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Thread: When to activate solar heater

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    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Roseville, CA
    Posts
    18

    When to activate solar heater

    I just moved into my new house about a month ago. I went to a local pool store and had an experienced "pool man" give me an owner orientation to my equipment and just realized a question I should have asked. I'll probably try to call him and ask, but I was curious if anyone here could give me advice. My pool is equipped with a solar heat system. I haven't gone up on the roof to inspect the exact size, but using the ruler function in Google Earth, I've calculated it to have about 250 square feet. My pool is estimated at about 12,500 gallons. Currently, the solar system is in winter mode; the drain valves on both supply and return side are open and main supply and return valves are closed, causing pump to bypass solar system. I'm wondering when I should close the drain valves and open the main valves to activate the solar. At this moment (1:30 AM), the pool is 55° F, while the ambient air temperature is 54° F. I don't know if we'll be having any more freezing temperatures... never followed freezing patterns all that much in the past. I'm anxious to go swimming for the first time in my pool, but don't want to use the gas heater for the pool. Any advice on when to do this? I'm sure this answer varies by where someone lives, but are there some guidelines? I currently live in Roseville, CA (about 15 miles from Sacramento).

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    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Roseville, CA
    Posts
    18

    Re: When to activate solar heater

    My thought is that I should look at LOW temperature patterns, so I looked up the low temperature patterns for the past three years. My thought process again makes me think I should look for times when ambient temperature is consistently above 32°F before running water through solar panels.

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    From the looks of this, any time now should be good, correct?

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    JesseJames's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Florida
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    64

    Re: When to activate solar heater

    I regularly monitor the weather forecast for my zip. You can do it online. I turned my solar back on a few weeks ago. If the weather changes it is easy to turn off.
    13K Gal., Plaster, SWG, Intellichlor IC 20, Sta-Rite 1 HP Pump, Sta-Rite PLM 300 Filter, Pentair LED, Solar, Screened Enclosure, Great White, TF-100

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
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    22,344

    Re: When to activate solar heater

    Looking at your chart, I'd say any time now that you feel like it. Even if it gets down to freezing a few hours, it's not going to hurt anything.
    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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    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    11,482

    Re: When to activate solar heater

    I turn mine on when the air temp goes above 75. Below that and nobody in my household really wants to swim. Not only that but air temp has a big impact on panel efficiency. With current temps, you would be lucky to get the water up to 70 degrees.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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