If i add a dedicated pump for the solar heater, where does it does it go?

jennmartinez1

New member
Aug 30, 2021
4
Michigan
Pool Size
6981
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Hi! I have a question about using a dedicated pump for a solar heater on my intex ultra frame 18x52 round pool. I have the saltwater system too. I know it has to be last in line to the pool.
Main pump, filter, solar heater, salt system, pool. But I can't find any info on where the extra pump fits in.
Also, would it be better to use the existing pump and buy the small intex pump with paper filter for solar heater only OR buy a new pump for the main and use my existing pump for the solar heater?
Thanks in advance!
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
14,735
Pleasanton, CA
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Welcome to the forum!

Normally, a second pump is not needed for solar unless it is on a completely isolated loop (i.e. separate suction and returns).

Why do you think you need a second pump?

Are the panels on the ground or elevated?
 

jennmartinez1

New member
Aug 30, 2021
4
Michigan
Pool Size
6981
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Welcome to the forum!

Normally, a second pump is not needed for solar unless it is on a completely isolated loop (i.e. separate suction and returns).

Why do you think you need a second pump?

Are the panels on the ground or elevated?
@mas985 The panel would be on the ground about 20 feet away from the rest of the system. The only reason I was thinking about the extra pump is that I wasn't sure the intex would be strong enough with the solar heater in the mix. I have done some additional reading and it sounds like it would be fine since I am not going vertical at all. The only other reason would be to have the solar system be a stand-alone setup separate from the other equipment. That way I could just turn the separate pump on whenever I want to run the heater and just have it pull from the pool directly (via hose or something) to the pump to the solar setup and then directly back into the pool (via hose or something).
I have had the pool for 4 seasons now and I LOVE it, I am just new to all the heater stuff.
I am trying to research and make sure that I am doing the right thing to actually get additional heat that will extend my season. I would love to be able to open beginning of May and not close until sometime in October. In June, July and Aug it is a non-issue, pool stays around 85-89 degrees. I have full sun all day and part of the evening, but I am in Michigan, so today for example, outside temp was 86 degrees and the pool water was about 72 degrees. I do have a clear solar cover that I keep on the pool whenever I am not in it. Another option I have been reading about is doing an outdoor tankless water heater that some are running successfully with propane tanks, which is inexpensive up front, but the cost of the propane here is about $20 to fill a 20 lb tank. I am not sure how often I would have to refill, but I would think to get the temp up 10 degrees or so, it would burn thru them pretty quick.Another option I have been reading about is doing an outdoor tankless water heater that some are running successfully with propane tanks, which is inexpensive up front, but the cost of the propane here is about $20 to fill a 20 lb tank. I am not sure how often I would have to refill, but I would think to get the temp up 10 degrees or so, it would burn thru them pretty quick.

Option 1: Fafco Super Solar Bear heater system,$350 for the system and installation kit, 40 ft of hose (not sure on that cost), and maybe $50 to have someone do the plumbing for the valves.

Option 2: Tankless Water Heater, they seem to be around $200, then would need to figure out hoses back and forth and a separate pump of some kind (maybe submersible would work), plus expense of filling the propane tanks however often that would be. I will use 2x week at $20=$40 per week (but again that is only going to be for maybe a total of 2-3 weeks on either side of the season that I will need to use it, so maybe that wouldn't be so bad.

Do you or anyone else have advice on what the best bet would be and have experience with either of the above options?
Thanks in advance!
 

Woodstock1234

Gold Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
239
Illinois
I believe I have the same Intex sand filter and pump that you do. I have a solar panel and it's right next to the pool. The Intex pump is barely enough power to work. It works, but in the future I would probably get a stronger pump if I keep the panel. This year, I hooked it up just to see how much heat I would get. I am in IL and I can say solar heat is not enough to extend the season. When the nights start getting chilly, the pool can't sustain enough heat even with the solar cover. I think I got an extra 5 to 8 degrees or so from the panel. I actually close in November but I am definitely not swimming in it after September.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jennmartinez1

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
14,735
Pleasanton, CA
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
The panel would be on the ground about 20 feet away from the rest of the system. The only reason I was thinking about the extra pump is that I wasn't sure the intex would be strong enough with the solar heater in the mix
The Intex should be able to pump water through the panels but it does depend on how the panels are plumbed, the number of panels, and the amount of water sent to the panels. One thing that is often a mistake is trying to force too much water through solar panels. They only need about 0.1 GPM/sq-ft of flow rate. Attempting to force too much water through the panels will cause excess head loss and low flow rates.

I am trying to research and make sure that I am doing the right thing to actually get additional heat that will extend my season.
That is going to be a problem with pool solar panels. The lower the air temperature gets, the lower the panel efficiency. When the air temp goes below the water temp, the panel efficiency falls off very quickly.

Option 1: Fafco Super Solar Bear heater system,$350 for the system and installation kit, 40 ft of hose (not sure on that cost), and maybe $50 to have someone do the plumbing for the valves.
That will probably help in current conditions but with air temps lower than about 80F, and shallow sun angles, it will be hard to maintain that in the fall.


Option 2: Tankless Water Heater, they seem to be around $200, then would need to figure out hoses back and forth and a separate pump of some kind (maybe submersible would work), plus expense of filling the propane tanks however often that would be. I will use 2x week at $20=$40 per week (but again that is only going to be for maybe a total of 2-3 weeks on either side of the season that I will need to use it, so maybe that wouldn't be so bad.
Where can you get a tankless water heater for $200?

Anyway, they are meant for low flow rates and high temps where as a pool heater should provide just the opposite for high efficiency. I would look into a standard pool heater for better performance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jennmartinez1

jennmartinez1

New member
Aug 30, 2021
4
Michigan
Pool Size
6981
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
@mas985 Thanks for the advice! I've been doing more research. I like what I read about electric heaters. Buying the unit and installing is expensive up front but cheaper to actually run it.
 

jennmartinez1

New member
Aug 30, 2021
4
Michigan
Pool Size
6981
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
I believe I have the same Intex sand filter and pump that you do. I have a solar panel and it's right next to the pool. The Intex pump is barely enough power to work. It works, but in the future I would probably get a stronger pump if I keep the panel. This year, I hooked it up just to see how much heat I would get. I am in IL and I can say solar heat is not enough to extend the season. When the nights start getting chilly, the pool can't sustain enough heat even with the solar cover. I think I got an extra 5 to 8 degrees or so from the panel. I actually close in November but I am definitely not swimming in it after September.
@Woodstock1234 Thats exactly what I'm afraid of. I think it may be smarter to do the electric heater, still researching. My thought process is that I could spend $400-500 on solar heater and not be satisfied with results because I don't need help in the summer, just the solar blanket is enough. Or I could just apply that money to an electric.
 

Woodstock1234

Gold Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
239
Illinois
@Woodstock1234 Thats exactly what I'm afraid of. I think it may be smarter to do the electric heater, still researching. My thought process is that I could spend $400-500 on solar heater and not be satisfied with results because I don't need help in the summer, just the solar blanket is enough. Or I could just apply that money to an electric.
Please post what you decide to do. I'm always toying with the idea of a heater but not sure I use the pool enough to warrant the extra cost.
 
Thread Status
Hello , This is an inactive thread. Any new postings here are unlikely to be seen or responded to by other members. You will get much more visibility by Starting A New Thread