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Thread: heliocol stole my flow

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    heliocol stole my flow

    Hello,

    I have a ~27000 gallon IG vinyl pool, sand filter with SWG, and variable speed pump.
    I used to set the pump at 2500rpm and that was enough flow to run the SWG - the pressure in the filter hovered around 2-3.
    If I had Kreepy Krawly in the pool, I'd bump the pump up to 2700rpm: SWG worked, Kreepy krawled, and filter pressure remained 2-3.
    We had heliocol pipes installed on our roof last week. I've shocked the pool just in case and backwashed the filter and all that other good maintenance in the past week. Pool #s look good.

    Except now I need the pump on 3500rpm to be able to generate enough flow to run the SWG. The pressure in the filter is 15-18. And the pump doesn't go high enough to generate enough flow to run Kreepy at the same time as the SWG.
    I haven't tried the manual vacuum.
    If I turn the heliocol valves off, all values return to the previous levels and Kreepy jets around the pool.

    Are the heliocol tubes simply too small/numerous to handle a decent flow rate? Or should I call the heliocol installer?
    26900 gal IG Vinyl (18'x36', 3' shallow end and 8' deep end plus steps)
    sand filter and 2.7hp variable speed timer
    Jandy Ei SWG (2yr old)

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: heliocol stole my flow

    How big of an array did you install? Sounds like you may need to not divert all the flow to the solar and bypass some. There is no way you should need to run 3500 rpm with a pump that big to run the solar if my puny little 1HP will run mine fine.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: heliocol stole my flow

    How is the solar plumbed (parallel or series) and what size header pipes are used and how long of a run does it have?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: heliocol stole my flow

    Just to add to what Jason already said, some increase in pump speed required when running solar panels is normal, however it shouldn't be that much of an increase. I agree that the most likely possibility is that you don't have enough panels to be sending all of the water through the solar system.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: heliocol stole my flow

    I think the solar panels are in a series? There are 10 panels grouped 4-1-4-1 to accommodate the pitch of the roof and attic vent pipes. There's a larger PVC pipe that connects across the top of all the panels, and one across the bottom. The PVC is 2" diameter all around.

    The pump is approximately 60 feet from the house and we have a 2-story house, so it is a decent length of a run.

    The valve to the solar is either on/off. Are you recommending that I turn the valve half way so that not all the water is flowing through to the solar?
    I can hear the water gurgling on the roof and back down - suggesting the pipes maybe aren't filling up for some reason if I can hear air bubbles on the move.
    Last edited by keep-it-simple; 06-12-2014 at 12:23 PM. Reason: update pvc size
    26900 gal IG Vinyl (18'x36', 3' shallow end and 8' deep end plus steps)
    sand filter and 2.7hp variable speed timer
    Jandy Ei SWG (2yr old)

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    Re: heliocol stole my flow


    http://i61.tinypic.com/1z73m9i.jpg


    http://i61.tinypic.com/65u2bl.jpg

    Pardon our window replacement in progress...
    26900 gal IG Vinyl (18'x36', 3' shallow end and 8' deep end plus steps)
    sand filter and 2.7hp variable speed timer
    Jandy Ei SWG (2yr old)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: heliocol stole my flow

    Yes, the valve should be somewhere part way between panels completely off and completely on, probably most of the way towards panels on.

    It is normal to get quite a bit of air when you start up the panels, but that should go away after five or ten minutes.

    It sounds to me like you probably have 10 panels in parallel, which is a good sized system.

    Do you know where the vacuum release valve is? One of the ways to figure out how to adjust things requires being able to tell if the vacuum release valve is open or closed.

    Did the installer give you any advice about how to setup the valve(s) and the pump speed? It can take a fair bit of experimentation to figure out the ideal settings for the valve and the pump speed (which interact with each other, i.e. changing one means you also need to change the other).
    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: heliocol stole my flow

    Looking back at my notes, the pump could be as low as 2175rpm and the SWG would run. I guess I just like 2500rpm because it's a square number

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm not familiar with the vacuum release valve. Off to google...
    Installer did not provide any advice. I didn't even know they were done; I looked out the window and they were gone.
    We've communicated with them in the past week due to them not filling in the trench dug for the pipes so they will have to come back here at some point, or I'm going to have to go find some fill dirt and a tamper. :-/
    26900 gal IG Vinyl (18'x36', 3' shallow end and 8' deep end plus steps)
    sand filter and 2.7hp variable speed timer
    Jandy Ei SWG (2yr old)

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    Re: heliocol stole my flow

    Kind of hard to tell, but from the picture is looks like the 5 panels on the left are in parallel as they should be but, the output of them feeds the 5 panels on the right putting them in series with the first set. That is not ideal and likely the cause of your loss of flow. All 10 should be in parallel.

    Do you have pictures of where the panels are fed on the left?

