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Thread: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

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    HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    I just boought a home with a beautiful inground pool with a solar heating system. I was informed that the technician the homeowner had hired to take care of it had quote disconnected the solar because it was quote "broken". I incorrectly assumed that another heater had been installed in its place. I now find myself with some serious pool issues! I could use some advice and counseling on untangling the mess this guy made of this system! Right now there is a foot and a half of snow and the photos I took are not detailed enough, but within the next few days I will be able to get more angles and POV's. In the meantime, I dont know where to start.....
    [color=#000080]20k kidney shaped inground gunite pool,(equipment subject to change) Pentair Clean & Clear Plus, Pentair WhisperFlo 1 1/2hp pump. Everything else is disconnected/disabled and currently a work in progress... newly added Vintage CalSpa is also a work in progress..

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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    There are many people here that I am sure can get you squared away.

    I was going to suggest pictures, and then saw mention of the snow

    You could start by describing your "serious pool issues". Are they just in dealing with the pad plumbing or do you have other concerns?

    A run down of your pool specs and an equipment list will be helpful too ... a stand alone pool with basic equipment is a LOT different plumbing than a pool/spa combo with solar & gas heater, blower motors and water features.

    Not sure how much you can do with all the snow on the ground ... although that also likely means you have time to learn before pool opening.

    If you are not familiar with pools, reading through the Pool School (upper right of page) a few times will help with your understanding.

    Let us know how we can help.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    Quote Originally Posted by jblauert
    There are many people here that I am sure can get you squared away.

    I was going to suggest pictures, and then saw mention of the snow

    You could start by describing your "serious pool issues". Are they just in dealing with the pad plumbing or do you have other concerns?

    A run down of your pool specs and an equipment list will be helpful too ... a stand alone pool with basic equipment is a LOT different plumbing than a pool/spa combo with solar & gas heater, blower motors and water features.

    Not sure how much you can do with all the snow on the ground ... although that also likely means you have time to learn before pool opening.

    If you are not familiar with pools, reading through the Pool School (upper right of page) a few times will help with your understanding.

    Let us know how we can help.
    I grew up with Dad a 37year pool tech, I knew enough as a teen to be left to test,skim & vacuum one while he went to another close by. That was 23 years ago, but I am a capable, intelligent, mechanically inclined woman who is up to the challenge. One of my biggest issues is the fact that it has been a long time and the fact that knowing how to vacuum a pool in no way makes me an expert and while I for the most part understand the principals of the filtration/heating system it was never my responsibility. The pool referenced here is an inground concrete/gunite pool with a Pentair Clean & Clear Plus CCP420 filter, Pentair Whisper Flo WFE-6 1 1/2hp pump, it has a Antho Touch 2000 control panel, it was originally installed with a solar heating system, "C35 differential temperature control module" and a freeze protection thermostat. The person that was servicing the pool disconnected the solar system and replumbed it without a heater, there are pipes that have been cut and left open, pipes that have been capped off at the 3way valve actuator, an assortment of ball valves and manual gate valves that make no sense at all! There is fairly substantial leaf debris at the bottom and the skimmer at the side has the most powerful suction I have ever experienced, it is a challenge to empty the basket! I will attach the photos I have taken so far, but they are inadequate to represent the system fully. I will submit more when the snow melts. The fluctuating weather conditions and the in my opinion incorrect/inadequate filtration set-up have resulted in a very green pool which needs draining on top of everything else!!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    [color=#000080]20k kidney shaped inground gunite pool,(equipment subject to change) Pentair Clean & Clear Plus, Pentair WhisperFlo 1 1/2hp pump. Everything else is disconnected/disabled and currently a work in progress... newly added Vintage CalSpa is also a work in progress..

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    Good that you have some background/experience.

    It is hard to see what is going on in these pictures. Probably need a few different angles of everything to try to follow the flow.

    One thing you will quickly see here if you do some reading is that there are very few reasons to ever NEED to drain a pool. For example, high CYA, high CH (although RO treatment could be used) ... Just being green is not one of them With a working filter, some time, and a whole lot of bleach ... a swamp can be turned into an oasis without emptying the pool (which has its own risks, i.e. float the pool out of the ground).

    Being that it appears to still be pretty cold there, you may not need/want to start the process of shocking your pool until the weather is going to stay warm.

