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Thread: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. build notes/questions on check sensor?

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    SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. build notes/questions / cracked pipe in spring?

    At this point i'm going to solar panels here in SW PA... where the water is currently around 60F, typical nighttime losses without solar cover are about 2-4 degrees this week.. started the week out at 54F, a few 65 days (cloudy) one sunny 70 and one partly cloud 73 later without a solar cover at night and the pool is now sitting at 60-61 this evening. I realize i should leave the cover on 24/7 once i have the panels up, since now i wont have to take it off in the daytime i guess.. since the sun power will get directly fed to the pool (and since the cover is blue not clear). In summary, my typical 79F day i'd see about a 4F rise without a solar cover at night or day and any other influence. Hoping that with this kit i can go above that a bit and go from 60 to 75 in a few weeks.

    Hoping to get a 5-10F delta T on the return temp (read by the hayward actuator i think).
    I had to buy two roofing kits to cover both boxes for the full 160sq feet ($40x2), still wonder if i could have done cheaper on this angle.

    The roof gets good sun (as of april 30th) 10am till at least 530pm (so a solid 8+ hours a day), likely will run this pump 9-10 hours per day from 930-630pm (about 2.5 turnovers i calculate, based on the 40 feet standard head at 2650gph with the 21" tank, its closer to 3650gph if i had the 24" tank)

    Ill be running the solar lead in the ground (thermostat wire extension).. the only part in the ground technically needs to be between the garage and deck (8 feet with a drop down to get them buried 1 foot). I was planning on leaving the rest of the pvc/solar lead wire on the top of the ground under the deck.

    It will be 2" pvc for all the solar sections.. connected to 1.5" pvc near the pump.. ill lay the 3 way/actuator on a paver i have under the deck or screw it into buried wood with a clamp in the same spot, about 2 feet from the pump.

    I think deck screws will do the job on clamping the pvc to the wall, though pricey at $30 for 5lb.


    Any thoughts and suggestions are welcome


    Build details here (updating as I go):

    Here is the currently planned layout.. the ball valves going on the garage wall





    Need about 85 Feet of PVC pipe, to reduce the added head (so go with 2" instead of 1.5)


    items needed (some specific to my layout):

    SolarPro 601P 80 square foot box (2) for 160 sq feet total (18' has about 245 square feet, ideal 50% of this) (manual)
    SolarPro SK43 Roofing Kit (2)
    **Possible better straps (lowes?) (so far, just using the originals)
    Hayward GLC-2P-A Solar Heating Control SystemHeating Control System (has sensors and 3 way valve and actuator)

    **Wire to extend the 10-12" leads out to 40 feet (at least the sun sensor)
    Lowes thermostat 18awg wire for extending the leads, barely had enough for the roof + water sensor (used soldering iron)
    Lowes 2" PVC Pipes DWV but should be ok (10 foot) x 11
    Lowes 2" right angle bends (slip to slip)
    Lowes 2" right angle bends (slip to non slip) (maybe)
    Lowes 2" slip tee (for after the return check valve)
    Lowes 2" Couplers (7+)
    Lowes Lasco 2" to 1.5" bushings (for after the tee, back to 1.5")
    Jandy Check Valve 7305 $40 (2" to 2.5 so the 2" pvc slides INSIDE the valve joints) (TWO of these)
    **edit: ended up buying the retro flowvis kit for $90 extra to put on the return check valve (in retrospect, better to just get the flowvis check valve from start, save $40ish)
    Lowes Ball Valve (maybe) x 2
    Lowes Watts Vacuum Relief Valve 1/2" $30
    Lowes 1/2 to 1.5" bushing converter for the vac relief
    Lowes 1.5 to 2" bushing converter $2.08 x 3? (non threaded one)
    **ended up doing a combination of bushings and pipe to make the conversions from the solar panel 1.5" threaded pipe to the 2" connections
    Lowes 2" union (may not need?)
    Pipe anchors for the pipe (held down in about 6-7 spots around the area, along with opposite corners, top left and top right)
    Pipe anchor lag screws 3/8 by 5" (too long?) (these are zinc not galvanized) (may need 25-30) OR
    Pipe anchor deck screws 2.5" 5lb box $30? (didnt work, ended up using the extra self tapping screws that came with the solar kit/roof kits)
    Drain Tee (threaded on bottom for plug) for the bottom of each input/output line near garage before going vertical x 2

