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Thread: Solar Panel Repairs - "stents" INSTEAD of plugs or glue?

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Solar Panel Repairs - "stents" INSTEAD of plugs or glue?

    Well again we are repairing solar panels - it seems every year there is a new pinhole, crimp, slice, pinch or whatever. We have glued with some minor success, but once we roll them up for the winter and remove to install in the spring, the last year's glue job is now coming off and we start over and add a few more.

    Earlier while Googling, I saw a YT video with a gentleman fixing with insert connectors, rather than plugging or glue - anyone think this will work with the poly panels commonly used for our pools? They were 1/4" double barbed Rainbird connectors for irrigation/sprinkler systems, etc. Like a stent for a blocked artery! Looked relatively easy. I noticed that the "repair" kits sold by Fafco use 1/4" plugs. Will these fit the ID of our FAFCO panels? Mine are Solar Bears 4x20 - I have two of them running parallel on a standing rack system alongside the pool with hard plumbing (pvc) to/from the pool. We have had them for many years so I admit we've gotten a lot of use from them but from spring #1 following purchase, we've been fixing them. Too spendy to replace every danged year!
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Repairs - "stents" INSTEAD of plugs or glue?

    There is really no glue that works on the solar panels.

    I have always just cut the tube and put plugs in them. If the sprinkler fittings are big enough, that might work pretty well.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Repairs - "stents" INSTEAD of plugs or glue?

    I'm hoping the 1/4" fittings work - ordering from Amazon today! I'll let you know. If not, back to plugging and gluing. Ugh.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    Re: Solar Panel Repairs - "stents" INSTEAD of plugs or glue?

    I use an industrial sealant called Sikaflex on my panels. Packaged in a tube like silicone for use is a caulking gun. Comes in black as well, so it matches panel color.
    Caution though, it sticks to your skin like crazy, stains your skin, only comes off with acetone or similar. About $7 a tube.
    Sealing | Sika Corporation U.S.

    I do like the idea of the barb stints too though.
    Ultra 16', Intex Sand filter/pump combo, 8' x 20' solar panels, solar blanket w/roll tube, 1" extruded foam floor with Gorilla pad, Liquid chlorine and stabilizer.

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    rhaas12321's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Repairs - "stents" INSTEAD of plugs or glue?

    I have used the 1/4 inch barbed connectors and even 1/4 inch tubing between 2 barbed connectors for a year now on my Craigslist Helicol panels. Must be 20 or 30 of them and they work great. A little dish soap and hot sun or a hair dryer makes the connection way easier.
    YMMV
    Robert

    10k Gallon, IG Kafko Vinyl Liner (8/1/12), 200# Sand w/ 1 hp Hayward MaxFlo pump, Taylor K2006
    3 4x12 Heliocol East facing + 3 4x12 Heliocol West facing 2015
    Robert from Sunny Southern Oregon

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    rhaas12321's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Repairs - "stents" INSTEAD of plugs or glue?

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaas12321 View Post
    I have used the 1/4 inch barbed connectors and even 1/4 inch tubing between 2 barbed connectors for a year now on my Craigslist Helicol panels. Must be 20 or 30 of them and they work great. A little dish soap and hot sun or a hair dryer makes the connection way easier.
    YMMV
    Robert

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N915A using Tapatalk
    And in all the posts and YouTube vidoes, I have never seen it mentioned. I thought I was a genius but really just bought bad panels and I am cheap.

    10k Gallon, IG Kafko Vinyl Liner (8/1/12), 200# Sand w/ 1 hp Hayward MaxFlo pump, Taylor K2006
    3 4x12 Heliocol East facing + 3 4x12 Heliocol West facing 2015
    Robert from Sunny Southern Oregon

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Repairs - "stents" INSTEAD of plugs or glue?

    yay. Connectors ordered
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Repairs - "stents" INSTEAD of plugs or glue?

    No joy. They didn't work. We are leaking. We even reverted to the old "screws" plugs, but one of those is also leaking. It's not rivers but enough to annoy me. We are swimming regardless.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Repairs - "stents" INSTEAD of plugs or glue?

    Bummer. Wonder if there is a larger size.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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