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Thread: Leak in Brand New Helicol Solar Heater System... during installation! Questions?

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    Leak in Brand New Helicol Solar Heater System... during installation! Questions?

    I finally broke down and purchased a brand new Helicol solar pool heating system. I had 9 panels installed by a long-time reputable dealer, (450 ft^2) for my 400 ft^2 pool. During installation, the installers were actually walking on top of the solar panels which really surprised me. I assume this really couldn't be good for the panels but maybe it's common practice.

    Unfortunately, during startup, one of the small tubes was leaking. It appeared they cut the tube and just plugged it. Is this common? Should I be concerned? If one tube already sprung a leak from the beginning, will others soon follow? Should I have them replace the entire panel? What would you do?
    12,000 Gallon IGP 4.0-6.0 Deep, Pebble Tec, Heliocol Solar Heating, Solar Touch Controller, Pentair IntelliFlo VS Pump, Hayward C2000 Cartridge Filter, (3) Hayward LEDs, and AutoPilot 42,000 SWG

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    Re: Leak in Brand New Helicol Solar Heater System... during installation! Questions?

    Heliocol seem to be a long lasting solar panel, I have had mine for 7 years with no issues and I just purchased 10 x 12ft panels from a local guy who removed them when he got a new roof and decided he wasn't using the pool enough to reinstall them so I got all the pipe work and panels for $400, installed them a couple of days later and all well, the fact there are like 400 or so pipes on each panel means if you did get a pipe cut or damaged you could either try fit it or just buy a plug kit and just plug top and bottom as one pipe out of the hundreds are not a problem, you could call the company and see what they say, they may replace the whole panel as its so new but it seems a plug is considered a normal thing from what I have seen at other homes but don't worry the system won't suddenly start breaking down, the one I bought was about ten years old and still working well with no plugs.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Leak in Brand New Helicol Solar Heater System... during installation! Questions?

    Yes, all of that is normal. I've walked on my panels many times, I have to to clean up tree debris. Cutting and plugging a leaking tube is how most solar panel manufacturers recommend fixing leaks. I would go swimming as soon as the water warms up.
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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: Leak in Brand New Helicol Solar Heater System... during installation! Questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Yes, all of that is normal. I've walked on my panels many times, I have to to clean up tree debris. Cutting and plugging a leaking tube is how most solar panel manufacturers recommend fixing leaks. I would go swimming as soon as the water warms up.
    Thanks everyone for the replies!

    Yeah, I understand that plugging a leaking tube is the recommended fix but I didn't think I would need a plug from the get go.

    So you think thinking a leaking tube on a brand new system is OK? I'm extremely picky when it comes to these kinds of things... I like things perfect, especially if it's brand new. However, I don't want to be "that guy" either...

    Any idea how long it's going to take to warm up? What kind of temp increase do you typically see? And I know it depends on location, time of year, etc...
    12,000 Gallon IGP 4.0-6.0 Deep, Pebble Tec, Heliocol Solar Heating, Solar Touch Controller, Pentair IntelliFlo VS Pump, Hayward C2000 Cartridge Filter, (3) Hayward LEDs, and AutoPilot 42,000 SWG

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Leak in Brand New Helicol Solar Heater System... during installation! Questions?

    Yeah, I get it. My pebbletec cracked within a few months of being built due to soil shifting. I started to get all bent out of shape about the that. But, the pool is still awesome 5 years later. The warranty is that the shell will be watertight.

    Nothing wrong with calling to find out how their warranty coverage works. My guess is that the warranty for a leaking panel says that they will fix it if they can and replace it if they can't. Their warranty is for fitness to perform a function not perfection. If it performs the function as advertised then they have fulfilled their obligation.

    On good sunny days I can get a 5-7 degree gain and then lose 2-3 degrees overnight. I have 240 sf for a 700 sf pool. Are you using a solar cover?
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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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