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Author Topic: Solar hot water system problem  (Read 8243 times)

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Offline Corylus

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Re: Solar hot water system problem
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2013, 11:48:58 PM »
Hello folks. What a day, I've been plumber hunting but like all good badgers they seem to go to ground when they are alarmed. Enn, you are right on the button. That's exactly what I need. An experienced solar plumber. Easier said than done. A good test is to ask them how a 5 way valve works. The word gets round and they disappear.

Robbo - an interesting post. Again, you've nailed it. We obviously didn't need this installation in the first place. We don't use nearly enough hot water to merit it. When ordinary mortals buy something like this they are at the mercy of the "expert" who has all the information. In hind sight, I would have liked to have been asked about our hot water usage, the reliability of our power supply and whether there were any problems with the water supply. Better to lose a sale than end up trying to sort a problem like this one. I bet he's sorry now! I know we are.

One of life's little ironies is that in summer when your hot water cylinder is simmering in the airing cupboard and you have more hot water than you know what to do with, all you want is a cool shower :-) I have to say though, that the 20 tube panel is barely adequate in winter. I suppose a lot depends on the orientation of your house. We have an HRV which is the best thing we've bought for decades - it just happens to suit our home. But other people aren't so lucky.

The pump has an isolating valve and a non return valve before and after, to allow it to be removed "for servicing". Is this what you mean by a "check" valve -  the non return? Could such a thing suddenly develop a fault? Between breakfast and lunch? Not sure how fast the cold water is getting in to replace what it chucks out. I simply couldn't get it to function today without just losing water out on the roof (metred water I may say). So I screwed the Ajax down 20 half turns and shut the cold water off, let the collector heat up good and hot, set the pump on 3 and let her rip, Worked a treat. It raised the whole tank by 9įC from a late start. Nearly made up for it losing 10į overnight due to the controller going psycho again. I don't blame it mind. No computer likes being put on and off as this poor thing has to put up with. Talking of which I'd better go and put it to bed. 'night all.

Offline Corylus

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Re: Solar hot water system problem
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2013, 12:04:29 AM »
Integrated - you wanted to know the height of the exhaust above the solar. I've attached a pic. The collector is barely visible, but I'm sure you'll be able to identify it. The cherry tree had to go.

Offline Badger

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Re: Solar hot water system problem
« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2013, 07:11:55 AM »
Not gone to ground, just doing a job blind, with out seeing it, could end badly, more than happy to have a look if you are top of the South Island.
You can't choose who you are.....but you are the sum of your choices.......

Offline Corylus

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Re: Solar hot water system problem
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2013, 05:53:16 PM »
Yes well. That makes a whole lot of sense Badger. I'd do the same.

I'm in Blenheim. Does that help? Come for lunch. What do badgers eat?

While I'm here, I'll attach a diagram of what I was expecting when I got a Solar hot water heater, never having heard of 5 way valves. So what's wrong with this idea apart from it a bit messy in practice?

Offline Badger

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Re: Solar hot water system problem
« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2013, 07:02:00 PM »
Sorry I am in Takaka and Badgers eat a dollar a km and $60 per hour door to door for a specially requested one off trip.

Like I said happy to have a look, and if I was passing or had a big job in the area I would be more than happy to pop in to have a look see for nothing, but I do have to cover costs for a full day and travel other wise.

Offline Corylus

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Re: Solar hot water system problem
« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2013, 08:38:50 PM »
:-) You do make me laugh Badger. Which is nice. I wasn't expecting miracles! And you'll be glad to know I've managed to flush out a plumber at last and I like the way he's thinking.

Any time you're passing through though you are welcome to come and see the inside of my airing cupboard. I might even have a spare 5way valve I can give you for your collection of spare parts!

Thanks for the smile.


Offline Badger

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Re: Solar hot water system problem
« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2013, 10:19:03 PM »
All good, I really do hope you find a solution and I would be very interested in how it is rectified and what the cause was, as would all the guys on here I should imagine.

Through sharing the knowledge we can fix these problems and learn to help the next person who's stuck.

All the best, if I am passing through Blenheim I'll let you know...

FYI.. badgers also eat slices of pecan pie, choccy biscuits with a nice cup of tea. ;)

Offline robbo

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Re: Solar hot water system problem
« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2013, 11:06:36 PM »
Hi guys/Corylus, as badger says we do hope that you have found someone who can help you. As you have found out this forum is very friendly and helpful (unless we are talking about the `pgdboard`) I think that we could award you some C.B.Licencing points for all the knowledge that you have now gained.  Just remember that like beer there are no bad plumbers itís just that some are better than others , good luck with the fix,cheers

Offline Corylus

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Re: Solar hot water system problem
« Reply #38 on: May 15, 2013, 03:20:32 PM »
:-) Thank you both. Indeed, thank you all. You have made such a difference. I was feeling quite abandoned and now I have found new friends, not to mention upgrading my knowledge  a zillion percent. That's what was so hard. I couldn't get anyone to either tell me what I needed to know or to criticise my own thinking. You need to know when your ideas are rubbish huh? And they were at one stage. Utter nonsense. I read my early notes and musings now and laugh. I should write a book.  Fifty Shades of Plumb? The Ins & Outs of a 5way Valve? Plumbing for Elderly Ladies? (Nah don't like that one) Friends in Unlikely Places? Debunking the Solar Myth - does it really save you money?????? (Answer - NO!) Denbunking the Solar Myth 2. Does it really save the environment? or how to use/lose more hot water than you ever did before.

:-) again. Off to check the HWCupboard for recent developments.

Great website. Best thing ever.


Offline Badger

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Re: Solar hot water system problem
« Reply #39 on: May 15, 2013, 05:20:15 PM »
 :D

Offline Corylus

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Re: Solar hot water system problem
« Reply #40 on: May 15, 2013, 05:23:08 PM »
Choccy bikkies and cups of tea always available Badger. Can't promise the pecan pie.  It's a long way from Takaka, but I have hopes. One of these days. . .

Offline Victor steel

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Re: Solar hot water system problem
« Reply #41 on: May 22, 2013, 05:00:17 AM »
If there is a discharge of more than 10 liters per day from any of the systemís valves, it indicates there is a problem that requires a service call.

Offline Corylus

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Re: Solar hot water system problem
« Reply #42 on: May 22, 2013, 06:13:37 PM »
Thank you Victor s. That's a useful thing to know. How would I measure it though? I've had the council check my meter and they weren't particularly alarmed by our usage. I bet we'd be losing at least that amount if I didn't run around like a headless chook trying to prevent it though. We are first off the village water supply and other people can't get water if we waste it, so I've been desperately trying to avoid inconveniencing them.

I'll have a word with my water usage contact in the council and let her know this fact. I'll give her the latest reading and see if there's a spike.  Very useful. Thanks

When you say "service call" - do you mean from the council or from the installer?


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