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Thread: solar panel installation

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    midtngal's Avatar
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    solar panel installation

    Hello all! We are soooooo close to a new swimming season! I can smell it!!

    I need advice, encouragement or whatever.... I bought solar panels 3 years ago and haven't put them up yet! It's one of those..."I know it's gonna be such a PITA that I just can't get started" situations.. So now I'm thinking I should just pay someone to come do it so it will get done. It's so ridiculous that they aren't up yet and I know it but it's just me with no help so I've let it drag on. So, my question is who is best suited to install these? None of the pool companies I have used over the years for this or that know anything about them. Or should this be a plumber job? OR...if anyone has a simple explanation that can get me started, I may bite the bullet and get it done! How long should installing 2 4x12 panels take to do (so I can double that and know how long it would take ME to do it! LOL)

    I've had help getting them on my sunroom roof TWICE and they were blown off before I could get them bolted down! Ugghh...see what I mean?? That's my world!!


    TIA, Karen
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
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    Re: solar panel installation

    This should be an easy afternoon job depending on how long and complicated the plumbing run is. I had 11 4x12 panels installed last year, I did much of the ground level prep (1-2 hours, mostly painting PVC pipe, laying out the panels and installing ends and couplers), and had a roofer and his helper do the rooftop part of the install. Total work time was probably 7 or 8 hour split over 2 days due to weather (wind and rain in the mornings), would have been less except it was the first time around installing these types of panels for all of us, plumbing run was about 70 ft for feed side and 90 ft for return. I did plumbing modification around the pad and installation of controller valves, etc in probably another 3-4 hours. 2 panels should be downright easy, much less to align, etc.

    Ike

    p.s. what brand of panels are these?
    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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  3. Back To Top    #3
    midtngal's Avatar
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    Re: solar panel installation

    Thanks Isaac! They are Sungrabbers.

    I guess I just need to get the project started then maybe it won't be too bad. I did some re-plumbing on my booster pump year before last and had to quit going to Lowe's out of embarrassment and go to Home Depot instead because I kept having to go back for fittings because the glue would dry but the connection was still leaking! I can just see this happening all over again.... But, it sounds like I'm better off doing them myself because there's very few people that know anything about them so it would be a waste of money to pay them! Well, step one - get them back on the roof!

    Thanks for your input!
    Karen
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: solar panel installation

    Maybe hire a handyman type helper and you do the work together?
    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: solar panel installation

    If you are worried about the roof work, seek out a small roofer who has a good reputation. I don't know for sure, but I suspect a one man or small roofing crew may be interested in a "pay for your time working an odd job on my roof" type situation. Most roof work I believe could or should be non-glued screw tight hookups, with roof attachment work.

    Fayetteville, NY -17K gal, IG vinyl, Hayward SP2300VSP Max-Flo Variable Speed Pump, FlowVis Flow Meter, Sand filter
    Self designed Arduino powered automation for pump and solar control, Solar Attic Pool Heater, AutoPilot Digital SWG, TF100

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    Re: solar panel installation

    A roofer should be insured to do work on a roof, so if he falls, it's his problem. If you hire someone without insurance for roof work and they fall, depending on the laws where you live, it could be a serious liability problem for you. You may pay a roofer more by the hour, but you are paying for his insurance, which protects you.

    At least I understand this to be the case in NY. Your local laws may vary, but you should be aware of these issues.

    Fayetteville, NY -17K gal, IG vinyl, Hayward SP2300VSP Max-Flo Variable Speed Pump, FlowVis Flow Meter, Sand filter
    Self designed Arduino powered automation for pump and solar control, Solar Attic Pool Heater, AutoPilot Digital SWG, TF100

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    midtngal's Avatar
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    Re: solar panel installation

    Quote Originally Posted by peterdaly View Post
    If you are worried about the roof work, seek out a small roofer who has a good reputation. I don't know for sure, but I suspect a one man or small roofing crew may be interested in a "pay for your time working an odd job on my roof" type situation. Most roof work I believe could or should be non-glued screw tight hookups, with roof attachment work.
    Thanks for the suggestion but this roof actually is pretty flat and is just on a sunroom so it's not high at all. I've gotten up there several times...cleaning gutters and hanging Christmas lights and such. There is a slight concern about attaching these to the roof though because it's made of some kind of high-grade Styrofoam. I have had it shingled in order to cut down on some of the popping noises it makes when the sun hits it. I will definitely have to do both...screw and glue!

