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Thread: Solar w/booster: parallel v. Series

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    MARCO...polo's Avatar
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    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.

    Thanks in advance.
    13,000 gal.Peanut shaped IG Plaster (med. gray) w/ 7' raised spa. ALL Pentair: Intelliflow 3hp VS, Cartridge filter, 400,000 btu heater, 2.0hp spa motor, Easy Touch control panel & is4 spa side switch, Intellichlor 40C SWG, Paramount PV3 In Floor cleaning system, spa spillway and two sheer descents. Solar: 10 FAFCO panels 1.5hp booster. Testt kits: K-2006 & K1766 (Chloride/Salt) Fill date August 15, 2114.

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    Re: Solar w/booster: parallel v. Series

    Do you have any pictures?
    20x35 in-ground oval. Wet Edge Luna Quartz finish. Hayes Super Pump with AO Smith V-Green 165 VS motor. Polaris 380. Enersol solar heating with automatic controller. Automated chlorination with Stenner pump.

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    MARCO...polo's Avatar
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    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
    13,000 gal.Peanut shaped IG Plaster (med. gray) w/ 7' raised spa. ALL Pentair: Intelliflow 3hp VS, Cartridge filter, 400,000 btu heater, 2.0hp spa motor, Easy Touch control panel & is4 spa side switch, Intellichlor 40C SWG, Paramount PV3 In Floor cleaning system, spa spillway and two sheer descents. Solar: 10 FAFCO panels 1.5hp booster. Testt kits: K-2006 & K1766 (Chloride/Salt) Fill date August 15, 2114.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    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.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    MARCO...polo's Avatar
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    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....
    13,000 gal.Peanut shaped IG Plaster (med. gray) w/ 7' raised spa. ALL Pentair: Intelliflow 3hp VS, Cartridge filter, 400,000 btu heater, 2.0hp spa motor, Easy Touch control panel & is4 spa side switch, Intellichlor 40C SWG, Paramount PV3 In Floor cleaning system, spa spillway and two sheer descents. Solar: 10 FAFCO panels 1.5hp booster. Testt kits: K-2006 & K1766 (Chloride/Salt) Fill date August 15, 2114.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    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.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Solar w/booster: parallel v. Series

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    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.
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    mas985's Avatar
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    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.
    Mark
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    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    MARCO...polo's Avatar
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    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.
    13,000 gal.Peanut shaped IG Plaster (med. gray) w/ 7' raised spa. ALL Pentair: Intelliflow 3hp VS, Cartridge filter, 400,000 btu heater, 2.0hp spa motor, Easy Touch control panel & is4 spa side switch, Intellichlor 40C SWG, Paramount PV3 In Floor cleaning system, spa spillway and two sheer descents. Solar: 10 FAFCO panels 1.5hp booster. Testt kits: K-2006 & K1766 (Chloride/Salt) Fill date August 15, 2114.

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