Intex Ultra Frame - Connecting new solar heater question

dannypool

Member
Jun 10, 2009
7
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!!!
 

jml

Active member
Jul 10, 2009
26
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").
 

Attachments

Crzyfrlss1

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 6, 2008
161
Central, CT
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
 

NWMNMom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
Waaay NW MN
Crzyfrlss1 said:
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.
 

Crzyfrlss1

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 6, 2008
161
Central, CT
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.
 

jml

Active member
Jul 10, 2009
26
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.
 

NWMNMom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
Waaay NW MN
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.
 

dannypool

Member
Jun 10, 2009
7
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.
 

Attachments

Other Threads of Interest