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Thread: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

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    Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    Guy's, I've decided that my 3 week old AGP (18) is too cold , even here in northern Cali. Days are averaging mid 80's with very low humidity and 55/65 at night. I use a cover but the water temp shows only 80/82 on the surface and pretty friggin cold about 1 foot down and further! Not really pleasurable - blue lips and green boogers appear pretty quickly on the kids.... I'm sure I look worse Lol! SO I've ordered a sungrabber heater ( One 4 X 20 ) and it should be here any day. A little reading talks about how flow from the pump is reduced - makes sence, do any of you run a seperate pump and or plumbing? Is it needed? how did you run your extra plumbing? Cut new liner holes or plumb up and over? D'yall think one 4 x 20 is big enough? I'm running a 1hp pump through a 17 sand filer (think thats the size). Really hate being cold, can't fathom you guys in hotter places with a 'water too hot' problem!

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    No, you don't need a separate pump. I have 6 panels on the roof and I run mine off my 1HP main pump. You may want to plumb a bypass so you don't send all of your water through the panel though.

    On an unrelated note, a 1HP pump is way oversized for most 17" sand filters. 1HP is near the limit for most 24" filters.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    I've been getting that impression ... seroius flow out of the return, but we bought a pool package from costco and the quality on everything has been great -very happy. I may look into a smaller pump if my PG&E goes too high.
    You say you have 6 panels .. I'm feeling that my 1 will be insufficient...
    Anyone else have a comment?

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    The pump should be fine as long as you are planning to put the panels on the ground. Also you don't need to send all of the water through the panels only what is needed (~0.1 GPM/sq-ft of panels). A bypass helps keep head loss low so the flow rate should not suffer much.
    Mark
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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    Thanks - I guess the only way to know if 1 panel will be enough is to try it out..

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    How big is the pool (gallons)?

    Any amount of panels helps, it is just a matter of how much. A large panel area is nice when you want to heat the pool quickly in the spring and fall when there are a few hot days in a row but it isn't necessary either.

    I have 480 sq-ft of panels for a 20k gallon pool. I can get a 10 degree temperature rise in one hot summer day and usually 6 degrees on just warm days. But since I use a solar cover most of the time now, I only need to run the panels about an 1 hour per day in the summer to maintain 88 degrees. During the hottest days when we swim a lot, I leave the cover off and the panels run about 2-3 hours per day to maintain 88 degrees.
    Mark
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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    7,600 Gallons, - the web site recc 1 panel only for an AGP of 21 feet or under.. I guess I can Always add later. Thanks for the inputs!

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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    When you guys quote a temp reading, its just surface temps right? Or are these readings after things are churned up after swimming?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    Those temperature gains are average increases throughout the pool.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    I am quoting the controller temperature sensor which is right after the filter so it is water from the skimmers and main drain after several hours of mixing. But also, the temperature rise includes the rise that the pool would normally experience during the day without solar. My pool will normally rise 3-4 degrees per day. So the panels alone are adding 3-6 degrees depending on the wind and air temps.

    Also, scaled by your pool volume, you will have about have the sq-ft/gallon as I do so you should expect about half the temperature rise. I think it should be enough but a solar cover would definitely help.
    Mark
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    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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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    So, I've hooked up my single solar pannel ( 2 strips connected ) and with the pump running all day, cover on and no one swimming and I got a 1 deg difference from yesterday. Very disappointing. I've hooked it up as directed with a single bypass valve in the closed position. The strips are lying on the ground in direct overhead sun most of the day, a few feet away from the pool. I keep thinking something is hooked up wrong but I've done it the exact same as the diagram. Unhappy camper. As well as that I had the hardest time finding a way to hook up to the sand filter - the hose coming out of the filter isn't quite 1" or 1.25" either. Even taking the end off the filter and bringing it down to home depot couldn't find a match -I ended up SHOVING a hose over the tight and clamping the sucker down really tight on the other.

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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    Here's a few snaps...
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    more
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    Da pool - The heater will go up on the roof next season
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    I've hooked it up as directed with a single bypass valve in the closed position.
    In the pictures the bypass is fully opened.


    The heater will go up on the roof next season
    What is the model# of your pump?
    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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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    Yes - the bypass is opened.. I had just added bleach to the pool and the sun had gone down, figured no point in using the heater as a cooler. I'll get the pump #. I do feel like its a very strong/fast output pump as there's quite a bit of force coming out at the return - I wonder if the water is being pushed through the heater too fast?

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    Quote Originally Posted by hayabusa3
    I do feel like its a very strong/fast output pump as there's quite a bit of force coming out at the return - I wonder if the water is being pushed through the heater too fast?
    For heating purposes, you can't run the water through too fast. Warming a lot of water a little bit is far more efficient at getting heat into the pool than warming a little water a lot. You do need to limit the flow to protect the panels from excess pressure though.

    One sure way to know how the panels are doing is to feel the surface of the panels while the sun has been shining on them. They should feel cool. If they are warm, they don't have enough flow.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    Good thinking ...I'm at work today and getting the wife to help is a bit like pulling teeth out of a rabid Lama, so I might have to wait lol!

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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    Just a thought, do the panels by chance have a divertor disk in the middle of the manifolds. My original sungrabbers did (my last buy did not), and I had to remove it to get the individual panels to flow in one direction. You might be able to tell by using the method JohnT suggested, but feel the panel at two places on one end. If you place you hand on one side (top side closet to the inlet) of the panel is cool and the other side (still on top of the panel but near the cap side of that panel) is hot, then you probably have the disks. Check both panels, since the disks could be at either end (though mine had blue writing on the manifold with the disks).
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Seperate plumbing/pump for solar heater?

    I don't remember reading about a divertor disk in the instructions and nothing like that jumps to mind from the assembly - I'll look at that also when I get home... thanks for all the inputs!

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