Why is my Solar Hot Water not Working?

Solar panels in the Californian desert
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In a conventional solar water heater, the heat of the sun is used to heat either the water itself or a special chemical called glycol, that transfers the heat to the water.

It is actually quite a simple system but things can still go wrong leaving you deprived of a hot shower.

The following are some of the reasons for your solar hot water not working:

  • In modern solar heaters, digital controllers regulate the time and temperature to which the water should be heated. If the settings are not correct you can have an erratic supply of hot water.
  • If the installation of the solar panels is wrong, and the panels are not positioned correctly, your hot water supply will not be consistent. You will get hotter water on sunny days than on cloudy days.
  • There could be residue accumulating at the bottom of the conductor rod. This could affect the efficiency of the heat as well as develop corrosion in the conductor rod which could halt the process of a solar water heater entirely.
  • Bad maintenance could result in:
    • the panels becoming loose from the roof 
    • The conductor rod not working properly
  • Valves that relieve pressure or regulate temperature may have got damaged and started leaking.
  • The circulating pump may have developed defects due to blockage caused by sedimentation.

These problems are caused primarily due to sediment buildup, corrosion of metal parts, wear and tear due to the passage of time, freezing in cold climates, and fluid leakages.

“Proper maintenance is the key to ensure a consistent flow of solar hot water”

Solar hot water

To prevent these types of issues, follow these steps…

  1. Collector glazing has to be free of any dust, leaves, or foreign materials that may affect the components.
  2. Ensure that the seals are not cracked or damaged and there is no fluid leakage.
  3. Check the nuts and bolts supporting the structure.
  4. Keep the collector glazing in tip-top condition
  5. Make sure the valves of the storage tanks are in perfect working condition and there are no leaks.
  6. In areas of high sediment install a water softener or replace the heat transfer fluid.
  7. Add insulation to the pipes to reduce the risk of freezing.
  8. Periodically check the pump, controllers, and sensors. Clean or replace them whenever necessary.
  9. Another important factor to ensure a consistent supply of hot water is the prevention of wastage. So you must monitor the usage of hot water.
  10. Always use the services of a professional to do all the maintenance and repair work.

Keep in mind that unless you have the correct qualifications and licenses you should not attempt any repair or maintenance work on your solar hot water system.

Conclusion

If you live on the Gold Coast and have problems with your solar hot water system, then can contact our team to arrange solar hot water servicing for your system

If your hot water unit breaks down, we can install a temporary hot water unit within 24 hours. You can then decide if you want to repair or install a new hot water system.