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Solar water heater maintenance: when to do it?

2023-02-16 15:26:50 Click:

When should you take care of your solar water heater?

At the moment, a lot of people use solar water heaters because they help them save money.

Electricity costs tend to be very high, so people try to save money in any way they can, even if it means making a bigger investment for buying solar water heater at the beginning, compare with conventional water heater. It pays off, though, because it saves money in the long run and reduce your carbon footprint.

It's important to remember that a property's value goes up when it has a renewable energy system that will last.

But, of course, all renewable energy equipment needs maintenance, even if it's simple and cheap. If you take care of your solar water heater, it will last longer, which will save you even more money in the long run.

Solar water heaters are said to have a useful life of about 25 years, but this can be longer.

The main parts of a solar water heaters are the solar collectors, also called vacuum tube or flat plates, and the boiler, also called a tank.

The solar collectors heat the cold water that flows through the vacuum tubes and is sent to the tank. From there, the water is stored and sent to the different places in the building where it is used.

This article is about when and how to take care of a solar water heating. Read on and get your questions answered!


Solar water heater system maintenance

At least once a year, the solar water heater should be taken care of. In the steps, the solar collectors are washed and cleaned, the water in the tank is drained, and the solar water heating system controller and electric heater are checked.

If a problem is found during preventive maintenance and needs to be fixed right away, corrective maintenance must be done right away.

During corrective maintenance, the heat transfer fluid pipes are usually checked and fixed, and the glass on the solar panels is usually replaced.

As we already said, preventive maintenance on a solar water heater should be done at least once a year. This time frame may change, though, depending on the devices that will be looked at. Find out more about this point below.


How to take care of a solar water heater

Now, we're going to make a small list of things you need to do to keep your solar water heater system in good shape. All of the steps below should take no longer than 50 minutes, unless broken solar water heater glass tubes or parts are found.

1. Taking care of the solar collectors
Check the solar collectors every six months to make sure they don't need to be cleaned.

All of the dirt that has built up in the collectors must be cleaned out. This will make sure that the tubes can get as much solar energy as possible.

2. Cleaning the solar water heating system in general
Also, you might want to clean up the whole system.

It needs to be carefully looked at to see if it needs to be fixed because of damage, a leak, or any other problem or sign that things are not where they should be.

You might find a broken glass, and this is definitely the best time to fix it. The sooner you can figure out what's wrong and fix it, the better performance you will get.

Almost all leaks are caused by bad handling or mistakes made during installation. So, these services must be done by professional solar water installers or solar water plumbers.

3. The check on the solar system controller
As part of maintaining a solar water heating system,  you should also check the solar system controller. The temperature of the water in the water tank is controlled by these things.

The solar system controller automatically turns on the backup heating or electric water heater inside the hot water storage tank or it turns on the water pump in a system for swimming pools.

If the solar water systems controller is working well, you can move on. If not, you need to figure out what's wrong.

For example, the device might turn on the backup heating water system when it isn't needed, which would cause more energy bills.

Even if the solar water systems work on its own, the consumer needs to know if the controller is broken so that they don't lose money.

Problems with a solar water systems controller take time to show up. Most of the time, they are found on systems that have been used for more than 10 years. This means that the controller is durable and doesn't usually cause problems, even if it is used all the time.

4. Getting the water out of the hot water storage tank
This is usually the last step in maintaining a vacuum tube solar water heater or flat plate solar water heater. Drainage of water accumulated in the hot water storage tank ensures that users will have clean water for their consumption.

Of course, the less heated water is used, the shorter the period for draining, since a lot of stagnant, idle, unused water will be stored, compromising its quality.

If we are talking about a building, a condominium, for example, it is not convenient to dump all the boiler water just to clean the inside of the solar heaters.

But if it's a home, the user can put the hot water in another hot water systems and use it for other things, like watering plants in the garden, washing clothes, the car, the floor, filling the pool, and so on.

Even the water from the public active systems network, which is submitted to treatment by the distribution company, carries impurities that, over time, accumulate in the solar water, since this is where the water remains inactive and stagnant for the longest time.

It is a common fact, which is repeated in saunas and other environments that have hot water storage tanks.


What happens when maintenance of solar water isn't done on time

If you don't do maintenance on your solar heater when you should, it can cause problems. In the hot water systems tank there is damage like advanced wear, corrosion, leaks, and problems with safety systems like safety valves and vacuum breaker valves.

When dirt builds up inside the solar water tank, it can cause corrosion, which shortens the life of the hot water system and lowers the quality of the water used for bathing, cooking, washing dishes, pots, and other things.

When it comes to collecting the sun's rays, collecting devices work best when the solar vacuum tube or flat plates are clean.

So, every six months, you should do preventive maintenance on your solar water heating system like solar water, swimming pool, ect. Even so, annual maintenance is also a good idea in some places and situations.

But keep in mind that you should check the solar heaters system if you notice anything strange before or after six months, like a temperature that is too hot or too low. main in the flat-plate collectors or tube solar collectors and solar water heating controller.

Now you know when and how to take better care of your solar water heating system.

Maintenance of solar thermal systems doesn't cost much or take much time. This means that it doesn't hurt the investment's cost-benefit ratio and payback period. But if you want to be sure, check out how much a solar thermal systems costs.