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Thread: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    It turned cool last weekend, and the week has been insane for us. I haven't been sleeping well due to a finger injury, so it's been rough. We swam Monday, but the cover hasn't been off the pool since then. Lows have been in the 50s and highs 78-81. I was concerned that the swimming season was over. Went out after work tonight thinking I should at least roll the cover up to let some sunlight hit the water. 96 degrees I'd never have believed it could have been so warm even if it had been hot this week. It's like swimming in a hot tub. I only have 6 4X8 panels for 192sq-ft, which is quite a bit less than the recommended amount for my pool, but it has apparently been doing the job.
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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    I know what you mean, you get a couple of days of good sun and those things will really show their colors. I gotta admit though, it sure is nice jumping into a 90* pool when the air temp. is only 65* or so. 8) Last fall our water temp. was 96* and I had some friends sleeping over. We went to Six Flags(theme park) and it felt good to be in the water after walking. We ended up staying in the pool until almost midnight, 5 hours. Nobody wanted to get out cause the air was cold.

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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    John T

    That sure is doing the job.

    I have been looking into a solar system for our 18k IG. I've seen several different systems on the internet and am wondering what you are using and how it's installed?
    Bob
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    Quote Originally Posted by ksninew
    John T

    That sure is doing the job.

    I have been looking into a solar system for our 18k IG. I've seen several different systems on the internet and am wondering what you are using and how it's installed?
    I have 6 Aquasol (Solar Depot) 4'X8' panels on a south facing roof on my pool house. Just manual control so far. Cost me about $1200 altogether, installed by me. Been a good investment so far.
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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    Hey JohnT,

    Sure wish we could swap half our 82* water for half of your 96* water!

    Your post has gotten DH very interested in a solar set-up!
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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    Just to add some details, I shut the solar off and left the cover off Friday evening. It had cooled yesterday, so I put the cover on last night. This morning when I rolled the cover back, the pool was 86. If anything, the weather yesterday was warmer and sunnier than the previous week. The solar panels and blanket made a 10 degree difference in a day and a half.
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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    This is great to hear. I've been thinking about putting a system in and putting the panels over my deck roof. I'm about to put flagstone in under this deck, so now would be the time to run the piping. It's been mild this summer by AL standards and my water is only 80* right now. Last summer our Aug highs set a record by averaging 99.something. I was able to swim late into October.

    Any thoughts about the kits you can get from Leslies? I wonder if there is an efficiancy difference. My issue with the kits in the pool supplies places are that they're all 20' long. The deck roof is 15' wide excluding the overhang.

    edit: added info.
    http://www.aqua-pool-warehouse.com/Cata ... uxe_IG.asp

    This might be just the ticket. They don't have much info on their website, which makes me nervous, but I imagine you just get PVC piping from HD and plumb it yourself. Like I need another fall project....AND it's almost football season, but it would be cool to get April, May, and Oct added to the season.
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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    I have Sungrabber panels and they work well. One thing, CHECK EBAY, I bought 2 panels from a Pool Supply place in Oregon and they were shipped to my house for $169.00. At the local pool store 1 panel costs $129.99.

    Oh, and yes, they are very easy to plumb. I did the plumbing for my 3 panels in a couple of hours using all normal PVC from Lowes.

    HTH,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    This is where I got mine: http://www.bestbuypoolsupply.com/solar-heating.htm They shipped pretty quickly. I was restricted to 4X8 panels because of my roof size. The coolest my pool has been since we started swimming around Memorial Day was 86.
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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    This is where I got mine: http://www.bestbuypoolsupply.com/solar-heating.htm They shipped pretty quickly. I was restricted to 4X8 panels because of my roof size. The coolest my pool has been since we started swimming around Memorial Day was 86.

    You're a 20x36 pool = 720sf and you put in 192 sf of panel = 27%. Everything I've read is showing up near 80%. If you can get by with about 1/4 the area in Indiana, then surely to goodness I can do the same here in central AL. I have an 18x36 so it looks like (3) 4x12 panels should be fine.
    The avatar is Spalding from Caddyshack
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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    PS, the other thing for me to check is the piping would have about a 100' round trip to and from the panels. There would be about a 25' elevation gain too. I hope my existing pump can handle that.
    The avatar is Spalding from Caddyshack
    18x36 vinyl IG - approximately 24000 gal
    Jandy SHPM1.5 Pump (1.5 HP); Jandy APURE 1400 SWG; Polaris PB4-60Q Booster Pump; Jandy CL340 Cartridge Filter
    (3) 4'x12' Aquatherm solar panels
    Next project, pump sound enclosure and lots of pool landscaping [6tons of stone 8) funnnn]

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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    Quote Originally Posted by dayhiker
    PS, the other thing for me to check is the piping would have about a 100' round trip to and from the panels. There would be about a 25' elevation gain too. I hope my existing pump can handle that.
    You'd probably benefit from using panels with 2 inch headers and 2 inch plumbing for the panel piping. The lift isn't normally a problem because you get it back in the fall on the outlet side.