    A few other miscellaneous PVC couplers and adapters, as seen in the photos below

    through the roof via amazon $19 for two or $7.95 for ONE (put on after screws in place)

    UPDATE: 5-13-17

    Here are some new shots of the now completed system, along with an aerial view




    In the pic below you can see the solar sensor shoved under a shingle (put silicone under the probe as instructed, to prevent wind cooling).. i ended up moving it a little higher (looking at it from the ground up and to the left), so when there is "half" shadows, it can still run and not be "off"
















    **this spot in the image below, you can see didnt fully go together, had some trouble.. there is a small drip every 10 seconds, nothing to really worry about, i may try some of that mesh you can wrap and becomes hard as steel later.




    edit:
    this is the updated direction of flow for the valve (to the "should be on portion), off is still to the left for off



    Aerial video of the pool/panels
    Aerial Video of Intex Ultra Frame 18 foot pool and SolarHeater Panels - YouTube
    My Intex Ultra 18'52 build
    My SmartPool Solar Panel Build
    6981 Gallon + Hayward 1.5HP Matrix + 21"
    Solar S601P SmartPool 160sq feet solar panels
    Intex 7K Gallon SWG, Hayward WideMouth

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    OMG! Thank you for splitting this thread off! I'm itching to order about five of the panels you're getting, and eventually a controller. I just got done running a new sub panel out to my pump pad, and I ran 2" pvc lines from the pad to my house while I was at it to be ready for solar. I'm in western Kentucky. My roof is facing west and at a 9/12 slope, so close to the 45 degree preference. I'll be watching your results closely! The only thing I can add is to use "Through the Roof" to seal any roof penetrations. That stuff is amazing!


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    Quote Originally Posted by n240sxguy View Post
    OMG! Thank you for splitting this thread off! I'm itching to order about five of the panels you're getting, and eventually a controller. I just got done running a new sub panel out to my pump pad, and I ran 2" pvc lines from the pad to my house while I was at it to be ready for solar. I'm in western Kentucky. My roof is facing west and at a 9/12 slope, so close to the 45 degree preference. I'll be watching your results closely! The only thing I can add is to use "Through the Roof" to seal any roof penetrations. That stuff is amazing!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Cool, then we are the same page sounds like you have a similar roof situation.. im still debating whether to go for it or trial in the grass.. how many hours a day do you think yours will get sun.. do you think you'll use your main pool pump for everything or use a secondary.. ill look for the through the roof, hopefully at lowes.. thanks for the tip
    My Intex Ultra 18'52 build
    My SmartPool Solar Panel Build
    6981 Gallon + Hayward 1.5HP Matrix + 21"
    Solar S601P SmartPool 160sq feet solar panels
    Intex 7K Gallon SWG, Hayward WideMouth

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    In terms of external pumps.. maybe something like this should i change my mind and go with external/separate? its rated at 550gph.. either way it needs to pump water 40 feet and up 7.. but i forget the recommended gph for just the solar panels alone?
    My Intex Ultra 18'52 build
    My SmartPool Solar Panel Build
    6981 Gallon + Hayward 1.5HP Matrix + 21"
    Solar S601P SmartPool 160sq feet solar panels
    Intex 7K Gallon SWG, Hayward WideMouth

