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Thread: Repair suggestions for damaged Aquatherm solar panels

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    Kiss4aFrog's Avatar
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    Repair suggestions for damaged Aquatherm solar panels

    I have some solar panels made by Aquatherm model 10001-2. They were not treated the best and presently I have some tubes on the exterior edge ripped that I would like to seal back together and two of the collectors have a couple inch seperations between the tube material and the header.

    Is there a known good product for sealing / repairing these units that will bond well ??

    Has anyone had any success in repairing them ??
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Repair suggestions for damaged Aquatherm solar panels

    There is really not much of anything that will "bond" with the plastic. The fixes are just plugging the broken tubes/holes mechanically.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Repair suggestions for damaged Aquatherm solar panels

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    There is really not much of anything that will "bond" with the plastic. The fixes are just plugging the broken tubes/holes mechanically.
    I have always wondered if you could use the black rubber that you roll on. It is usually for roofs. I would be concerned that it would add an insulating property, but that might be a good thing.
    24' round AG 15K gals. DIY solar heater. SolarChlor Max producing free chlorine!!. Pool is crystal clear!! Doing my best to use natural products or processes.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Repair suggestions for damaged Aquatherm solar panels

    Someone on here has posted having good results with "welding" split panels back together using a sacrificial bit from another panel made of the same material, I think they transferred it with a hot butter knife.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Repair suggestions for damaged Aquatherm solar panels

    I'm leaning toward 3m 5200 marine adhesive / sealant available at auto parts stores or Homedepot or maybe try a cheap harbor freight plastic welder. Since it's $395 each panel to replace I can spend a little experimenting.

    If I get the welder it might be wise to sacrifice the worst one for material to use to try and seal the others ??? Thanks for that idea.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Repair suggestions for damaged Aquatherm solar panels

    I do not hold out much hope for you finding an adhesive that will bond with these plastics. The welding is a much more likely option to be successful.

    If you do find something that works, please report back
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Repair suggestions for damaged Aquatherm solar panels

    You should be able to get one of the private label aquatherm panels for about half that price either aqua Sol or elm comes to mind
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Repair suggestions for damaged Aquatherm solar panels

    Hi there - I'm sorry to hear about your leaking collectors. Our collectors can certainly be repaired, using one of two methods that bypasses the affected tube(s).

    The first method would be to use rubber repair plugs, which are inserted into the top and bottom of the affected tube. Repair plugs are available at several online retailers, simply search for "Aquatherm Repair Plugs." Be sure the plugs are meant for Aquatherm collectors, and not FAFCO. The difference is our plugs are 8mm wide while FAFCO plugs are 6mm wide.

    The second method is to use widely available #10 or #12 stainless steel sheet metal screws to block the tube directly at the header/absorber weld. There's an explanation here.

    Personally, I would recommend the screw repair over the plug. The reason being, in areas where a hard freeze is an issue, the plug at the top of the collector will allow water to be trapped in that tube, even if the system is drained. When that happens, that water will freeze, and expand, causing a slug of ice to force the plug out over time. You don't have to worry about that issue with the screw method.

    I would advise against trying any kind of sealant or adhesive. The polypropylene collectors are specifically designed to shed any kind of scaling - no sealant will stay adhered to them. Also, any attempts at using a sealant would technically void the manufacturer's warranty.

    Best Regards,

    Dan Sizelove
    Marketing Coordinator / Customer Service
    Aquatherm Industries, Inc.

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    Re: Repair suggestions for damaged Aquatherm solar panels

    Dan, always nice to see a manufacturer respond in this forum. Thank you.

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    Re: Repair suggestions for damaged Aquatherm solar panels

    How about some of that Flex Seal? You know the infomercial where the guy is rowing in a boat with a screen door bottom that was sprayed with the stuff. Just kidding though. Only thing to do is plug the holes up just like the rep said above.
    Paul
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