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Thread: Help With Pump/Solar/Cleaner

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    Help With Pump/Solar/Cleaner

    I enjoy reading the forum, and now find that I need some advice. Pool (details in signature) was built several years before we bought the house. It’s completely in the shade, and mostly too chilly to use except for a few weeks in the middle of the Texas summer. I installed six SunHeater solar panels in an attempt to raise the temp enough to enjoy the pool. Panels are on the ground with the 1.5 inch pvc going into the first panel about 50 feet from the pump. The return from the panels is about 80 feet including the 20 foot length of the panels. I’m getting a 6-8 degree rise in temperature; enough to make the pool enjoyable.

    I’m wondering about the pump, though. Pool has 3 returns, main drain, and two skimmers – one midway down the length of the pool and one at the opposite end from the pump/filter. The furthest doesn’t have much suction at all, and I can easily block the returns with my hand…not much resistance. And, of course, the Polaris 360 connected to a return doesn’t move. Pump is at least 9 years old and is listed as a MagnaTek Century Centurion 1.5 HP 208-230 volts. With the water diverted to the solar panels the pressure gauge on the filter reads about 27 PSI; closing the valve to the panels results in about 20 PSI.

    My question is: should I consider replacing the pump? Would a larger HP unit give me better return, suction on the underperforming skimmer, and allow the Polaris to run? A local pool supply store told me there was no reason a newer 1.5 HP pump would not be sufficient for this and was steering me toward the TriStar or Whisperflo 1.5 HP full rated pump. Is this accurate, or would I need to go with a larger pump? Any and all advice is appreciated.
    17K gal, IG plaster, 1.5 HP pump, Hayward 2420 DE filter, Polaris 360 pressure cleaner, 6 SunHeater solar panels

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Help With Pump/Solar/Cleaner

    hold on the pump...are your panels connected in serial or parallel? Also, once you added the panels, did you notice a significant PSI increase at the filter? I'm just guessing, but I bet you plumbed the panels in serial...ie filter to panel1 inlet, panel 1 outlet to panel 2 inlet, panel 2 outlet to panel 3inlet...etc...if that's the case that may be your issue. Ideally you want to plumb in parallel. Jason and John T may be able to offer you some advice if you can post some pics of your set-up...good luck and welcome to TFP
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Help With Pump/Solar/Cleaner

    I believe they are hooked up in parallel. PSI at the filter goes from 20 to 28 when I divert the flow through the panels. Here's the image from the SunHeater installation booklet that I followed:

    17K gal, IG plaster, 1.5 HP pump, Hayward 2420 DE filter, Polaris 360 pressure cleaner, 6 SunHeater solar panels

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Help With Pump/Solar/Cleaner

    sorry can;t see the image...but wow...that is a big jump in your PSI...something in the set-up is seriously restricting flow
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help With Pump/Solar/Cleaner

    That is too much of pressure increase. You need to allow some of the water to bypass the solar panels. You want to adjust the diverter valve to give you a 1 or maybe 2 PSI increase when water is flowing through the panels. If you fix that, everything should work quite a bit better.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Help With Pump/Solar/Cleaner

    Thanks. I'll try adjusting the diverter tomorrow.
    17K gal, IG plaster, 1.5 HP pump, Hayward 2420 DE filter, Polaris 360 pressure cleaner, 6 SunHeater solar panels

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