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System Maintenance

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Solar System Maintenance Recommendations

ecosystems is very experienced in solving existing problems and reducing potential problems.  See our troubleshooting section under "services"  if you would like help diagnosing a current problem.

Like any mechanical device, it is most beneficial to properly maintain your pool solar system to avoid problems.  These are some suggestions:

  • Drain panels and solar piping every fall to avoid freeze-related panel and pipe damageRemember, FAFCO panels designed for above ground pools need to be removed and stored in a non-freezing location whenever potential freezing can occur. 
    • If any solar pool panel does develop a leak, there is generally a way to solve it, depending on the manufacturer, without having to replace it.  For example, FAFCO has a simple repair kit that permanently seals the damaged tube using small plugs.  Some other panels can use these too, but there may be other recommended procedures better suited for specific panels. 
  • Check panels for flow.  When the panels are operating, they should be COOL to the touch indicating all the heat is transferred to the water flowing through it.
  • Tighten clamps or other panel connections every couple of years or so to avoid leaks or panel separation. 
    • With FAFCO panels it is virtually impossible for the panels to separate due to the "spin weld" at the panel header termination and their Female Adapter used at every panel/PVC pipe connection.
  • Resecure panel strapping as needed to:
    • reduce wind-load stress and wear on panels that might otherwise abrade against the surface to which they are mounted. 
    • reseal any roof penetrations made by screws or bolts that could eventually cause a roof leak. 
      • If properly installed, lag bolts used to secure the panels should not come loose in normal operation. 
  • Paint all PVC piping exposed to sunlight to reduce UV (ultra-violet radiation) degradation.  Over time, the pipe will get brittle and crack if left unprotected. 
  • Inspect and repair control sensor wire and spices to ensure no wires are exposed or corroded.  Test for continuity with an ohmmeter (see sensors).  Check every five years.
  • Inspect sensors to see if they are water-tight and functional.  If you have an ohmmeter, check them for resistance.  Depending on the control manufacturer, these resistances will read about 5K (5000) or 10K (10,000) ohms at 74o F or 25o C .  Resistance decreases with increased temperature. 
    • Click here for a 10K chart for specific temperatures vs. resistance readings given the control manufacturer.  Check as needed if control seems not to be working properly.
  • Maintain a clean, free-flowing circulation system. Clean you pump's leaf trap and backwash your filter frequently.  Check to make sure there are no flow restrictions in the piping, valves, pump, filter, and panels. 
    • DE (diatomaceous earth) filters are most susceptible to problems.  This earth medium is so fine that even a very small tear in the filter grid can allow it to escape into pool and, unfortunately, into panels as well.  The sub-manifolds of our panels and others can easily be clogged by DE.  To clear it out, they need to be back-flushed.  You can check for this by feeling the panel; if it's warm during operation, it's clogged!
      • DE filters also need a functioning check valve downstream so water coming out of the panels after the pump shuts off will not back-flow the filter and push the DE back into the pool through the skimmers and maindrain.  If you see a fine sandy material in either location this check valve may be bad.
  • If you don't have a control system installed, we recommend you do so.  Controls can increase performance 20% or more.

Copyright 2001 ecosystems. All rights reserved.
Page last updated: August 18, 2015

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