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Solar Pool Heating Valve Actuator Toggle Switch Position

In Education, Maintenance 7 Comments

This video shows you how to determine if your solar pool heating valve actuator is in the correct position and how to change it with the toggle switch. While we use the Pentair SolarTouch solar controller and the Pentair CVA24 valve actuator, this video applies to other solar controllers, pool controllers, and valve actuators. It does not apply to Heliotrope valve actuators that are integrated with the valve itself.

Troubleshooting Solar Pool Heater Valve Actuator Position

Steps to troubleshooting valve position:

1. Determine if the toggle switch is in the OFF position. If it is, the valve will not turn regardless of what the solar controller is commanding it to do.

Solar Valve Actuator Toggle Switch

The toggle switch is on the bottom or back of most brands of solar actuator.

2. Determine if the solar controller is calling for solar pool heat. If the controller says solar should be on, but the valve is off (bypassing the solar panels), turn the toggle switch to the opposite ON position.

Solar Pool Heating Controller calling for solar heating.

Check to see if you controller currently is asking for solar heat. Consult your manual if you have a more complex pool controller.

3. If the valve does not move regardless of which ON position you use, you likely have a failed valve actuator. It will need to be repaired, or more likely replaced.


  1. Thank you for this helpful information. I had my pool converted to a salt water system 2 weeks ago. The last few days I noticed the pool water very hot – the valve was always open (heating) regardless of what the target temperature was set to.

    My google search began. Within 20 I found your article. I had no idea the toggle switch existed. Even though it was after dark I went out to check the position of the switch. Sure enough it was off. Switching it to On closest to me did the job – the valve moved to the closed position!

    This article saved me a good deal of money, thanks so much.

  2. I had the same problem, solar controller was off and hot water was pouring into pool. I noticed the valve was open and could not move it. Read this article and it was a lifesaver. Hit toggle, which I had no idea was there, and it immediately closed valve. Pool water is now circulating just pool water..

  3. I have the same system and all of a sudden the actuator won’t turn. In fact when I switch the actuator to ON1 or ON2 I can feel it energize (buzzing) but when I switch it off, the whole system including the solar touch turns off. I replaced the actuator and still the same problem. Could there be a fault or short in the controller?

    1. Author

      Alex ,

      That’s hard to diagnose without being there. By your description it sounds like a valve itself might be jammed. I’m not sure what you mean by the solartouch turns off. It certainly could be faulty.

    1. Author


      That depends on what the solar controller is doing. If the controller says solar is on, turn the toggle switch to the right position for the valve to be on. If the solar controller says solar is off, turn the toggle to the opposite position. Then leave it there. That’s where it should always stay.

      The correct toggle switch position depends on how your valve is plumbed and oriented.


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