes via heat exchanging panel
  • The second option features the more conventional solar panels that are linked to energy-storing batteries

Which Is The Best Way To Run Your Hot Tub On Solar

The first option, which is the one that utilizes a heat exchanging panel, is the simplest method. Although it features a relatively simpler tech, it is effective especially if you reside in a region that gets roughly six hours or more of strong sun, daily.

So, how does this solar heating method work? Well, water moves from the under area of the tub and passes via the heating system. The heating system is simply a big panel that is traversed with tiny tubes for water to move through.

The tubes in the exchanger are put up against a black background in order to absorb heat. A Perspex or glass layer exists over the front for purposes of magnifying the heat.

As cold water passes via the tiny tubes, it gets heated by the sun. The water passes to the other side of the heat exchanger and gets piped to the hot tub’s top part. As the water gets cold, it goes down the tub, it moves via the heating system and gets warmed up again.

Can I Run My Hot Tub With Solar Panels?

Yes, you can hit your hot tub with solar panels. Here’s how you do it …

You tap on the sun’s energy using solar panels rather than using electricity. The best part about this is the fact that heating the hot tub system using this method is only at a fraction of the electric cost.

Although the initial cost of a solar-powered heating system for a hot tub might be high depending on the system you choose, you can drastically lower your bills in the long-run. That is for sure.

Solar Powered Hot Tub DIY

Fixing an old hot tub and converting it into a 100% solar run heating system is possible. Some of the do-it-yourself hot tub designs are so easy to build both in terms of costs and time taken.

Regardless of your preferred style, you’ll certainly find one from any of these 12 pocket-friendly DIY hot tubs.

How many solar panels does it take to run a hot tub?

It depends on the size of a hot tub. There is a simple formula that helps every customer to calculate the number of solar panels. The formula goes like this: hot tub + heater wattage x hours of use = solar panels needed.

When using solar panels for running the hot tub one can position it not only near its home but at many places and campsites. Also, the usage of solar panels in these modern days is an eco-friendly action and very economical as well. People are very suspicious when solar panels are included about the heating of the hot tub but for no reason. Only six hours of sun are needed to heat the normal size hot tub. 

If one decides to use solar panels for hot tub heating, one must be aware firstly of the positioning of the solar panels. Location is very important due to heat accumulation. If one’s yard is under the sun all day long the simplest way is to put them on the ground in a place that is for no other use. But, most people put solar panels on the roof which is also very useful and productive. What one must be careful of is to turn the panels toward the south side to have at least six hours of sun. Also, another important thing when buying a solar panel is the size. What is enough for the standard hot tub is the 4’ x 20’ panel size of 80 square feet. And in the end, installation is very crucial for the normal and productive use of solar panels. To have this it is recommended to hire professional service. 

Where can I get a hot tub solar heating system from?

There are many online addresses from which one can order the complete solar heating system. Some of them are Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, Solartubs, and many others. Many hot tub manufacturers also offer complete equipment for the solar heating system.

What one must pay attention to is the quality of the solar heating system. What is advised is to buy from the manufacturers which are very reliable and have their service as well as guarantees. Cheap and not checked products with bad reviews should be avoided because the reparation might cost more than the original product. 

A lot of people agree that the solar heating system provides savings in money and time. So because of that one must be very careful when choosing the equipment. The best advice given is to search the hot tub manufacturers in your area and be sure that they provide the solar heating system. If not, those companies can be very good sources for the information where you can buy the solar heating system because very often those companies have partners in different fields. 

To conclude, before even considering the solar heating system, be very aware of where you live. To be precise, research about the sunny days per year to use the full potential of the solar heating system. There is no point in installing the solar heating system if there are not enough sunny days because then one will also have to have an alternative heating system. In the case of this, then the costs will double and that is not something that people are happy about. 

How much money could a solar hot tub save?

One can save up to 70% of the energy costs if one installs solar hot tub heating. 

This is a really big saving and if one is considering the solar heating system it is something worth investing in. If a standard hot tub costs around 950$ a year, then 70% saving represents a nice amount of money-saving. Solar power can surely lower house costs which are something to consider. On the other hand, using the solar heating system is eco-friendly as well, so it is very good and useful for the environment. 

Modern times and green activists pay huge attention to the environment so when one is using the solar heating system one can enjoy it guilt-free. This planet awareness time has awakened many people to think about climate change and how to reduce or lower carbon emissions. Also, another advantage when using solar power is that it can be used for the whole water system in the house. 

To sum up, how much money exactly one is going to save depends also on how often the hot tub is used. Also the position and location of the hot tub influence the savings. The number of sunny days and energy accumulated is another factor which is very important with savings. Furthermore, the size of the solar panels is crucial with the savings as well as the air temperature in the area. All these factors influence the money-saving and should be considered before deciding on using the solar heating system. 