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    My pool is a 20x40 Grecian and gets full sun from probably 11-6. It gets a good deal of sun the couple hours before and after that. The roof is pretty much the same. I realized the potential for solar last spring when I checked the roof when it was around 70 degrees outside. My shingle roof was just over 100 degrees. I'm gonna use my main pump. It's a 1.5hp 2 speed. I may not be able to use the low speed for solar, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Lowes should have it. If they don't, a local hardware store will. I would go ahead and mount them unless it's just super easy to hook them up for the trial run.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    Quote Originally Posted by n240sxguy View Post
    My pool is a 20x40 Grecian and gets full sun from probably 11-6. It gets a good deal of sun the couple hours before and after that. The roof is pretty much the same. I realized the potential for solar last spring when I checked the roof when it was around 70 degrees outside. My shingle roof was just over 100 degrees. I'm gonna use my main pump. It's a 1.5hp 2 speed. I may not be able to use the low speed for solar, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Lowes should have it. If they don't, a local hardware store will. I would go ahead and mount them unless it's just super easy to hook them up for the trial run.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    This is good info thanks.. yeah sounds like i should go for the roof then, being radiant heat.. sounds like our pumps are similar.. i just worry the extra distance (coming from filter to roof and back to the SWG/return) will weaken the return splits i already have going on (as of now i even have to turn off the return to allow the return robot on the split to have enough power to not get stuck)... this was the only thing making me consider a separate external pump. Ill have to cut my PVC run i did to the right of the pool.. and reroute it over to the left to the garage into the solar panels.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I also saw that someone had issues with leaks in the next season of use, particularly if left out in the winter, despite draining..
    I'm no expert on pvc / blowing the water out.. how do you make it so this can be done in the fall.. i think there are parts to add to the pvc (assuming its PVC straight up to the panels and not just partway)?
    My Intex Ultra 18'52 build
    My SmartPool Solar Panel Build
    6981 Gallon + Hayward 1.5HP Matrix + 21"
    Solar S601P SmartPool 160sq feet solar panels
    Intex 7K Gallon SWG, Hayward WideMouth

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    On the roof would just give the benefit of cooling your house also. Maybe a little radiant heat absorbed from the roof right around the shingles. If they are facing the same direction at the same angle, there shouldn't be a huge difference in performance I wouldn't think. Mine is 135ft each way to and from the pump to my house, so I hear you. The pipes will run toward the house, down a slope, up under the deck, through the deck onto the roof, then way up from there onto a 2story cathedral ceiling. Basically, from what I've read, as long as your pump has enough umph to get up and over the top of the panels, the return side acts like a syphon and you have more return pressure than you would expect. On a ground system you'd be pushing the whole way to get to the pool without the help of gravity and physics on the return side.

    I plan on putting a valve and a drain on each side of mine under the deck so I can verify they are drained, then close the valves and blow the lines out before I add antifreeze to them.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    I'm not planning on removing mine each season. Hopefully they last. If not, I guess I'd get better ones once they wore out. I need to verify that these can be repaired. Have you checked into that? I know the fafco ones have a repair kit you can buy. I don't know if the same kit works with these.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    Also, this person used (i think) irrigation lines (?) to and from his panels with adapters from lowes? Appears he just tapped into the return flow itself as another option, though i'd use my external already existing 2 way split if i tried this, actually, maybe adding a split to my other split.. this would allow to try to achieve about 250-300 gph? (still unclear on the goal)

    Solar Pool Heater Review for In Ground Pools Smartpool Sunheater - YouTube

    - - - Updated - - -

    For the roof kit.. i think the sk43 is needed, its unclear if you need two sk43 for 2 boxes of the smartpool or not.. or.. if you can get something similar at lowes instead (delayed arrival, not prime shipping)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by n240sxguy View Post
    On the roof would just give the benefit of cooling your house also. Maybe a little radiant heat absorbed from the roof right around the shingles. If they are facing the same direction at the same angle, there shouldn't be a huge difference in performance I wouldn't think. Mine is 135ft each way to and from the pump to my house, so I hear you. The pipes will run toward the house, down a slope, up under the deck, through the deck onto the roof, then way up from there onto a 2story cathedral ceiling. Basically, from what I've read, as long as your pump has enough umph to get up and over the top of the panels, the return side acts like a syphon and you have more return pressure than you would expect. On a ground system you'd be pushing the whole way to get to the pool without the help of gravity and physics on the return side.

    I plan on putting a valve and a drain on each side of mine under the deck so I can verify they are drained, then close the valves and blow the lines out before I add antifreeze to them.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Wow, was that a typo, 135 feet? Thats a good haul, but yeah, it makes sense that if you can the the flow up the "hill" then coming back cancels it out.

    I hadnt considered trying antifreeze, i guess if there is a way to isolate them so the antifreeze can "come back out" before reconnecting to the pool.

