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Thread: Old solar heater leaking. Fixable?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Wichita, KS
    Posts
    22

    Old solar heater leaking. Fixable?

    I bought a house last year that had a pool with solar heating. I noticed last year that the fittings between them appear to be leaking, but I just dealt with the water loss. Now I want to see if I can fix them. The fittings appear to be copper and I may just be able to take a wrench to them to stop the leaking, but the electrical service drop is immediately over the panels. So I am reduced to trying to diagnose the problem from a distance. Once I know what will probably fix the problem, then I will call to have the power shut off and do the repair. So I would like to get your opinions as to what you think I will need to do to stop the leaks.

    Some photos:


    You can see in this one where the leak is. Most of the connections like this one between the panels are leaking:

    10k gal. IG vinyl, 1 hp pump, 200 lb sand filter, solar panels & cover

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    Nick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    36

    Re: Old solar heater leaking. Fixable?

    Hi,
    If you think they are copper fittings then you will probably find that they are tradition 'nut and olive' unions. It may well be possible to cure the problem using an adjustable wrench. If you find that they still leak after they have been tightened then you may have to undo the nuts, clean up the olives with wire wool or replace the olives completely. Make sure that all connecting surfaces are cleaned up to a shiny finish with wire wool and re-tighten and test.
    If you still find it is leaking then the union may be split in which case you would have to make up a replacement. Parts would depend on the size of the fittings and if they are available in your area.

    Good luck with it.
    Intex 16'x48" AGP 5,000 (uk) gallons
    Intex 635 pump
    Bio Diesel filter bags
    4 solar radiators and a solar cover

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Old solar heater leaking. Fixable?

    wow, copper piping. I would think the chlorine would tend to eat away at it over time. Also, if you let the PH drop, doesn't it really start to eat away at the copper? Anyway, try good old elbow grease and tighten it with a wrench. If that doesnt work, then you need to open it up like to the poster before me said.
    20k inground vinyl oval, Hayward super pump 1.5 HP, Pacvac 36 DE filter, Hayward inline chlorinator, Brand new liner 2009. 1st pool ever owned.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Wichita, KS
    Posts
    22

    Re: Old solar heater leaking. Fixable?

    Thanks for the responses. Yeah, it's copper alright. No real surprise it's leaking. I had some pool work done recently and he estimated it's 25-30 years old. Sounds about right.

    I thought about just tightening the fittings to start with as well, but that service drop so close to the upper side of the panels really scares me. I'll have to start with the lower fittings and see if that does any good before bothering with the upper ones.
    10k gal. IG vinyl, 1 hp pump, 200 lb sand filter, solar panels & cover

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