    I do like Isaac's idea of hiring a helper... I'll look into that! Maybe I should post pics along the way so that I'm kept accountable for progress!
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
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    Re: solar panel installation

    We always like pics around here is the detailed thread about my solar panel adventure if you care to take a look http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...acement-Update
    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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    midtngal's Avatar
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    Re: solar panel installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    We always like pics around here is the detailed thread about my solar panel adventure if you care to take a look http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...acement-Update
    That's awesome Isaac! THANKS! But, boy, doesn't just looking at that make my eyes glaze over! LOL! They come with pretty detailed instructions actually. But, that's a great idea to tilt them some! I wouldn't have thought of that!
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
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    midtngal's Avatar
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    Re: solar panel installation - and so it begins! :)

    Well, I did find a friend that I could hire as a handyman to help not only with all the started but not finished projects I have around here but the first being these solar panels. I've talked to the plumbing company that does my other plumbing and they have NO ONE that knows anything about them! I talked to the guy I am going to have open it and he knows NOTHING about them! Jeez! So, this guy is a handyman type that has his own construction co. and he said he would interested in doing this since HE had never done anything like this either! W..T..H?? I can't get over how there is just NO ONE that knows anything about these things! So, that conversation was 3 weeks ago...2 phone calls/texts later of "I've give ya a call on Friday" and he has yet to make it over here! Grr... I hate it when I have to BEG someone to take my money!! So, I'm going to start working on them myself this weekend. It's going to be beautiful all weekend and I really want to have this done BEFORE I open the pool since it would make it so much easier while everything is dry and shut down. I have no doubts that there will be leaks to fix but at least the construction of it will be done.

    So....I need to rely heavily on you guys for help and guidance! Here is a video of the area.... (sorry about the jerk in it...a bee went flying over my head! I HATE bees! )



    Here's the pipes tagged..... I'm thinking that the T-valve is going to have to go in one of the 2 red boxes I have marked...does that look/sound about right?



    And here's the diagram from the instructions..... this I'm a little confused on because this makes it look like the outlet from the panels goes straight back to the pool. Obviously I don't want a PVC pipe hanging around like that looks. Or is this really saying that it goes back to the pipe that goes to the pool?



    I do and I don't know what I'm doing here! I re-plumbed the booster pump because it was leaking...but I probably didn't need to tell you that! If you knew how many times I went back and forth to Lowe's because the cement kept locking up and it would still be leaking which meant I had to cut and start again....you'd be more embarrassed for me than I was! BUT, I'm not afraid of trying it so...I'm at your all's mercy!

    Sorry the pics are so big! If someone can make them smaller...go right ahead!

    Thank you..thank you... thank you!

    Karen
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: solar panel installation

    That example diagram is a very basic primitive solar plumbing setup, and not optimal. It also does not show details, just concepts, like the return pipe.

    Take a look at this link for some better plumbing layouts http://www.h2otsun.com/PG5ht.html

    Ike

    p.s. I will be on the road most of Saturday

    p.p.s. note the top diagram in that link is missing a check valve on the return that is shown in the diagrams lower on the page
    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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    midtngal's Avatar
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    Re: solar panel installation

    Thanks Ike!!!! I read through your thread and I'll have to say, I have brain-mush already! I've printed these instructions and will study them a little before I start cutting! LOL I appreciate all your help...I really do! I'm curious...now that you've had yours done for a season, did they make a big difference? How did the draining for the winter go? Will they add a few weeks of swimming time on the front end? We usually can't get in until Memorial Day but I'm hoping these will up that to mid-to late April and of course add a few weeks in the fall.

