Basic Solar Water Heater Maintenance
Many homeowners in the Honolulu area rely upon solar power to have hot water within their homes. This isn’t surprising, as Oahu enjoys as many as 275 days of sunshine annually, with longer average days than the rest of the country. Utilizing sunshine as a resource with solar hot water heaters saves many homeowners a considerable amount of money, as Oahu faces some of the highest energy prices in the nation.
While solar water heaters are not particularly complicated machines, they are still more difficult to service than the average hot water heater. Homeowners should trust certified technicians for most major maintenance and repairs to their system, but there are a few simple tricks that can help preserve the life and effectiveness of systems by a considerable amount. Below are a few simple and useful techniques to try on your system.
- Check the tank. Most solar water heating systems utilize an insulated water storage tank within the home that functions in a very similar way to traditional water heaters. When checking this piece, ensure there are no leaks from loose seals, fittings, valves, or pumps. If you hear any high pitched noises or smell any burning odors, then it is best to contact a plumbing and heating technician immediately.
- Inspect the surface of solar panels. Since the solar panel is key to heating the water in your home, it is necessary to inspect the surfaces of your panels regularly. Check for and remove any built up dust that may have accumulated on your panels. Inspect panels for cracks or chips that may have occurred, and contact a technician for repairs if necessary.
- Be doubly sure the sunlight reaches your panels. Whenever you check on your panels, it is best to ensure that sunlight is reaching your panels throughout the day. If there are any plants or tree growth shading your panels, then the efficiency of your system is compromised. Consider removing any barriers between your panels and continuous sunshine.
These simple maintenance items may not sound like much, but they can go a long way in preserving the life of your system. We also recommend getting an annual maintenance checkup annually, with a more in-depth maintenance about every 5 years.