    I believe that that 80% number is based on areas where swimming is nearly year round, since systems in those areas need to have sufficient heat gain when days are shorter. Obviously more panels would give more heat anywhere, and I'd have probably gone with 10 panels if I'd had a convenient mounting location. So far, it looks like swimming is going to be limited more by air temperature on the ends of the season than water temperature if it stays sunny, so more panels might not really benefit me.
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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Quote Originally Posted by dayhiker
    PS, the other thing for me to check is the piping would have about a 100' round trip to and from the panels. There would be about a 25' elevation gain too. I hope my existing pump can handle that.
    You'd probably benefit from using panels with 2 inch headers and 2 inch plumbing for the panel piping. The lift isn't normally a problem because you get it back in the fall on the outlet side.

    I believe that that 80% number is based on areas where swimming is nearly year round, since systems in those areas need to have sufficient heat gain when days are shorter. Obviously more panels would give more heat anywhere, and I'd have probably gone with 10 panels if I'd had a convenient mounting location. So far, it looks like swimming is going to be limited more by air temperature on the ends of the season than water temperature if it stays sunny, so more panels might not really benefit me.
    If I could get April, May, and Oct I'd be happy. My back yard faces east and is heavily wooded. My house blocks afternoon son. Right now the pool gets direct light from maybe 10 until about 4. The roof is high enough that it would probably get direct sun from 9 until maybe 6. Because of all of that, it's a pretty cool pool. Us southern folks are wimps when it comes to water temps. My wife won't look at the pool until it's about 82. She's not happy about it until maybe 86.
    The avatar is Spalding from Caddyshack
    18x36 vinyl IG - approximately 24000 gal
    Jandy SHPM1.5 Pump (1.5 HP); Jandy APURE 1400 SWG; Polaris PB4-60Q Booster Pump; Jandy CL340 Cartridge Filter
    (3) 4'x12' Aquatherm solar panels
    Next project, pump sound enclosure and lots of pool landscaping [6tons of stone 8) funnnn]

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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    Just to add data for anyone interested. My pool has been holding from 86-88.5 with the solar running as much as possible. That's 7-10 degrees warmer than our daily highs. Lows at night have been high 40's once to mid-50's usually. We are still swimming, although a front moving in Tuesday or Wednesday may put an end to it.
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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    Another data point for anyone considering solar. Most folks have struggled with keeping pools warm this season. We've had a reasonable season in spite of temps too cool to swim. Our pool was 83 a little over a week ago after a few cloudy, cool days. I kept the cover on last week, and ran the solar when the sun was out. It really saved the Labor Day weekend for us.

    Here's the weather history from a local station for the month so far:

    DAY HIGH LOW
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 74.6 48.0
    2 81.3 50.4
    3 80.8 59.3
    4 82.7 58.2
    5 83.6 61.4
    6 77.8 63.6
    7 80.9 64.7
    8 73.9 59.4

    As you can see, it wasn't much of a heat week, but we swam in 89 degree water yesterday.
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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    This past Labor day weekend I installed 4 sungrabber 2' x 20' panels myself. I only have one spot on a west facing roof where I can install them without considerable shade from large oaks.

    It was a little difficult for me doing this alone as my roof pitch is very steep. I can't lay a cordless drill or any tool down without it sliding off. The panels would not stay either. However, I found a technique that let me put them up rather quickly.

    The panels come rolled up and are difficuly to unroll on the roof as the edge would hit the lip of a shingle and catch, or the entire thing would just flip over and get all twisted. So I secured one end of the lowest panel with the strap, then it was easy to unroll while the one end was held down. I then secured the opposite end with a strap. Next I installed the connecting rubber pipe to the installed panel, brought up the next panel and connected one end. That was enough to hold it in place while I rolled it out and connected the other end. I was done mounting the panels in about 2 hours. Unfortunately, I did not get the straps exactly straight and need to move them, but I'm going to check for leaks first before putting any more holes in the roof. I plan to run the 2" pvc later this week or this weekend.
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    Re: For anyone considering solar heat-I have a 21K gal hot tub

    Next time with the sungrabbers, buy a couple bags of mulch or soil and roll them out on the driveway and put the bags on the ends. WIthin 24 hours when you pull the bags off they will stay flat. That made them much easier to install on my 45 degree pitch roof. I can sympathize with you big time. If my drill was falling into my water filled clogged gutter then I was! I was terrified at first but I got quite used to basically being in a constant slide.

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