Advice on fastening solar heater to a new roof

GrayCatbird

Active member
May 17, 2021
26
Delaware
Surface
Vinyl
Hi. I have a couple of solar heaters that in total cover about 6x12 feet on the roof of my workshop. I have it all plumbed nicely to transport water between the pool filter and the roof, with most of the pipes nicely hidden under my deck. It has been working great for many years. It heats the pool nicely and provides "air conditioning" to the workshop, which is off the back of the garage. Last fall, I had a new roof put on. We managed to get the solar heater off the roof intact. No leaks! I had glued it to the old roof. Most of the old roofing tiles came off the underside of the heater. It didn't matter that some of the old roofing tiles came up off the roof, because I was having a how new roof installed.

Now, the panels for the heater (the black hoses variety) are just sitting on the roof. I used a couple of pipe straps to hold the PVC pipes attached to the heater to the side of the workshop. It is not a steep slope, so the heater panels aren't falling off the roof, but they have been sliding out of position, and I have had to go up there and reposition them several times. Not a good situation. Since I have the new roof on the workshop, I am wondering at the best approach for adhering the solar heater more permanently. I am leery about screwing anything into the roofing tiles. I guess that leaves me with needing an adhesive for sticking the heater to the roof again and hope it doesn't leak and require replacement.

If you have a solar heater like this, what method did you use to adhere it? If you used an adhesive, what did you use?

Thanks.
 

GrayCatbird

Active member
May 17, 2021
26
Delaware
Surface
Vinyl
Here's the two solar heaters I have. They are both the same kind. Commercially produced. (Dang, the siding is coming off again. Another project!)

When we bought these solar heaters, the seller provided some sort of adhesive for gluing it to the roof. That's what we did. The roof was old, so we didn't think twice about it. Now that I have a new roof, I am considering my options. Thanks.
 

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GrayCatbird

Active member
May 17, 2021
26
Delaware
Surface
Vinyl
Nope. Never saw an illustration that showed them mounted on the side of a house, if that is what you are getting at. That would be mighty unsightly to cover up the siding with these solar heaters.

This current placement has served me well enough. I just need to fasten it to the roof so it stops sliding.
 

kasperb2

Member
Apr 26, 2020
6
New Jersey
@GrayCatbird I'm in the same boat as you; I'd rather not screw anything into my roof as it's only a year old. I don't see a way around it unfortunately. I might use (4) screws and drill them under a shingle (so it's covered and rain will flow over it) and run some sort of heavy duty strap between the top and bottom screw. I'd do this on the left and right side of the panel. Open to other (read: better) suggestions though.
 
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GrayCatbird

Active member
May 17, 2021
26
Delaware
Surface
Vinyl
@GrayCatbird I'm in the same boat as you; I'd rather not screw anything into my roof as it's only a year old. I don't see a way around it unfortunately. I might use (4) screws and drill them under a shingle (so it's covered and rain will flow over it) and run some sort of heavy duty strap between the top and bottom screw. I'd do this on the left and right side of the panel. Open to other (read: better) suggestions though.
I’m thinking of running a few beads of Liquid Nails or something like it, from top to bottom in four places and reglue the thing. If I have to remove the thing again, I guess I’ll ask the roofers to patch any shingles that come up. Better than risking the integrity of the roof. I just need to find the right tube of adhesive.
 

kasperb2

Member
Apr 26, 2020
6
New Jersey
I’m thinking of running a few beads of Liquid Nails or something like it, from top to bottom in four places and reglue the thing. If I have to remove the thing again, I guess I’ll ask the roofers to patch any shingles that come up. Better than risking the integrity of the roof. I just need to find the right tube of adhesive.
That should work just fine. I'd like to remove the solar panel at the end of the summer, so that option unfortunately might not work for me.

I'm now looking into these roof clips that you can clip into to your roof shingles. While they're designed to install heat cables on your roof, they might work.
 
Last edited:

GrayCatbird

Active member
May 17, 2021
26
Delaware
Surface
Vinyl
That should work just fine. I'd like to remove the solar panel at the end of the summer, so that option unfortunately might not work for me.

I'm now looking into these roof clips that you can clip into to your roof shingles. While they're designed to install heat cables on your roof, they might work.
Interesting. Please post some info about the clips when you can. Thanks.
 

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GrayCatbird

Active member
May 17, 2021
26
Delaware
Surface
Vinyl
Seems risky, true, but these panels are heavy. The angle of my roof is such that they are sliding very gradually. Still, I like the idea of a sturdier installation.

@Pool_Medic , could I source such U brackets at a hardware store? Or would you recommend a different source? Thanks.
 
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