    I am not really a fan of the way I think they did it.
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: heliocol stole my flow

    I think what I would want would be to feed the left bank (A) on the bottom left and from the bottom right of bank A go up and over and feed the right bank (B) on the bottom left.

    For the return, come out of bank A on the upper right and pipe that straight over into the upper left of bank B. Then out of bank B on the upper right and pipe up and all the way back across the roof and to the equipment pad.

    That would put all the panels in parallel and would make the water run lengths as close as you easily can to being the same for each panel and thus balanced.

    EDIT:
    I would also add drain valves on the bottom of both banks to ensure you get them empty for the winter.
    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: heliocol stole my flow

    Hard to tell with the picture but it looks like you have a bank of 5 in parallel going in series to another bank of 5 in parallel. The pipe going up should be connected to only the headers on the bottom of the panels and the pipe going back down should only be connected to the headers on the top of the panels. Just make sure the setup is correct on the roof.

    Also verify the water is going through all the panels. You could have trapped air. If air is trapped in some of the panels then all the flow will have to go through the others and cause a big restriction. With the system running feel each panel and make sure they are not really hot. If a panel is hot water is not flowing through it. They should be slightly tilted on the roof like this....so air can be pushed out all the panels.





    skeeter

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    Re: heliocol stole my flow


    http://i58.tinypic.com/2h37iug.jpg

    I turned the valve 45* and it hasn't made a difference (20 min so far).
    The Hayward valve is mechanical so I can't turn it at all while the solar is set to on.

    Here's the roof. Hard to get these pics due to the pitch of the roof.

    http://i61.tinypic.com/vo9xlf.jpg

    http://i57.tinypic.com/2rw7xwo.jpg
    26900 gal IG Vinyl (18'x36', 3' shallow end and 8' deep end plus steps)
    sand filter and 2.7hp variable speed timer
    Jandy Ei SWG (2yr old)

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    Re: heliocol stole my flow

    Yep, two banks of 5, each bank in parallel, and the two banks in series.

    Also, there is one place where water goes up down up down, which is guaranteed to cause problems. The first bank goes up, then crosses to the second bank, pipe goes down, and then up through the second bank. The prevents the panels from ever draining correctly and is going to cause trouble come winter. You really want the water to go up until it gets to the top and then go down from there, without any reversals in direction.
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: heliocol stole my flow

    You can not close that blue valve. That is restricting the flow. You would wanted to move the actuated one some to allow some water to bypass.
    But, the main problem is the way the panels are plumbed on the roof.
    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: heliocol stole my flow

    Need the items listed above checked to make sure it is plumbed and tilted correctly. Since the solar on/off valve cannot be set at different settings you need a bypass valve put in after the solar on/off valve bridged between solar in and out so you can balance to system to run the correct amount through the solar panels.

    skeeter

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    Re: heliocol stole my flow

    Quote Originally Posted by skeeter_ca View Post
    Since the solar on/off valve cannot be set at different settings you need . . .
    Why do you say that? The solar valve has an actuator on it, which can totally be adjusted to control exactly how much water goes to solar. There is no reason to re-plumb anything,

    The blue isolation valve needs to be opened all the way and the actuator adjusted, which will take care of balancing. Then it is just a question of finding the correct pump speed, and dealing with the panels not draining correctly.
    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: heliocol stole my flow

    Your correct Jason. He stated the solar is either on or off so i was just thinking i my head he didn't have a way to control the position it is in by the actuator. I suppose you could set it to not open up all the way when the solar comes on. Is that an adjustment on the actuator?

    skeeter

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    Re: heliocol stole my flow

    Right, the actuator controls the portion of the flow that goes to solar. I can understand why some would think of that as a simple on/off control. But if you open up the actuator it can be adjusted to stop in any position.
    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: heliocol stole my flow

    I called the installer.
    They believe adjusting the actuator to portion the flow any would mean no water would go through the solar system because the water would choose the path of least resistance.
    Also of noted concern: the section of pipe that is between the salt water generator and the pool return is 1.5" rather than the full 2". Installer doesn't seem understand that I can turn the heliocol off and my SWG functions perfectly as previous but heliocol on = no flow.
    The only solution they propose to is to get a bigger pump, which is not a service they offer.
    26900 gal IG Vinyl (18'x36', 3' shallow end and 8' deep end plus steps)
    sand filter and 2.7hp variable speed timer
    Jandy Ei SWG (2yr old)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: heliocol stole my flow

    Well, that kind of cinches it. You should certainly stop listening to them. Getting an even larger pump is certainly not a good idea, and certainly not part of the problem. The pipe being 1.5" for a short section has nothing to do with it. And so on.

    I would disengage the actuator and experiment with other positions and see what happens. If you find a combination that works you can adjust the actuator to stop there.
    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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