How To Properly Maintain A Solar Hot Water System

Solar Power home roof
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Solar hot water systems have been around for decades, and with good reason—they’re an efficient, reliable, and sustainable way to heat water.

If you have a solar hot water system, it’s important to properly maintain it to ensure that it continues to operate at peak efficiency all year round.

In this article, we’ll take a look at common issues with solar hot water systems and how you can address them.

Common Issues with Solar Hot Water Systems

Even the best-maintained system may experience some problems from time to time.

Here are some of the most common issues with solar hot water systems:

1. Leaks

When they occur, leaks are one of the most easily noticeable problems with solar hot water systems.

Fortunately, they’re also one of the easiest to fix.

Locating a leak may be tricky at times though, especially if it’s hidden behind something like the insulation of your system.

Be sure to confirm the location of a leak before doing any repairs to avoid any unnecessary damage. 

2. Low Water Temperature

If you find that your solar hot water system produces water with significantly lower-than-average temperatures, there is most likely an issue with your storage tank or collector panels.

The good news is that this problem is also an easy fix.

But if you don’t have the appropriate license and qualifications, you must call a professional to help with the repairs.

3. Frozen pipes

Frozen pipes aren’t something we usually have to worry about on the Gold Coast, but in colder climates it’s an issue that regularly crops up during cold weather conditions.

When pipes aren’t insulated properly, they may freeze and cause damage to the system, which can significantly reduce its efficiency or ultimately break your piping system.

4. Reduced efficiency

If your system isn’t properly maintained, it may experience a decrease in efficiency.

This issue isn’t as obvious as the previous ones we’ve listed, but some telltale signs that your solar hot water system has begun to experience reduced efficiency are yellowing or decaying insulation, decreased water flow rates, or ice forming on the collector panels.

Tips for Maintaining Your Solar Hot Water System

Now that you’re aware of some of the common issues that can occur with solar hot water systems, you may be wondering what you can do to fix them. Here are some tips to help you properly maintain your solar hot water system:

Inspect Your System Regularly

This is probably the most important step to ensure the proper maintenance of your solar hot water system.

Solar Panel on a Roof

If you don’t inspect your system regularly, you won’t know when there’s a problem, and you may not be able to fix it in time.

At a minimum, you should inspect your system once a year, and more often if any signs of problems begin to appear.    

Clean Your Panels Regularly

Solar panels need to be kept clean to collect sunlight efficiently.

Dirty panels will reduce the amount of solar energy they can collect, and in turn, reduce the heat that they generate.

Make sure to clean them regularly using a mild detergent and a soft brush or cloth.

Avoid using abrasive materials or cleaning products, as these can damage the panels and do more harm than good.   

Replace Filters Regularly

Filters need to be replaced regularly to keep your solar hot water system running smoothly.

If you don’t replace them when they’re due, the filters will eventually become clogged and prevent the water from flowing through the system properly.

So make sure to check your filter schedule and replace the filters when necessary.

Fix Issues Immediately

Don’t leave any issues unaddressed for too long, as prolonging the problem will only make it worse.

If you find that your system is leaking, has low water temperature, or has frozen pipes, take action right away to address the problem.

Trying to fix a problem that’s gotten out of hand can be difficult and expensive, so it’s always best to nip things in the bud as soon as possible.

Conclusion

Solar power hot water systems can be a great way to lower your energy bills and help the environment, but like appliances, they need frequent maintenance to keep them running properly.

To maintain your solar-powered water heating system and keep it from costing you more money in the long run, remember to clean the panels at least once annually with a soft brush or rag; check for any leaks and repair them immediately; fill up the tank so that it doesn’t run out of hot water, and insulate your pipes during cold weather.

By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your solar hot water system functions at its best for years to come.