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Thread: Do I need a check valve?

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    Do I need a check valve?

    I hav been running my new 4'x20' solar panel for a week or so with some success (when the sun isn't behind a rain cloud). I have a diverter on the system, which includes a Hayward DE filter and 50 gpm pump. The filter was running at 11 psi before I added the panels and I had it anywhere from 14 psi to 17 psi with the diverter through the solar collector. I'm fixin' to add my old beehive GAME heater in parallel and I need to know if I need this socket check valve I bought at Lowes. Everything is on the ground right now and will be for the foreseeable future.
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    Newer Hayward Perflex DE filters have a built in 1 way check valve, so it partly depends how old yours is. Is your solar panel roof mounted, if not then you are trying to force too much water through it potentially over pressurizing it.
    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
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1
    Newer Hayward Perflex DE filters have a built in 1 way check valve, so it partly depends how old yours is. Is your solar panel roof mounted, if not then you are trying to force too much water through it potentially over pressurizing it.
    OK. I have some time to be more specific. Although my Perflex is brand new, I have seen nothing mentioned in the manual about a built-in check valve. Furthermore, where I'm talking about needing one is between the solar heaters and where they tee back into the main return line to the pool. My system will look something like this: Pool outlet=>Hayward 50 gpm pump=>Hayward DE filter=>tee splitting main line returning to pool off to the two heaters running in parallel. At that point, I have a ball valve on the main line serving as a diverter to push the right amount of filtered water through the heaters.

    Once the heated water is combined, I would bring it through the check valve just before it re-enters the main line headed back to the pool. All of this, from the first tee, through the heaters, back through the proposed check valve and then teeing back into the main line, is all at ground level. I have seen generic solar designs that use a check valve in this location, and I'm concerned that the strong flow of the main line from filter to pool is having a negative effect on the solar-heater loop. Is that, in fact, a real problem or can I return this $13 check valve to Lowes and say I don't need one?
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    For the first check valve to prevent backflow into the pump when the solar is turned off see part number 27 in the parts diagram www.hayward-pool.com/pdf/manuals/Perflex-EC50.pdf?

    As to the second solar return check valve, you may or may not need it depending on amount of back pressure in your system
    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
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1
    For the first check valve to prevent backflow into the pump when the solar is turned off see part number 27 in the parts diagram http://www.hayward-pool.com/pdf/manuals ... x-EC50.pdf?

    As to the second solar return check valve, you may or may not need it depending on amount of back pressure in your system
    Thanks for the information. I guess unless someone is perusing the exploded view it might slip past that it has an internal check valve, as nothing is mentioned in the actual description. Nevertheless, I guess I need to know how I can tell if there is significant back pressure with this system, enough to pose a problem. I'm guessing that if the panels are being cooled despite plenty of direct sunlight that a sufficient amount of water is being moved through and thus transferring the energy to the pool water.
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    Today I replumbed the entire solar setup, added a check valve and teed in the old heater so that the two could run in parallel. I also found the installation instructions for the diverter that came with the Sungrabbers, and it says to close the diverter until the pressure on the filter rises 8 psi. Well, I closed it completely and could manage barely a 6 psi increase. I currently have it partly open and running at about 16 psi, which is 4-5 psi higher than wide open (full main flow returning to the pool). Obviously I'm still playing with it, waiting for a clear-blue sky day and the right amount of bypass. Now I'm concerned there's too much flow going through the old GAME hear and not enough through the panels, but if they are cool to the touch, doesn't that indicate they're transferring their energy to the water? I wish I knew what I was doing!
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    In simple terms you want your return water to be just a little warmer than the pool water and solar collectors should be cool to the touch
    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
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    You'd extract more heat if your two flat panels were plumbed parallel. Personally I'd nix the little round guy and just go with the two flat panels in parallel.
    Bill
    18'X4' 7600 Gal AG
    3/4 HP Pentair Pump
    Hayward S166T 100 lb sand filter

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    Quote Originally Posted by yeggim
    You'd extract more heat if your two flat panels were plumbed parallel.
    That would involve running hoses to the far end of both and bring them back together with a tee near the pool return?
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeElGee
    Quote Originally Posted by yeggim
    You'd extract more heat if your two flat panels were plumbed parallel.
    That would involve running hoses to the far end of both and bring them back together with a tee near the pool return?
    Hard to find hoses that long so I use PVC for the long run on mine and a hose back to the pool. Much cheaper too. You want your valve before the panels to adjust the flow going in the panels in case they produce too much pressure at your filter. Then you can adjust that valve to send a little water directly to the return and have most of the flow through the panels in case your pressure gauge goes above 10 psi above normal (straight from filter to return).
    Bill
    18'X4' 7600 Gal AG
    3/4 HP Pentair Pump
    Hayward S166T 100 lb sand filter

