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Thread: Question about solar heaters and above ground pools?

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    Question about solar heaters and above ground pools?

    I just put up a 30' x54" round steel wall pool at my girlfriends parents house. the old pool wall buckled and basicly fell down over the winter due to a tear andthe old pool being put on unleveled ground and leveling the ground with roughly a 9" sand base for half the pool. so over the past few weeks I dug the ground out (hard clay sucks) and got every thing level and put up. my question is about solar heat and how close they should be.

    The pump is a jacuzzi two speed 1 1/2 hp pump with a 200# sand filter. right now its plumped with 1.5" flex pool hose until I figure out the heater placement. the return and skimmer both had 1.5" npt fittings on them so i have plumed in a ball valve on each. I think 1.5" pipe will be fine but could be wrong the skimmer to pump run will be maybe 6' with 2 bends and the return is shorter than that. should i have gone with 2" even with the skimmer, return, pump and filter are all 1.5" and acting as a restrictors.

    I figure the pool as about 23,000 gallons of water and a rough surface area of 700sq feet. we went off the word of the rep and the panel makers website that 4 2'x20' panels would be enough but looking back we probably could get away with 2 more. the old pool would see mid 80* water temps in the mid summer on really hot days and we just want to try and keep it around that number

    questions:

    1: how far can the panels be from the pump with out any adverse affects.

    2: should i try and put them on the south facing roof of a 3 season porch? the wall is about 25' from the pump and its up a slight grade and then it would be up about 1-1.5 stories to the bottom of the roof line

    3: build racks to hold panels and mount the racks on the south side of the pool? the pump and filter are on the north side of the pool due to it being closer to the house to get power to the pump so figure to get to the panels it would be 30' to 40' around the outside edge of the pool to plumb the panels.

    ill try and take some pictures of the pool as it sits now to better show the areas to mount the panels. I did not take any pictures of putting the pool up since I wasn't really enjoying the fact i had to dig and level every thing again
    32 x 16 ft vinyl IG, Hayward 711 Sand Filter, E-Z Flo Hayward 1 Hp Pump.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Question about solar heaters and above ground pools?

    Welcome to TFP.

    None of your proposed ideas are unfeasible. Although your plumbing distances are long for an AG pool, they are pretty typical for an inground. Pictures would be a help. An existing, south-facing roof would be hard to pass up, even with the run to get there. The elevation isn't too much of an issue, since the water regains much of the energy when it falls when it leaves the roof.

    More panels are better if you have the space.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Question about solar heaters and above ground pools?

    Ok i got some pictures so lets see if i can get them to work. I kind of decided today the roof is out do to it not really being long enough. I looked at the panels today and they are fafco 2x20' panels. they measure about 27.5" tall on the collectors. so if I make one rack it will be about 10'x20 to hold the 4 panels.

    the first picture is looking towards the house/ deck area


    this is the south side of the pool i would have to finish cleaning up left of sand/ removed dirt to use this side right away.


    this shows the configuration of the skimmer/pump/filter/return i think my distances were a little off


    and just one looking over the pool


    so I'm thinking ill have to do the south side of the pool ( i don't really want to it was my last option) or build one rack that fits in the area under the screen porch and between the pool deck seen in the first picture. only think i would have to work out is distance from the meter/phone panel and Im fighting a hill. Other than those things it would be facing south and only be shaded in the early morning.
    32 x 16 ft vinyl IG, Hayward 711 Sand Filter, E-Z Flo Hayward 1 Hp Pump.

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    Re: Question about solar heaters and above ground pools?

    Small world. I'm installing solar for my AGP - about 5 miles down the road (Solon). Building a rack on the south side. We can compare notes.

    Kelly
    15X30 AGP, Lomart beaded liner;
    1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump with 21 inch sand filter (Zeobrite media)
    Mineral Springs (Aquatrol) SWCG, Rigid PVC plumbing, 2 inch
    Four 4X12 Techno-Solis solar panels, rack mounted, Goldline Solar Controller

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    Re: Question about solar heaters and above ground pools?

    do you have to plumb it to the south side? or is your pump/filter already on that side? I think after looking again today ill just build the one big rack for all four panels. Now I'm wishing we had got 8' or 12' panels but oh well
    32 x 16 ft vinyl IG, Hayward 711 Sand Filter, E-Z Flo Hayward 1 Hp Pump.

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    Re: Question about solar heaters and above ground pools?

    i got up on the roof today and measured every thing. I can fit three of the panels on the south side of the roof but not 4 due to how the screened in porch joins the house. Would i be able to plumb the fourth panel onto the northside of the roof? i know its not the perfect set up but their is no shade to block the sun.
    32 x 16 ft vinyl IG, Hayward 711 Sand Filter, E-Z Flo Hayward 1 Hp Pump.

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    Re: Question about solar heaters and above ground pools?

    Which liner pattern is that? I like the color. It kind of looks like the swirl bottom which we have but ours is a little too BLUE for me, I prefer a lighter aqua blue when it comes to pools, looks like your picture was lighter!

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    Re: Question about solar heaters and above ground pools?

    32 x 16 ft vinyl IG, Hayward 711 Sand Filter, E-Z Flo Hayward 1 Hp Pump.

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    Re: Question about solar heaters and above ground pools?

    If you can stay away from the Fafco panels, you'll probably be thankful in the long run. I had a pair of them for about 4-5 years, after 2 years they were nothing but problems, continually splitting and requiring me to weld the splits with a soldering iron and a piece of the plastic cut off the edge. I just bought some much softer panels with a much better warranty to boot for the same price - they are 4pcs 1x10 instead of 1pc 2x20, so they generate the same heat. www.go-solar.ca
    It looks like you would have adequate space beside the pool near the power meter for something similar to mine. BTW - manufacturers oversize their requirements, I was quite happy with 2 pcs 2x20 on a 30' diameter pool and we were swimming well into September every year, now we have the equivalent of 3 panels and should be able to stretch to October if the sun comes out daily.

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Re: Question about solar heaters and above ground pools?

    Wow, nice to see you back Matt!!! Some people have good luck with Fafco panels. Mine are 4x20 and haven't had a problem with them. They are nice and soft, never get brittle. Sunheater panels yes, the Fafcos have been good for us.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    Re: Question about solar heaters and above ground pools?

    good to hear yours are working well, I bought mine ways back (2x20's), they were the first ones that I saw out in the stores, so it could have been an early model run too....
    Just thought I'd stop in, slow at work today!

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Question about solar heaters and above ground pools?

    Hey Matt...nice rack

    All kidding aside...you probably had the sungrabber fafco panels...their 4x20 solar bear panel is the way to go...I believe that is what NW has on her set-up as well
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Question about solar heaters and above ground pools?

    Quote Originally Posted by NWMNMom
    Wow, nice to see you back Matt!!! Some people have good luck with Fafco panels. Mine are 4x20 and haven't had a problem with them. They are nice and soft, never get brittle. Sunheater panels yes, the Fafcos have been good for us.
    My 100 lb dog stepped on my fafco solar bear...I just used crazy glue to fill in the split in the channel...It worked like a charm.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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