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Thread: Help Me Understand My Solar Panel Bypass

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    Surf Hawk's Avatar
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    Help Me Understand My Solar Panel Bypass

    Hello I have had my roof solar panels bypassed all winter since we bought our house. I just turned the bypass yesterday to make sure the panels still worked and found a leak in one of the panels so I reverted back to bypass mode. Now a day later I still have water shooting out of this solar panel, even in bypassed mode. I had a feeling water was still going to my roof even in bypass mode and now I know it's true. I have some photos, could it be the check valve preventing flow up through the return line has a problem? In this photo it is in bypass mode where water is supposed to go from the pump, hit the valve and turn right, then go down the "to pool" line because the check valve should prevent any water from going up the return line. I checked the bypass valve, it is very simple and I don't see how it could go wrong. I need to get this bypassed until I can really fix the problem on the roof. I may just get an in-line shut off valve if it looks like that check valve is the culprit. Thanks
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    22,000 gallon IG; plaster; 16x32 Rectangular, Depth 3.5-8Ft.
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE Filter - 48sqft w/ cellulose fiber & Hayward Energy Flo RS Pump - .75HP (1.85SF)
    Very old 312sqft solar system, TFT-100 Kit with Speedstir

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Understand My Solar Panel Bypass

    I suspect the bypass valve. Even if the check valve was completely broken (free to pass straight through in either direction) there shouldn't be enough water pressure to get water up to the roof when it can go straight to the pool instead. Some water would still head towards the roof, but the pressure would be low and it wouldn't tend to get all the way up there. Note that if your pool return plumbing is especially long and/or has many fittings this would not necessarily be true, and water might make it to the roof, if that is the case your filter pressure should run quite high all the time.

    In any case there are only two possibilities, the bypass valve, and the check valve. Unfortunately, neither one looks like it was designed to be serviced.
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    Kiss4aFrog's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Understand My Solar Panel Bypass

    That bypass valves top looks like it can be unscrewed and the inner workings pulled out. I'd try to inspect that valve first as was said above it will supply more pressure to the panels if broken than the check valve can if it's leaking or broken.
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    Surf Hawk's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Understand My Solar Panel Bypass

    Thanks for the replies, I wish I had read them before I decided to go after the check valve. Long story short after cutting open both 2" lines, is that the bypass valve lets a LOT of water to the panels in the bypass position and the check valve was fine. I have attached a photo of the valve, I'm guessing the grooves on the top and bottom used to have o-rings at one time and they are gone. For now I have capped off both lines to the roof but I will need to either repair or replace this bypass valve. Part of the problem probably is the solar panels are serviced by 2" lines, the return line to the pool looks really skinny, probably 1.25".

    If I can't fix the bypass valve are there any suggestions on a better one to replace it with?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    22,000 gallon IG; plaster; 16x32 Rectangular, Depth 3.5-8Ft.
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE Filter - 48sqft w/ cellulose fiber & Hayward Energy Flo RS Pump - .75HP (1.85SF)
    Very old 312sqft solar system, TFT-100 Kit with Speedstir

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Understand My Solar Panel Bypass

    I would pick a Jandy never lube valve of the appropriate size (they make several models)
    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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    Kiss4aFrog's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Understand My Solar Panel Bypass

    What did you end up going with and did it fix the problem ??
    '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
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Surf Hawk's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Understand My Solar Panel Bypass

    I bought a Jandy valve which was close to $50. Seems to work, I have one tiny link in one of my PVC joints that I need to fix but the valve is doing the job now. Pool went from 80 to 90 degrees with the solar on the first 3 days of this week, so now the solar is back off again.
    22,000 gallon IG; plaster; 16x32 Rectangular, Depth 3.5-8Ft.
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE Filter - 48sqft w/ cellulose fiber & Hayward Energy Flo RS Pump - .75HP (1.85SF)
    Very old 312sqft solar system, TFT-100 Kit with Speedstir

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