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Thread: Intex pool and solar heat

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    Intex pool and solar heat

    We plan on setting up our 26'x52" intex pool this week and filling it with well water, which will be oh so cold. We have researched solar panels and are leaning towards solar bear, however; it seems I read somewhere they are not compatible with our chlorine pump. If it is compatible, will the pump be strong enough? Should we purchase a salt water pump? We are completely new to this and want to enjoy our pool during the few warm summer months we have in Idaho. Any suggestions and help will be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
    26'x52" Intex Pool, 14,667 gallons, Krystal Clear 633T Filter Pump, 2,500g/h filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Intex pool and solar heat

    Welcome to TFP!

    Which model pump do you have?

    You want to place the solar panels between the filter and the SWG system. That is possible with most, but not all, Intex systems.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Intex pool and solar heat

    Thank you!

    The booklet we got with the pool says it is a Krystal Clear Model 633T Filter Pump.
    26'x52" Intex Pool, 14,667 gallons, Krystal Clear 633T Filter Pump, 2,500g/h filter

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Intex pool and solar heat

    You may get a bit of reduced flow, but I think you should be able to make it work with the 633T, you may have to get creative on hose adapters though. Overall the Fafco Bear systems seem good, my only complaint is they oversimplify the installation instructions leaving out things that I consider to be KEY concept, there is not even an overall flow diagram of the system in the instructions, just connect hose A to inlet B close ups.
    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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    Re: Intex pool and solar heat

    Would another type of solar panel be better? I have spent hours on the computer trying to find the best panels and my head is spinning, I never realized there were so many options!
    26'x52" Intex Pool, 14,667 gallons, Krystal Clear 633T Filter Pump, 2,500g/h filter

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Intex pool and solar heat

    Ok, let me ask a few questions, how do you plan to install the panels and will you take them down at the end of the season? On the ground, on a ground level rack, on a roof top, etc? Also do you want to pay more for quality panels that will last longer, or less for less durable panels, and how important is it that they roll up for easy storage?

    Ike

    also do you consider yourself a DIY'er and have at least some experience with plumbing projects
    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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    Re: Intex pool and solar heat

    We planned on putting the panels on the ground and will store them once the weather cools in September. We are willing to pay more for quality panels that will last longer. It isn't critical that they roll up for easy storage. We are DIY'er and have some plumbing experience.

    Thank you so much!
    26'x52" Intex Pool, 14,667 gallons, Krystal Clear 633T Filter Pump, 2,500g/h filter

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    laceygirl's Avatar
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    Re: Intex pool and solar heat

    My solar heating for my intex was a little expensive, but I don't have the amount of choice that you guys do when it comes to heating above ground pools... Here's a link to the exact one I bought off ebay....

    Its oversized by about 4000 litres for my pool, so I figured that should be a bonus....

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/221063177...84.m1423.l2649

    And again it wasn't cheap but I'm hoping it will extend my swimming season by a month either side of summer... We get a fair bit of sun here in Australia so I'm hoping it will do just that....
    Intex Rectangle 18 x 9 x 52', 4544 gallon (18000 litres), 0.75 hp pool pump, 100 sqft Zodiac Titan Cartridge Filter - 40mm, Stenner Peristaltic Pump chlorine injection system, Intex Over The Wall Skimmer, Intex Fittings with 40mm plumbing Lil Patch Of Heaven. Build/Construction http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...lice-of-heaven

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Intex pool and solar heat

    Ok, effective solar heating is all about the surface area of the pool, in your case with a 26 ft diameter pool about 530 sq ft. As a rule of thumb you need something between 50-100% equivalent coverage of solar panels to your pool surface area to provide enough heat, given your rather northern location I would lean towards the 75%+ range. The most economical size of for most solar panels is the 4x12 ft size or the 2x20 ft size. 75% of 530 sq ft is 397 sq ft, lets go ahead and round that up to 400 sq ft. Or in other words 10 2x20 panels or between 8 and 9 4x12 panels. What this means is a single 2x20 Fafco Bear kit is not going to do much for a pool the size of your in your climate. Given any solar heater of this size is going to be a considerable investment, you may wish to start with a panel array that is only 50% of the size of your pool, and leave provision to add on if it does not provide enough heat for you. So lets say around 265 sq ft, or 7 2x20 panels, or 6 4x12's

