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Thread: Solar Heater Recommendations

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    kenmar's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    Solar Heater Recommendations

    Hi All,

    After having a very heated (no pun intended) discussion with my 12 yro daughter regarding the temperature of our pool, I am leaning towards installing some sort of solar heating system to supplement our gas system.
    Our current pool temp without the heater on and without a solar blanket is 68deg.
    To heat from 68 to 80 using only gas would be ridiculously expensive.
    I am hoping to get a 5-8 degree bump by using solar panels.

    I don't want to say "money is no object", but I don't want to buy junk.
    Since it can be very windy where we live, I will probably want a permanent installation on our roof.

    I am looking for any recommendations for brand names, models, and sizing, etc.

    Regarding installation, should I contact a plumber or a pool installer?

    Thanks,

    -Ken-
    20'x40' / 30,000 Gal / In Ground / Vinyl
    Pentair FNS 48 DE Filter / Pentair Challenger 1.5 HP Pump
    Jandy Lite2 400k BTU Propane Heater / Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TF-100 Test Kit / BBB
    Creator of SimplePool (BBB Friendly Android App) http://www.simplepool.net

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    Re: Solar Heater Recommendations

    Two things; a plumber is probably not going to know about solar heating and probably not going to want to install on a roof. So your best bet is a pool builder or pool store.

    Take a look at Brentr's build thread. That's one good looking installation.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/╝hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    kenmar's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Heater Recommendations

    Thanks Bama Rambler,


    I just checked out his thread.
    His build is very similiar to what I had in mind.
    I M'd him for some more info.
    20'x40' / 30,000 Gal / In Ground / Vinyl
    Pentair FNS 48 DE Filter / Pentair Challenger 1.5 HP Pump
    Jandy Lite2 400k BTU Propane Heater / Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TF-100 Test Kit / BBB
    Creator of SimplePool (BBB Friendly Android App) http://www.simplepool.net

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    Re: Solar Heater Recommendations

    Hey Ken-

    Best investment we have made by far!!!! Our pool is currently 83 degrees. The outside temp is 72 but there are no clouds in the sky-it has to be sunny (not warm but warm is better) to work. We have 400 square feet of the Helicol (sp) brand solar about 80% coverage of our pool. They have an amazing warranty and our install was awesome. We have been around 80 degrees for the past month and our pool is filled with family everyday.

    You can save a bunch with a DIY job, but I do not have the guts myself.

    We have a flat roof so we needed a top of the line system with spaces between each water tube so that our roof doesn't rot. If you have a pitched roof that is south facing you can use almost any brand.

    Again- Its a no brainer to me.
    18,900 Stonescapes Tahoe Blue xtra black, 8 jet Spa, Pentair inteliflo VS , Pentair FNS 60 DE, Inteliclor40, Pentair 400,000 Mastertemp heater, 3 spillovers powered by a Pentair 1 HP whisperflo pump, The pool Cleaner, 2 Intellibright color changing lights and 400 sq ft. of Heliocol roof mounted solar.

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    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Cleona, PA
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    236

    Re: Solar Heater Recommendations

    Don't mean to pirate the thread, but on the same note... I have a 15'x30' AGP. The pump and only return is on the south west corner of the pool near the back of our property. The pool gets very good sun coverage all day. Our skimmer is on the North east side of the pool, so the run is about 30' + 15' so about 45'. Of course the pump to filter to return is all in the same location.

    I was thinking about a 4'x20' solar heater unit along the east side of the pool, but wouldn't that put more strain on the pump? Would it be too much for a 1HP AG pump?
    13,500 Wilkes Vinyl AG (15'x30' rectangular)
    Hayward Power-Flo LX SP1580, 1HP
    Hayward S-160T High Rate Sand Filter

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    AV8TOR's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
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    Fort Worth TX
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    Re: Solar Heater Recommendations

    So this is what we did this year and I am happy with it. We bought 2 each 2' x 20' Sun Grabber panels here and simply installed them by laying them on the patio close to the pool. It gets sun from 10AM to 6PM. I will only leave them there till we stay warm at night. In 5 days we have raised our pool temperature by 11┬║. It still is dropping down in the mid 60's at night . The water coming out is at 4 gallon/min and the output water temperature in late afternoon/full sun is 12┬║-14┬║ above incoming water. I will roll it up and store it during the season but will also bring it out at the end of the season.

    We have a complicated roof line with no 20' fat sections and to be honest I would rather not look at it all year. For $225 I am very happy and am sure this will supplement your gas heater just right. For my pool size I should have gone 4 panels but just did not have that much room.
    16,000 gal IG Double Roman Plaster Pool (16yrs - plaster redone 2014)
    Pentair FNS-48 DE filter with WhisperFlo 2HP single speed pump
    Polaris 280 robot
    BBB all the way and tested with a TF100 kit
    Pool Calc user

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