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Problem #1:

Water running from solar tank into Relief pipe onto the ground via copper pipe outlet

Water Running

Water Running

Water Not Runnings

Water Not Running

Cause:

Most solar units have a safety valve on the roof tank which opens when the unit is overheating from either excessive booster heating or the sun on hot days. The temperature or pressure relief valve will open to release hot water, allowing cooler water to enter the tank and reduce the water temperature. This prevents any damage to the tank and the valve should close automatically once the tank temperature has cooled.

Solution:

If after tank has cooled and the valve has not closed to stop the running water, check the booster switch is not on. Ring Solar Repairs Perth on 1300 975 677 for further advice.


Problem #2:

Tank ends or covers opening up

Tank ends opening up

Tank ends opening up

Tank ends repaired

Tank ends repaired

Recommended repair tape

Recommended repair tape

Cause:

This is a common problem as some unit’s age. The insulation between the inner water tank and the outer ‘skin’ tank of the unit can expand as the insulation matures.

Solution:

If the unit is out of warranty, it is a good idea to reseal around the gap to prevent any water seeping into the inner casing and causing pre-mature corrosion to the tank. Be careful of the electrics and hot water pipes. Ring Solar Repairs Perth on (08) 9200 4331 for professional repairs.


Problem #3:

Panel has a small water leak.

Water leaking from bottom left corner

Water leaking from bottom left corner

Replacement new panel

Replacement new panel

 

 Cause:

This will only get worse. Corrosion from some water types gradually eats into the absorber sheet within. Leaking warm water reduces the effectiveness of water heating and you may need to use your booster more than normal.

Solution:

Ring Solar Repairs Perth on (08) 9200 4331 before your hot water bills get out of control.


Problem #4:

Booster not heating water and electrical fuse keeps blowing or circuit breaker trips

booster

corroded element on left and new element on right hand side

Cause:

Electrical boosted solars have an element built into the tank. The element can deteriorate exposing the heat coil to water which then causes the fuse or circuit breaker to trip-out. If the fuse or circuit breaker does not trip-out, this may result in a fire.

Solution:

Leave the power off to the solar unit and call Solar Repairs Perth to replace the element.


Problem #5:

Booster not heating water

faq-pix02

Corroded thermostat on left and new thermostat on the right hand side

Cause:

In most solar hot water units the Thermostat senses the temperature of the water and automatically turns on and off the power to the booster element. Some types of thermostats have a Reset switch. If the booster is not used for long periods of time, the Reset switch can ‘stick’.

Solution:

Call Solar Repairs Perth to replace the Thermostat and check the condition of the element. Note: this work requires our appropriate electrical licence.


Problem #6:

Solar HWS only heats with the booster on. It does not seem to be heating from the sun.

Remove glycol pipe with spanner

Use recommended transfer fluid (ie, glycol)

Top up panel with new transfer fluid

Cause:

Some Solar HWS, particularly those designed for ‘frost areas’ have a transfer fluid (Glycol) between the collectors and the heat exchanger in the tank. If that Glycol fluid leaks out, the water in the tank cannot heat up.

Solution:

This is a specialist fix. Solar Repairs Perth can repair the leak and replace the Glycol, getting you back into hot water.


Problem #7:

Leaking water from solar fittings.

Seal leak

Seal replacement – new and old seal show

Seal replaced

Cause:

Not all seals and fittings or valves last forever! Different types of water (bore, mains, dam or even rainwater) cause varying degrees of wear and tear.

Solution:

Solar Repairs Perth on (08) 9200 4331 has a full range of solar fittings. Our years of experience will provide the best type of fitting for your situation. For instance some brands of solar HWS have either rubber or fibre seals on their connections, which is best for you? Caution: DIY changing of seals can be dangerous; hot water under pressure can cause severe burns.


Problem #8:

Solar HWS units are heavy.

Cause:

Water is roughly 1 kg per 1 ltr, so a 300 litre solar HWS is 300 kgs. Add the weight of the copper fittings and the unit itself; that is a lot of weight to lift. Most home roofs are designed to support solar HWS, but your plumber can suggest the best position for the location of your unit to not only be more efficient but also to ensure your roof will support it.

Solution:

Solar Repairs Perth are qualified plumbers with years of solar experience. They have purpose designed light crane trucks to do the job safely. Call them now on 1300 975 677.

heavy solar hot water system

Example of specialised crane truck and safety harnesses


Problem #9:

Which company do I get to repair my Solar HWS ?

Cause:

Plumbers are a busy lot, some specialise in drainage, house layouts, bathrooms etc.

Solution:

Solar Repairs Perth specialises in solar Hot Water. Remember (08) 9200 4331 for solar repairs.


Problem #10:

Solar unit with tank on the ground not heating from the sun

Plug in a test light

Cause:

Low Line solars (as they are called) have a pump which circulates the water from the two panels when the sensor in the panel sense a temperature higher than that in the tank. The water flow the panels and returns to the tank.

Solution:

It may pay to check the power point the pump is plugged into to see if it working. Plug another appliance (say a portable light) into that socket and check to see if the light is working. It could be that the pump ’tripped’’ the power. In which case call Solar Repairs Perth for licenced electrical repairs to you pump.


Problem #11:
spaceship valve

Old style Sheppard’s crook in low pressure systems to release rising hot water (Can be upto 3 meters high)

Low pressure solar flow out of pipe rising from roof (Sheppard’s Crook)

Cause:

Older in-roof tanks or solars fitted with a wood fire heater sometimes have a copper pipe about 3 meters in the air to allow for water expansion, this is commonly referred to as a Sheppard’s Crook. They have a low pressure reducing valve called a ‘spaceship’ valve due to the look of the valve. This reduces the mains pressure to approximately 35 kpa. When the valve seal starts to leak or perish over time, the outlet pressure of the ‘spaceship’ valve will become higher. In turn this forces the water up the Sheppard’s Crook and out the open end to stop the mains pressure damaging the solar hot water unit or wood fire heater.

Solution:

‘Spaceship’ valves are available from Solar Repairs Perth, give them a call for a replacement.

Example of the replacement Spaceship Valve (about 150mm high)


Problem #12:

Low or no pressure out of the hot taps.

Cause:

This may be caused by dirt or scale building up in the line strainer (filter) to the taps supply water to the solar.

Solution:
faq-pix05

Either the isolation tap and in-line filter on the left, or the filter in the tempering valve on the right may be blocked

Call Solar Repairs Perth to clean out the flow lines on the solar unit. Warning, these lines contain hot water under pressure and may cause severe burns.


Problem #13:

Plastic solar hot water systems (like the Solatech Genius, pictured below) has low or no pressure on the hot tap.

Cause:

Most of these units have a low pressure inlet via a float valve setup to reduce the pressure in the tank and panel. On the hot outlet of the Solatech, a pressure pump is installed to return the hot supply back to the house at a higher pressure. Wear and tear on the pump or faulty sensors can reduce the hot pressure or fail to turn on the pump.

Solution:

Call Solar Repairs Perth to discuss your options.