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Thread: Draining Solar Heating Systems on Roof before pool closing

  1. #1
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    Draining Solar Heating Systems on Roof before pool closing

    I have a solar heating system on top of my house. Water goes through the panels, heats up and goes into the pool. I have my pool closing set for a couple of weeks. Last year I had the guy who installed the system drain it; this year I want to save a few bucks.

    Can anyone tell me how I should do that?

    Thanks.
    24000 gallon Gunnite Pool
    WhisperFlo 1.5 hp Pump
    AquaConfort SWG System
    Solar Heating System

  2. #2
    Senior Member Davegvg's Avatar
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    Re: Draining Solar Heating Systems on Roof before pool closing

    There should be a vaccum break in the system that allows the panels to drain down every night.

    Uncle Dave
    20K Gallon Gunnite pool/900 Gallon in ground Spa/2HP Whisperflow Spa boost pump
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  3. #3
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Draining Solar Heating Systems on Roof before pool closing

    As Dave said, they should stay drained unless they're in operation. If they don't then they're plumbed wrong.

    Post a pic of the panels and the equipment pad where they branch from and we'll have a better idea what advice to give.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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  4. #4
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    Re: Draining Solar Heating Systems on Roof before pool closing

    Here are a few pics of the system. I shut power off to the system and heard some water drain out. So is this all I need to do; there is no "winterizing"
    Attached Images Attached Images
    24000 gallon Gunnite Pool
    WhisperFlo 1.5 hp Pump
    AquaConfort SWG System
    Solar Heating System

  5. #5
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    Re: Draining Solar Heating Systems on Roof before pool closing

    Bump. Anything I have to do to the solar other than shutting it off? When I killed power to it the valve closed and I heard water going running.
    24000 gallon Gunnite Pool
    WhisperFlo 1.5 hp Pump
    AquaConfort SWG System
    Solar Heating System

  6. #6
    Senior Member Davegvg's Avatar
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    Re: Draining Solar Heating Systems on Roof before pool closing

    follow the lines up and down to the panels and look for a vacuum break.

    Sounds like you'll be ok, but Id feel better if you showed a pict of the vac break.




    Uncle Dave
    20K Gallon Gunnite pool/900 Gallon in ground Spa/2HP Whisperflow Spa boost pump
    Pentair Master temp 400/Pentair Quad DE 60/Jandy RS-8 Aqualink/Jandy 2HP Epump (formerly 1HP whisperflow)
    12 - 4x10 Solar Panels/ Goldline Chlorinator/Barracuda G4
    Polaris LCS Leaf Canister skimmer/Pool Devil Pro/Poolskim

  7. #7
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    Re: Draining Solar Heating Systems on Roof before pool closing

    Is this the vacuum break? What do I do with it? I opened it just unscrewed it) and no water was coming out? But do I need to hook up a shopvac to it and try to suck water out, or does that mean I am all set? I heard from the guy that installed them; he said he has to come by and drain each panel to make sure there is no water in them? Is that how it really works??

    Thanks
    Attached Images Attached Images
    24000 gallon Gunnite Pool
    WhisperFlo 1.5 hp Pump
    AquaConfort SWG System
    Solar Heating System

  8. #8
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    Re: Draining Solar Heating Systems on Roof before pool closing

    That looks like a typical install for Heliocol solar panels (VRV not very high off the equipment pad). You should not have to have the panels individually drained unless one of three things is wrong on the install:

    1) They are installed so that all the water could not flow out the bottom and back into the pool when the system is off. Think of it like if you opened up a panel at the top and poured some water down into it. Are the panels and pipes arranged so the water would flow out, or would the water get trapped somewhere?

    2) The 3-way valve traps water. A proper install would have used a non-positive/solar valve or else the installer might have drilled a 1/8" hole in the valve diverter. I'm not sure how to verify that without taking the valve apart - are you OK with doing that?

    3) The VRV is stuck. It seems at least possible that a vacuum could keep enough water up in the system to cause a problem.

    But since you already opened it (the VRV), #3 really can't be an issue. And since the no water came out when you opened it, item #2 above should not be an issue. So really only item #1 would cause a problem that I can see.

    Caveat: I'm in Florida and do not have to face the consequences of a wrong decision on the same scale that you would.
    Geometric 16X36', 16K gal, shotcrete, exposed aggregate plaster, acrylic coated concrete deck/cantilever coping;
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