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Thread: Air in solar panels (Split from Filter line problems)

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    I have the same problem when my solar heater starts up. A ton of air comes out. I also get air build up in the top of my sta-rite filter tank. So each week, I open the tiny screw top and let the air out until a jet of water shoots out. I don't have any visible leaking from the solar panels or from any other pipes, so I just assume the air is coming out of the water. I'm not sure why the solar panels keep filling with air, other than when it is turned of, it is probably under some negative pressure to let water flow into the pool and therefore air is getting into the system in the roof.
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia.
    Pool: 15,000 gallon 32'x18', 3'-6' deep in-ground gunite pool, Sta-Rite 3 125 GPM 2-filter cartrige, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump, solar heater, Goldline SWG, Jandy controls, opaque automatic CoverStar solar pool cover, 3 waterfalls (not from spa).
    Spa: 485 gallon in-ground square acrylic over fiberglass suspended over gunite Sunset brand spa, isolated system, natural gas heater, 2-speed (4hp/11hp) main pump, 3hp booster pump, chlorine sanitized.

    To my pool store owner, nothing is more important than my pool and my money.

    Richard's PoolEquations Spreadsheet

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    It is normal to get air when the solar starts up. Water tends to siphon out of the panels because of the height of rooftop panels, which leaves air in the panels. Your air in the filter is a different issue, and probably comes from a leak on the suction side of the pipe.
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    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    I am not clear what you mean by "suction side of the pipe." Could you clarify what I should be looking at?

    I don't see any water leaking out of any of the pipes or out of the Sta-Rite 3 filter tank.
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia.
    Pool: 15,000 gallon 32'x18', 3'-6' deep in-ground gunite pool, Sta-Rite 3 125 GPM 2-filter cartrige, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump, solar heater, Goldline SWG, Jandy controls, opaque automatic CoverStar solar pool cover, 3 waterfalls (not from spa).
    Spa: 485 gallon in-ground square acrylic over fiberglass suspended over gunite Sunset brand spa, isolated system, natural gas heater, 2-speed (4hp/11hp) main pump, 3hp booster pump, chlorine sanitized.

    To my pool store owner, nothing is more important than my pool and my money.

    Richard's PoolEquations Spreadsheet

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Suction side is before the pump. After the pump is pressure side.

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    Would that suction side include the filter basket? Maybe a new rubber ring would help. Mine is there, but loose enough to come off each time I open to clean the basket. What do you think?
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia.
    Pool: 15,000 gallon 32'x18', 3'-6' deep in-ground gunite pool, Sta-Rite 3 125 GPM 2-filter cartrige, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump, solar heater, Goldline SWG, Jandy controls, opaque automatic CoverStar solar pool cover, 3 waterfalls (not from spa).
    Spa: 485 gallon in-ground square acrylic over fiberglass suspended over gunite Sunset brand spa, isolated system, natural gas heater, 2-speed (4hp/11hp) main pump, 3hp booster pump, chlorine sanitized.

    To my pool store owner, nothing is more important than my pool and my money.

    Richard's PoolEquations Spreadsheet

  6. Back To Top    #6
    If you are referring to the basket that is before the pump, then yes, that would be suction side.

    And a loose O-ring could very well be the culprit. I'd start there.

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Corpus Christi, Texas
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    I have solar panels and have the same issue with air build up in my basket housing. I've bought a new o-ring, cover and redid all the PVC and still it occurs. When I turn the panels off everything s fine, in the cooler weather I didn't have an issue either. Not being real scientific about the whole thing, I think it is just the nature of the beast, probably a physics questions.
    16x32 fiberglass pool
    1.5 hp pump
    cartridge filter
    solar heater
    Dolphin Diagnostic

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    mbar's Avatar
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    I noticed the same thing with my solar panels . When I see the air in the pump basket, I turn the solar off, backwash, turn the pump back to filter, then turn the solar back on - then no more air I don't understand it either. My solar panels are on the roof about 9 ft above the pump. Any other ideas?
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

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    Probably a dumb question, but are you solar panels before or after the pump an filter? I have mine plumbed in after the filter, with a 3 way valve that directs water to panels, and the return has a ball valve to control the flow out of panels. It sounds to me like you all have it plumbed in before the pump/filter? If so, that air that accumlates in the panels when they drain off due to gravity, gets pushed into your pump, then into filter. In my mind if the air is in the pump housing, then you are not getting enough pull from the pump to suction off that air bubble and pull water from main drain or skimmer to replace the air with water. I am curious if you are directing all your water to your panels, if so, this will dramitically effect the amount of flow and reduce the amount of pull from the pump.

    Hope this makes sense,

    Rik

    Rik

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    mbar's Avatar
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    My panels are plumbed in just like yours. As a matter of fact, I usually don't direct all of the water to the panels. I did have a bad ball joint in last year, and had it replaced. After I backwash and then put the solar heat on, there is no air bubble. Maybe someone around here is turning the valves off in the wrong order I don't always get air in the basket
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Air in solar panels (Split from Filter line problems)

    Same here. I direct 100% flow through the solar panels. The panels are after the filter and pump. However, those pipes stay under pressure even when the motor is stopped. I guess maybe water is too big to escape the panels, but when a vacuum is formed from the water falling out when the pump is off, maybe air is small enough to get in.
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia.
    Pool: 15,000 gallon 32'x18', 3'-6' deep in-ground gunite pool, Sta-Rite 3 125 GPM 2-filter cartrige, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump, solar heater, Goldline SWG, Jandy controls, opaque automatic CoverStar solar pool cover, 3 waterfalls (not from spa).
    Spa: 485 gallon in-ground square acrylic over fiberglass suspended over gunite Sunset brand spa, isolated system, natural gas heater, 2-speed (4hp/11hp) main pump, 3hp booster pump, chlorine sanitized.

    To my pool store owner, nothing is more important than my pool and my money.

    Richard's PoolEquations Spreadsheet

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Air in solar panels (Split from Filter line problems)

    Quote Originally Posted by itabb
    Same here. I direct 100% flow through the solar panels. The panels are after the filter and pump. However, those pipes stay under pressure even when the motor is stopped. I guess maybe water is too big to escape the panels, but when a vacuum is formed from the water falling out when the pump is off, maybe air is small enough to get in.
    Your panels should have a vacuum breaker installed to allow the water to drain out when they are shut off. If water remains in the panels, it can overheat, and the negative pressure due to gravity can cause the tubes in the panels to collapse.
    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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