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Author Topic: Pump station or DIY alternative  (Read 1928 times)
Fintray
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« on: June 10, 2017, 07:42:30 PM »

What is the consensus, buy a pump station or DIY something suitable?
Interested to see what DIY alternatives there are.
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desperate
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2017, 08:30:26 PM »

I mjust used a standard central heating pump and valves, along with a 15mm check valve that's all you need really. Been working fine for 8 years now.

Desp
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martin W
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2017, 08:53:46 PM »

Same here,


I just used a standard (DAB) central heating pump and valves and a 15mm check valve on my original install.

I have just replaced the original pump and valves, as I found one of the valves leaking. I also had to replace the check valve as it had failed. I used a solar check valve this time instead of the standard one as I the solar circuit sometimes runs up towards 95-100 Deg C.

IIRC the originals were installed in 2009, so around 8 years old. The pump was still working ok, but I had a spare and with new valves, and was going to move the pump over by around 600mm in the pipe work anyway.
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Fintray
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2017, 09:41:30 AM »

Desp/Martin, Thanks for the replies and good to know that your methods have been working successfully for several years, would it be possible to have a simple sketch of the layout of your systems?
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Mostie
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2017, 12:46:13 PM »

l used a bronze pump in  mine, running 4 or 5 years now
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martin W
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2017, 01:05:05 PM »

No Problem Fintray,

I've attached a layout of mine in pdf (not to scale), which shows the general layout.

From coil in cylinder to the pump the pipe work is in 15mm copper. This made it easy to connect the solar check valve (NRV for non return valve in my layout), drain off valve and pump together. Pipe work from cylinder to pump is around 1.5-2.0min length.

I 't' off the pipe work before the pump and go to the expansion vessel and pressure reducing valve with filling loop. This run is around 2m long in an effort to keep the long leg cooler than the main loop of the solar circuit and help the expansion vessel survive. The expansion vessel I used was a standard central heating one, which is still going strong after 9 years. I would suggest using a solar expansion vessel if the cost difference is not too great (it was back in 2009)...

From the pump to the panels the pipe work is in 10mm copper.

From the panel back to the coil in the cylinder, the 'hot' pipe work is all 10mm copper. Just before the cylinder I go from 10mm into a 22mm 'T' with around 300mm of 22mm pipe as a riser to collect air. The riser has a ball valve and a solar auto air vent connected to it.

I used solar auto air vents, as I had managed to pick some up very cheap. On the original install I used manual air vents without ball valves below. This worked ok. However, as I had the equipment, using auto air vents made it very easy to fill the system up compared to the manual type vents.

I used a modified garden weed killer sprayer to fill my system up to around 1.3 bar pressure with solar glycol/ inhibitor mix. I bought this from Navitron when installing in 2009, I don't know if they still supply this anymore.

I would recommend the use of ball valves, air vents and a drain point as it will make life easier when you drain down and replace the glycol mix every 5-10 years...

* 65 South road Solar hot Water System.pdf (328.29 KB - downloaded 103 times.)
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Woodstove owner since Feb 2011 Tongue (yes it's finally off the pallet)
Solar Water Heating since 17th March 2009, 2.94kW PV since Dec 2011
Chicken Owner - Self sufficient in chicken c*@p, boy watch those tomatoes grow. Allotment owner since August 2011
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Fintray
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2017, 02:20:23 PM »

Thanks Mostie.

Martin thanks for the more detailed information and the PDF of the system layout this will help me plan for the rest of my install.
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Antman
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2017, 08:11:38 PM »

DIY separate bits every time. Cheap and easy to replace a single component failure later.
Mine (see webpage) has been in 11 years+ now and still in original state - not even changed the Alphi11  Embarrassed  Heat dump still kicked in this week OK  Grin

Same reason I always prefer a 'regular' boiler and separate system components rather than a 'system' boiler. You can change the components yourself if necessary without opening up a boiler casing (needing Gas Safe reg). Much cheaper in long run.
Antman
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20 x 47mm, 172 l cylinder, Heat Dump, 15 x Sanyo HIT-H250E, SB4000TL,  Nestor Martin IQ13 WBS
DIY Solar System Support at http://www.handyantman.co.uk/antman.html
All support is voluntary and free of charge. I'm not employed by Navitron so responses may not be same-day
Drawmer
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2017, 01:47:19 PM »

Thread Hi-Jack...

