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Thread: Solar heater, no psi difference regardless of handle position

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    Solar heater, no psi difference regardless of handle position

    Hey guys, we just installed out Fafco 4x20' solar heater. The directions say that I should turn the "solar on" handle until I see a 5-7 psi increase . Thing is, no matter what position the handles in the gauge doesn't move, it hovers right at about 4 psi with the pump on the low setting. Any ideas why that might be? I've checked the setup, everythings connected correctly. PSI increases to 20 on the pumps high setting so the gauge is working. Thanks in advance!
    24' AGP, 54" - 13,300 Gallons at 47".
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heater, no psi difference regardless of handle position

    With only one panel and a two speed pump (?), you might be able to run all of the water through the panel and be alright. On the other hand the gauge might be broken. I would try their test again with the pump on high. If the gauge responds as they predict, switch to low and run all the water through the panel. If the gauge does not respond even on high, either the gauge or the valve is broken, and I bet it is the gauge.
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    Re: Solar heater, no psi difference regardless of handle position

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    With only one panel and a two speed pump (?), you might be able to run all of the water through the panel and be alright. On the other hand the gauge might be broken. I would try their test again with the pump on high. If the gauge responds as they predict, switch to low and run all the water through the panel. If the gauge does not respond even on high, either the gauge or the valve is broken, and I bet it is the gauge.
    Theres no difference on high or low. Gauge could be broken, but it seems to move fine when I switch from high to low. Even when I open the air bleeder the psi drops by 1-2. I can feel the water movement when I turn the handle on the valve, especially when I turn it to about the half way point and can definetly hear the water running so that seems to be working ok too.

    Is there a cheap option for measuring the psi in the feed line?
    24' AGP, 54" - 13,300 Gallons at 47".
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heater, no psi difference regardless of handle position

    How high is the panel mounted above the pump? Also does the panel get cool to the touch when water is flowing through it?
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    Re: Solar heater, no psi difference regardless of handle position

    24' AGP, 54" - 13,300 Gallons at 47".
    AquaRay Cleaner
    Hayward Swimpro Voyager Filter/2 Speed 2 HP Pump

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heater, no psi difference regardless of handle position

    Ah, it looks like you have the feed and return both plumbed to the same end, does this panel have a block off plate or valve at the mid point on the feed end header to force water through the panel and back out the other half to the feed end? If not water is just going in one side and out the other.

    Ike

    p.s. setting it up for corner to corner flow would slightly improve performance as there would be less wasted heat
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    Re: Solar heater, no psi difference regardless of handle position

    Pretty sure that's how it's supposed to be ?

    http://www.fafco.com/files/Solar%20B...l%2007188A.pdf
    24' AGP, 54" - 13,300 Gallons at 47".
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heater, no psi difference regardless of handle position

    Verify that there is a block in the middle of the header, I think they are removable.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heater, no psi difference regardless of handle position

    I think the worst thing about those Fafco Bear solar heater kits is their instructions, they have simplified them and made them cartoon friendly to the point they have left out a LOT of important information, and almost all theory on what makes a good solar heat installation. There is not even a diagram of the full system anywhere in the pdf.
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    Re: Solar heater, no psi difference regardless of handle position

    Can't see well enough from the picture. ALL three of those valves with red handles should be parallel to the in and out plumbing. That way, all the water is flowing through the panel. Those directions were probably written with a single speed motor in mind (more pressure).
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