Commonly Asked Questions
How Much Will Your System Heat the Pool
Is Your System Coiled Pipes On the Roof?
How Much Will It Cost?
Where Can I Get The Fittings?
Is A Pool Cover Worth It?
What About Heat Pumps Versus Solar?
How Long Will The System Last?
Is The Piping UV Resistant?
Do I Have To Upgrade My Pool Pump?
Do I Have To Change My Pool Pump
Does The System Work On A Cloudy or
Will My Roof Be Able To Take The Load
of the Panels?
Will My Pool Cleaner Still Work?
Why Is My Pool Cold?
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1 How Much Will Your System Heat the Pool by? Back to the top
With what I recommend in my manual, the average temperature increase will be 8 degrees in the summer. This is also dependent on many factors like the time of year, location, type of ground the pool is in, the average outside air temperature, wind, etc.
2 Is Your System Coiled Pipes On the Roof? Back to the top
Definitely not. The system works on the same principle as the panels you would purchase from a solar panel shop. Do not worry, the manual does not show you how to coil pipes on your roof. Look at the picture on the previous page. No coils.
3 How Much Will It Cost? Back to the top
This depends mainly on where you buy your fittings. For the average 50 000lt pool, you can expect to pay between R 1 000 to R 1 500. It's worth shopping around for the fittings. There are some fittings and pipes that you will require large quantities of. These are the items that you need to shop around for. My manual alone could save you hundreds as I give the name and address of a retail supplier in Johannesburg.
4 Where Can I Get The Fittings? Back to the top
Try and find an irrigation shop supplier/wholesaler. Obviously the hardware stores, nurseries, etc will only sell small amounts of the fittings and pipes that you are looking for, and will therefore be expensive. I have found a place in Johannesburg that is cheap and carries the quantity of stock that you will be using. Their contact details are in my manual. This information alone can save you hundreds.
5 Is A Pool Cover Worth It? Back to the top
They do work, however they cost more than my solar system. You're probably looking at R 2 500 for a decent cover (400 micron thick) and a roll up station. In addition, they only last 2 to 3 years (1 year if you do not look after it). The sun destroys them very quickly. A Cover will add about 4 degrees to your pool. It also reduces evapouration and chemical usage. Contrary to what most people think, a pool cover does not act like a "blanket" and keep the heat in. It's greatest function is to keep the surface of the pool dry and prevent evapouration. This is where a pool loses most of it's heat (up to 95%).
6 What About Heat Pumps Versus Solar? Back to the top
I must be honest and say that I've never really done a detailed comparison. However, the heat input from solar is free. How many kW is a heat pump and what would the monthly running cost be (at R 0,24 / kWh, you can work it out)? There's no getting away from the fact that the running cost of a heat pump will be far more than solar
7 How Long Will The System Last? Back to the top
Like most things, it depends on how well you look after it. My system has been on my roof now for 9 years with no problems. The secret is to have water running through the system all day, every day (even during the winter. The heat is free!). You switch it off at night. The water running through the system keeps the pipes cool and hence the pipe work will last longer. Nothing will last long on a roof that gets up to 60 degrees during the day and 10 at night.
8 Is The Piping UV Resistant? Back to the top
I could not find any UV resistant piping. However, as I explained in the previous paragraph, if you look after the system and ensure that water is flowing through it during the day at all times, you will have many years of trouble free heating. You may be able to source UV resistant piping. But at what extra cost?
9 Do I Have To Upgrade My Pool Pump? Back to the top
No. The only instance where I would foresee a stronger pump (or even a second pump) is where you have a double story house, or the roof is much higher than the pool pump (say greater than 5 m).
10 Do I Have To Change My Pool Pump System? Back to the top
You do not have to change anything. The solar system is a separate system that connects into your existing pool pump pipe work. This is explained in detail in my manual.
11 Does The System Work On A Cloudy or Rainy Day? Back to the top
It does, to a certain extent, still add heat to your pool during a cloudy day. However, if it's raining, it will cool your pool down. Some people have talked about a temperature differential sensor linked to an actuator valve that will shut down the solar system if the temperature of the solar outlet water drops below that of the pool. If you have the money, then why not. Would work very well. If I'm at home, I turn the solar heating off at the valve. The pool pump still pumps through the normal circuit, the water just bypasses the solar panels.
12 Will My Roof Be Able To Take The Load of the Panels? Back to the top
Yes. The weight of the panels with water in it would be in the region of 50 kg spread over a large area on the roof. This is next to nothing. If the roof collapses, then it would have done so during a heavy hail storm, so sue the builder?
13 Will My Pool Cleaner Still Work? Back to the top
As the water is going through a lot more piping than it usually does, the flow rate will drop. However, if your filter and leaf baskets are cleaned regularly (once a week as normal), and your pool pump is a 0,75 kW, then you should have no problem. If you do, the most likely source of the problem is a blockage, cracked kreepy pipe of worn pump impeller.
14 Why Is My Pool Cold? Back to the top
You probably do not have solar heating?!!. Seriously, The way that a pool loses most of its heat is by the same way that we cool down. If we're hot, we sweat (perspire if you're a woman). A breeze blowing on our wetted face cools us down very quickly. The same with a pool. You have this vast area of exposed wet surface that cools the pool down when a breeze blows. To maximise the effect of your solar system, you may wish to invest in a pool cover as well. Contrary to what most people think as to the function of a pool cover, it’s not a “blanket”. What it does is prevent evaporation from the pool, and hence heat loss. A pool looses 95% of its heat from evaporation. Prevent this by keeping the surface of the pool dry, which is what a pool cover really does, then you save a lot of heat loss from the pool
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