Solar Hot Water Heater
The best decision I ever made was to install a solar hot water heater.
That was 7 years ago. When I had my children at home it would cost me as much as $280 a month with gas bottles
to use the hot water & heating. We would always run out on the weekend, so cold showers were typical at
If you are unsure of turning completely too alternative power, I highly recommend you start
out by replacing the hot water system first, through your own experience you will have an idea of which way
you want to go and this can be done on or off the grid.
My friend Jim, installed his solar hot water heater with out
connecting it to electricity, and he has never had the need to. That was 3 years ago, although he lives in a
location that has a large amount of sun and there is only the two of them. You might want to take ideas like
Jims into consideration when you assess your own requirements.
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I have a booster switch which is a back up system of electricity and seldom have I ever used
it. My hot water system has saved me an average of $3,600 a year, that’s 7 years worth approx $25,200 in
savings, it has easily paid for itself.
Points to be considered wether you do it your self or have a company to install
Lack of sun
Access for maintenance
· Make sure your panels are erected towards the sun for best effect.
· If located in an area with frost and dark days, you can either install a booster
if you are on the grid or establish a battery system.
· If water quality is an issue install a water filter to your system or main dwelling supply. I
recommend people invest in a water filter as calcium can attach itself and cause problems.
· Prevent corrosion (rust). Apply a protective coat over the metal surface. What is corrosion?
Corrosion occurs when oxygen is allowed to mix with metal & water.
The only maintenance I have with my solar hot water heater is to replace my anode every 3
to 5 years. It is made from magnesium and attached to the metal within the tank and in contact with the
water. This small part is a tool to help prevent corrosion. If the booster doesn't get used you may get
problems with that too. But I have never had that experience.
Overflow pipe: Be aware where you place your over flow pipe, I visited a man where the pipe
was directed at the front entrance of his house. I was suprised by this as it was installed by
a qualified contractor. When the water heated to it’s peck it spluttered with steam, if you are the
bystander, you may get seriously injured. However most have it fixed to a dead area of the dwelling.
I thought it best be mentioned for safety. If this does happen, it is due to you not using the available water
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