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Thread: Winterizing underground solar pipes

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    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Los Altos
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    6

    Winterizing underground solar pipes

    I plan to add solar collectors on the roof to heat my pool. The solar pipes go underground from the equipment pad to the exterior wall of the house and then go up to the roof to the collectors. So the underground pipes basically form a U shape with two upward openings at the equipment pad and the exterior of the house. My question is how to get the trapped water out of the underground pipes for pool closing. If I leave the water inside the pipe, is it going to develop mold or algae over closing months? I live in San Francisco bay area. Although it does not snow, there are certain months that the temperature is too cold for me to use the pool.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Pleasanton, CA
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    Re: Winterizing underground solar pipes

    Welcome to the forum!

    By closing, I hope you don't mean you close the entire pool for winter. That would be a disaster and the pool would turn into a swamp. But I wouldn't worry about the stagnant water in the solar. I don't do anything special for my system and I have never had an issue.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Apr 2014
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    Los Altos
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    Re: Winterizing underground solar pipes

    What i meant by closing is not to circulate water up to solar collectors during winter months.

    I had an idea yesterday evening.
    1. Add an isolation valves to the solar collectors at the house wall.
    2. Add a bypass valve before the isolation valves.
    During winter months, I close the isolation valves and open the bypass valve. Water will be circulated from pool to underground pipes and back to pool.
    The water in the underground pipe is always live not trapped.

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    Apr 2013
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    North OKC Area
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    Re: Winterizing underground solar pipes

    As long as there isn't any standing water during freezing temperatures you should be fine in your area. You still have to drain the solar collector. If the underground pipes are large enough you could just put a "y" or "T" connection on, push a smaller hose inside the extra opening far enough to reach any standing water, then hook up the smaller hose to a Shop-Vac to suck out all the water.
    17,100 Gal 27' x 52" AGP steel wall vinyl; 44gpm Cooper sand filter; Hayward 1hp sp1580 single-speed; 1.5" plumbing, 1 skimmer/jet, inline chlorinator.
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    mas985's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Pleasanton, CA
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    Re: Winterizing underground solar pipes

    It takes quite a long time for pipes to freeze so having below freezing temps is not sufficient. I never drain my pad equipment and I never use freeze protection but we get below freezing for up to 8 hours per night during a few weeks a year and the pipes still do not freeze. There is a lot of latent heat in water so it takes a long time for it to freeze. Plus it will never freeze underground here so that is not even an issue.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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