    If i use the main pump i guess i need to decide (fast) to either split it from the filter or split it off my existing 2 way return split instead (and use thinner hosing of some kind)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by n240sxguy View Post
    I'm not planning on removing mine each season. Hopefully they last. If not, I guess I'd get better ones once they wore out. I need to verify that these can be repaired. Have you checked into that? I know the fafco ones have a repair kit you can buy. I don't know if the same kit works with these.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    According to reviewers there is a procedure for repairing these.. i guess its in the manual so to speak.. there was some mention of "aquarium" glue and patching as well.. or using a some sort of screw cap and isolating bad sections (less ideal).


    I hadnt thought about the radiant absorption being a possible benefit, thats a good thing, if it happens.
    My Intex Ultra 18'52 build
    My SmartPool Solar Panel Build
    6981 Gallon + Hayward 1.5HP Matrix + 21"
    Solar S601P SmartPool 160sq feet solar panels
    Intex 7K Gallon SWG, Hayward WideMouth

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    It's my understanding that you basically want the maximum flow you can get through the panels without over pressuring them. In a roof setup, you just want enough pressure to break the plane and get over the top. It'll run back down on its own. On a ground setup you'd have to test it more to get it right. I'd think watching the filter pressure would be a good indicator for a ground system. Have them completely bypassed and see what the pressure is. Then close the bypass to force water through the panels until the pressure rises maybe a pound or two. You could plumb in a T with a pressure gauge right before the panels to verify how much pressure they are seeing.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    In the most simplistic setup, basically you'd take the pool water return right after the filter and put two T's with a ball valve between them. Solar attaches to each T. You close the ball valve to force the amount of water you want to go through the solar array, then it goes to your pool through your regular pool returns. No extra plumbing or pumps required.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    Quote Originally Posted by theskyisthelimit99 View Post
    Also, this person used (i think) irrigation lines (?) to and from his panels with adapters from lowes? Appears he just tapped into the return flow itself as another option, though i'd use my external already existing 2 way split if i tried this, actually, maybe adding a split to my other split.. this would allow to try to achieve about 250-300 gph? (still unclear on the goal)

    Solar Pool Heater Review for In Ground Pools Smartpool Sunheater - YouTube

    - - - Updated - - -

    For the roof kit.. i think the sk43 is needed, its unclear if you need two sk43 for 2 boxes of the smartpool or not.. or.. if you can get something similar at lowes instead (delayed arrival, not prime shipping)

    - - - Updated - - -



    Wow, was that a typo, 135 feet? Thats a good haul, but yeah, it makes sense that if you can the the flow up the "hill" then coming back cancels it out.

    I hadnt considered trying antifreeze, i guess if there is a way to isolate them so the antifreeze can "come back out" before reconnecting to the pool.

    If i use the main pump i guess i need to decide (fast) to either split it from the filter or split it off my existing 2 way return split instead (and use thinner hosing of some kind)

    - - - Updated - - -



    According to reviewers there is a procedure for repairing these.. i guess its in the manual so to speak.. there was some mention of "aquarium" glue and patching as well.. or using a some sort of screw cap and isolating bad sections (less ideal).


    I hadnt thought about the radiant absorption being a possible benefit, thats a good thing, if it happens.
    Just watched the video. Multiple comments.
    1. Irrigation plumbing isn't big enough for adequate flow.
    2. Not the best location on the fence.
    3. Could probably get more total heat from the panel by running them in parallel instead of in series.
    4. Always put water in the bottom so you purge out the air and don't have air stuck in the panel killing your efficiency. Anywhere air is held in the panel, water isn't being heated.
    5. I'm encouraged by the fact he had it up to 70 degrees given 1-4 above. Lots of credit to the pool cover I'm sure. I may have to break down and get one of those eventually.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    Quote Originally Posted by n240sxguy View Post
    Just watched the video. Multiple comments.
    1. Irrigation plumbing isn't big enough for adequate flow.
    2. Not the best location on the fence.
    3. Could probably get more total heat from the panel by running them in parallel instead of in series.
    4. Always put water in the bottom so you purge out the air and don't have air stuck in the panel killing your efficiency. Anywhere air is held in the panel, water isn't being heated.
    5. I'm encouraged by the fact he had it up to 70 degrees given 1-4 above. Lots of credit to the pool cover I'm sure. I may have to break down and get one of those eventually.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    You mentioned breaking the plane and coming back.. yeah, maybe this is how i can still get away with splitting it off after the filter and still have a good power flow coming into the return split, because once it "comes down the hill" it should be moving fast again, evening out.

