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Thread: Solar Panel Installation

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    Solar Panel Installation

    Hello,

    I have 3 Vortex 4' x 12' Solar Panels with 1.5" heads & 2" Plumbing parts that I want to install. All of my current pipes are 1.5" and I believe I ordered 1.5" plumbing too but they sent me 2" and this was last year. Regardless, I will work with what I have. My question is... is it worth getting these professionally installed or DYI? I'm leaning towards DYI since the plumbing doesn't seem that complicated. I assume I am ok with 1.5" to 2" converters wherever needed...


    Also as an aside, I also want to install LED strips around the pool. Do you recommend getting Waterproof LED strips and installing them under the water or above? Not sure what would look better... thinking all underwater.

    Thanks

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    DIY the solar panels for sure. No problem with 1.5" to 2" adapters. There is a pic of my Vortex panels in my build link below. DIY was easy.

    I am no help with the light question.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    LED strip lighting will almost never pass an electrical code inspection. Strip lighting is normally done with fiber optic lights.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    There are many solar install threads on here, I suggest reading over a few before trying to do it yourself, as there are a few things you want to get right, like keeping a slightly upward slope in the water flow, and plumbing corner to corner across your panels.
    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: Solar Panel Installation

    Thank you all for suggestions.

    I actually just finished my installation and the system seems to be running well. Unfortunately it's been a bit cloudy so I haven't had the chance to see its full potential yet. I did install it with a manual valve that I turn on or put on bypass daily, which can get cumbersome. Is it necessary to put it on bypass when the sun has set or should I let it go through the panels? I'm a afraid of the pool cooling overnight.

    Also, I am running my pump from 6 AM to 1 AM next day due to cloudiness. I have this fine gunk that is on the bottom of the pool that gets agitated when the cleaning robot goes over it and goes back into the pool water and becomes cloudy and I can't for the life of me get rid of it. I figured running the pump more would fix it but it doesn't. If the robot doesn't agitate it it lays on the bottom. I figured if I get rid of that I would be able to just shut the pump around sunset and turn it on around sunrise.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    You want to turn off the solar any time it is dark out or if it is raining to keep from loosing heat (potentially clouds too if it is windy and below pool temperature outside) This is why I almost always suggest a solar controller, about the only time I would not is for those people that live in the land of lots of sunshine where a pump timer would do the trick.

    As to your fine powder problem, it could be a number of things, let me first ask what type of filter do you have, better yet can you put your equipment list in your signature file see.
    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    Definitely don't run your solar at night, it will cool your pool. I wouldn't run your pump at night.

    Update your signature with you pool info as described here, What we need to know to answer your questions and maybe we can help more with the sediment issue.
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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    I updated my signature with my system. I replaced my filter a year and a half ago with a Hayward S220T Pro-Series 22-Inch 1-1/2-Inch Vari-Flo Valve Top-Mount Pool Sand Filter and initially it seemed like it took a while to clear up the pool, but eventually it did the job. Then I had the pool surface chemically cleaned when they drained the pool, cleaned the sides and put fresh water in. That year the pool was looking great. Then the following year (last year) I had a bad algae problem with mustard algae and green algae and no matter how much I bombed the pool with Mustard algae remover powder it never came back from green and cloudy. You could see the dead algae at the bottom but I had no way of clearing it. It seemed like the filter was not taking care of it.

    If I don't run the cleaner robot for a day or 2 all the cloudiness goes to the bottom but the slightest disturbance and it's back in the water all mixed in and cloudy. The water right now is blue and it could be clear if I don't run the cleaner robot but I don't see a way to remove it permanently at the moment. I tried vacuuming but it seems like it will take me weeks to get it all because I only can really vacuum when it finally settles and as soon as I go over it with a vacuum (to waste) it would get some of it but then rest around it would be back mixed into the water and I will have to wait again to settle.

    I feel like my filter is working, but it doesn't get everything.
    IG ~12k gallon Kidney Shape Gunite Pool with 3/4 HP Pump, Hayward Sand Filter, (3) 4x12 Rooftop Vortex Solar Panels (DIY), Aqua Products ABJR Aquabot Junior Cleaner

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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    Can you post a complete set of test results, also have you used any DE filter compound as a filter aid to help the sand filter catch these fine particles?
    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: Solar Panel Installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    Can you post a complete set of test results, also have you used any DE filter compound as a filter aid to help the sand filter catch these fine particles?
    These are semi accurate results. I will post more when I have more information.

    Free Chlorine - 10+
    Alk - ~40
    pH - ~6.4
    TH - ~150-200

    I know these are not normal values but the more I try to mess with it the worse it gets so I left it alone and just tried to control the chlorine. I started lowering the chlorine feeder today. (I shock the pool once a week (which was done yesterday)).

    If I step on the stairs to get into the pool now there is a mist the comes from the bottom of the surfaces. It's hard to see it until you disturb it, then it's like the water around the disturbance turns brown and then cloudy blue as it disperses.

    In terms of DE Compound, I never used that nor do I know how to. Would it help?
    IG ~12k gallon Kidney Shape Gunite Pool with 3/4 HP Pump, Hayward Sand Filter, (3) 4x12 Rooftop Vortex Solar Panels (DIY), Aqua Products ABJR Aquabot Junior Cleaner

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    Do you have one of the recommended test kits from the Test Kit Comparison?

    What is your CYA level?
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Do you have one of the recommended test kits from the Test Kit Comparison?

    What is your CYA level?
    I don't believe I do. I have test strips and 'Poolmaster 22260 5-Way Test Kit with Case - Basic Collection' I got from Amazon. Should I get one of the recommended ones?
    IG ~12k gallon Kidney Shape Gunite Pool with 3/4 HP Pump, Hayward Sand Filter, (3) 4x12 Rooftop Vortex Solar Panels (DIY), Aqua Products ABJR Aquabot Junior Cleaner

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    Yes, i use the TF100 from tftestkits.net. Looks like it is time to move from solar panels to water quality.


    Here are some intro Pool School articles to read while you wait for your test kit
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Here are the Recommended Levels for your pool.
    Here are the Recommended Pool Chemicals
    Use PoolMath to figure out how much to add.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    I second the TF-100 suggestion, plus go ahead and get the XL option
    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: Solar Panel Installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    I second the TF-100 suggestion, plus go ahead and get the XL option
    Sounds good. I will try to get that kit. In the meantime, could you elaborate on what I can do about the fine particles settling on the bottom? Do I need to add something to my filter?
    IG ~12k gallon Kidney Shape Gunite Pool with 3/4 HP Pump, Hayward Sand Filter, (3) 4x12 Rooftop Vortex Solar Panels (DIY), Aqua Products ABJR Aquabot Junior Cleaner

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    You can try Adding DE to you Sand Filter, but that may be a band-aid if the real problem is the chemistry.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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