    Although now may be a good time to evaluate the equipment and plumbing and make changes as required ... although, are you in an area where your pool has been "winterized" or are you still running the pump/filter everyday? If it is winterized, then you may not be able to evaluate some of the pad until you are able to run it and the weather no longer puts your equipment at risk of freezing.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    Looking at the pad I am not sure I would call the filtration setup inadequate although maybe not working how it should based on the plumbing. If it is not too cold out, you can certainly start fishing out all the leaves and debris in the pool as that is one of the first steps in shocking and it will at least reduce the amount of organics in the pool.

    I think I read in your other post you are at 3500' ... what part of the country?

    What is your goal with the pool as far as a heating source?
    Reconnecting and testing the solar system or adding an electric/gas heater?

    Also, and I hope you do not take this the wrong way, the methods of maintenance recommended on this site may not match what you learned from your father. These methods certainly do not seem to match with 99% of the pool stores out there that are in the business to make money. Here, the goal is to understand your pool and then maintain it ourselves while keeping as much money in our pockets. Often times threads can get confusing when owners go to the pool store who sells a bunch of stuff to throw in the pool and then come here and ask what to do next ... it just makes things more difficult when the owner is trying to follow 2 different sets of recommendations. However, We will certainly help you in any way we can.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    Quote Originally Posted by jblauert
    Looking at the pad I am not sure I would call the filtration setup inadequate although maybe not working how it should based on the plumbing. If it is not too cold out, you can certainly start fishing out all the leaves and debris in the pool as that is one of the first steps in shocking and it will at least reduce the amount of organics in the pool.

    I think I read in your other post you are at 3500' ... what part of the country?

    What is your goal with the pool as far as a heating source?
    Reconnecting and testing the solar system or adding an electric/gas heater?

    Also, and I hope you do not take this the wrong way, the methods of maintenance recommended on this site may not match what you learned from your father. These methods certainly do not seem to match with 99% of the pool stores out there that are in the business to make money. Here, the goal is to understand your pool and then maintain it ourselves while keeping as much money in our pockets. Often times threads can get confusing when owners go to the pool store who sells a bunch of stuff to throw in the pool and then come here and ask what to do next ... it just makes things more difficult when the owner is trying to follow 2 different sets of recommendations. However, We will certainly help you in any way we can.
    I am in a little community called Cascade Shores situated on Banner Mountain in Nevada City, CA .There is a foot of snow melting on the ground right now. I am an independent thinker, I can and do form my own opinions about everything I consider. I believe that if a person takes the time and has the will is capable of doing absolutely anything they decide to do. I do not claim to be a genius or even a certified mechanic, but I have done my own brakes for 15 years now and saved myself alot of money.
    Regarding the draining of the pool, I do not make the mistake of taking that lightly at all. My husband is an electrical contractor and I have consulted with local pool technicians, the pool has been neglected for a long time and we think that the guy who replumbed to bypass the solar, disabled the main drain, which would explain the excesssive suction at the skimmer. The type of Solar heat system installed here was designed with its own separate return to the pool. What he did was to cut off the main drain pipe run and re-routed it to return through the original solar return pipe, Leaving the original drain to filtration run open and cut off in the ground,effectively disabling the sweep and heat functions of the existing control module and freeze protection thermostat that was connected to the solar pipe run. I firmly believe that retailers are only interested in the revenue and I try as hard as possible to keep it out of thier hands!!~
    My intention is to restore it to its original installation, upgraded of course, but I fully intend to utilize the solar heating that was designed for this pool. As far as attempting to clear this pool without draining it, I live in a rural area and it has gone beyond simple leaves, its THICK, it would take filling the pool with chlorine to break it down and we do not have sewer access to permit draining it if there is chemicals in it. In the state its in it will not harm the soil. As for the danger of buckling its a well engineered concrete pool built into a natural slate hillside,we recently had the pool itself inspected (we are in escrow) and the inspector stated he was impressed with the quality of the design and installation of the concrete pool quote" its not going anywhere, any time soon"
    I need advice on where to start? On recommendations for upgrades, suggestions for replumbing/schematics. I may not know particulars since I was never a pool pro(my dad was) or even a pool owner, but I am a quick study and learn quick.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    [color=#000080]20k kidney shaped inground gunite pool,(equipment subject to change) Pentair Clean & Clear Plus, Pentair WhisperFlo 1 1/2hp pump. Everything else is disconnected/disabled and currently a work in progress... newly added Vintage CalSpa is also a work in progress..

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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    Quote Originally Posted by jblauert
    There are many people here that I am sure can get you squared away.

