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Sungrabber Solar Pool Heaters Review – Hot Water Heater and Panels Installation (Fafco Sungrabber solar pool heater, Panel Repair Plug)

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Sungrabber Solar Pool Heating

Sungrabber products are known for their Solar Pool Heating and Solar Water Heating. Rob Redman is the owner-manager who began building his own equipment while on Long Service Leave from TAFE where he was a teacher in the metal fabrication area.

The products had filled a market need and his enterprise had grown steadily in both volume and range of products to its present structure and size
They have more 40 years of experience and the company was founded in 1969. All Sungrabber products are manufactured in California, United States. Sungrabber offers a range of solar pool heaters for above ground pools and solar water heaters to heat water for all household needs.

Their products are IAPMO, SRCC and IPSSA certified.

Sungrabber Solar Pool Heaters

Sungrabber Solar Pool heaters can be used for above and in ground swimming pools. They are not recommended for inflatable pools.

There are many advantages of using Sungrabber solar Pool heating mechanism. First of all it is very environment friendly. It uses free solar energy and is thus very cost effective. It raises water temperature by 10 degrees or more and thus gives a longer swimming season. They also get the benefit of tax credits. Local and state governments offer tax incentives to encourage residents to invest in solar energy technologies. Electricity companies also offer rebates to customers who install solar energy equipment because these installations help utilities reduce peak loads.

Buy Smartpool WWS601P Sunheater Solar Pool Heater for In Ground Pools.

The full system includes one or two solar collectors, along with mounting hardware, connection hardware, and operation valves.

Location & Installation

An unshaded location on the ground or roof, which receives full sun for most of the day is highly recommended for installing the Sungrabber solar pool heaters. The solar collectors must be mounted horizontally on a smooth and flat surface using the mounting hardware. The solar collector inlet (water coming from the pump and filter) must always be at the lowest point of the solar collectors (unless mounted flat). For ground installation, flat surface is highly recommended like grass, gravel or landscape; if the surface is not flat a wooden rack or platform can be built.

Sungrabber Solar Pool Heater Working Mechanism

i) The water is sent to the polymer solar collectors in the Sungrabber Solar Pool Heater, where sun’s heat is transferred to the water. Warm water thus flows back into the pool and continuously circulates until it reaches the desired temperature. For areas with year-round swimming, an additional solar collector may be needed to heat your pool during the cooler months.

Each Sungrabber Solar Pool Heater system consists of two 2’x20′ solar collectors.

ii) Set the timer to operate from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. This is the best solar heating period.

iii) Using a pool blanket in addition to the solar system will hold the warmth in the pool and help it heat more quickly. It is recomended to use the blanket at night or when it is windy.

Buy 2 -2` x 20` Solar Pool Panel System.

Sungrabber Solar Pool Heater Warranty

Sungrabber Solar Pool heaters provide 10 years warranty. Winterization ie. solar collector damage caused by freezing of water is not covered under warranty. Hence the  company provides some procedures to avoid winterization:

i) Turn off the pool pump and plug pool inlet and outlet

ii) Disconnect solar collectors

iii) The solar collectors must be manually lifted and drained

iv) Store solar collectors in a conditioned space (above 40oF) for the winter

v) Use rubber end caps and hose clamps to plug open pipe or hose connections

vi) The pool pump, filter and sweep can now be used while the solar collectors are properly stored for the winter.

The new swimming pool solar collectors manufactured by SunGrabber comes with a limited five-year warranty. The SunGrabber solar collectors are warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use and service for the heating of either an in ground or above ground swimming pool, subject to the terms and conditions.

Precautions & Safety

i) If the solar collectors are full of water and has been sitting in the sun without the pump running, the water can get very hot. Hot water can cause burns.

ii) For best results, turn on your Sungrabber whenever the solar collectors are in the sun. Turn the solar and the pump off at night, when it is cloudy, or when it is raining to prevent cooling of the pool.

iii) If the pool becomes too warm during the season, turn the pump and solar on at night to help cool the pool.

How many Sungrabber Solar Pool Heater systems do you need for your pool?

The number of solar pool heating system required for a swimming pool depends on the pool’s shape and size. Given below is the number of such system required as per the pool’s shape and size:

Shape, Size       No.

16′ round  1
20′ round  1
24′ round  1
28′ round  2
12′ x 24′ oval  1
15′ x 24′ oval  1
16′ x 26′ oval  2
16′ x 32′ oval  2
18′ x 34′ oval  2
20′ x 40′ oval  3

Sungrabber Solar Water Heaters

Environment friendly and reduces cost, since it uses free solar energy to heat household water. It also gives 30% tax credit and many other incentives. These are also easy to instal and use Polymer solar collectors which are efficient, lightweight and flexible. Sungrabber solar water heaters come with 10 years warranty and are manufactured in USA. Sungrabber has been designed to work with electric, natural gas and tankless hot water heaters.

Working Mechanism

There are two separate loops of water, one through the solar collectors and one through the water heater. The solar loop which is  inside the Sungrabber collectors is heated on the roof, this heat is transferred down to the water tank where it heats a separate cold water loop.

Panel Repair Plug Instructions

In case there is a leakage in the tubes, panel repair plugs are used. This repair completely isolates the damaged tube.

i) Find the leakage in the tube.

ii)  Scoop out the top part collector tube (1~1-1/2″), by a utility knife, starting approximately 3″ away from the end of the solar collector. Then insert the plug (pointed end goes first). Do not cut adjacent tubes.

iii) Apply soapy water to the repair and clean inside of the tube.

iv) Push the plug gently inside the tube, without stopping until it reaches the end of the solar collector, using a screwdriver may be.

v) Insert a second plug and slide it in, till it hits the first plug. Repeat this procedure at the opposite end as well.

See more about the product Sungrabber Solar Panel Repair Plugs

 Fafco Sungrabber Pool Heater

Fafco’s SunGrabber system uses a 2 foot wide collector of various length making it more versatile for mounting and system sizing. This system is still easy to install and covers all the pool heating needs for any above ground pools and smaller sized in-ground pools. The SunGrabber panels have 1-1/2″ manifolds. Fafco’s SunGrabber collectors carry a 5 year limited warranty. This product is not recommended for inflatable pools.

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Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Stephen Rosenbaum

    DO NOT BUY FAFCO SUNGRABBER SOLAR PANELS!!! Even living in southern California they crack during the summer for no reason. Repairing a tube is a delicate operation and is not as easy as the video shows to repair. For another unexplained reason most of the tubes are seeping water where the hard water stain is showing on the tubes. Only buy panels where repair is as easy as cutting a tube at the leak and placing a nipple in the tube where the tubing continues and is not put out of use like the Sungrabber.

  2. Mitzi Kear

    Does this effect the pressure of the water that is pumped out? Seems like the my pressure coming out is not as strong as it was before