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Thread: Solar 3-way valve and actuator

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    Solar 3-way valve and actuator

    Just had a new solar controller 3-way valve and actuator installed. I've been running my solar for about a week with the temp set at 85. Obviously it won't heat to 85 right away but I haven't noticed a temp increase from 65 the entire week. Temps have been around 70 for the high and 50 low. I'm questioning the installation because the pool guy that installed the valve didn't seem as sure as I wanted him to be about how to set the actuator on the valve. I guess there's different adjustments to allow more or less water to the solar. Here is a pic of it running with the pump on and the solar diverting the valve on towards the solar. Is it in the correct position? I called the guy back who installed it and said I wasn't heating and didn't get a call back. Go figure. I'm wondering if he has it set to run half solar and half back the the pool then I wouldn't get much through the solar panels because they are on the roof and it would be harder for the pump to fight the additional head. Anyone have experience that could help a guy out? Man I love this forum. I feel so confident with my new pool. All thanks to this place! Appreciate you allImageUploadedByTapatalk1397786156.522263.jpg



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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar 3-way valve and actuator

    That position is plausible, however the ideal position needs to be determined for each install. Ideally you want to adjust it based on the size of your pump, number of panels, and kind of plumbing, so that the panels get the ideal amount of water. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to find that ideal position without a fair bit of experimentation or lots of experience.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Solar 3-way valve and actuator

    Could I take a pic if piping, solar panels, and get specs on the pump to maybe get one of the guys with the experience to help me out?



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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar 3-way valve and actuator

    That photo looks like it is cutting off flow to the solar, the handle points to the direction of flow. The arrow pointer in front of the handle shows which side is closed
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar 3-way valve and actuator

    Yup. That is letting half the water to solar (which might be enough) and half back to the pool.
    You setup is exactly why I always say that the common pipe should go to the middle port on a 3-way. there is more restriction with your setup and not as easily adjusted.

    You can test the stopping points by switching the toggle switch on the actuator.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Solar 3-way valve and actuator

    The pool guy finally called back after a not so nice voicemail I left. Anyway he's coming today and said he would switch the actuator to either be all the way solar or all the way pool return. Does this sound right? He said that's the way the old one was because it was non adjustable. (Flo-verter) I'm worried that if it's installed that way and it's not correct it can cause more problems. This is exactly why I hate paying anyone to do anything. Seems like I always have to figure it out for myself anyway and fix their mess!!! Also, should I replumb that 3 way valve so the common is in the middle? Help please!



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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar 3-way valve and actuator

    100% solar is rarely what you want. That only works when the panel area is fairly large and the pump is fairly small. Too much water flow through the panels can over-pressurize them, leading to more rapid aging and eventual failure.

    The way the valve is plumbed is not ideal, but it also isn't a large problem. I'd leave it alone unless you particularly enjoy tinkering.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar 3-way valve and actuator

    I agree with Jason, you generally do not want 100% of the flow going to solar unless you have a fairly large panel layout. In my case I have a 1.5 HP 2 speed pump and 528 sq ft of panels mounted about 16 feet above the pump, and DO run 100% on my flow through the panels, even though I do have a bypass loop installed also since even at full flow I am a few GPM below the optimal 4.3 GPM per panel (more like 3.8) flow rate and pressure at the panels is in safe limits.

    Here is a diagram of my setup (this was as designed, as built was slightly different) note the bypass cutoff valve before the T with the diverter valve, this was to allow a constant flow limiting bypass which was not needed, so the diverter could simply be set for full flow either way.

    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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