Estero, FL Solar Pool Heater With Black Plumbing

Many of the gated communities of Estero, Bonita Springs, and Naples require that solar pool heater roof plumbing be black in color. While we don’t recommend black plumbing due to potential service issues associated with warping and swelling, we are obligated to follow the architectural requirements of the homeowner’s association, and we transition from white to black at the roof line.

Southwest Florida has a unique problem where solar pool heaters are turned off for an extended period during our warm season. If solar pool heaters are not isolated and water is allowed to stagnate in panels and plumbing during our hottest days, the result can be warped or split black plumbing. The best defense against this is to ensure that your system is off, and preferably that your system is “summerized” by positively isolating it for extended periods without use.

It was a foggy morning, but we were able to snap this photo of a solar pool heating system with black plumbing on and Estero roof just off Corkscrew Road. Notice the neighbor has a system with transition to black plumbing at the roof line. (You will also notice that the neighbor has a competitor’s system, evidenced by the cheap red handled ball valves used for system isolation and the improper jump over the hip that traps water in the feed plumbing). The black plumbing looks great on the roof, but its longevity will be less than that of white pipe. Fortunately, repairs and re-piping is relatively inexpensive. The neighbor’s system is far more likely to develop issues due to water that is trapped in the feed line, but it is virtually impossible on tile roofs to make return plumbing drain fully when going over a roof hip.


Estero Solar Pool Heater with Black Plumbing
Estero Solar Pool Heater with Black Plumbing


  • Comment (3)
  • blank Dan Passmore says:

    Wow, that cost to add black plumbing is THAT much more? I guess I wouldn’t have thought that, but like you said, it is not recommended. How do these panels react in the high winds?

  • blank Britanica says:

    This is the first time I have seen the use of black plumbing for roof heating panels. Is this something that costs more or does it run about the same cost as the standard white plumbing. It looks very well done in the photo you have above. I like it a lot.

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