I would agree with separate bits every time, you also get to decide where they all go. For example, I have the check valve and pump in the airing cupboard, but the pressure gauge is downstairs with the pressure vessel and the top-up line.

However, my DAB solar pump is softly screaming at us now, I guess it's had it after only 8 years? I'll give it a bleed, it's only running at 70C. Tonight, as I'll have to get in the loft to activate the Antman bleed.
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Paul Drawmer, Deddington Oxon.
Thermal: 20 X 58mm slimline. 210L twin coil cylinder. TDC3. DAB. internal 'Antman' vent.
PV: 21 X Sharp 185w mono, Diehl inverter.
Fintray
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2017, 07:38:56 PM »

Guys thanks for the replies and the consensus is separate parts so that's the way I'll go as I progress the system. I'll post up some pictures once it is complete, probably be some time though!
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Antman
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 07:50:28 PM »

Hi Paul
Interesting that your genuine solar rated pump is dying. My cheap Terrier II still OK after 11yrs and not touched. I guess that's the kiss of death if ever there was one   signofcross
Admittedly I half expected to have to replace at some point before now but on the basis that a std CH circulator was a fraction of the price of a 'solar rated' one, I took the chance. I always have a spare in stock for emergencies anyway  Smiley
I seem to remember various discussions about the merits or otherwise of so-called 'solar rated' components back in those early days.
Antman
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20 x 47mm, 172 l cylinder, Heat Dump, 15 x Sanyo HIT-H250E, SB4000TL,  Nestor Martin IQ13 WBS
DIY Solar System Support at http://www.handyantman.co.uk/antman.html
All support is voluntary and free of charge. I'm not employed by Navitron so responses may not be same-day
Iain
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2017, 10:55:15 PM »

Hi
Just worth putting the pump in the coolest part of the system. Mine is in in the pipe on the outlet from the coil in the cylinder, and don't lag the pump.
Iain
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http://www.sunnyportal.com/Templates/PublicPageOverview.aspx?plant=cba8d47f-bf09-4533-a105-4303b353f20f&splang=en-US
Drawmer
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2017, 11:27:03 AM »

Hi
Just worth putting the pump in the coolest part of the system. Mine is in in the pipe on the outlet from the coil in the cylinder, and don't lag the pump.
Iain

Yes, definitely do it this way, but still no guarantee  Cry

So, I'll need to replace it - the whining (from the pump!) is very irritating.

Any recommendations for a straight forward CH style pump, and I don't need variable speed. I've got a 2nd hand Grundfoss bronze one for a DHW circulation project that never got done; will that do?

Oh and BTW, I'll change the check valve too.
I fitted a gravity flap type, as I'd heard of the spring one's rattling, and for several years I've had to give it a tap to make it shut and prevent night time siphoning.
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Paul Drawmer, Deddington Oxon.
Thermal: 20 X 58mm slimline. 210L twin coil cylinder. TDC3. DAB. internal 'Antman' vent.
PV: 21 X Sharp 185w mono, Diehl inverter.
Iain
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2017, 11:48:04 AM »

Hi
Quote
.I fitted a gravity flap type, as I'd heard of the spring one's rattling, and for several years I've had to give it a tap to make it shut and prevent night time siphoning.

You could always try an anti syphon loop instead. I fitted one , a 15 mm "U" about 400mm high just after the pump. Not sure if it is that or the flap valve, or both that works!

Iain
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1.98kWp PV  (11 x Sharp 180 and SB 2.5)
20 x 65mm Thermal and 180ltr unvented
9000ltr rainwater storage   Plymouth
http://www.bdpv.com/fiche_utilisateur_en.php?util=iain
http://www.sunnyportal.com/Templates/PublicPageOverview.aspx?plant=cba8d47f-bf09-4533-a105-4303b353f20f&splang=en-US
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