Installing and Maintaining Solar Water Heater Systems

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Solar water heater installation

Solar water heater systemsThe proper installation of solar water heaters depends on many factors. These factors include solar resource, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues; therefore, it’s best to have a qualified Santa Cruz solar thermal systems contractor install your system.

After installation, properly maintaining your system will keep it running smoothly. Passive systems don’t require much maintenance. For active systems, discuss the maintenance requirements with your local Santa Cruz solar water heater system consultant.  Plumbing and other conventional water heating components require the same maintenance as conventional systems. Glazing may need to be cleaned in dry climates where rainwater doesn’t provide a natural rinse.

Regular maintenance on simple systems can be as infrequent as every 3–5 years. Systems with electrical components usually require a replacement part or two after 10 years. Learn more about solar water heating system maintenance and repair.

When screening potential contractors for installation and/or maintenance, ask the following questions:

Plumbing Pro Tip of the Week

Tip #1  Does your company have experience installing and maintaining solar water heating systems?  Choose a company that has experience installing the type of system you want and servicing the applications you select.

Tip #2  How many years of experience does your company have with solar heating installation and maintenance?  The more experience the better. Request a list of past customers who can provide references.

Tip #3  Is your company licensed or certified?  Having a valid plumber’s and/or solar contractor’s license is required in some states. Contact your city and county for more information. Confirm licensing with your state’s contractor licensing board. The licensing board can also tell you about any complaints against state-licensed contractors.

PLUMBING TRADE SECRETS:  After your water heater is properly installed and maintained, try some additional energy-saving strategies to help lower your water heating bills, especially if you require a back-up system. Some energy-saving devices and systems are more cost-effective to install with the water heater.

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Scott Duncan


  1. Avatar for Scott Duncan Hot Water Cylinders New Zealand on October 11, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Good article. In my country all the plumbers need to be licensed so this is something to look out for.

  2. Avatar for Scott Duncan Penelope Smith on October 4, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    My parents have been thinking about getting solar panels soon. So, it is cool to know that they can be used with a water heating system. It is good to know that the system will need to be maintained every 3-5 years.

  3. Avatar for Scott Duncan Brand New Hot Water Cylinder on December 17, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Great advice here, thanks heaps for the blog post!

  4. Avatar for Scott Duncan Sam Li on February 25, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    I appreciate what you said about water heaters with electrical systems and how they require a replacement part or two after ten years. When it comes to the actual installation of a water heater, it’s important to work with a reliable contractor that has received proper training. If I were to install a water heater on my property, I would make sure to call a plumbing service in town that can ensure it’s properly connected to my home’s water system.

  5. Avatar for Scott Duncan Sariah Meagle on May 14, 2019 at 4:48 am

    As far as I know, the climate in our area is good enough for the installation of a solar water heater. Thanks for mentioning that proper maintenance is essential for these systems so I’ll be sure to ask a company about these types of heaters and if they can install one in my house. Since maintenance is only about 3-5 years, I’m sure that it’s going to be a big money saver once I get one.

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