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Thread: Dyi solar pool heater pump question/issue

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    Join Date
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    Dyi solar pool heater pump question/issue

    First off I would like to say thanks spin advance and please forgive my newbie questions.

    I will start with what I have setup:
    Intex 18'x48" round ultra frame above ground pool box states about 6700g at 90% full
    Intex saltwater chlorination with filter (stock pump never even went there)
    Clear solar blanket
    Just got my Hayward skimmer box (not installed yet)

    What I build was 2 500' 1/2" black irrigation hose (the stuff from home depot) rolled into a circular pattern and placed in series (just read more on running Parallel instead). The are on top of my shed now and run down and across to my pool. I am attempting to run a 1/4hp well sump pump rated at 2600gph, up to 26' at 1.25" pipe that I bought from harbor fright. I though this would work, but yeah you guys are most likely laughing at me know. After reducing the pipe at the pump it now has way too much head pressure and no water is getting pumped to my solar panel. Please help me figure out how to get this to work. My wife's going to kill me for building all this and nothing is working. I'm on a tight budget now, so I can just go out and buy a bunch of new pumps and hosing and adapters without someone guiding me in the right direction. I now have a sumo pump that I can't return with out a 25% restocking fee.
    Try brains been trying to figure out how to get it all to work with minimal extra costs. One thought I had and please let me know if this would even work, is to run a 1.25" hose from the sump all the way to the roof. Then T it off to the two 1/2" rolls (500' each) then back together and back to the pool still at 1/2" or back to a T and back to a pool 1.25" hose again. Would this even work???? I'm scared now to even try anything.

    Thanks everyone for reading this and I look forward to some good solutions, idea, and even some Ha what were you thinking comments.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Dyi solar pool heater pump question/issue

    The pump probably doesn't have enough head for the lift. Do you have the specs for the pump?

    But even if you did get a pump that would work, running through 2500' of 1/2" pipe will not produce enough flow rate to keep efficiency up. You will lose most of the heat in the tube. Solar panels are most efficient when the heat rise is kept at a minimum and flow rate at a maximum. The only way to do that is with many parallel tubes. Usually, it is not worth the cost or effect to try and build your on solar panels.
    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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    Re: Dyi solar pool heater pump question/issue

    Thanks, I get the pump info and post it. Just so we are talking apples to apples it's two 500' pipe lengths. Not 2500'. Thanks

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Dyi solar pool heater pump question/issue

    Yea, 500' is still way too long. You want the pipe in 40' or 50' segments that plumb back to two manifolds, one on either end. Building such a thing yourself is leak prone, but possible. This is the huge advantage of commercial panels, they can make manifolds with hundreds of connections that almost never leak.

    mas985 is much more qualified than I am to evaluate if your pump can pump up to the roof or not.
    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: Dyi solar pool heater pump question/issue

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    The pump probably doesn't have enough head for the lift. Do you have the specs for the pump?

    But even if you did get a pump that would work, running through 2500' of 1/2" pipe will not produce enough flow rate to keep efficiency up. You will lose most of the heat in the tube. Solar panels are most efficient when the heat rise is kept at a minimum and flow rate at a maximum. The only way to do that is with many parallel tubes. Usually, it is not worth the cost or effect to try and build your on solar panels.
    Pump specs are as follows: pacific Hydrostar 1/4hp submersible pump part number 68455.
    6.4amps
    Suction port multi port
    Discharge 1.5" NPT
    Discharge capacity: 2800gph
    Max head lift: 22'
    Max pressure: 9.5 PSI
    Perfect for de flooding basements

    Hope this helps.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Dyi solar pool heater pump question/issue

    How high are the panels above the pump?

    Also, is the pump inside the pool?
    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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    Re: Dyi solar pool heater pump question/issue

    The panels are 12 feet up from ground level. The sump is in the pool 48" down at ground level. I was wondering if I primed the pipes (don't want to do that unless I'm sure it will work) it that would help get it moving.

    If you think it would work with a bigger pump let me know and I can exchange this pump with their bigger one. The bigger one says 12psi max but I'm not sure that would work either.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Dyi solar pool heater pump question/issue

    Theoretically it should be able to pump water up that high but for some reason it isn't so the specs may not be quite right.

    But again, I really don't think you will get much heat out of a system like that. The surface area of the pipe is only 42 sq-ft and for that size pool, even if the panels were operating at full efficiency, it wouldn't add that much heat per day (1-2 deg). With the lower flow rates, it will be much less than that. So I wouldn't bother.
    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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    Re: Dyi solar pool heater pump question/issue

    Thanks for all the feedback. My first challenge will be getting the water up to the roof, Got that. I think I have to run 1.25" or 1.5" piping up to the roof first, then build a manifold to break it down to multi 1/2" pipes. Then outlet to another 1.25" or 1.5" manifold and then back to the pool. Does that sound about right? My guess it I can't run it up 12 feet with the 1/2 pipe right from the pump. I'm now exploring a larger pump 1Hp sump pump or even buying a used pool pump @ 1 or 1.5HP. The only issues with that will be then I will need to had hard line and disconnects (due to pool pumps needing to be hard wired) in the yard which could bring the total cost of adding this to be way outside my budget.

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