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Thread: leaky 3-way solar valve too leaky?

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    Diver's Avatar
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    leaky 3-way solar valve too leaky?

    i just opened my pool yesterday and i have solar build in progress. majority of the piping is complete, 2 panels out of 8 are missing, so it's an open ended system at this point - intake is open on one side and exhaust is also open on one side.

    i have pentair solar 3 way leaky valve. this valve has a small hole in the diverter to let the water drain from the panels when solar/pump shut off.

    originally i was concerned that that pin hole would allow the water to leak into the panels when pump is on, but solar is off. i talked to CR and he told me that when pump is on and solar is off that hole becomes suction and there will be no water going thru.

    when i got the valve, i noticed that there is a tiny flapper valvle over that hole, making it a check valve, so i was happy with it.

    well, my pump is running now and i can see water slowly trickling into the panels. i plugged the bottom of the solar panel headers (opposite from intake tie-in), but the top header is still open. not sure if the water would even make it there. the panels are basically pump level, just a tad over it, so there is not much hight to overcome, but then there is not much water/pressure there either..

    i'm just curious if this is somewhat expected and if someone had similar experience. probably not a big deal once the system is complete, but it kida sucks if the panels would slowly fill with water when solar is off. and i assume they will not drain much while the pump is still on going from solar on to solar off. shouldn't be much of an issue either. i hope...
    26K In-ground Vinyl Pool | Hayward DE4820/SP0710XR50 filter | 1.125 HP Dual Speed Hayward Super Pump | Aquasol Solar

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: leaky 3-way solar valve too leaky?

    I don't know, I can't see in my panels/plumbing. When solar is off and pump is on I do hear some gurgling and water noise around my solar valve. So, maybe so, but there are no issues from it. How can you see water going into your panels?
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    Diver's Avatar
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    Re: leaky 3-way solar valve too leaky?

    pooldv,

    my solar built is not finished. i have 6 panels out 8 installed and the right hand side piping is open on both exhaust and intake headers:



    When the pump was on (solar off), the water started slowly trickling from the intake header on the right, unfinished side. i plugged the header. the water never made it to the top and i checked this morning and there was no water in the header anymore. it must've drained at night when the pump was off. when i was doing the piping i was thinking about installing a section of clear PVC pipe on intake, but it's too expensive and UV would degrade it fast anyway.

    i thought some more about the pin hole valve in the diverter valve and i got even more confused. i remember clearly that it was a membrane style check valve, but i do not remember which way though. and now i don't even think it make any sense.

    the main purpose of that hole is to let the water drain from the panels. the majority of time when it would be needed is when solar is on and pump shuts off. in that configuration the direction that the water would be allowed to travel thru that pin hole is from the center of the 3way valve out - the diverter closes the intake path to the pool to divert the water to the panel and to drain the panel it would have to have thru it in that position. fine.

    move the diverter to the solar off position and turn the pump on. now diverter closes the intake to the panels, but it would still let the water go thru the pinhole since it facing away from the center of the 3wa valve. and that's what i saw yesterday - it was letting the water thru.

    now, i'm not sure how the water drained overnight - the water was in the panels, diverter is facing that water on the outside and the membrane valve shouldn't let the water thru the 3way valve. but somehow it did.

    when it's all tied up and closed i don't think it would matter, it seems it would drain it almost in all situation except (i'd have to check that) when the solar goes from on to off when pump is on...

    i could take apart the 3way valve and check that little pin hole valve, but i think i might just let it be...
    26K In-ground Vinyl Pool | Hayward DE4820/SP0710XR50 filter | 1.125 HP Dual Speed Hayward Super Pump | Aquasol Solar

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