    There are a number of popular panel kits available in these sizes, typically the 2x20s are more commonly seen to ground level installs and the 4x12's are more common on roof top permanent installations. Price wise there are many options, the cheapest tend to be the EcoSaver panels available from solar direct or Amazon with a 5 year warranty these cost around $130-$140 per 2x20 panel assembly (actually 30 inch wide), Solar direct also sells their house private label Vortex panels with a 10 year warranty in 4x8,4x10 and 4x12 ft sizes, these are private label versions of the same Techno-Solis panels I have (you can see my installation thread here, http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...acement-Update ) These panels are MUCH thicker than the roll up panels like the Fafco Bear or Eco Saver) however a 7 panel basic kit with connector hardware will cost you about $1,800 vs about $980 for 7 of the Eco-Saver panels. (twice the warranty, much simpler connection with fewer failure prone connections, twice the price....)

    There are several other brands of the basic 2x20 pool kits, (sungrabber, sunheater, fafco bear, sunquest, etc.) I have yet to see one I really like.

    Eco-Saver's are usually some of the cheapest, and have decent if not great instructions, biggest flaw I see is their under estimation of number of panels needed, and I am not sure what to think of their twist lock O-ring connectors.

    Fafco Bear Sunsaver kits, are perhaps the best designed / built cheap panel kits out there with their build in diverter valves, etc., but the instructions have been dumbed down to the point of being nearly useless, honestly they look like they were written for a first grader.

    Sungrabber I think of as similar to the Eco-Savers, but are made in the U.S., and use a more traditional hose and hose clamp connector system, often available on ebay, fairly good instruction manual with different weak points than the Eco-Saver manual. (good read if you buy them or not, same for the eco-saver manual)

    Sunheater, Uses a threaded connector requiring teflon tape, which I don't like for such installations as it probably limits the number of times these can be assembled, and complicates multi panel installations.

    Sunquest, seems to have a fairly good reputation, often found on ebay, also uses a threaded connector end, but can use clamp on rubber hoses between panels also. Fairly good installation manual, but not as good as some mentioned above,

    Moving on up there are many good 4x12 panels made by AquaTherm (private label by Elm distribution), Fafco and Heliocoll (both tend to only sell through authorized installers) and a number of others, most are going to be priced very similar to the above mentioned Vortex/Techno Solis panels, some have different advantages than others, but there is no point going into that at this point.

    Ike
    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~

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Intex pool and solar heat

    I too wanted to heat my intex pool but was a little skeptical on the solar heat. I live in chicago area by the lake and temperatures are all over the place. It can be 60s for a few days than jump to 80-85 and the family couldnt use the pool because it was so cold. The night really work against you as well.

    I picked up a gas heater, sand filter, and 2 pumps on craigslist for $600. I installed myself but you could hire a handy man if you dont feel comfortable. Took me one weekend to get it up and running. I can heat my pool from mid 60s to 90 in about 4 hours.

    Just a thought, by the time you spend all the dough on solar panels you could have a gas heater and you dictate how warm the pool is. The kids are always in the pool now. Even on cool days I can crank the heater on. I would never have a pool without a gas heater. I received my first gas bill and it wasnt bad at all.

    If you have any questions let me know.

    Here is a link to my project adding heat to the pool.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...for-intex-pool

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Intex pool and solar heat

    WOW! Thank you so much for all the help, it is appreciated! After weeks of frustration, I now feel I have the information needed to set up our pool and actually enjoy it!
    26'x52" Intex Pool, 14,667 gallons, Krystal Clear 633T Filter Pump, 2,500g/h filter

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Intex pool and solar heat

    The gas heater is the fastest way to hear the pool, but probably the most expensive operating cost as well unfortunately. Last year I used a homemade solar heater made with 1/2" black irrigation pipe. Added a couple of degrees at best, (it was nice and warm though coming out of the pipe), but found that I just did not have enough solar heater surface area for my pool size. So, I just bought a couple of 2'x20' panels from Sunquest and in the process of installing them this week. Had to make a platform by the pool to mount them to, as I was not able to roof mount. Combined with the homemade coil, it will give me just over the 50% suggested surface area for heating. See how its goes when I am done this weekend.

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