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Thread: Solar panel pool heater pipe connector leak

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    Solar panel pool heater pipe connector leak

    Hello, I am a very new pool owner and inherited a pool with solar panels that are used for heating. I live in Memphis, TN and every pool person I've had come out here has laughed under their breathe, generally saying that no one around here has those, and they are made for sunnier climates (CA, FL, etc). Anyhow, I can't find anyone in Memphis that has a clue on how they work or even how to fix them. Anyhow, I have a leak at one of the connectors for the panels, not actually on the panel itself, and wanted to see if anyone could clue me in exactly what I need to get to fix it? I've been thinking of maybe just getting some of that flex seal tape, until I can replace the entire connector with the proper parts. I posted some pictures below and a link to youtube to demonstrate issue, any help would be greatly appreciated.

    I've searched the site for solar panel related posts and didn't see anything that was related to fixing a leak at the connectors, and I'm sorry if I missed it and asking a question that already has an answer.


    Youtube video link showing the leak in action

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsRzt66zRK8


    solar_panel_pipe_leak_low.jpg

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    Pool Tool's Avatar
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    Re: Solar panel pool heater pipe connector leak

    What type of pipe is that coupling joining? It looks like it could be black poly piping with barb fittings. The pipe type should specify what options you have to replace the fitting. Something like this will probably work. Fernco 1-1/2 in. x 1-1/2 in. PVC Plastic Socket to Plastic Socket Flexible Coupling-1060-150 - The Home Depot

    And your setup will help lots. Don't worry what they say.
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    Re: Solar panel pool heater pipe connector leak

    Those look like Fafco panels. With some sort of neoprene?? Connector held in place by hose clamps?

    Is there a pvc glued connector under that?

    Do all you joints look like this?

    Is that insulation over a underlying pvc connector?
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Solar panel pool heater pipe connector leak

    Those are rubber hoses and clamps. Mine are the same. You can use radiator hose. Or you can get "real solar panel" hoses from Solar Direct. If they aren't also selling radiator hose. I haven't needed to replace any yet, but I do have to tighten a few hose clamps a bit and realign the hoses sometimes after winter.

    Page 2 of this doc has drawings, http://shop.solardirect.com/pdf/pool...all-manual.pdf
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    CJadamec's Avatar
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    Re: Solar panel pool heater pipe connector leak

    Take it to NAPA and ask for a piece or radiator hose that size. Maybe get a couple of feet to replace the next one or to that spring a leak down the road.
    Chuck-
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    Re: Solar panel pool heater pipe connector leak

    I will add additional photos to help others who have requested more info on the setup.

    Someone mentioned that the black bandage like "stuff" is insulation wrapped around a pipe underneath? It looks like the link to the PVC flexible coupling is exactly what I need, I just wasn't sure about what exactly the coupling is wrapped with as shown in the photo above? I'm not an expert on PVC pipe or plumbing for that matter so please excuse the basic questions.


    solar_panel_setup.jpg

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    Re: Solar panel pool heater pipe connector leak

    Due to quota restrictions I will have to link the following photos:


    solarpanel1 | Malakai Duncan | Flickr





    https://flic.kr/p/SMdm2H

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Solar panel pool heater pipe connector leak

    The pvc flex coupling may not work for two reasons. It isn't designed for pressure and it may not hold up well to UV light. I would use either radiator hose or order some rubber couplers made for solar panels. It will either be 1-1/2" or 2". In fact, now that my panels are 5 years old I may just order a new set myself to be on the safe side. It is cheap insurance against springing a leak at an inconvenient time.
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    Re: Solar panel pool heater pipe connector leak

    Good catch Danny, that is exactly that that is. Radiator Hose.

    I'd make a trip to NAPA or O'Riely and they will have it.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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