It's officially spring, and that means swim season is approaching. The sun is out, and you want to crank up that solar.
How do you know when it's time to turn on your solar system?
Right now we're seeing a maximum of 80 degrees in the most optimal situations - that means the required amount of solar panels, and a fully automated cover. 80 degrees might sounds good to you, but for most people it's still chilly.
We're still a bit early in the season, the ground temperatures are still cool. Cold nights will also contribute to heat loss.
South facing panels are the most optimal position for solar heating. Watch the sun exposure on the panels, and adjust your pump time clock accordingly to utilize the suns best potential to heat your pool. I.E. If you have west facing solar panels, you will be getting optimal sun around 4pm in our valley.
Keep in mind that warmer temperatures mean chlorine can dissipate quicker, leading to prime conditions for algae growth. Make chemical adjustments for the season.
If possible, try to cover your pool at night to retain as much heat as possible, therefore having a higher baseline starting temperature when your pump runs the following day.
Typical filtration time should be at least 6 hours a day for most pools, more so if it's used frequently.
Ideal time to turn on your solar: May
Ideal time to turn off your solar: October
In most cases, if your pool is solar heated you should see a typical swim season last from mid-May until the end of October.
If you have the luxury of having a thermostat computerized control, maintaining your happy temperature will be quite simple. Set your temperature, and walk away. If you have a manual control system, you should rely on a thermometer to regulate your temperature. Beware that you can accidentally overheat your pool during a heat wave.
Tech Tip: Check your solar panels for leaks periodically, as winter freezes can do damage to solar panels if not properly winterized.