Many people call me asking if their solar hot water system is working – here’s some helpful hints to check.
If you have a gas boosted solar unit check the following:
- Check the temperature of the tank at the end of the day. This easily done by releasing the PTR valve located near the top of the tank for 10 seconds. This valve also has a copper drain line that extends from the valve to the ground where the tank water can be seen discharging. After releasing the PTR feel the valve to ascertain the temperature of the tank. Be careful as the PTR valve maybe hot . The other method is to capture the discharged water and measure the temp. If the PTR is cold after discharge or if the discharge water is cold then it is likely there a problem.
- Check the pump controller, Some controllers have a light only which glows green when the pump is in operation and red when the pump is stationary. If the light is flashing which is usually red then you may have a problem. Other controllers have a digital display so you should be able to scroll through your digital display to check you solar tanks temperature. Check it at the end of the day when the sun has had a chance to heat the solar tank water again if the temperature is below 20 degrees C then it is likely you have a problem .
Remember in winter the average solar tank temperature is about 25-30 degree C. If your solar tank is at this temperature then it is probably working as it should.
If you have an electric boosted solar
This a little more trickier to check but the first give away that your unit is not working will be the off peak usage is very high
- Check to see if the solar pump is operating (see above) Don’t be fooled though just because the light is green or the digital display shows a pump symbol flashing as if it is pumping doesn’t mean the pump is pumping.
- The easiest way to determine if the solar pump is faulty is to wait for a good sunny day. Turn the solar pump off at the wall and wait for 15mins then turn the solar pump on again but first locate the copper hot/flow pipe that is connected to the tank and collector. It can be located approximately 200mm above where the solar pump is connected to the tank. Immediately after turning the Solar pump on feel the pipe to see if there is any heat sometimes it can take a minute or two for the heated water from the collector to flow through but be very careful as the pipe can be extremely hot. If there is no heat then it is very likely that there is a problem.
If you are uncertain or believe you have a problem call sunworks eco plumbing on 0418124592 or email