DIY Solar Thermal PEX COIL Water Heater! PEX Solar Water Heater! Easy DIY! No Soldering, Clamps, Crimp Rings, Glues, Unions, or that expensive crimping tool! in my design it’s just 2 push-to-fit “shark-bite” connectors! (located outside of collector) and because it’s all one piece of tube, the unit has no potential internal leak points. PEX is sturdy, tough and rigid. water temp rating range… 33F to 185F-200F (93°C) water! …and if temps hit or fall below 32F (0°C) it’s freeze damage resistant! it’ll freeze but doesn’t break. the connectors are made to last at least 25 years and pipe is rated 50+ years! note that PEX, if left “uncoated” can be damaged by the UV rays of the sun *but painting and/or primer coating it blocks all of those (making it sun-safe) and a great choice for DIY solar applications! a very detailed list of the parts i used is shown near the end of the video (last 40 seconds or so) if you like the video, please rate. sub and share!
*couple of notes: a PEX COIL water heater looks similar to a coiled black poly (or irrigation pipe) one, but PEX is much stronger and more durable. PEX tubing will last at least 10 times as long and handles higher temps. plus the cost difference is only minimal. 100′ of poly pipe $10.00. 100′ of PEX $28.00
lastly, with research, you’ll notice that ‘all’ non-metal pipe manufacturers will say that they recommend metal pipe over non-metal for solar units but, in my opinion, that’s just because they want to cover themselves – say for example if it was used in a large “highly insulated” commercial installation (with mirrors, metal backing, reflectors etc.). in a build like that the collector might reach over the 200F pipe rating (to 220F or something) and could the shorten the pipes lifespan to 30 years instead of 50. but for any moderately sized DIY application it should work great (even my copper pipe solar water heaters top out at 175F in the hot summer (110F – 43.33C) sun. really it’s second only to copper for toughness, strength, durability etc. and by using sharkbite connectors it makes it super easy to make