23 December, 2017

Double-Up, It's All Good

The pool heater has doubled in size. Hopefully, that also translates into more heat, as in faster heating for the pool.
Solar Pool Heater Now Twice As Big
Granted, we only need for the pool to increase its temperature by two to four degrees to be effective. And, it's okay that it takes three days or so to make that increase.

I'm hoping that with doubling the size of the heater, that we'll have a bit warmer water in the pool.

And, after an afternoon of working, that does appear to be what is happening. The pool temperature started off today with a reading of about 75°(F) at around 8:00 AM. Somewhere around noon, it had moved up to 76°(F). This increase is almost totally due to direct sunlight hitting the pool, since, for most of the morning, the heater was either disconnected electrically or by plumbing being separated.
Connection Detail and Water Flow

I got the heater reconnected just about lunchtime after I had been chasing leaks in the fittings. Frustrated by leaks, and getting tired out from successive climbs up and down from the roof, not to mention the heat up on the roof, I was in the veranda guzzling down some much-needed water.

I was also going through the instruction sheet for the panel as they call it. I was looking to see if there was something I had missed or done wrong or something with the connections. I happened to notice in the parts list that there were a couple of hose clamps. No mention of them anywhere in the instructions.

I figured they were probably to tighten up the flex hose connections if I had used the panel the way they had intended. I had hardwired my connection by gluing in PVC pipe to the LDPE plastic that made up the panel.
The Original Mashup

I must have lucked out when I assembled the first panel last year. I just now found that the PVC glue just will not bond with the LDPE. I had no leaks for that whole first year. But now, the new glue fittings leaked, and the old glued fittings also leaked. In fact, I was able to pull all the fittings apart with little effort.

Well, that was a surprise, but I was glad I caught the failure when I did. After separating all four fittings, I cleaned them up and removed most of the PVC glue. I broke out my trusty JB Weld epoxy glue and reassembled the fittings, applying JB Weld liberally. In the 'Mashup' photo, its the gray and white fittings. The gray is the LDPE, and the white is the PVC.

When I reattached the fittings to the panels, I used the hose clamps to secure them to the panels. No leaks. It was show time. I left the pump running and the water kept flowing from the pool, through the heater, and back to the pool.

I checked the pool temp at about 4:30 PM, it was 80°(F). A pleasant surprise. The temp had run up four degrees in about as many hours. Wow! I'm pretty sure that wouldn't happen with direct sunlight on the pool. It had to be as a result of the new and improved solar heater.

A side note here about the main pool pump. It's been down for about a month, plus or minus. I had received the new impeller and diffuser and was waiting for the seal assembly. Neither of the aforementioned parts could be installed in the pump until the seal assembly was installed. Naturally, it had to be shipped separately from the other two and arrived a good two weeks after they did.

It wasn't You Have Mail's fault. It was the freight airline's (Amerijet) fault. They had mechanical problems with their aircraft and that alone took two or three days to fix.

Now, all I have to do is reassemble the main pump and hook it back into the pool plumbing system. We should be good to go in no time.

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