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Thread: Solar heater questions...

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    Solar heater questions...

    So I just got a solar heater for my pool. According to the instructions its suppose to go AFTER the pump. Which makes sense. But what if you have a SWG? My SWG has a flow sensor and while testing it with my solar heater connected after the SWG, its not complaining yet of poor water flow. It has a habit of complaining if a lot of air gets trapped in the lines as it produces chlorine. With the solar heater there is a bigger chance of air getting trapped in it and slowing the flow down. I really didnt feel like sitting out side for an hour while my SWG ran to see if it complains about it, so I will find out later when I go check. But just wanted to know what you guys thought about it.

    And just wandering, would adding my spare 530gph pump between the solar heater and the return port on my pool help with the flow or would it hinder it? I know as the more plumbing you add, you lose head. And buying a bigger pump at this point in time is out of the question. I guess I could add a bypass so when the SWG is running (1-2 hours max), it doesnt flow into the solar heater. But just in case would the pump help?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heater questions...

    If your solar system is plumbed so that the return from the solar array rejoins the normal return before going to the pool, the SWG should be plumbed after the solar return has rejoined the main return line. The SWG may indeed complain about the air in the pipe when the solar system is turned on, but it should then go back to being happy after things have gotten going properly.

    Adding an extra booster pump just for solar is possible, but will only work correctly if the solar return does not rejoin the main return and the solar booster pump is only run when the main pump is on.

    How high up are you placing the solar panels relative to the water level in the pool? Your current pump should be just fine as long as the panels are below the pool water level. If the panels are above the pool water level you may need a larger pump, though it depends on just how high above the pool the panels are.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Solar heater questions...

    As of right now my panel is on the ground near the pool. But its not getting enough light tho. Would adding 20 feet of 1-1/2" piping reduce the pressure/head, so I can put the panel on the other side of my trailer? Cant move the pool. This is the only good spot unless I buy more fencing for the other side of the trailer. And I cant afford that.

    The panel is currently on bare ground. Will that affect the temperature at night when it gets colder? Should I tilt it a bit off the ground? Have plenty of wood laying around to build something like that!

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heater questions...

    The panels can both warm and cool a pool depending on the temperatures in contact with the panels. You may want to build a rack to angle them for better exposure. We don't run our water through the panels at night or when the sun is off the panels - this helps to keep our temps more stable. We have a diverter set so that we don't always have the water running through the panels.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heater questions...

    This is our 2nd season with the panels on the ground. We just layed them on some landscape fabric. The 20ft run could definately work, but not sure the 1500 gph Intex pump could push the water that far through a panel and back. Hopefully some others with a similar set-up/pump can help you shortly.
    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: Solar heater questions...

    Yeah I am really considering angling them off the ground a bit. I have thought about a redirect but just seems like too much work to have to turn on the 2 valves each morning and then turning them back off each night. Or would it only take 1 3-way valve and 1 T connector?

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heater questions...

    We have a diverter with a gate valve - looks a lot like this |--| when the valve is DOWN the water goes to the panels, UP straight back to the pool return
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    Re: Solar heater questions...

    I seem to be having trouble finding a diverter with a gate valve! Is there a technical term for it? Do you know where I can find one? Lowes doesnt seem to sell them.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heater questions...

    Google Compool Solar Valve. Here is one.
    Mark
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    Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heater questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by Paxination
    I seem to be having trouble finding a diverter with a gate valve! Is there a technical term for it? Do you know where I can find one? Lowes doesnt seem to sell them.
    Our HD carries 3 way never lube diverter valves. Look in the plumbing section.
    5,775 gal, IG free form, Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish, 2 swim out benches, Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues, StaRite Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter replaced with Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15, Polaris 360, Pentair 300w Light upgraded to Pentair IntelliBrite (OMG what a huge difference) , Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers, solar cover, TF-100 test kit, Pentair Deck Jet, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer (Makes testing a breeze), Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Margarita Concoction Machine,
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