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Thread: Is solar heating worth it?

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    Is solar heating worth it?

    Split from is-solar-heating-worth-it-t53646.html Butterfly

    I'm newbie and not sure how to post new thread, this thread asked my question but didn't really answer?
    So heres what I got,
    30,000 IG w/spa(15 yr old) 2.6 hp(not sure what brand?) w/ Purex whisper flo
    Pentair NFSP 60 DE filter
    Pentair Minimax 400 heater
    Compupool LX220 solar (2 panels, over 1/2 of pool surface)

    Info I have is, Solar has been dormant for at least 3 yrs maybe longer? as far as I can tell both sensors need replaced, (It will require drilling new hole as a section of pipe has been replaced and sensor is lying on ground) to have automated system working correctly. (I manually overrode actuator and found no leaks).

    My Question is, Before I go buy sensors and drill holes? and make the effort to get it operational? Is it even worth it? I live in San Diego, panels are close to pool, get sun most of the day, but is that enough surface area to make a difference in a 30,000 gl pool? I've already dropped $1000 getting pool back in shape, not that it was completely neglected, Just a matter of things getting old and wore out. So I'm to the point I don't want to spend any more$ unless I have to? And if the solar is worth the time and money? I'll do it.

    PS Having trouble identifying 2 lines? They are the two that come after 3way w/actuator coming out filter. one line goes to heater, but before that there is tee w/check valve. This has me puzzled, the position of said chk vlv is such that its allowing water to flow whenever pump is running and 3way is open?, essentially sending some water to heater and some through the line in question. then theres a line on other side of 3way. both route around filter and converge at same spot in ground. Are these solar? if so which one is return? I attached pics

    Thanks
    Parris
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Is solar heating worth it?

    It would absolutely be worth it IMO.
    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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    Mark R's Avatar
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    Re: Is solar heating worth it?

    I love mine !! If I was living in San Diego and bought a house with an existing system already installed, I'd get her all fix up for sure. It's the perfect part of the country for it, I live in the Mohave Desert so my climate is pretty good too.

    My buddy has a house in San Marcos, I'm talking to him now about solar install benifits.

    I have 6 panel, only thing I would change is adding 1 or 2 more for my pool. Heats up 0-60 in like 3.2 seconds with this heat.

    Seriously, if you have most everything installed I would do it in a heart beat as long as it's not a complete mess on top

    Good luck
    12k gal Gunite/Hayward filter C5520BH with quad 33 inch filters. 2.5 hp motor. Pool is on south side, so full sun light. Spill over spa.
    Laar's heater LT250-Low NOx Gas Fired for pool/spa 250,000 BTU. Roof mount 6 panel solar system installed east/south. TF-100 test kit. May-September 100+ degrees out side.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Is solar heating worth it?

    Sure, spend the $50-65 on new sensors
    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
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    Re: Is solar heating worth it?

    hey thanks mark and Issac for the quick response, I guess it would be foolish to NOT spend the $60 to get system going. Although after looking tonight i think i have a bad compool 3 way? Which I believe its purpose is to isolate solar from heater? its the 3way out of filter after check valve. after i shut pump off I could hear water rushing through the 2" line coming out of 3way which was in off position. I walked over to where the pipes run up side of house to panels and i could hear water flowing. Is my diagnosis correct? Bad 3way?

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Is solar heating worth it?

    Hard to say, I don't know that valve, but it may just need a new seal kit.

    Ike

    p.s. many solar installers would traditionally drill a small pin hole in the valve to let a trickle through to allow back draining of the panels, there are also some "solar" valves with a small built in check valve for similar function
    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: Is solar heating worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by schoolpoolboy
    i think i have a bad compool 3 way? Which I believe its purpose is to isolate solar from heater? its the 3way out of filter after check valve. after i shut pump off I could hear water rushing through the 2" line coming out of 3way which was in off position. I walked over to where the pipes run up side of house to panels and i could hear water flowing. Is my diagnosis correct? Bad 3way?
    Can you post a picture of that 3-way valve? I am happy to help troubleshoot it. Also, when you change the position from 'off' to 'on', does it sound like there is more water flowing? I agree with Isaac that you might just need a new seal kit.

