Just because the temperature is cooling down, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice day outdoors by the pool. If you’re on a budget, but like the convenience of a solar-powered pool heater, there are a couple of options under the SolarPRO brand that may suit your needs.
In this SolarPRO pool heater review, you’ll learn about different heaters under the GAME SolarPRO line, and find out which ones suit your needs. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get reliable heating for your pool.
In the event that this brand doesn’t work for you, we’ve also included a section of alternative brands at the end of the article.
SolarPRO Pool Heater Comparison Chart
There used to be several products under the SolarPRO brand, but many of them are not manufactured anymore. Currently, there are two models in circulation. The SolarPRO Curve and the SolarPro Contour.
Below you’ll find a comparison chart of their basic features.
|Product||SolarPRO Curve||SolarPRO Contour|
|Dimensions||27.56 x 5.91 x 44.88 inches||28 x 11 x 28 inches|
|Weight||12.45 lbs||23 lbs|
|Maximum pool size||8000 gallon||10000 gallon|
|Heating rate (max pool size, approximate)||5° F in four days||5° F in six days|
|extras||Foldable legs, adjustable height||Foldable legs|
Who is SolarPRO Pool Heater for?
In general, the SolarPRO line of pool heaters is meant for above-ground pools. They’re a great option if you need to extend the number of “pool days” in a year without spending too much money. They’re also reliable and low-maintenance, although they may require a bit of skill to set-up initially.
If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, these heaters are entirely solar-powered and eco-friendly. The manufacturer offers replacement parts, making these heaters a safer purchase than other off-label alternatives.
What’s included in the box?
If you buy any SolarPRO product, it will come with…
- A pool hose
- The Solar heater
- A Manual
It appears that the hose that comes with the SolarPro Curve model is a bit shorter than other products. If there’s enough sun exposure, you can simply place it closer to the pool. If not, a longer hose may be necessary.
The SolarPro Curve model comes with adjustable legs. The idea is to control the height and angle of the solar cells to get the optimum sun exposure. However, the legs may be a bit frail and are prone to breaking, so you need to handle them with care.
The Contour model also comes with foldable legs. They aren’t very useful at adjusting the angle, but they’re much more durable.
Overview of SolarPRO Pool Heater features
The two SolarPRO models do well in terms of heating your pool. However, you may wish to purchase the higher-end Contour model if you require a more robust device.
For example, if you don’t get enough sun in your yard or if you have a larger pool, the extra price may be a worthwhile exchange for a better performance.
The Contour model is covered with a glass dome, which creates a greenhouse effect to maximize heat. It has the highest heat output in the smallest space, which adds to the price.
Top SolarPRO Pool Heater
If you have milder heating needs or a smaller pool, the Curve model may be more appropriate. It’s a significantly cheaper alternative, but still provides decent heating.
Some users like to get 2 or more heaters to get as much surface area as possible. The curve model is more efficient for this setup.
GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater
The Contour model is more durable. It also generates the maximum amount of heat in the smallest space. However, it comes at a significantly higher price point.
The Curve model is cheaper, lighter, and provides great heat. However, it’s a lot flimsier. You can almost always expect the legs to break, and there are some weak plastic parts as well. It’s not going to make the device unusable, but it’s still unacceptable to some users.
What we like
SolarPRO heaters provide decent heating all-around, at a great price point.
SolarPRO products are a great value for money. Not only at the initial purchase, but because they heat well without the need for additional heating expenses.
Their lack of electrical equipment makes them safer to use around damp environments. The manufacturer doesn’t explicitly state that they are waterproof, but since they are made of plastic and work with mechanical (not electrical) components, we have no reason to believe that water will damage them.
They’re also relatively light-weight and small. They could even fit in your car if needed.
The contour model is sturdier and clearly has better engineering.
Other features that we liked:
- Beautiful compact design
- Responsive customer service
- Large tubes to provide good water flow
What we don’t like
Besides the pros, we do have something that we want SolarPro to improve.
Firstly, the legs on the Curve model are too fragile. The connectors are also prone to leaking for some users, which means they have to use waterproof tape or other tools to get it to work properly.
GAME 4714 SolarPRO Contour Solar Pool Heater for Intex
The hose can be a bit short, especially on the Curve model. The manual recommends keeping the heater about 10 meters away from the pool, which is impossible with the hose given. However, we don’t see a need to keep it that far away.
If your pool is in a shaded area, you may need to purchase a longer hose to place the heater where the sun is. Buying your own hose is pretty standard with pool heaters anyway, because the manufacturer has no way of knowing your exact setup, so it’s not much of a problem.
These heaters are also incompatible with inland pools. Even if you can set them up, they simply won’t generate enough heat for them.
Other features we did not like:
- Requires a bit of handiness to set up properly
- Some plastic parts are flimsy (especially the legs)
- May require separate adapters depending on the pool
SolarPRO Pool Heater Set Up Guide
The SolarPRO heaters can be a bit tricky to set up. Make sure to read the manual that comes with your specific model. If you’re more of a visual learner, watch this short video demonstration for the SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater. The Contour model works in a very similar way.
To put it simply, use the hose to connect the pool to the pump, the filter, the solar heater, and then back to the pool. Filters are highly recommended to prevent debris from getting into the heater and clogging it. However, your setup can still technically work without them
The pump should move the water into the solar heater automatically. It’s a good idea to cycle the pump several times during daylight, in order to allow the device a chance to heat a quantity of water before replacing it.
The SolarPRO heaters have no electrical parts. The water will simply pass through the coil, get heated, and then go back into the pool. It uses active solar-thermal conversion.
Although the device can handle up to 8000 or 10000 gallons of water (depending on the model), we recommend using several devices for the larger pools. This is especially important if you don’t get much sun in your backyard.
There’s a bit of trial and error involved in figuring out how many devices you need for how many gallons. It can be said that one unit can handle a minimum of 2000 gallons, and upwards from there depending on sun exposure.
It’s recommended to use a solar cover for your pool when it’s not in use, in order to preserve as much heat as possible. There are round and rectangular varieties, depending on the shape of your pool.
SolarPRO Pool Heater Alternatives
If you’re worried about the durability issues of SolarPRO, you’ll find the SunHeater line to be a good alternative. It’s larger in size and more expensive, but it’s easier to set up. It can even be placed on the roof.
Below is a quick comparison for you to decide which one you need.
|Price||Low (for the Curve model)High (for the Contour model)||Medium|
|Pool type||Above ground||Any|
To wrap up, if you want a simple solar-powered heater for an above-ground pool, the SolarPRO Curve has the most value for money.
If you need the most performance in the smallest space possible, you may want to look at the SolarPRO Contour.
If you want a more durable heater even if it takes a large space, or if you’re trying to warm up an inland pool, you may want to look at any device from the SunHeater line.