    I was going to suggest pictures, and then saw mention of the snow

    You could start by describing your "serious pool issues". Are they just in dealing with the pad plumbing or do you have other concerns?

    A run down of your pool specs and an equipment list will be helpful too ... a stand alone pool with basic equipment is a LOT different plumbing than a pool/spa combo with solar & gas heater, blower motors and water features.

    Not sure how much you can do with all the snow on the ground ... although that also likely means you have time to learn before pool opening.

    If you are not familiar with pools, reading through the Pool School (upper right of page) a few times will help with your understanding.

    Let us know how we can help.
    20k inground concrete pool, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus (CCP420)Pentair WhisperFlo(WFE-6) 1 1/2hp pump and an Antho Touch 2000 control panel are the only things connected right now, and no the pool was not winterized and never has been.
    [color=#000080]20k kidney shaped inground gunite pool,(equipment subject to change) Pentair Clean & Clear Plus, Pentair WhisperFlo 1 1/2hp pump. Everything else is disconnected/disabled and currently a work in progress... newly added Vintage CalSpa is also a work in progress..

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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    It was common with that system to have the "Antho Chlor" with it , it looks like it was removed from the system when some of the upgrades were done to the equipment. i can almost Guarantee that system was an Anthony "skid" which usually came with a purex pump and purex DE filter , very old equipment even though the pool may be new ....there is a long story behind that but i will not get into that here... someone replaced your old equipment with the pentair newer versions... the plumbing is what concerns me ... alot of patches... it does not look as it has been disconnected from the solar , but we need to see a picture like the second one -- but stand further back so we can see whats up with the solar connections ... if that is what you are worried about...I side with the other pros here .... do not drain this pool ..... its obvious its an "Anthony" pool... i am speaking form my experience... they used to hold to the minimum standards... i would not drain it unless you are ready to build a new pool when that one "POPS" out of the ground....
    CHANGES AREN'T PERMANENT, BUT CHANGE IS--- Rush-- Tom Sawyer

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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    I'd tear everything out at the pad and start over.

    Check out this page http://www.h2otsun.com/pools/index.html for some ideas on proper solar system design; especially at the pad. Something that gets questioned is the need for the bypass as flow to the panels can be adjusted by not opening the 3-way valve fully. Regardless they cover a lot of scenarios and provide a ton of good info.

    Also, if the solar panels were abandoned it's quite possible they are leaking. Depending on the type you may be able to patch or block off the leaking tubes/sections or you may need to replace the panel(s) entirely.

    Good luck and keep us posted/keep asking questions, etc.
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    Quote Originally Posted by carlscan26
    I'd tear everything out at the pad and start over.

    Check out this page http://www.h2otsun.com/pools/index.html for some ideas on proper solar system design; especially at the pad. Something that gets questioned is the need for the bypass as flow to the panels can be adjusted by not opening the 3-way valve fully. Regardless they cover a lot of scenarios and provide a ton of good info.

    Also, if the solar panels were abandoned it's quite possible they are leaking. Depending on the type you may be able to patch or block off the leaking tubes/sections or you may need to replace the panel(s) entirely.

    Good luck and keep us posted/keep asking questions, etc.
    As a matter of fact I have that site bookmarked for schematics!! And starting over is exactly what I had in mind!
    [color=#000080]20k kidney shaped inground gunite pool,(equipment subject to change) Pentair Clean & Clear Plus, Pentair WhisperFlo 1 1/2hp pump. Everything else is disconnected/disabled and currently a work in progress... newly added Vintage CalSpa is also a work in progress..

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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    before you make plans for your re plumb, you need to make sure you identify your lines, from the new photos you posted , it looks like a suction line was abandoned also.... (1st and last picture) could be main drain , but i would want to know why is was abandoned.

    good luck

    G
    CHANGES AREN'T PERMANENT, BUT CHANGE IS--- Rush-- Tom Sawyer

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    CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHAT THIS GUY DID TO MY PLUMBING?

