By Erik Leipoldt

A solar pool heater enables you and your family to enjoy your swimming pool or outdoor spa for a greater part of the year. Into spring and autumn. And into cooler mornings and evenings. When others are shivering!

There are four ways to heat your pool

Electric heater

Gas, usually a propane heater Using a pool cover Solar pool heater

The solar solution is best. It’s cheap to run and you don’t contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. A guilt-free time in your comfortably warm pool or outdoor spa! Why not.

A commercial pool heater can cost you up to $2000. But you can build your own at a small fraction of that cost.


Just look around on the web for guides that give you clear instructions of how to build your system. There are several.

Be sure to look for these essential elements at least, in any guide you buy:

A clear list of materials with step-by-step instructions

Materials should be easy to source locally and be inexpensive No requirements for complicated engineering, electrical skills or welding Clear diagrams Some troubleshooting suggestions

How do solar pool heaters work?

They run on a passive solar principle.

Simply, pool water runs through long lengths of flexible tubing. These are suspended in front of reflectors to receive and transmit the sun’s warmth to the water in the tubing. The tubing should be protected, say with with polythene sheeting, from any wind chill.

The reflectors can be made out of halved storm water piping, sprayed with chrome paint to maximise their reflective powers. To circulate this warmed water through your pool or spa you will need a small pond pump or solar electric pump. The latter is more expensive, but obviously you will help the environment and your wallet by spending a little more to start with.

One guide suggests that minimum pump specifications should be that it delivers 10 litres per minute (120 gals/hour) and is capable of raising water to 1.6m (5’2′).

All components, containing tubing, reflectors and cover, are assembled into a solar panel. Its ideal size depends on optimum dimensions for ease of handling, structural integrity and heating efficiency. Of course more than one panel can be used. A spa would not need a large panel. But then again… some like it hot!

In general, a panel measuring 3.4m (11′ 4′) by 1.4m (4′ 8′) is effective on pools up to 30,000 litres (6000 gal).

Panels should be placed in such a way to maximise receipt of the sun’s rays. It’s best to have them face the sun’s mid day position. Place them vertically on a fence or horizontally on your roof.

To make the best of your solar pool heater, it makes sense to use it with a solar blanket. But this is not normally required to benefit from your now upgraded asset – your pool or spa.

Give it a go! Your family will thank you for it.

About the Author: Dr Erik Leipoldt has long been concerned about global warming and what anyone can do about it. Many individual”> different actions can be taken in ameliorating climate change.


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Posted in Dance

Submitted by: Chris Chew

If you want to have a good voice for singing, then besides practicing with the correct vocal exercises to improve your voice quality and flexibility, you will still have to take active actions to protect your vocal cords.

Sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? Yes, it is precisely so basic that people forget about it or do not even think about it and that is why there are so many people damaging their vocal cords daily and depriving themselves of a good singing voice.

Let me ask you a question. Tell me how often do you burst into a song without doing proper vocal warming up exercises? Are you guilty of singing before warming up your voice properly? Every singer worth his or her salt knows that when you warm up your vocal cords, your singing will be more flexible and because of that, prevent strains and damages to your vocal folds. Alas, even then many singers do not bother to do warming up exercises and that even include some professional singers too.

What about cooling down your vocals after singing? Oh, you don’t think it is important to cool down your voice after a performance? Of course it is important because when you sing, tension builds up around your singing mechanism and you have to release the tension. This is what cooling down is for, otherwise the tension may create swelling of your vocal cords and other damages.


Screaming, shouting and speaking loudly can cause permanent damage to your vocal cords. All you need to have proof of this is just to listen to the heavy metal rock singers when they talk. Their voices are all raspy and coarse from shouting and screaming when they perform. Some of them even have to undergo surgeries to repair their vocal cords in order to stay in their career as a singer.

Yes, shouting, screaming and having a raspy voice may be the thing if you are a heavy metal rock singer, however how many of you aspire to be one besides also risking permanent vocal damage?

If you want to have a good singing voice and you are a smoker, then it is time to quit smoking. Look, if smoking can cause throat cancer that can destroy the entire throat, can you imagine what it is doing to your vocal cords right now?

People are always saying breathe with your diaphragm when you sing, but when you ask them what they meant by breathing with the diaphragm and they are stumped. So are you trained to breathe with your diaphragm when singing or as a matter of fact, that is the correct way to breathe even when you are not singing?

All babies naturally breathe with their diaphragm and that is why they can throw their voices so far and wide when they cry. However as we get older, most of us just lost this natural ability and must be trained to get it right.

When you are breathing right when singing, your voice will soar effortlessly, be of better quality, the notes will be steadier and you can also hold notes longer because you will be able to better control your breathing. As such, you will less likely be straining your vocal cords and so offer it more protection and voice preservation. If you do not know how to breathe with your diaphragm, then get some singing lessons to learn it. This is essential if you want to be a better singer.

The above are just some of the many things you can do to protect your singing mechanism. If you are a professional, don’t just stop here because there are many more things you can do to protect and preserve a good singing voice.

About the Author: The author Chris Chew is a music consultant and says that if you want to be a better singer, then read

professional singing lesson


how to have perfect pitch


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Posted in Dance