Solar Pool Panel Repair

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Don_S

Solar Pool Panel Repair
« on: 19 Jun 2011, 07:12 pm »
Does anyone know a way to patch the small tubes in solar water panels (for pool and hot tub).  I am talking about the small, black plastic tubes that run between the 2" pipes.

Please, no well-meaning suggestions.  I need a way that has been proven.  For years I cut out a section of the tube and used a #14 stainless steel screw in each exposed end.  Those patches lasted a couple of years and then I would have to recut the tube and put the screw back in.  Now I have one panel that defies me.  :nono: It leaks no matter how many times I patch it.  It might be an age thing with my panels.

A #14 screw is actually just a little small but a 1/4" lag screw seems to be too big and I think it stretches the tube. It leaked the worst.  Adhesives don't work.  I even tried a wood dowel that fit tight while dry and swelled so big I could not pull it back out of the test piece.  No luck on the roof.  It leaked just like the screws.

Has anyone tried the rubber plugs?  I think they come in different sizes but I can't find the size for my panels.  Guy at the local solar place is not helpful.  He only sells wholesale.  I am not sure I should look for a source for the plugs.  They might just be a waste of time and money.

Help please, hot roof and cold pool.

Bizarroterl

Re: Solar Pool Panel Repair
« Reply #1 on: 23 Jun 2011, 03:11 pm »

Don_S

Re: Solar Pool Panel Repair
« Reply #2 on: 23 Jun 2011, 03:29 pm »
Bizarroterl,

I crawled all over the net before posting my question here. I found several references to the Fafco plugs and repair kit.  My panels are not Fafco and use a different size plug.

I am waiting for a call back from my local wholesale supply house. The first guy I talked to did not want to help me because they are wholesale only.  After several more failed repair attempts, I called back and the second person I talked to was much more helpful and friendly.  He thinks he can find me the right size plugs.  There aren't any retail solar suppliers in my area.  Solar is not generally a DIY project.

The #14 stainless steel screws I used as plugs for years just don't do the trick on one panel.  They also don't stop the leaks as long as they used to on my other panels.  I think it is an age thing.  I know climbing on my roof early in the morning is getting old.