# Thread: Solar w/booster: parallel v. Series

1. ## Solar w/booster: parallel v. Series

We had a new solar system installed about a month ago and we are loving the warm water ( though with 100+ ambient temps today it was a tad 'warm'). What was installed and what I thought I was getting are two different critters. Talking with the contractor I get some of the logic but not all so here I post. Some of my problem may be as simple as reprogramming the automation and valves but before I wander down that road I want to understand what has been installed from a plumbing stand point.

What I thought I was getting was a simple basic series plumbing system that activated the solar loop when
it was called for. What I got is two pumps working in tandem on the same lines. The return from the filter and booster are tied together post filter and just prior to the solar return, where they then go through the heater and SWG to the return 'manifold'. The return manifold includes: spa return w/ auto valve, and sheer descents and in-floor (auto; valve 'B' if you speak Pentair and part of the issue).

I know this is vague/confusing but if you get the concept of parallel v. Series I think you'll get it. The bugaboo in this seems to be the in-floor system.

I don't want this to turn into a contractor bashing thread as I am positive they will make thing right once I am able to intelligently discuss and explain what my issues are. To do that I need to take this in small steps.

2. ## Re: Solar w/booster: parallel v. Series

Do you have any pictures?

3. ## Re: Solar w/booster: parallel v. Series

Pictures are as muddled as the description, but here goes 😜
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
Black pump is the booster. Tan pump is the VS 'pool' pump.

I just don't get how these two pumps can share plumbing lines and be happy. I just noticed that looking at the photos you can differentiate the new work from old by paint: satin = old. Flat = new

4. ## Re: Solar w/booster: parallel v. Series

From what I can see it looks like you have a main pool pump that then goes to the filter, followed by a check valve and a T where one side feeds the booster pump and the other side is the normal pool return. This is the typical way a solar booster pump is plumbed as you don't want to send unfiltered water through the solar panels with their small easily clogged passages. What I find odd is that a solar booster pump was used at all instead of solar diverter valves and variable speed programming on the Intelliflo, this is particularly odd given the high electricity cost in California.

5. ## Re: Solar w/booster: parallel v. Series

Zactly! This is one of the many concerns I have. Hence the small steps. From what I've read, my VS should have been able to do this as a stand alone with a diverter valve (which I think would eliminate the 'B' valve issues I am having), BUT at what amount of increased time/rpm on the VS v. a booster, factor in the in-floor? Too many variables for me to process....

6. ## Re: Solar w/booster: parallel v. Series

My Intelliflo runs at 1100 rpm for skimming and making chlorine with the SWG when on standby for solar. My Solartouch solar controller opens the solar valve and ramps my pump speed to 2100 rpm when solar heat is available. When I want max heat (spring/fall) I run my pump sunup to sunset at 1100 rpm.

7. ## Re: Solar w/booster: parallel v. Series

Originally Posted by pooldv
My Intelliflo runs at 1100 rpm for skimming and making chlorine with the SWG when on standby for solar. My Solartouch solar controller opens the solar valve and ramps my pump speed to 2100 rpm when solar heat is available. When I want max heat (spring/fall) I run my pump sunup to sunset at 1100 rpm.
Mine is the same setup except I have a easy touch and works perfectly so far.

8. ## Re: Solar w/booster: parallel v. Series

Solar panels on roofs less than about 40' should not need a booster at all. I used to run mine with a 1/2 HP pump. Also, the Intelliflo is a pretty powerful pump so it should be able to handle both the panels and the in-floor cleaner but you may need to bypass some of the flow around the solar to keep the flow rate up.

9. ## Re: Solar w/booster: parallel v. Series

Thanks for all of the responses. From everything I am hearing (talked with Pentair Customer Service and others) and reading, it sounds like this is a very unconventional way to set-up solar plumbing. This may just be a matter of reprogramming the EZ-Touch, reassigning names/valves; but as JasonLion told me: "Pentair logic very strange". So if you see a flash of light followed by a ball of smoke in the west, there is no need to duck and cover, it's just me trying to sort this out.

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