Bubbles in Pool – Solar Pool Heater Startup

There are several reasons you might experience bubbles in your pool with a solar pool heating system. This video focuses on the large bubbles you see when your pool pump and/or solar pool heater first start up.

Large bubbles for a few minutes after starting your solar pool heater are completely normal and expected. In fact, if you do not see bubbles at startup, you panels may not be draining properly when you turn off your pool pump. When your pool system is off, most solar pool heating panels drain, leaving them full of air. When you solar pool heater starts up again, the air has nowhere to go but back to your pool. The amount of air and the time to purge it depends on the number of solar panels you have, the amount of plumbing in the system, and the speed at which your pump refills the panels at startup.

There is nothing to worry about when you see large bubbles in your pool for a few minutes after solar pool heating startup. If you have an automation system, the solar pool heating system may turn off and on several times a day. If you have a manual system, you should only see this once in the morning when your pool pump starts up. If large bubbles continue for longer than a few minutes after startup, you may have a service issue that should be addressed by a professional. Sometimes a seriously neglected pool filter cartridge can cause this issue to persist, as air is let into the system through the vacuum relief valve on the roof due to low system flow (low panel pressure).

Note that some solar pool heating systems do not drain, or do not drain fully. These trapped water systems use an alternative method of freeze protection like automation recirculation or manual drains.

Other reasons you may see bubbles in the pool are:

  • suction air leaks in your plumbing or at the pool pump basket lid
  • failed vacuum relief valve
  • dirty filter
  • pump failure
  • other flow restrictions in pool plumbing

If you see large bubbles in your pool and still have concerns, contact your solar pool heating dealer’s service department.

If you have smaller bubbles in the pool well after startup, watch this video below for some additional tips.

  • Comment (2)
  • Kenneth j Lindsey says:

    Can I check the relief valve by removing it and replacing it with a cap ?

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