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Thread: What solar panels to get for DIY?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Dunedin, FL

    What solar panels to get for DIY?

    Hi, I just bought a short sale (as is) house and when I finally got the pool going and then turned on the solar, flash flood!
    There is a cracked elbow and several panels spurting streams of water...

    I have 8 panels, 4x10 look pretty old with the connecting hoses stamped Techno Solis.

    I was expecting to fix a couple leaks but, the guy I had out for an estimate said 2100dollars to replace 3 panels or, 5,000 to replace all 8 panels, well... I might have to just rip the system out and start over myself.

    Has anyone done their own install?
    What panels? (these dont look like the newer Techno panels and Im not sure I even want to replace with same brand)
    From where?

    I see a couple online places.
    Any recommendations?
    ~10,200gal IG kidney plaster pool w/overflow spa
    AquaRite SWG
    Hayward Star-Clear 120cartridge, Hayward 1hp SuperpumpII
    Solar panels.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW Indiana

    Re: What solar panels to get for DIY?

    I did mine. If you can handle basic plumbing and working on the roof, it is an easy install. My panels are Aquasol, made by Solar Depot, and I about $1200 in 6 4X8s that I installed in either 2006 or 2007. I'd go with the same ones again. Bought them at
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: What solar panels to get for DIY?

    I did a DIY install. Bought 11 4'x12.5' Heliocol panels and controller used off Craigslist for $600. After the fact, realized the mounting fixtures and the plumbing fixtures were missing ... likely should have offered less (and in hindsight, the guy had NO idea what they were worth). A little tough to find parts as Heliocol seems to not like to sell to consumers directly. Spent almost $400 on Heliocol fittings and new seals. At the same time I re-did my entire pad plumbing so bought some new Pentair 3-way and check valves. Likely ended up costing me about $1500 and some time to have a 500 sqft setup.

    I got a little lucky as I only had 2 of the 1000s of little tubes leak which I was able to plug. The 1 panel I did not use already had some of the tubes that were cut (which just reminded me that it is still sitting on the roof).

    I like the Heliocol panels for a couple reasons, although they are certainly more expensive if you have them installed.
    1. All the little tubes are individual, so wind can pass through requiring less anchoring.
    2. The panels are not connected by rubber tubes and pipe clamps that loosen and need replaced. Although this mean special fittings are required to transition to the PVC ... likely the tube/clamp method is cheaper and a little more flexible to installation alignment.

    Where are you panels leaking? Likely you may need to fix the broken PVC before you can truly tell the condition of the panels. Might simply be required to replace some of the rubber tubes and tighten up the pipe clamps. If any small tubes are leaking, you can cut and plug them fairly easily.
    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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