Automated Solar Pool Heating Valve Manifold Explained

In this video, we explain how our automated solar valve heating manifolds work. The manifold shown here is based on our standard valve setup. Your valves may vary due to a variety of circumstances, but this is the most common arrangement for manifolds installed by Florida Solar Design Group.

Keep in mind, your valves may be mirrored left to right. This manifold is a “left-feed.” You may have a “right-feed.” It all depends on the location of your solar panels relative to the pool equipment. The concept is the same for both left and right feed manifolds.

If you do not have a solar controller to automate your valves, the concept is the same except you will have to turn your solar bypass manifold on and off by hand.

Valve Manifold Parts

Each valve manifold is comprised of four valves.

1. Solar Bypass Valve – determines if water is sent to the solar panels or directly back to the pool.
2. Solar Isolation Valve – used for service purposes to positively seal off solar panels and prevent water from flowing through them.
3. Feed Check Valve – stops water from flowing backward through your filter when the pump shuts off and water drains down from the solar panels back to the pool.
4. Return Check Valve – stops water from flowing backward up the solar return line when solar pool heating is turned off.

This video shows a Hayward valve actuator (motor), but you may have a Pentair or Jandy brand valve as well. The concept is the same with each.

If your valve manifold is not working as expected, check your solar controller and see whether solar is on or not. If it is on but your bypass valve is off, there may not be enough heat on the roof to heat your pool. If the valve seems to be in the wrong position, the toggle switch may have been turned off or put in the wrong position. If the motor does not turn regardless of what position the toggle switch is in, you may have a failed valve actuator motor.

NEVER turn off the isolation valve unless you are certain that the controller will not turn the bypass valve on. This could “deadhead” your pump if water has nowhere to go.

NEVER attempt to turn the motorized valve manually with the handle. The handle is there to indicate the valve position only.

This style of valve is off (closed) when the handle is parallel to the pipe. The OFF tab always points to the pipe that is blocked. If the handle and off tab are perpendicular to a pipe, the valve is on (open).

If you are a client of ours and have any questions about the proper position or operation of your solar pool heater valve manifold, please call us at (239) 491-8010. We are happy to help.

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