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Thread: New plumbing w/ solar. Any glaring oversights/overkills?

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    Shelley N's Avatar
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    New plumbing w/ solar. Any glaring oversights/overkills?

    We can't procrastinate any longer. This is my plan. Anybody see any oversights or overkill?

    Thanks so much.
    Shelley
    Denver, CO

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New plumbing w/ solar. Any glaring oversights/overkills?

    Your drawing is a little hard to follow but I don't see anything that I'd have a problem with.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New plumbing w/ solar. Any glaring oversights/overkills?

    The air vent should be at a local high point, but the side of the panel array it is on should be lower than the other side, so that isn't a local high point. Typically you would put it at the opposite corner of the panel array, ie the high point of the input pipe.

    Also, I don't understand what "diverter1" and "diverter2" are. Are they ball valves?
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    Shelley N's Avatar
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    Re: New plumbing w/ solar. Any glaring oversights/overkills?

    Thank you both for taking the time.

    Jason - Yes they are open/close spots, so they are ball valves. I thought you went into the solar at the bottom and came out at the top on the opposite side. Are you saying the warmed water should exit the system on the same side as the input? The rack is only about 7 feet tall at the back and 1.5 feet off the ground on the front. This isn't a roof install, just a rack next to the pool. Does that matter?
    Shelley
    Denver, CO

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New plumbing w/ solar. Any glaring oversights/overkills?

    I was just talking about the air vent. The input/output plumbing is done correctly and should not be changed. It is just the air vent that should be at the opposite corner. It actually isn't going to matter much either way if the panels are on the ground.

    I think "ck valve 1" should be on the next leg clockwise on the T it is next to. That is, it should be on the pipe from the "flo verter" to the T, instead of where it is now. Otherwise, when the solar is bypassed using "diverter1" and "diverter2", water could still flow into the panels through that T and then backwards through "flo verter". Meanwhile there is no need for a check valve where "ck valve 1" is now.

    You have two ball valves and three check valves to get the panel bypass to work correctly. The more common way to do it is with three ball valves and two check valves, as shown in the diagram about half way down this page. The only difference I can think of is that your approach goes through two check valves when not using solar and one otherwise, while their approach goes through two check valves when using solar and one otherwise.
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    Shelley N's Avatar
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    Re: New plumbing w/ solar. Any glaring oversights/overkills?

    Jason, I agree, I don't think check valve 1 is necessary at all. It can just be removed since it's right next to a diverter that will be closed all the time. Seeing as they're 5x the price of a ball valve, I'm in! The link's diagram doesn't have one on the solar return. What's to keep the bypassed water from going up the solar panel return? Is it the fact that the motorized valve is closed on the other side? The air vent thingie doesn't mess that up? So the air vent goes on the low end of the panels, lets say bottom left in my case. Got it. I'm not sure I understand what it does then. My system is about 5' high on the back and 1' high on the front and 2' from the pool.

    I'm thinking since the check valves came with a thread connector they have to be brought in during winter, is that right? Another negative for them.

    [attachment=0:1m0q9hhl]Solar Panels 20100509b-1.jpg[/attachment:1m0q9hhl]
    Shelley
    Denver, CO

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New plumbing w/ solar. Any glaring oversights/overkills?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelley N
    The link's diagram doesn't have one on the solar return. What's to keep the bypassed water from going up the solar panel return? Is it the fact that the motorized valve is closed on the other side?
    Water can't go up the return pipe very far before it hits a check valve. Water can get to the motorized valve, but either that valve is closed, or it is open to water coming directly from the pump and closed to the solar panels.
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    Shelley N's Avatar
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    Re: New plumbing w/ solar. Any glaring oversights/overkills?

    Sorry Jason, I was looking at the top diagram which doesn't have a 2nd check valve.
    Shelley
    Denver, CO

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