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Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System for Above-Ground Pools

by Fafco
4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
| 12 answered questions

List Price: $399.00
Price: $297.19 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  • Package includes 4-ft x 20-ft extra large solar collector, 2 6-ft long 1.5-in diam hoses with 4 clamps, integral bypass valve, and necessary hardware
  • Pool pump circulates pool water through the heated solar collector
  • Optimal heating with unobstructed sunlight between 10am and 4pm
  • Performs most effectively when tilted 10 to 30 degrees to the South
  • Mount on the ground, on a rack, or nearby roof
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$297.19 & FREE Shipping. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System for Above-Ground Pools
  • +
  • Roof/Rack Mounting Kit For Fafco Bear
  • +
  • Solar Pool Heater Repair Kit FAFCO, Heliocol, SunStar
Total price: $369.15
Buy the selected items together

Technical Details


Product Description

Manufactured by the premier company in the solar business (they have installed over 125000 solar systems), these panels have been efficiently heating swimming pools since 1972. Solar Bear's surface is fully whetted by pool water insuring the most efficient panel available. Extra large 2-inch headers do not slow down your pool's circulation and ensure excellent solar heat transfer to your pool's water. Smaller 1-1/2-inch headers can reduce your pool's circulation and cause solar heating to be compromised. Solar Bear systems are comprised of a single extra-large 4-feet by 20-feet collector with no couplings or connectors. The system is made of U.V. stabilized polyethylene that is very tough and will last many seasons under direct sunlight. The systems come complete with an integral bypass valve, so you can turn them on and off as needed. Also included are two 6-feet hoses and four clamps to hook the system up to your filtration system. Solar Bear panels can be mounted on the ground, on a rack, or a nearby roof. Complete installation and user's manuals are included. 10-Year Warranty. Put solar to work in your pool and swim in a warmer pool without the huge expense of heating it. Note: For panels to heat optimally, they must receive unobstructed sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 55 x 15 x 15 inches
Item Weight 38.4 pounds
Shipping Weight 38.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Department Outdoor Living & Patio
Manufacturer Fafco
ASIN B003B05HOU
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Origin USA
Item model number NS725
Customer Reviews
4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #40,841 in Patio, Lawn & Garden (See Top 100 in Patio, Lawn & Garden)
#17 in Patio, Lawn & Garden > Pools, Hot Tubs & Supplies > Heaters & Accessories > Pool Heaters

Warranty & Support

Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

In the first year it sprung a couple leaks, second year it had over 30 throughout the year and I just fired it up for year 3 and.............. ta da da tah!!! I have at least 10 more leaks! So, in total I'm out over $350 for the unit, $375 for a new burnt pump, 4 repair kits at +$40.00 each, countless hours of repairing, slipped off the thing once and almost broke my leg, hundreds of soakings, wet socks, cussing, etc, etc, and I probably have maybe over 100 tubes that are plugged. Every leak is at the area where 2 tubes are fused together with a very thin plastic, almost as if the fusing process itself used the available plastic in the tube walls, thereby reducing the wall thickness of the tube at the fuse seam. The fusing of the tubes greatly weakens the tubes. It is really a cheap design and I was amazed at how well it heated the pool, but then one day you look over and you see a tiny wisp of water, then 2, then next spring 20, then your pump runs dry and starts screaming and smells like rubber, and then you after $600, you realize that you just got Falco'd! Now here is where it really gets funny.............The same company that ripped you off when you bought this garbage panel is the same company that sells you the repair kit to fix it! HA HA HA HA. I called them up each spring and staetd my case and every time they tell me to buy another repair kit! That's funny stuff. So anyways, it now seems that I've lost so many tubes that the remaining pressure is divided between less tubes, resulting in greater pressuure per tube. Now don't forget that the massive leaks drained my poll past the skimmer and burnt my old pump up and the new pump is probably putting out great pressure now. Anyways, the are blowing the plugs back out teh holes now.Read more ›
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Bought this product to see if I could get the pool warm enough to get my wife to use the pool. I have experience with two of these now. The first one I bought last year is in service. It was really straight forward to install using the guidelines provided and the directions for building a support frame are right in the manual, so quite easy for setup.

Does it heat the pool? Well I have an 18' half in and half out of the ground pool. It will raise the temp about 4 degrees F in a sunny day. When the weather is consistent, combined with a good solar cover it all adds up after a few days and the pool is nice and warm. Also a good point to note is that when we get a sudden two day chilly but sunny spell, it generates enough heat to maintain the temperature nice and warm. So yes it works well for heating. Happy with that.

My only gripe is quality control. The second unit I bought this year came with several holes in it already which I didn't realize until its fully assembled and spraying water everywhere. Too many holes to fix and they were between the tubes, not in the tubes so obviously a mfg defect there. Had to return it and lost faith a bit there so didn't replace it. (Thx Amazon for being fair and great customer service). The second defect is that its impossible to stop the end caps and the water line connections from leaking even with Teflon tape. Water seems to appear from no where out of the capped fittings which has a ring holes around it in the pipe itself. Also decided to stop cranking down on the fittings as I was afraid I was going to split the PVC. So it leaks from 4 spots but I will be honest and say its negligible amount of water, I just hope that the frame underneath does not rot out too quickly from being constantly wet.
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After you setup this cover it works fine. Then you go to winterize and find that it needs to be stored above 40 degrees. I have no basement and keeping it in my living room over the winter was not an option. I removed (so I though) all of the water by elevating one end for a half an hour, rolled it up, then protected as best I could all to no avail. Opened it up in the spring to about 40 little explosive holes because of frozen droplets that remained.

Company was unsympathetic and refused to honor the warranty.

IF I WERE YOU, I WOULD SUSPECT THE QUALITY OF ANY PRODUCT THAT SHIPS WITH A REPAIR KIT. THE GUAGE OF THE PLASTIC TUBES IS THIN TO SAY THE LEAST AND THE TUBES ARE NARROW ENOUGH FOR FROZEN DROPLETS TO EXPLODE THROUGH THE WALLS.
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I hooked mine up and it already had a leak. called fafco and all they could tell me is get a repair kit. did not offfer me a new one. however, the warranty is ten years to where if the leak is to close to the end, they would replace it, or if you block off ten tubes, they would replace it.
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Because there seem to be more negative or so-so reviews on here and very few positive, I feel the need to share my positive review. We first purchased this exact model at least 10 years ago. It was only after several years that it started to spring leaks (but unfortunately, we either didn't read or follow the directions and left it out during the first few winters in Ohio). So, Fafco sent us a free repair kit. Basically little plugs to block off the tubes that are leaking. Only this past year did it develop too many leaks to repair. So for a product that cost approx $200 maybe when we first bought it, we sure did get our use out of it. I just ordered the exact model and hooked it up 3 days ago. Temp was up approx 10 degrees in 2 days. I like this model because it has a on/off switch (the red handle) so that if it's a cloudy day, you can leave it off. Most other products do not have that feature. We have been very pleased with our first model and so far in 3 days with this second. Hopefully this one will hold up as well as the first one did and now from the first winter on, we will make sure to put it indoors for the winter.
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