    Yeah his fence idea in the video isnt great at all.. mainly looked at it in terms of how he split off from the return and not from the filter.. yep i've read parallel is best.. i would assume the guide would have shown a diagram of how to go about this.. if not, i might have to craft one to make sure i'm doing this right and also having the input on the bottom. Good observations.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by n240sxguy View Post
    In the most simplistic setup, basically you'd take the pool water return right after the filter and put two T's with a ball valve between them. Solar attaches to each T. You close the ball valve to force the amount of water you want to go through the solar array, then it goes to your pool through your regular pool returns. No extra plumbing or pumps required.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I guess this idea you mention is basically the same as using the diverter kit i already have.. except the T on the other end is lowsy, it takes only push on hoses but does have a pressure gauge...

    You mentioned watching the pressure on the main filter.. yeah i guess that would be one way to determine things.. i'm still not sure what "normal" is for my hayward 1.5hp yet.. i went from an intex 0.5hp the other day, its reading 20-22psi as of now, with the bypass going to the game domes (which i'm swapping out for this real solar solution, the diverter kit reads 12psi out of say 13 on the green and safe range no matter how i adjust the valve).
    My Intex Ultra 18'52 build
    My SmartPool Solar Panel Build
    6981 Gallon + Hayward 1.5HP Matrix + 21"
    Solar S601P SmartPool 160sq feet solar panels
    Intex 7K Gallon SWG, Hayward WideMouth

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    Wasn't a typo. 135 ft of 2" pvc each way. The pump is at the opposite corner of my pool from my house. Look under my user name and you should be able to find the two threads I have about the solar and pump wiring. The antifreeze would just be needed on the pipes in the ground. I have a low corner that I'll have to blow out as best as I can before I put the antifreeze in. I usually blow several gallons of it back in the pool. It's RV antifreeze so it's not harmful. Takes a little chlorine to break it down. I drain it out of the pump, and would probably blow it out of these lines with the drain I will install below the valves.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    As long as you have a good pressure gauge on your filter, "normal" will be whatever it reads with everything open like normal right after you backwash the filter.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    Quote Originally Posted by n240sxguy View Post
    Wasn't a typo. 135 ft of 2" pvc each way. The pump is at the opposite corner of my pool from my house. Look under my user name and you should be able to find the two threads I have about the solar and pump wiring. The antifreeze would just be needed on the pipes in the ground. I have a low corner that I'll have to blow out as best as I can before I put the antifreeze in. I usually blow several gallons of it back in the pool. It's RV antifreeze so it's not harmful. Takes a little chlorine to break it down. I drain it out of the pump, and would probably blow it out of these lines with the drain I will install below the valves.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    When you mentioned blowing out the pipes, how are you doing this.. air compressor and a valve plus opening split off from the pvc? (if compressor, i have a small pancake one, might not be good enough for this type of thing if i went that route).

    I found this sealant at lowes.com, i assume i could use it as well as the through the roof.. the through the roof seemed to be $125, this is only $9 (tighten screws then put over the screws, or before you put the screws in, if pre-drilled?)
    My Intex Ultra 18'52 build
    My SmartPool Solar Panel Build
    6981 Gallon + Hayward 1.5HP Matrix + 21"
    Solar S601P SmartPool 160sq feet solar panels
    Intex 7K Gallon SWG, Hayward WideMouth

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    I use the blower side of a shop vac to blow out my pool lines when I close my pool. I take the intake piping apart and tape the vacuum hose to it. An air compressor could work, but not quite as well usually. You want a lot of volume, not pressure.

    Apparently lowes stopped carrying Through the Roof. Heres an Amazon link. https://www.amazon.com/Sashco-Throug.../dp/B00QKBSI0M
    I used it when I put my wood stove chimney in. I predrill the holes, put it in the holes before the lag screws, then all around afterward. You can also use it to stick shingles back down if you have any that are coming up.
    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    Currently i'm working on a diagram to show how the bypass would work, ie: when i want the panels turned off, moving the 3 way valve.. not entirely sure but i think it would be similar to this one for my dome idea that Dom had provided, even if the bypass is used, i would think that any water that is in the domes would leak through the other tee on the other end, but maybe thats a non factor?

