How Do You Maintain a Solar Water Heater?

As with any piece of equipment or machinery, solar water heating systems need to be inspected regularly and maintained properly for best results. Taking care of your solar and radiant heating system in Columbus, IN isn’t especially difficult, but you may want to have a professional come out and do the work for you—if anything needs to be repaired or replaced, they’ll be able to handle it on the spot.

Solar water heater inspection tasks

You should always refer to your owner’s manual if you have questions about what’s normal for your system and how often you need to have it inspected. Typically, your repair technician will perform the following tasks:

  • Collectors: Making sure your collectors are clean and in good condition is an easy task that you can perform yourself. Clean off the collectors and look to make sure they’re not excessively yellowed, cracked or otherwise damaged. You should also monitor the amount of sun the collectors get, and trim back any trees or shrubbery that cast shade on them.
  • Roof installation and supports: Make sure all the hardware, such as nuts and bolts, are tightened and in good condition. The support and flashing around your collectors should be clean and not showing signs of excessive wear and tear.
  • Storage: Make sure your water storage tanks are in good condition—look for rust, corrosion, dents, cracks and other wear and tear that could affect its operation and function.
  • Pumps and blowers: Can you hear the pumps or blowers working after the sun rises? If you don’t hear them working, they may be malfunctioning—have a repair technician come and check the system right away.
  • Fluids: Your antifreeze usually needs to be replaced every few years. This is a task for a repair technician. At the same time, they can add a mineral descaling fluid to your system, which is useful for anyone with hard water.
  • Plumbing, wiring and ductwork: Finally, make sure the connections, seals and insulation in your plumbing, wiring and ductwork systems are intact and not showing signs of cracks or other wear.

Keeping your system free of corrosion and scaling

Water heaters (both solar and traditional) tend to see mineral buildup, called scaling, over time. Scaling occurs anywhere hard water travels, and can affect your system’s performance. Clogged pipes, valve failure and pump failure are all common if you have hard water, so finding an appropriate descaling solution is key to keeping your system running.

Corrosion is the other major problem with solar water heaters—it doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does, it’s usually because two dissimilar metals have come into contact with each other. Galvanic corrosion then occurs, and this can compromise your equipment. If oxygen enters the system, you may see rust, unless your system is designed with plastic, rubber and other non-reactive materials.

If you’re interested in installing or having us maintain your solar and radiant heating system in Columbus, IN, call Barr Plumbing Service, Inc. today to schedule an appointment.

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