How to Heat a Kiddie Pool The Smart Way

Children enjoy spending time in the kiddie pool if the water has been warmed up beforehand. But how do you get the kiddie pool warm, and which heating method is best?

A kiddie pool is best heated with a solar cover or a solar pool mat. Other alternatives are solar rings or hot water from the kettle. The water in the kiddie pool stays warm if you use a pool cover overnight.

In this article, you will find 7 methods of how to heat a kiddie pool and what to watch out for to keep the pool water clean.

# 1 Heat the paddling pool with a solar cover

Using a solar cover is an easy way to heat a kiddie pool.

After the pool has been filled, the solar cover is placed over the pool – the sun does the rest.

Manufacturers and suppliers of pool solar covers promise that the water temperature rises up to 50 °F with the tarpaulin.

The only question is: When and how were the values ​​measured to achieve a temperature gain of 50 °F?

The solar cover will probably work under ideal conditions in hot regions, but a temperature gain of 35 to 37 °F is more realistic in a colder region.

Nevertheless, the solar cover acts as a sustainable and inexpensive kiddie pool heater that I can recommend.

Furthermore, the solar cover heats the pool water and helps keep the kiddie pool clean.

Reading tip: In my blog, you can read how to heat a large pool. Simply follow this link.

# 2 Heat the pool water with a solar mat

The solar mat is placed on the floor next to the kiddie pool and collects solar energy.

But how do you get a children’s pool warm with this heating method?

So that the stored heat can be transferred directly to the pool water via the solar mat, a closed water circuit using a pool pump (filter system) is necessary.

Another requirement to heat the pool water with the solar mat is direct sunlight – otherwise, the water will not be warm enough.

In spring (April) and late summer (August), a average efficiency of 45% is possible.

Advantages of the solar mat for heating up the kiddie pool:

  • The solar mat enables sustainable heating of the pool water with the help of the sun.
  • In order to increase the heating output, the solar mat can be connected to additional solar mats.
  • The tubes of the solar mat are 20% more efficient than conventional solar covers.
  • Swimming is possible during this time without any problems – With a solar cover, you have to wait until the water is warm.

Tip: The connection of the solar mat should not take place directly after the water backflow.

The connection after the filter system is better so that the system does not clog.

# 3 Use solar rings to heat the paddling pool

Solar rings offer another option to heat the kiddie pool with solar energy.

In principle, the solar rings are small solar covers that float on the water’s surface. The practical thing is that you can theoretically use the paddling pool while placing the solar rings.

One advantage of the solar rings – over the classic solar cover – is that the rings can regulate the water temperature halfway.

More solar rings heat the pool water faster.

If the water becomes too warm, some solar rings are removed.

But don’t expect too much from the heating output of a solar ring. The small surface area can only give off a little solar energy to the pool water.

Furthermore, the solar rings are currently overpriced and difficult to obtain on the market.

That’s why I recommend the classic solar tarpaulin instead of the solar rings.

# 4 Heat small pools with an immersion heater

This method seems a bit bizarre, but there are actually large immersion heaters that could be used to heat the pool water.

The immersion heaters are used in the construction industry to quickly heat a bucket of water – these are not certified pool immersion heaters.

But what speaks against using the immersion heater to heat a bucket of water and then pour the water into the paddling pool?

If you use an industrial immersion heater, please inform yourself beforehand about the correct handling and ideally use a stainless steel bucket.

Important: The immersion heater should not be held directly in the pool for your own protection and to avoid damaging the paddling pool.

I only mention this method for the sake of completeness and do not use the immersion heater myself.

I also advise against using it unless you really can handle this.

# 5 Warm up the kiddie pool with the kettle

Admittedly, the pool immersion heater method is unsuitable for everyone and perhaps too much for heating a small kiddie pool.

We all have a suitable alternative at home- conventional kettles.

You can bring the kiddie pool to a comfortable water temperature with the kettle.

It certainly takes more time to heat up a certain amount of water with the kettle, but it should be enough to heat a small kiddie pool.

Tip: When buying a kettle, pay attention to the safety seal and do not use the kettle too often to heat the kiddie pool.

# 6 Cover the children’s pool at night

Using the kettle costs energy, and the sun does not always shine around the kiddie pool.

That is why minimizing heat loss in the kiddie pool makes sense.

But how does the water in the kiddie pool stay warm?

The water in the kiddie pool stays warm if the pool is covered with a suitable cover overnight.

At night, an open pool loses most of its heat, and energy savings of up to 50% are possible with a cover.

In addition, the pool cover reduces the entry of dirt and means that the water in the kiddie pool lasts longer – you can read more about this under the link I placed above in the text.

# 7 Build a kiddie pool heater yourself

Do you want to let your creativity run free and build a solar kiddie pool heater yourself?

Easier said than done, but not impossible.

All you need is a black garden hose, a wooden board, and a couple of nails.

With this method, the heating output also depends on the sun’s rays.

This means: The kiddie pool cannot be heated on cold days.

  1. The garden hose is placed on a wooden board like a snake and fixed from the outside with the nails – you can also use special cable clamps.
  2. After that, the garden hose has to lie in the sun to store the heat throughout the day.
  3. Then a partial water change is made in the kiddie pool.
  4. Finally, the kiddie pool is filled with fresh water using the garden hose.
  5. Done!

The board is used to better position the self-made heater in the sun.

Furthermore, storage is made easier later. Alternatively, you can simply roll out the garden hose in the garden.

Tip: The longer the black garden hose, the more heat from the sun can be stored.

FAQ on how to heat a kiddie pool

Here you will find further questions and answers on how to heat a kiddie pool.

How long does it take for the water in the pool to warm up?

If the Intex Easy Set Pool is filled with approximately a water volume of 2400 liters in the morning at 9 a.m., and the pool is exposed to the sun all day (98 °F), then the water temperature at 8 p.m. is around 74 °F.

How warm does the water in the paddling pool have to be?

Ideally, the optimal water temperature in the paddling pool for young kids is 77 to 82 °F.

For babies, the water temperature should be between 88 and 91 °F (31 to 33 °C).

The temperature in the pool can be regularly checked using a digital pool thermostat.

The human body feels most comfortable in a water temperature around 50 °F (10 °C) below its own body temperature – but the pool water should not be much colder, as it can lead to hypothermia.

Does a small pool get warm in the shade?

Water adapts to the ambient temperature, and therefore it would theoretically be possible for the water in the pool to get warm even in the shade.

However, large amounts of water are in the pool, and the ambient temperature cools down significantly at night.

The energy costs for heating the pool would increase significantly in a shady location, and therefore a shaded place for the pool basin is disadvantageous.

That is why you should always set up the pool in a sunny place to save heating costs.

Are there any more tricks on how to heat a kiddie pool?

I have listed the most common methods, but there are more tricks on heating a pool.

Below that, I have read articles where the water was heated with the help of copper pipes over a fire.

Others have tried to cover the paddling pool with dark foil and use the sun to warm it up.

But I cannot say how well these tricks work.

By far, the worst idea is a floating grill in the pool – damage and injuries are inevitable.

As you can see in this video, there are no limits to creativity to heat a small pool.

Do you have any further questions on how to heat a kiddie pool?

Ask me your questions on Twitter, Pinterest, or the Facebook fan page at @contactswimfool.

I wish you a lot of fun in the warm kiddie pool.

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Hi. I'm Max Berg. I've been in the pool industry since 2015 and have always felt drawn to water. I'm the author behind swimfool.com, where I share my years of experience in pool maintenance and give helpful tips on keeping a swimming pool or hot tub clean. My tips reduce the costs of water treatment and protect the environment.

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