Jerry rig a solar heater bypass?

redmaxx

Active member
Jun 30, 2021
42
Tucson, AZ
My pool came with a Bestway solar heater that lies on the ground. You use the included 2" flex pipe to connect it to the filter, and then the heater to the return valve on the pool.

What I'm wondering is if I get a 2" female PVC slip adapter, glue a tee junction onto it, glue a couple of PVC ball valves on it, and this forms a very very crude diverter valve. Then I do another 2" female to tee valve for the return line. This time instead of ball valves, I just do a male adapter on each end of this tee, and essentially giving me a bypass at the filter end. One end of the filter side connects to the tee at the return line and the other connects to the solar heater. The output of the solar heater connects to the other end of the return line. Then on cloudy or cooler days I can swap the heater in without redoing all the flex piping.

What are the pitfalls to this plan? Do I need to do ball valves at the return tee too?

Reason I'm asking is a 2" slip connection three way diverter is 76 on Amazon and I still need all the right adapters on top of it. I'm trying to slow down spending on my money pit before the wife kills me!
 
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zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
14,029
Houston, Texas
Can you draw up a sketch of your plan? I'm having a hard time visualizing it. I don't think you are going to need valves on the return, but I'm not sure.
 

redmaxx

Active member
Jun 30, 2021
42
Tucson, AZ
My concerns were:



1. Ball valve integrity. I don't plan to adjust every single day, AZ gets lots of sun except for monsoon and end of season gets colder.


2. The filter and pump have to fill the inactive side of the circuit, although I guess this is alright once pressurized?
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
14,029
Houston, Texas
I think you are going to need another valve between the solar filter and the return to prevent backflow through the solar panel when the pool is set to filter only. You can use a ball valve or a 2 way valve. The 2 way valves are going to hold up better in the sun. You may be able to use a check valve between the solar filter and return to prevent backflow.
 

redmaxx

Active member
Jun 30, 2021
42
Tucson, AZ
I think you are going to need another valve between the solar filter and the return to prevent backflow through the solar panel when the pool is set to filter only. You can use a ball valve or a 2 way valve. The 2 way valves are going to hold up better in the sun. You may be able to use a check valve between the solar filter and return to prevent backflow.
Thanks for the evaluation. After hearing that I'm going to need a check valve (and decent ones don't seem cheap) or a 2 way valve (which also aren't cheap), I did some more digging around and found Pool Supply World has a Pentair 2" 3 way diverter for just over half off. I went ahead and ordered two.

My wife will be happy to hear I'm making her money pit easier to use!
 
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