    Okay..well...here I go! I'll be back later with questions, updates, cuss words!
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

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    Re: solar panel installation...and so it begins!

    Well, I sat down and drew out a diagram of how I thought the lines should go...only worrying about the plumbing at the pump for now. I'd like to open the pool as soon as I can so at least that way I can just close off the lines when I'm ready to do the panels.....that's my thinking anyway! I then made my list of what I would need and headed off to Home Depot. I bought 5 times more than I needed just because I did not want to be running back and forth to HD. Got home, got all the supplies and tools together.....right...off...the...bat...I needed more than the one 2" 90 elbow I bought! I think there was a squirrel in HD!! HUGE success the first day! Ugghhhh...

    So here's my thinking.... If there's anything wrong with this, please let me know!



    The PB didn't leave much room so I'm having to take it out and then back in just to fit a valve in there! I'll do T's on both sides of the valve. Then I will take it down to 1 1/2 pipe over to the house and then up to the roof of my sunroom. I'm planning to paint the PVC pipes with high-heat black paint...for aesthetics as well as durability. Is that a good idea or no??

    All advice welcome!


    TIA

    Karen
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

  14. Back To Top    #14
    midtngal's Avatar
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    Re: solar panel installation

    Well, I finally got the right pieces and went to work yesterday.... I can at least go ahead and open the pool later this week. It's supposed to be in the 20's for the next couple of mornings so there's no need to do it any sooner! Brrr... AND Grrrr.... So here are pics of my handy-work. I think I did pretty good! Now....if it just won't leak when all is hooked up! Comments, suggestions, criticisms welcome! (Yeah....I figured out where/how to make the pics smaller!) LOL






    Thanks for stopping by!
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

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    Re: solar panel installation

    looks good so far, I assume your using a smaller size PVC pipe for the run to the panels?
    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~

  16. Back To Top    #16
    midtngal's Avatar
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    Re: solar panel installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    looks good so far, I assume your using a smaller size PVC pipe for the run to the panels?
    Yes...going down to 1 1/2 in.
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
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    Re: solar panel installation

    Have you tried asking the PB who they use to install them? I can't image they have never sold a pool to someone without a solar heater. Maybe I'm just spoiled living in Florida.
    23.6x14 IG free form ~8K gallon, Pentair VS 3050 Intelliflo, GloBrite LED lighting w/IntelliBrite controller, Aztec Cobalt water tile. CLI Carolina Blue pebble finish, Bronze pool cage, 336 sqft Heliocol solar heating. Build Thread and landscaping Solar heating install

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    Re: solar panel installation

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanE View Post
    Have you tried asking the PB who they use to install them? I can't image they have never sold a pool to someone without a solar heater. Maybe I'm just spoiled living in Florida.
    Yes, you ARE spoiled! The PBs around here don't even think about solar panels! They know nothing about them. And, the story behind my PB 8 years ago is a disastrous one! I wouldn't ask him to empty my trash right now!
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
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    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
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  19. Back To Top    #19
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    Re: solar panel installation

    Quote Originally Posted by midtngal View Post
    Yes, you ARE spoiled!


    Quote Originally Posted by midtngal View Post
    ... And, the story behind my PB 8 years ago is a disastrous one! I wouldn't ask him to empty my trash right now!
    That's a shame. It's almost like after they get paid they forget they even sold you a pool.
    23.6x14 IG free form ~8K gallon, Pentair VS 3050 Intelliflo, GloBrite LED lighting w/IntelliBrite controller, Aztec Cobalt water tile. CLI Carolina Blue pebble finish, Bronze pool cage, 336 sqft Heliocol solar heating. Build Thread and landscaping Solar heating install

  20. Back To Top    #20
    midtngal's Avatar
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    Re: solar panel installation

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanE View Post



    That's a shame. It's almost like after they get paid they forget they even sold you a pool.
    Oh, it's worse than that! He didn't even get his last payment! Long story short...7 months to build a vinyl in-ground! Horrors!
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
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