    Also.. if i were to use the $280 hayward actuator.. where in this mix would it go.. i assume it needs to have the same amount of sun, or does it tie into a remote sun sensor so it doesnt have to be near the garage? How easily can i add it in later say next year.. does it replace the 3 way valve or just go in front of it (after it).. i'm also wondering where i should place shut off valves if any.. or those disconnects that unscrew, say mid way in the pipeline (i have a disconnect just after the filter pump though), guessing one on/off valve maybe near the beginning of the line closer to the filter, though if you put the filter in closed mode, i'd think this would do the same.. On the actuator, do i need all the parts in this actuator kit, or just the part that is the sensor, given i have a (cheap) 3 way valve already.. cant recall if the kit came with sensors or not.
    My Intex Ultra 18'52 build
    My SmartPool Solar Panel Build
    6981 Gallon + Hayward 1.5HP Matrix + 21"
    Solar S601P SmartPool 160sq feet solar panels
    Intex 7K Gallon SWG, Hayward WideMouth

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Pittsburgh, pa
    Posts
    369

    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    I think this might be revision #1 of the diagram for my situation..


    I think the other thing i was trying to think of, besides using a vacuum, was a "vacuum release" valve (unsure what/where this is).. on the actuator kit.. the wiring (voltage?) is a bit of a mystery to me.. i might try to find an online manual to see how its done, though from what i read the manual is pretty bad. I the actuator, i think, sits just above the 3 way..

    i've read that a check valve is needed (to prevent something called backwash?) just ahead of the switch valve on my diagram on the return side.. and another just after the filter? (unclear if its needed after the filter, i think it depended on the pump/filter having built in protection).. unsure too if this see through check valve needs to be one found online like this $40 jandy or just at lowes (quality)? At lowes i see nothing like that amazon jandy, only these closed valves that are less money?

    edit: that jandy doesnt look like the right one, its not 1.5 to 1.5.. maybe this is another

    I'm also guessing the $40 bypass kit 3 way valve is probably not of very good quality, so the full hayward actuator kit is probably needed

    I also wish there was a way to put a water sensor in the return line, cant seem to find any info on how to achieve that (of course can measure at the return port in the water, but less accurate)

    Overall, i was hoping to keep the cost minimal, obviously adding check valves and actuators is blowing that away. I'd still consider adding the actuator later, if its not that painful to add, but i'd probably need to buy a better 3 way valve in the mean time
    My Intex Ultra 18'52 build
    My SmartPool Solar Panel Build
    6981 Gallon + Hayward 1.5HP Matrix + 21"
    Solar S601P SmartPool 160sq feet solar panels
    Intex 7K Gallon SWG, Hayward WideMouth

  20. Back To Top    #20
    n240sxguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Benton, KY
    Posts
    1,802

    Re: SmartPool/Fafco Solar panel install.. questions and build notes

    The solar controller will have two temperature sensors, one for the water and one that will go up by the solar panels. If you're gonna run the lines underground to the garage, I would run a wire to go to the roof temp sensor at that time. It will come with a control box, 3 way valve, and valve actuator. You're running into the same predicament that I've pondered with running everything before getting the controller. I would have to buy a 3 way valve to run the system, then get another valve with the controller package. I haven't found the controller system that didn't come with the valve, so I'll end up having an extra valve when I get the controller, and probably sell it on ebay.

    You don't have to have any block valves on the solar system, but it wouldn't hurt to have a set on the lines to and from the panels in case you needed to work on them. Those could be added later pretty easily if/when you actually needed them. Unions would only be necessary if you were running the lines on the ground and wanted to remove them for the winter. They could also easily be added later if/when you needed them.

    On your panel array drawing, the return of heated water needs to come off the top of the panels. The vacuum relief valve will be somewhere on the return line also. It allows air to be pulled in so the panels can drain out the return line back to the pool when solar isn't being used. The cold supply side will drain back through a hole in the check valve. You don't want it all rushing back at once, so you drill a small hole in the flapper in the check valve. As far as the check valve goes, a lot of the solar systems I've seen just have the ones like lowes sells. Here's a link to pooldv's build thread. You can see how his is laid out. pooldv pool build
    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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