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Thread: Intex Ultra Frame - Connecting new solar heater question

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    Intex Ultra Frame - Connecting new solar heater question

    I have an Intex Ultra Frame 16x48 (1st season with it (filling up now), an upgrade from an easy set for the 4 years). Last year I added a 2x20 solar heater (sun heater) which helped warm the water on real sunny days (I am in Michigan).
    Yesterday I picked up 2 additional 2x20 sun heaters on craigslist (both for $50 !!). Now my question is how best to connect them all. I am using the intex 2500 filter, and am using a diverter valve as well. I will just have the panels on the ground next to the pool since I don't think the 2500 filter would be able to push the water onto the roof for a roof mount (right?). Can anyone help with a drawing of how to connect the panels together?

    Also, for connecting the panels together, what should I be using ... do I need flex pool hose or should I be using the black rubber tubes with the screw tension bands that I have seen on a few pics? I have a total of 4 "elbow style" connectors and 6 end caps total. I am hoping for a trip to Home Depot or Lowes rather than the pool shop

    Thanks for your help!!!
    In Ground gunite pool
    26,700 gallons, Hayward Super 2 pump, Hayward booster pump
    Hayward Super 2 fall/ fountain pump
    Cartridge filter, Polaris 280 pool cleaner

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame - Connecting new solar heater question

    Ok - I've attached my hi-tech ms paint attempt at a diagram. With my three panels and 2000gpm intex pump, I'm using 4 1.5" gray barbed hose insert tees (two one the inlet side, two on the outlet side), about 20 1.5" hose clamps, and maybe 20' or so of 1.5" black sump-pump corrugated flex hose (not the 1.25" stuff) for the longer (5' to 10') runs of hose, and a couple of small 6" pieces of braided 1.5" flex-hose for the shorter connections between the tees to prevent kinking. (The white or beige corrugated pool hose and black sump-pump hose seem to be the about the same stuff, but the pool hose is two or three times the price for the same length even at the same hardware store). My pump handles it just fine with the panels at ground level near the pool, unless I let the cartridge go for too long between cleanings. I don't have a diverter valve (I'm a little too far north to have a problem with "too hot").
    Attached Images Attached Images
    17' x 25' x 48" Laguna "Portable" Pool (~12,000 Gallons)
    Intex 8111 SWG, Pump, and Filter
    3 Fafco AGP 4 x 20 Solar Bear Panels
    Dirt Devil "Pool Boy" (Pool Rover Jr.)
    BBB and a SWG make my pool care really E-Z

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    Crzyfrlss1's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    Central, CT
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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame - Connecting new solar heater question

    jml,

    I'm not sure your diagram is entirely right, my understanding of solar has always led me to believe the warmer water is supposed to exit from the top of the panels and the water enter from the lowest point.

    Like This


    This diagram is more like how I have mine setup, just 2 panels instead.
    Works great, get's to 95 degrees F when I disable the controller.
    Too hot for me, I try to keep it at 78-82
    Intex 15' X 48" metal frame pool
    Waterway Supreme 1hp 2 Speed pump
    Hayward X-Stream 150 Sq. Ft. Cartridge Filter
    2-2'x20' Sungrabber Solar Panels hooked up in parallel on a Goldline GL-235 controller.

    Not getting "Pool Stored" = Priceless!!!
    Thank you TFP

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Waaay NW MN
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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame - Connecting new solar heater question

    Quote Originally Posted by Crzyfrlss1
    jml,

    I'm not sure your diagram is entirely right, my understanding of solar has always led me to believe the warmer water is supposed to exit from the top of the panels and the water enter from the lowest point.

    Like This

    You are correct, except that your diagram shows in one side and out the other. Above ground panels have inlet and outlet on the same header with either a "stop disc" or valve built in to direct the flow - IG panel design is in one end and out the other.
    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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    Crzyfrlss1's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Location
    Central, CT
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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame - Connecting new solar heater question

    You can always take out the stop discs I suppose?
    Mine never came with them anyway, I guess I have I/G panels?
    Either way they work great, I tried following sungrabber's instructions first but they reduced the flow so much that I hooked up as I have them now and they work far better this way.
    Intex 15' X 48" metal frame pool
    Waterway Supreme 1hp 2 Speed pump
    Hayward X-Stream 150 Sq. Ft. Cartridge Filter
    2-2'x20' Sungrabber Solar Panels hooked up in parallel on a Goldline GL-235 controller.

    Not getting "Pool Stored" = Priceless!!!
    Thank you TFP

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame - Connecting new solar heater question

    Well now you folks have me thinking - I'm gonna have to change some of my pipe connections around and see if it makes a difference.
    17' x 25' x 48" Laguna "Portable" Pool (~12,000 Gallons)
    Intex 8111 SWG, Pump, and Filter
    3 Fafco AGP 4 x 20 Solar Bear Panels
    Dirt Devil "Pool Boy" (Pool Rover Jr.)
    BBB and a SWG make my pool care really E-Z

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Waaay NW MN
    Posts
    1,582

    Re: Intex Ultra Frame - Connecting new solar heater question

    The valves and stop discs are manufactured in so cannot be removed. Your setup will only work with IG panels but the idea is the same as most of us are using - run them parallel so all panels are fed at the same time and return to the pool at the same time - it is more efficient that running in a series.
    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: Intex Ultra Frame - Connecting new solar heater question

    Here is the pic of my diverter setup and the panel connector that came with the (used) panel.

    Do you think it would be better to use the flex pool hose on the adapters on the valve or should I unscrew those and use 1 1/2" male to 1 1/2" slip connector to go to the 1 1/2" PVC?

    Thanks again for all of the help.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    In Ground gunite pool
    26,700 gallons, Hayward Super 2 pump, Hayward booster pump
    Hayward Super 2 fall/ fountain pump
    Cartridge filter, Polaris 280 pool cleaner

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