Solar Geyser Installation, Repairs and Maintenance
Insulation is Key
During winter, one of the primary causes of heat loss in solar geysers is inadequate insulation. You should insulate the piping, the storage tank, and the collectors to retain heat. Inspect these areas and add additional insulation if needed. Use special plumbing foam insulation tubes designed to insulate pipes. A geyser blanket can keep the tank insulated. Make sure to insulate the valves and fittings as well.
Check the Antifreeze
Solar geyser experts recommend the use of closed-loop solar geysers in areas where temperatures drop below six degrees or zero (snow and frost). Closed-looped geysers use antifreeze in tubes to convert the sun’s thermal energy into heat, heating the water up using a heat exchanger in the storage tank.
Low antifreeze levels can lead to freezing, which can damage your geyser. Antifreeze loses its efficiency over time, and home owners need to replace it at least every 3-5 years. As a home owner, you can’t monitor the antifreeze solution in closed-loop systems because they operate under pressure.
Consult a solar heating professional before winter or at least once a year as part of your regular repairs and maintenance plan.
Regular System Flush
Minerals and sediments can build up over time, reducing your solar geyser’s efficiency, and potentially leading to blockages or corrosion.
To perform a flush, you should first shut down the system. Next, attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the storage tank. Open this valve and let the water run until it becomes clear. When the water that runs out is clear, it is a sign that the flush is successful.
If your system uses a heat transfer fluid, you should engage a professional for servicing because this fluid often contains antifreeze, requiring proper disposal. After the flush, the solar technician will refill the system with fresh heat transfer fluid.
In addition to flushing, regular maintenance should involve checking for leaks, making sure all valves and pumps work correctly, and assessing the solar collector for any damages.
Remember, conducting regular flushing and maintenance on your solar geyser increase its lifespan, ensures its efficiency, and helps avoid expensive repairs or replacements in the future. It’s a crucial habit for every solar geyser owner.
Angle Adjustment. The sun sits lower in the sky during winter, and adjusting the angle can help the collectors capture more sunlight. If your solar collectors are adjustable, consider changing their angle for winter.
Protect from Wind. Strong winter winds can significantly cool the system and reduce efficiency. If possible, provide some wind protection to the solar collectors without blocking the sunlight.
Regular Professional Check-up. Even with careful maintenance, some problems require a professional touch. Scheduling regular check-ups with a solar geyser specialist can help detect and resolve issues that might go unnoticed.
Monitor Performance. Keep an eye on the geyser’s performance. If you notice that the water is not as hot as usual or the hot water supply runs out faster, it may be a sign that something is wrong.
Backup Plans. Despite best efforts, solar geysers might not provide enough hot water when it rains or is cloudy for days, even weeks. You may need a backup gas or electric geyser when there is no sunshine.
By employing these maintenance tips, your solar geyser should run smoothly throughout the winter, providing you with a steady supply of hot water while reducing your environmental footprint and saving energy costs. Remember that while basic maintenance can be performed independently, don’t hesitate to seek professional help for complex issues or regular check-ups to prolong the lifespan and efficiency of your solar geyser system.
If you need guidance or assistance with your solar geyser units, please give Roy’s Plumbers a call.