Swimming Pool Solar Sun Rings
Credit: Allen-Douglas

After trying Solar Sun Rings in my pool, there are a few good reasons I would recommend them.  First, if your current solar cover is more like an insulator and does not allow the sun's energy to pass through, solar rings will be an upgrade.  To test if a solar blanket insulates or allows head to radiate through, place the blanket on top of the water for at least an hour on a sunny day.  Reach under the blanket and feel if the bottom side is warm.  If it is warm to the touch, the solar blanket allows the sun's energy to pass through.  If the bottom of the cover is cool (the same as the water temperature) the blanket is only an insulator.  Solar Sun Rings will help to increase the water temperature.  After allowing the sun rings to sit in the pool for a few hours, I noticed that the rings were heating the water.  The underside of the rings was very warm from the sun, even on a day in the 70 degree range.  My understanding is the rings contain a vinyl film inside the inner ring to give them the ability to absorb and transfer heat from the sun.

I would also recommend an upgrade to solar rings if you have a bulky pool cover that is difficult to roll up.  I struggled for years with my pool blanket.  It was bulky, difficult to roll up, always in the way, and it frankly looked bad on the pool and sitting at the end of the pool.  The solar sun rings are much easier to remove from the pool than a difficult cover.  If you have a good cover with a high-end roller mechanism, then the solar rings may not be an improvement.  I should also mention that the manufacturer recommends that solar sun rings should not be stored in direct sunlight.  Make sure you have a shady spot or storage area to keep the rings while they are out of the pool.

To use the solar sun rings properly, 70 to 80 percent of the pool surface should be covered by rings.  This is both to increase the water temperature, using the sun's energy and eliminate water evaporation.  Since evaporation, is one of the main ways a pool loses energy (the warm water evaporates and is replaced by cold water), the pool coverage also helps to heat and maintain pool water temperature.  The rings are 60 inches in diameter.  Measure the surface area to estimate the number of rings needed.  I have seen claims that water temperature increase 10 degrees F by only using solar sun rings.  I found that the pool rings certainly increase water temperature and help maintain temperature at night.  A traditional heater , however, is still needed when weather is cooler. 

When I went in to look at the pool rings in a pool store, the salesman try to convince me that I did not want the rings because they blow away too easy.  I looked over the product and decided to buy them anyway.  The sun rings contain a unique anchor systems that works very well.  They have a series of tubular pockets around the outside of the rings.  The pockets fill with water when they are placed into the pool, therefore weighting them down significantly.  They also have magnets around the perimeter of the ring which allow the rings to join together.  I have had my rings out on a windy day and there has been no issue at all.  In fact, when I pull the rings out of the water they are somewhat heavy until the water drains out of the pockets.  I've yet to have hurricane-like winds, but extreme wind also blew the cover off my pool, so I would expect no different from the rings.


  • Helps heat the pool and reduces evaporation
  • Looks nicer than a solar blanket
  • Eliminates having to roll up or remove a bulky solar blanket
  • Eliminates having a solar blanket reel at the end of the pool
  • Safer than a solar blanket, if someone falls in the pool
  • 2 Year Manufacturer's warranty


  • Slightly more expensive than a solar blanket
  • Need to pull out and store rings out of direct sunlight when not using