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    Re: Is solar heating worth it?

    I posted pic at top of thread, Yes i plan on just replacing seal, but from researching, the rebuild kit is about the same price as the valve itself. I found one as low as $55 on ebay.
    Thing is, I've had valve apart. and was a bit disappointed when i couldn't really find much wrong with the seal? other than some slight discoloring on one corner, and maybe rubber is slightly on the hard side? I mean it sure doesn't seam like enough deterioration to allow the volume of water im hearing in pipe. as for "off" & "on" position yes it sounds like the volume increases, and it sounds like water flowing to heater when i change position.

    PS My wife said your hot Blake

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    Re: Is solar heating worth it?

    I took several other shots of valves & equip but for some reason site would not recognize them and wouldn't let me post?

    FYI, I've replaced every check valve in system so.....

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    Re: Is solar heating worth it?

    What do you need to plan for solar heating prior to a pool install?
    22,000 AG, Jandy LRZ 400k BTU, Jandy FHPM1.0 FloPro 1HP SS (water features), Jandy ePump 2.0 (pool/spa), Jandy DEV60

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    Re: Is solar heating worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by schoolpoolboy
    I've had valve apart. and was a bit disappointed when i couldn't really find much wrong with the seal? other than some slight discoloring on one corner, and maybe rubber is slightly on the hard side? I mean it sure doesn't seam like enough deterioration to allow the volume of water im hearing in pipe. as for "off" & "on" position yes it sounds like the volume increases, and it sounds like water flowing to heater when i change position.
    Hmmm, when you had the valve apart, could you see in while shifting the position from on to off? Or in other words, did you remove the valve altogether from the other plumbing? Definitely seems like if you can hear that much water flowing, you should be able to see where it's coming through.

    Agree that a new one might make more sense than the rebuild kit. $55 seems decent, but I might be able to find one even cheaper. Let me know if you'd like me to poke around. And tell your wife I'm flattered

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    Re: Is solar heating worth it?

    no I didn't remove valve body, just the seals. Found 3way on Amazon for $39 out the door, so I ordered it already, But thanks anyway. I still need help identifying the two lines.
    If you look at photos, the one coming out of filter to> chck vlve, to> 3way. ok so it tees at 3way, one line comes out(heads towards panels), then 90s in the ground, now on other side of 3way ,it comes out>, tees> at tee theres a line that continues parallel to minimax heater, the other downward facing port has a check valve then goes around backside of filter then converges with the other line in question and both are underground.
    So why do i have 2 solar returns?

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    Re: Is solar heating worth it?

    So it is a little hard to tell from the pictures you have. If possible, snap on that is a little farther away so we can see the entire set-up in one image. Also try to snap a picture of your solar panels to give us a better idea about the plumbing.

    Based on what I can tell from the current pics and your description, this is my thought...

    1) Routed through the solar panel for summer times, when its most economical to run solar units vs the propane heater. If you see two pipes, I would guess one of them sends water to panels and the other line is return.

    2) Routed through the heater (does not go through solar) is for colder weather

    And I'm guessing there's a third line to bypass them all

    Would that make sense based on what plumbing is visible? Again, another shot from a bit farther away would be helpful to confirm this.

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    Re: Is solar heating worth it?

    ok yeah i took a bunch but those shots were the only ones i could upload, so ill try to post new shots today

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    Re: Is solar heating worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by schoolpoolboy
    ok yeah i took a bunch but those shots were the only ones i could upload, so ill try to post new shots today
    Right on. The image uploading can be funky sometimes...not sure why. A while back I made this tutorial about uploading images using flickr. Maybe give that a shot? how-to-add-pictures-to-a-post-full-guide-with-screenshots-t45050.html

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