Solar hot tub systems and batteries

There are two types of solar hot tub systems: heat exchanging panels and solar panels. And there are four different types of batteries: lead-acid, lithium-ion, nickel-based, and flow batteries. There are different manufacturers which produce these systems and batteries. The best thing is to research the products in one area. 

Before installing and using the solar kits, one must and should contact the manufacturers of the hot tub in use, to check the warranty and availability of the use of the solar power. The kits cost on average 2000$. 

The heat exchanging panel is a solar panel attached to a small tube which is plumbed into the water and in this way it heats the water. It will run as long as it is sunny and besides this solar exchanging panel one can also use the electric heating system. The other system is the solar panel. This panel is connected to batteries that can store energy. As mentioned before, the four groups of batteries can be used for the solar heating system. They have their characteristics and unique model. Each of these batteries has its pros and cons which should be researched before using one. 

In the end, many are aware that using solar systems and batteries has the principle of saving the heat from the sun’s energy and reusing it during the night. 

Can I heat my hot tub with Solar Power in Winter?

Yes, you can heat your hot tub with solar power in winter.

Using solar power became very popular due to reducing energy costs. It has a very simple procedure of heating water which is based on heating the solar collectors during sunny days. To heat the hot tub with solar power during winter one needs systems with heat pipes with collectors but that contain the antifreeze mixture. Another important part of the solar heating system during the winter is the heat exchanger. The role of this component is to integrate the existing hot tub circulation system. It is very important to keep the hot tub and solar heating separated. That is done by titanium or stainless steel. 

To heat, the hot tub one can use the heat exchanging panel and solar panels. Which to use is up to the one that chooses the solar power hot tub but with the consultation of the manufacturer or the dealer. 

What is good advice is to base solar panels on the lowest energy time during the winter months. And because of that, if one lives in an area where there are not so many sunny days, one should buy a bigger panel. Also, during the coldest winter days, even the combination of solar power and electricity still can save a lot of money. 

Why You Should Consider Running Your Hot Tub on Solar

The following are some of the reasons that you should consider running your hot tub on solar:

Affordable

Before looking at the affordable nature of a solar-powered hot tub, we must first ask ourselves how much power does a hot tub need? The main energy consumer of a hot tub is a heater. It draws between 1,500 – 6000 watts.

Energy consumed depends on whether it is a 120v or 240v heater. Another consumer of energy is the water pump, which draws around 1,500 watts.

When it comes to electricity costs, the average monthly consumption is around $50. This cost can go higher depending on several factors.

If you would like to know more about how much electricity hot tubs use, you can check this article I wrote after doing research based on your living area.

If you want to reduce these costs, it is necessary to install an alternative hot tub heating powered by solar. For starters, a hot tub’s heat exchanger is a relatively low tech kit that is inexpensive. All you need to do to set it up is connect tubes and perhaps a tiny pump.

Once you have it up and running, maintaining it is low. The system does not have any mechanical or moving parts that can go wrong.

At the end of the year, you would have saved considerable amounts of energy costs by installing a solar system for your hot tub.

It can be used alongside an electric one

Another great attribute of a solar-run hot tub is the fact that you can run it alongside your normal electric one. There is no danger or harm in running both the heating system together with an electric heater.

Running them together is necessary during days when there won’t be enough sun to heat water. Of great importance to note is that a solar system isn’t able to heat completely cold water, making you need an electric one as a booster.

This is especially true after you’ve changed the water or have not used your unit for some time. In such instances, water is extremely cold and an electric system is better suited to heat water with low temperature.

Eco-friendly

The green campaign is taking the entire country by storm. If you are enthusiastic about saving the environment, then you should consider having a hot tub powered by solar.

Using one not only reduces your pollution output but also lowers your environmental footprint drastically.

Downsides of A Solar Powered Hot Tub

Any good thing does not lack several drawbacks. A solar-run hot tub is no different.

For starters, solar heaters for a hot tub rarely work at night. They are also ineffective when it is heavily overcast or raining.

In the winter, their effectiveness drops way down, unless you reside in the deep southern United States regions.

Lack of temperature control is another issue that affects hot tubs running on solar. While I stand to be corrected on this particular issue, the truth is that you do not have any way to control your hot tub’s water temperature.

In a hot season, the heat exchanger will propel blistering hot water into the tub without any control. Since a hot tub is tailored to handle water whose temperature is 40 degrees C, temperatures above this can cause problems.

The good thing with an electric heater is that it can cut out when the water temperatures get too high.

Editorial Staff

I'm Adnan Sabanovic, the guy behind Hot Tubs Report. I've had a chance to enjoy hot tubs last few years and have really become interested in owning one of them. Nearly every weekend you'll find me spending time with my family or playing sports. If I am not doing that then I'm here writing about tubs on Hot Tubs Report. This blog is a research for my first hot tub which I decided to document and share publically so others can benefit from it as well.

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