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Thread: Solar Heater Valve Setting Question

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    Solar Heater Valve Setting Question

    On my solar heater flow lines I have a two position valve which I believe is used to control the amount of water to be heated. The valve is positioned between the input line to the solar panels and the heated water return to line to the pool. In my picture the input flows to the right side of the valve and the return line flows to the left. I have tinkered with the valve setting for a couple of months but cannot see any difference in the water temp in my pool. Can someone explain how I can use the valve properly to control my water temp?
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW Indiana

    Re: Solar Heater Valve Setting Question

    Welcome to TFP!

    That really doesn't control temperature other than turning the panels off when it gets warm enough. The main purpose is to adjust the flow through the panels to limit the pressure across them. I adjust my valve for about a 3-4 psi pressure rise on my gauge.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Join Date
    May 2013

    Re: Solar Heater Valve Setting Question

    I pretty much do the same except my number is about 5 psi rise on the gauge. I assume the left pipe is the return to the pool, the right one is the feed to the panels, and the bottom is the feed from the pump. It looks like the valve is set slightly restricting the left pipe which should increase your gauge psi a little and force some water through your panels. If it's warm and you don't require any heat just move the valve so the "off" is in the 12 o'clock position which will open up the pipe to the pool and none will flow to your panels, assuming they are high like on a roof. You could also move "off" over to the solar feed side. When you want to heat the pool put the valve in about the position it's in. This will slightly restrict some of the flow back to the pool and force some water through the panels. To see if it's enough, first feel your panels with you hand before turning on the pump. Use a little common sense here as they can get hot. Then turn on the pump and feel the panels again. They should feel cool to the touch. If not turn the valve counter-clockwise until they do. The objective is to get as much as possible out of the panels without putting too much pressure on them. I've done a lot of tuning with a temp gun on mine but this simple procedure will get you pretty close to where you want to be.
    17x37 IG vinyl, Grecian style, 20k gal, Hayward DE4800, Hayward Super Pump II 1 hp, Rainbow 320 Chlorinator, 6 Vortex 4x10 solar panels, Aquabot Turbo, Dolphin M5, loop-loc mesh cover

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