A solar water heater is an efficient way to heat water. It’s a cacophony of gadgets and panels, however, and d-i-y repair just isn’t very smart. It’s one of the reasons you haven’t seen much about the technology at home improvement stores.

The idea behind solar water heating is that panels located on the sunny portion of your roof heat water and send it into a storage tank pre-heated. That tank holds the water and when it needs to be used it flows from the storage tank to the water heater. A circulating pump will generate the flow between the tanks and the pipeline from the solar panels.

So you have solar panels that need electrical and plumbing Brisbane support, you have a circulating pump, and two tanks. Additionally, there is an anti-freeze agent necessary to replenish infrequently that is used to keep water in the panels and supporting tank from freezing. It’s administered through another pump on demand.

Solar Water Heaters Are Considered Green Technology
Many plumbing companies have neglected learning the nuances of installation and repair of a solar unit. Changes in the legislature, however, are causing more and more plumbers to get on board – with some stipulations.

As solar thermal expert Bill Shady, P.E., points out in the March 2011 issue of Plumbing & Mechanical, if plumbers and contractors can’t make money on these projects, the market won’t expand. It’s absolutely necessary for plumbers and contractors to become educated on solar thermal so they can in turn teach the community, being assured of products with long-life expectancies that save utility expense. When the plumbing industry does a better job of estimating the economic value and validating the products for long-term use, everyone will want to sell and install this technology.

Home improvement stores that follow demand will find a way to sell uncomplicated units before too long, but safety concerns have trades putting pressure on local government to keep licensed contractors doing the actual installations. If incentives are to be passed out for using solar ‘green’ technology, licenses should be required to ensure the work was done right and homeowners aren’t exposed to undue harm.

As a local resource for plumbing information in the NE Dallas area, I’m contacted almost daily by people needing help with their home improvement projects. I can guarantee that while solar water heating will continue to evolve to become easier to install and repair, at this point it is simply too dangerous to take on as a well-intentioned homeowner.

The bottom line: leave the solar panels to the professionals. Solar water heating systems aren’t for the do-it-yourself crowd.