Do It Yourself Hot Water GuideReviewer: Landon Marks

Rating: stars-5-0

Website Reviewed: The DIYHotWater Website


OK, I’m going to admit to you something right from the start. When I began reviewing DIYhotwater guide I was initially a little concerned that I didn’t see as many drawings or sketches as I had seen in some other guides.  BUT let me also tell you from the start that as I began reading this guide, I was BLOWN AWAY by the details in which the author used to describe the construction process!  It was crystal clear to the point that I was able to visualize everything step of the construction.


The DIYhotwater author truly takes you step by step through what it took to build his own solar water heater system.  In an entertaining, story-like fashion, he walks you through everything from the planning involved, to the tools and materials needed before you even start. In a through a descriptive fashion, he literally holds your hand through the process of building your own solar water heater system.

In addition to the concrete construction plans, he begins by presenting you with a background and importance of the alternative energy movement.  As I read the beginning of this guide, I was convinced more than I had been of the importance of this movement and was ready to jump right in and get started.  Weaved into the enormous amount of detail and solid information, the author takes side-bars every now and then and gives you different perspectives and tips that I found extremely helpful. He even manages to drop a few jokes along the way which keep things on the lighter side and less like a “tech manual” read.

From the very beginning after reading the table of contents,  I realized that nothing was left out.  Again, this author has literally painted a vivid word-picture and recording of the exact process he took when building his own system and leaves you without question as to how to go and duplicate what he did.

Some of the broader topics covered are:

  • How To Build The Solar Collector
  • How To Build The Heat Reservoir
  • How To Install The Collector Panel

A few other parts:

  • Adding Insulation
  • Electronic Controls for Your System
  • Installing The Rack on Your Roof

I can say without a doubt that this guide leaves nothing unsaid.  The author is not afraid to tell you up front that constructing a unit similar to his will require some hard work.  Did I just say “hard”?  YES.  Anything of long term value will take some work, the question to ask yourself is whether or not the final product is worth the work?  I would recommend anyone who decides to purchase this guide, to your reading by starting on the chapter 9, titled “Final Words.” A snippet taken from this chapter, should help you understand why.


“On a sunny day your temperature readout for your collector panel will be
quite high. I have been able to register over 200° F on sunny days during
the summer when there are many more hours of sunlight than in the
winter….. I have a budget plan with my gas company in order to have a predictable
bill each month. In the summer months I accumulate a credit since the
furnace remains off so less gas is used and in the winter when more gas is
used the credit is applied to my bill.”

To sum things up, I can say if you’re going to dive into the project of building a solar water heater, this guide with be your guiding light and methodically take you step by step in an enjoyable, and easy to understand fashion.  I believe this is a wise investment and the value of the information is worth well over the amount required to purchase.

DIYHotWater Guide