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Thread: Warming up the pool questions: adding a solar heater?

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    Question Warming up the pool questions: adding a solar heater?

    Greetings! Last year we dove into an Intex ultra 14" as our first pool. We went more hardcore that we were planning, leveling the base, 2650 pump and in wall skimmer, but we LOVED it.

    I'm in western Oregon though, so our season is small, but we also have hard core cold water swimmers.

    This is likely our last year to use it unfortunately, as we're moving out of the country. I'd love to help warm the pool a bit to extend our usage of the pool. But obviously don't want to drop a ton of money. I found a new 4x20' solar heater on craigslist for $100. But I'm just not sure how much that will actually help?

    We didn't have a solar cover last year either.

    Will the two of these make that big of a difference?

    How often will I need to run the pump for the solar heater to do anything?

    Is the 2650 enough to push water through the solar heater on the roof? What's the best way to plumbing that?

    Thanks for helping a pool noob!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Warming up the pool questions: adding a solar heater?

    Any solar is better than no solar. You pool is about 150 sqft and that panel is 80 sqft ... so that is not shabby. Those panels run around $180 on Ebay, so not a bad price either. I would think it with the cover should do a pretty good job.

    I am not too familiar with the Intex pumps, but you have the biggest, so it should do a good enough job running the solar. You would want to run the pump whenever the sun is beating on the panels to get the most heat. But, I just saw you mention the roof and I am not sure if it will do that or not ... do you have any area just on the ground?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Warming up the pool questions: adding a solar heater?

    It is my understanding that Intex pumps are not self priming and for this reason, you will need to place the solar panel on the ground.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Warming up the pool questions: adding a solar heater?

    non self priming means the pump needs to be below the water level, after the pump I am pretty sure it will pump up the water level ... just not sure how far with that pump.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Warming up the pool questions: adding a solar heater?

    Thanks for the reply's. Going to pickup the solar heater this week. What will I need to connect the solar heater to my current system? I'm assuming it will go in-line after the pump and filter. This will be a short use item for us, so I'm not necessarily needing the most elaborate setup, but I do want to get some good, functional use out of it this summer. PVC pipe? Flexible tubing? Not sure what all comes in the box.

    Would splitting the piping coming out of the pump be beneficial, or at least creating a way to bypass the solar heater if needed?

    Thanks for the help and guidance. My kids thank you.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Warming up the pool questions: adding a solar heater?

    It would be a good idea to plumb in a bypass so you can adjust the amount of flow to the solar and turn it off. Simplest would be to come out of the filter to a PVC Tee with one side going through a ball valve to the solar and the other side going through a ball valve back toward the pool. Then out of the solar have another ball valve and then into a second Tee between the other ball valve and the pool.

    So closing the ball valve in the middle would force all the water through the solar and leaving it open while closing off the other 2 would shut off the solar.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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