Solartouch controller fried - how to run solar heating manually ?


New member
Feb 22, 2016
Central Florida
I’m located in Florida. I have a solar heating system on my pool with Pentair solartouch controller and Pentair IntelliFlo pump. Some months ago (whilst I was away) the controller was fried by a mega lightning storm. I am only now back home so I checked the solartouch and the power board is burned out. I have managed to find a new solartouch but there is a delay in getting it installed.

I want to get the pool warmed up without waiting for the new solartouch.

I saw an old thread on this forum which described a simple method to run the solar heating manually ie without the controller installed. So I gave it a try. I unplugged the the solar touch from the pump and from its power connection so it’s now completely disconnected from my pump and pipework. Then I removed the actuator from the solar valve which directs the pool water to the roof panels or by passes the roof. Then I manually turned the valve to the on position to direct the water to the roof. I thought that would heat the water as normal albeit manually rather than being switched by the solar touch. However, the water has not got any warmer after two weeks so there is something else wrong which is preventing the water getting warm. The pool has not been heated since the lightning hit ( a year ago) and when I got here in early November it was 65degF . It’s now 66 degF two weeks later. Based on previous experience I would expect that it should be getting close to 80degF by now. The weather as not been great but my direct south facing array of ten roof panels usually keeps it up well into the 80+ deg F region virtually all year round.

I have tried running the pool speed at 1500rpm and 2350 rpm and even 3000rpm but the water is not getting warm at all at any of those speeds. The property is a single storey home so we have no issues with raising the water up to the roof ever since the system was installed some years ago..

Can anyone help me please ? I must be missing something ! Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated.

Many thanks !



Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Brutie, have you been closing the solar valve at night and on cloudy days or leaving it open 24/7 for the last 2 weeks.

If you have any chance of heating the pool then you need to manually work as the solar controller. Look outside and if you have strong sun on the panels then get the solar valve open. When it is cloudy and at night the solar valve needs to be closed or your solar panels will cool the water rather then heat it.


New member
Feb 22, 2016
Central Florida
Hi Allen,
Thanks for the advice. I have been very careful to switch the valve off as the sun starts to go down around 5pm and I don't put the valve on until the sun has got well up in the morning ie after 10.00 am. Also if it is cool air temperature or very cloudy I switch the valve off. So I'm sure this is not my main problem (but I really appreciate your suggestion)! I am sure I'm doing something wrong but cannot think what that might be . I don't see there is anything else in circuit that could disable the heating process.

Any further thoughts most welcome (anyone ?)
Many thanks, Brutie ;-)
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