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Thread: Help With These Fafco Solar Panels

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    Surf Hawk's Avatar
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    Help With These Fafco Solar Panels

    I have some really old aluminum solar panels on my roof that are about 30% plugged from leaks. I've been looking for standard 4'x10' plastic panels and a neighbor is selling his used ones for cheap because he is putting solar electric on his roof. A few questions.

    1) How do these get water from the headers to the little tubes? When I look down the big header pipe, I see no holes that go out to the all the little tubes. Does the water actually go through these holes you see around the perimeter of the header?
    20160122_124318.jpg

    2) Can anyone ID this Fafco model? I have an IGP and want to make sure this is for an IGP, it is what the neighbor has.
    20160122_124318 - Copy.jpg

    3) Is it a bad idea to buy panels that are 7 years old and have sat unused in the yard for one year? The price is right, $100 for 8 of these panels which is about 320sqft.

    Thanks for any help with how these Fafco panels work.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Help With These Fafco Solar Panels

    I can't tell you specifics on the Fafco panels other than that they use proprietary connectors and mounts so may be difficult to reuse if he does not have the little parts. Having said that given your climate they likely still have a number of good years worth of service in them, but the only way to know for sure is to hook them up and see if they leak.
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    Surf Hawk's Avatar
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    Re: Help With These Fafco Solar Panels

    Thanks. So I can't just use a hose and hose clamps to connect them end to end?
    22,000 gallon IG; plaster; 16x32 Rectangular, Depth 3.5-8Ft.
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE Filter - 48sqft w/ cellulose fiber & Hayward Energy Flo RS Pump - .75HP (1.85SF)
    Very old 312sqft solar system, TFT-100 Kit with Speedstir

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Help With These Fafco Solar Panels

    I think Fafco uses a special coupler on their professional panels, but someone should be along soon that has them.
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    Re: Help With These Fafco Solar Panels

    First picture, see the couple-er and cap on that panel? Take it off and look at it. You will see that it is just a piece of radiator type hose. You don't need any kind of special Fafco hose to couple these panels. You just have to find the right size.
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    Re: Help With These Fafco Solar Panels

    You don't need a special connector, just a rad style connector will work. The tubes should have micro-holes for the water to go into the tubes to heat. Connect up and test. Price is right.
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    Re: Help With These Fafco Solar Panels

    I bought 11 fafco for $50.00, had 1 bad one, leaks are easy to fix...go for it...
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    Re: Help With These Fafco Solar Panels

    Thanks for the tips I decided to pull the trigger and get them. I did look more and could see the holes, it's just that there aren't as many holes as tubes, so I think they go into a plenum and then out into each tube. Getting those radiator style or Fernco connectors should be easy. Thanks again.
    22,000 gallon IG; plaster; 16x32 Rectangular, Depth 3.5-8Ft.
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE Filter - 48sqft w/ cellulose fiber & Hayward Energy Flo RS Pump - .75HP (1.85SF)
    Very old 312sqft solar system, TFT-100 Kit with Speedstir

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    Surf Hawk's Avatar
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    Re: Help With These Fafco Solar Panels

    Well I'm starting to lay them out and I can't seem to find 2 1/2" straight radiator hose to connect these together. I did buy some Fernco couplings online earlier today, then when on the roof taking my old junky panels down, I noticed one of the Fernco's I put up last summer is super exanded and ready to burst. I don't think they are designed for heat, I need radiator hose with plys inside.

    I basically need this kit, but was hoping to just buy the hose and cut to length to save money, since I need 8 of them:
    Amazon.com: Fafco - SunGrabber Solar Panel Add-on Kit: Automotive

    Edit: that link above looks like 1 1/2" coupling, mine are much bigger as I measured them at 2 1/2" and my 1 1/2" fittings I had here were way too small.

    Thanks
    22,000 gallon IG; plaster; 16x32 Rectangular, Depth 3.5-8Ft.
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE Filter - 48sqft w/ cellulose fiber & Hayward Energy Flo RS Pump - .75HP (1.85SF)
    Very old 312sqft solar system, TFT-100 Kit with Speedstir

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Help With These Fafco Solar Panels

    How about these?
    Rubber Coupling
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    Surf Hawk's Avatar
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    Re: Help With These Fafco Solar Panels

    Thanks for the better web sleuthing than I was able to do. Looks like those are what I need. Thanks.
    22,000 gallon IG; plaster; 16x32 Rectangular, Depth 3.5-8Ft.
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE Filter - 48sqft w/ cellulose fiber & Hayward Energy Flo RS Pump - .75HP (1.85SF)
    Very old 312sqft solar system, TFT-100 Kit with Speedstir

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Help With These Fafco Solar Panels

    You're welcome. That's where I bought my solar panels so I had a head start!
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