    Can anyone tell me what the guy was trying to do here? How do I figure out what pipe goes where? This was designed to be a solar heated system. I now have no heat, the automatic valves are by-passed or disabled and the freeze protection thermostat is disconnected. Can anyone figure out what this guy was doing? It looks like it needs to be re-plumbed at the pad, but where do you start? I intend to replace/repair the solar, how do I figure out the original purpose; which is inlet and which is return with the underground pipes? there are 2(?) the surface skimmer and the in-floor drain from the pool originally(?) one is now cut off. there are 2(?) original returns; one from the filter and one from the solar; one of which is also cut off...........HELP ME PLEASE!!
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    [color=#000080]20k kidney shaped inground gunite pool,(equipment subject to change) Pentair Clean & Clear Plus, Pentair WhisperFlo 1 1/2hp pump. Everything else is disconnected/disabled and currently a work in progress... newly added Vintage CalSpa is also a work in progress..

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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    Quote Originally Posted by Gandalf-Pool Wizard
    before you make plans for your re plumb, you need to make sure you identify your lines, from the new photos you posted , it looks like a suction line was abandoned also.... (1st and last picture) could be main drain , but i would want to know why is was abandoned.

    good luck

    G
    How does one go about identifying my lines? It looks like there were 2 original runs to the pump(surface skimmer & in floor drain) one is disconnected, and at least 2 returns; from the filter and from the original solar heating. It looks like there could be at least one more underground line, but its hard to tell with the weather conditions we are having making things hard to see and interpret. Add to that the complete visual confusion of the re-plumbed sections and it becomes extremely confusing! The original solar control module has a sweep setting, and it was bypassed. The suction at the wall skimmer is extremely strong.
    [color=#000080]20k kidney shaped inground gunite pool,(equipment subject to change) Pentair Clean & Clear Plus, Pentair WhisperFlo 1 1/2hp pump. Everything else is disconnected/disabled and currently a work in progress... newly added Vintage CalSpa is also a work in progress..

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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    Hard to tell what all is going on here and picture the whole set up in my head. Can you add a few more overview pictures? Like more from the Pump side.

    I am not sure how to do it, but can you make the pictures bigger? Or clickable so that they be larger. Might be better to upload the pix to Photobucket or something and then link to them so we can get a better view.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    Quote Originally Posted by jblauert
    Hard to tell what all is going on here and picture the whole set up in my head. Can you add a few more overview pictures? Like more from the Pump side.

    I am not sure how to do it, but can you make the pictures bigger? Or clickable so that they be larger. Might be better to upload the pix to Photobucket or something and then link to them so we can get a better view.
    I had to compress the pics before tfp would allow me to download them and I am limited to 3! I have alot more..maybe through a private message? I have windows live and I can make an album, so that you could zoom in on one...I'll work on that today
    [color=#000080]20k kidney shaped inground gunite pool,(equipment subject to change) Pentair Clean & Clear Plus, Pentair WhisperFlo 1 1/2hp pump. Everything else is disconnected/disabled and currently a work in progress... newly added Vintage CalSpa is also a work in progress..

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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    Quote Originally Posted by nanashana
    I had to compress the pics before tfp would allow me to download them and I am limited to 3! I have alot more..maybe through a private message? I have windows live and I can make an album, so that you could zoom in on one...I'll work on that today
    Many posters use photobucket or one of the other free online photo hosting sites and then just link from there.
    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: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    Quote Originally Posted by nanashana
    I had to compress the pics before tfp would allow me to download them and I am limited to 3! I have alot more..maybe through a private message? I have windows live and I can make an album, so that you could zoom in on one...I'll work on that today
    Yes you are limited to 3 per post ... just make more posts. I have added pictures here and they are WAY bigger then these ... I think you may have over compressed them or something ... actually I do not remember compressing mine at all {EDIT: Yes I did change them, just reduced the size to 1024x765 which was about 200 KB ... 4-5 times larger than the ones you posted.}

    In any case I would recommend hosting them somewhere else I guess ... PM is bad because then everyone can not see them.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    I took a few more photos with a different setting on my camera and changed the pixel size before compression on this one,(IMG9192) if it works were in business...here is one
    Attached Images Attached Images
    [color=#000080]20k kidney shaped inground gunite pool,(equipment subject to change) Pentair Clean & Clear Plus, Pentair WhisperFlo 1 1/2hp pump. Everything else is disconnected/disabled and currently a work in progress... newly added Vintage CalSpa is also a work in progress..

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    Re: HELP!!! RE-PLUMBING A DISCONNECTED SOLAR HEAT SYSTEM

    I was confused what that black pipe was in the very first picture ... now it is obvious.

    Still not sure what is going on with your pix, mine I can click and they get huge on the screen, your are just the small size in the thread ...

    You stated the size in the first pic, but looks like the forum resized it down and I can not blow it up.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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