Sometimes, a nice shower or bath is the perfect way to end a day.
But that is difficult if your solar water heater isn’t working properly.
A good quality solar water heater is designed to be used daily for 15-20 years while saving you a lot of money. Even so, they may fail in some circumstances.
The aim here is to notice the signs before the heater fails.
These are the various signs that your solar water heater might exhibit to tell you it needs maintenance.
1. Lukewarm water
If the water isn’t as hot as it was when you had the heater installed, there might be something wrong with the solar collectors or the solar tubes.
Especially if the water is not heating up properly on a very hot day.
2. Slow Heating
Another warning sign is that it takes your solar water heater too long to bring the water up to the desired temperature.
You go to take a shower and just stand there till the water takes its time to heat up.
A good solar heater doesn’t usually take long to heat water, so if yours is taking unusually long, it might be time to schedule a maintenance call.
3. Reduced Flow
Your water is hot enough and is heating up fast.
But if the pressure or the flow of the water seems reduced or abnormal, it is a significant indicator of a much-needed maintenance check.
Reduced flow could be because of sediment build-up or a leak, both of which should be dealt with immediately.
4. Unclean Water
If the water coming out of your fixtures is anything but clear water, you should schedule maintenance for your solar water heater.
Water might be brown or orange or smell metallic because of corrosion somewhere in your tank and it is best to get that looked at sooner than later.
Solar water heaters are designed to be corrosion resistant.
But when they do experience corrosion, it is usually galvanic.
When oxygen enters such a system, it results in rust on all the iron and steel components.
5. Pooling of Water
The metal solar water heater expands in the heat.
It may happen that the expansion has caused some leaks in your solar water tank.
This is a definite warning sign that your solar water heater needs maintenance.
6. Collector Shading
You should visually inspect your solar panels for any unwanted matter present on them.
It might be some vegetation that grew or a significant amount of dust that collected over time.
An impaired solar panel will not work efficiently and as advertised.
Places that have hard or mineral water might cause calcium deposits in the heating system.
This reduces performance significantly but it can be avoided by using water softeners occasionally.
If the scaling seems too much, it is best to just get a certified technician to fix your solar water heater.
A solar water heater is an eco-friendly way to heat your water for a lower cost than traditional heating methods.
Keeping an eye out for these signs and acting on them if they do show up will ensure that you have a solar water heater that can operate reliably for many years.