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    Quote Originally Posted by yeggim
    Quote Originally Posted by CeeElGee
    Quote Originally Posted by yeggim
    You'd extract more heat if your two flat panels were plumbed parallel.
    That would involve running hoses to the far end of both and bring them back together with a tee near the pool return?
    Hard to find hoses that long so I use PVC for the long run on mine and a hose back to the pool. Much cheaper too. You want your valve before the panels to adjust the flow going in the panels in case they produce too much pressure at your filter. Then you can adjust that valve to send a little water directly to the return and have most of the flow through the panels in case your pressure gauge goes above 10 psi above normal (straight from filter to return).
    OK. How do you transition from the long PVC run to the 1-1/2" panel inlet/hose barb? And would a three-way diverter valve like a Jandy make more sense than the ball valve included with the panels?
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    Quote Originally Posted by yeggim
    Personally I'd nix the little round guy and just go with the two flat panels in parallel.
    The decision to use the "little round guy" was above my pay grade, if you know what I mean. She probably thinks if one is good, two would be better!
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    Quote Originally Posted by yeggim
    Quote Originally Posted by CeeElGee
    Quote Originally Posted by yeggim
    You'd extract more heat if your two flat panels were plumbed parallel.
    You want your valve before the panels to adjust the flow going in the panels in case they produce too much pressure at your filter. Then you can adjust that valve to send a little water directly to the return and have most of the flow through the panels in case your pressure gauge goes above 10 psi above normal (straight from filter to return).
    So let me ask you: If I shut the diverter valve completely, thus diverting practically all of the water to the heating loop, and the pressure rises no higher that 17 psi (up from a normal of 11 or 12), is that what you would do? Divert it all through the heaters?
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    To connect to the panel headers and connect them together I used these. They're drain pipe connectors and are really not rated for pressure. I looked and looked for fiber reinforced hose but couldn't find any and didn't want to pay 14+ dollars for each OEM hose. They still going strong after 3 seasons.

    The manual for my two panels states that a diverter valve must be used if the pressure rise is more than 10 psi over straight to the pool. I'll snap a picture later on today to give you a better idea of my setup.
    Bill
    18'X4' 7600 Gal AG
    3/4 HP Pentair Pump
    Hayward S166T 100 lb sand filter

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    Quote Originally Posted by yeggim
    To connect to the panel headers and connect them together I used these. They're drain pipe connectors and are really not rated for pressure. I looked and looked for fiber reinforced hose but couldn't find any and didn't want to pay 14+ dollars for each OEM hose. They still going strong after 3 seasons.

    The manual for my two panels states that a diverter valve must be used if the pressure rise is more than 10 psi over straight to the pool. I'll snap a picture later on today to give you a better idea of my setup.
    Thanks for all your help. I turned the pump on this morning and closed the diverter. That pushed the pressure at the filter from almost 13 psi to almost 18. I'll see how that performs if we can get a day with lots of sun. I suspect the parallel system you suggested for a two-panel setup would look something like this, with room to add panels with more couplers later:
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    Your diagram is correct. No matter where you start the feed you want your discharge to travel the same amount of header distance. In other words like your diagram. Feed is top left and discharge is bottom right. In and out both travel the distance of two headers and a coupling. When you incorporate the little guy you have an unequal distance in or out, depending where you place it.

    If I remember correctly, we have a rep of flat panel makers who frequents the forum and I think he said that around 4 psi is the sweet spot to run through the panels. I'd say you're close enough at 5. I go around 4 to 6 with my diverter cracked a hair. Fully closed I see a 9 psi increase.
    Bill
    18'X4' 7600 Gal AG
    3/4 HP Pentair Pump
    Hayward S166T 100 lb sand filter

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    Well, I finally added another piece to the puzzle that should make everyone happy (including yeggim and my wife!). I put an old ball valve between the beehive heater and the return loop to the pool so that I could control the flow through it. After plumbing was done, I started my system up with the main diverter completely open with a pressure of 13 psi. Then, with the beehive's valve completely closed, I began to close the main diverter -- thus forcing water into the two 2'x20' panels -- until I had 17 psi on my filter gauge. After that had regulated, I barely opened the ball valve on the beehive until I was fairly certain all the air was out of it and the pressure had dropped a pound or two. Finally, I closed down the main diverter a bit more until my pressure was back up to 17 psi. I'm hoping to get the best results yet with this combination. I haven't been overly impressed yet, with about 5 degrees rise in pool temperature being the biggest increase to date. Keeping my fingers crossed, but already looking forward to next season when I can add 1-2 more panels and maybe get it up off the ground somehow.
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Re: Do I need a check valve?

    I'm ecstatic. Hey, that was a good idea to valve the bee hive. Didn't even think of that. I'm the same way in that I don't like to see anything go to waste.
    Bill
    18'X4' 7600 Gal AG
    3/4 HP Pentair Pump
    Hayward S166T 100 lb sand filter

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