Top 4 Major Solar Water Heater Breakdowns

Solar water heaters are popular options among people who live in sunny areas, and those who want to save money. On the other side, like alternative heaters, they are not deprived of malfunctions, issues, and breakdowns that require finding a contractor to fix them. Let’s cover the top 4 major solar water heater problems you might come across, and ways of solving them.

Why Choosing Solar Water Heaters?

A solar water heater works by providing hot water heated by sunlight. It both fits residential and industrial applications. Among the most common benefits when choosing such units are:

  • Their efficacy. Logically to say, a solar-powered water heater works thanks to the sun, which is free, and the unit has less carbon footprint. Therefore, if you live in areas with excessive sunshine, this unit is a go-choice.
  • Extremely easy maintenance. You do not have to proceed with maintenance obligations similar to other water heaters. Circulating a water softener is required only once in 3 years.
  • No noise. If you look for units that do not produce much noise, a solar water heater for the pool is very quiet.
  • Not many accessories. For powering your house with this unit, you will need only 2-3 solar panels.

At the same time, it is worth introducing you to some cons to balance the characteristics of a solar hot water heater. 

  • It’s quite expensive. Even though solar heaters seem a good investment which you may enjoy through a few years, the primary installation might make you throw money down the drain.
  • Sun is in charge. It won’t be very effective if you live in areas with not much sun around. Once you find a contractor, you may learn more about the relevance of choosing this unit for your household.
  • Only for water. A solar water heater only heats water without powering other electrical devices.

As you may see these units have many advantages, however, their few perks regarding the price and potency may hint you to choose other systems. Now, let’s move to the actual problems of using these heaters.

4 Drawbacks of Solar Powered Water Heater, and Their Solution

It does not produce hot water

Some users mentioned that a solar water heater continues working but without producing hot water. The reason for such strange outcomes may be poor weather days or damage to the panels or thermostat. If you do not have a backup heater, by finding a contractor, you may find out the cause and solve it. Otherwise, in case of weather, you should wait for sunny days.

What to do? First off, you should check whether panels are correctly placed to receive solar energy. Secondly, ensure the panels are clean from leaves and dirt. And, thirdly, overlook the thermostat settings. If it does not work still, finding a contractor is the only option.


Your solar heater may come across major leakage when a collector or pipe is broken or when the pressure relief valve is open. In some cases, leakage is the outcome of faulty pipe fittings. 

What to do? Before finding a contractor, check the pipe fittings, and if needed replace the damaged pipes. Then, look over the glass on damages. You may also check the thermostat settings to reduce the pressure in the system.

Strange Noise

As was said above, the solar-powered water heater does not produce much noise, hence, if you hear any strange noises, there might be some issues. If the noise comes from the pump, it may be sediment buildup that should be cleaned. Another possible reason is the bearing failure.

What to do? Clean the sediment, debris among others. In case of bearing failure, lubricate the bearing with an appropriate lubricant. If all these measures are useless, proceed with finding a contractor, as you most likely need to replace the pump.

Solar panels damage

You may notice that your solar panels have broken glasses. Otherwise, the panels coating or paint have deteriorated. On some occasions, the damage may hide deep inside the unit which is impossible to detect.

What to do? In this case, finding a contractor is the only option, since you have to replace the glass or the entire solar panel.

If any of the mentioned problems are not similar to the ones you are currently having, you should go for finding a contractor to determine the issue. It is highly recommended to abstain from changing the settings of the solar water heater if everything works smoothly. Furthermore, it is not recommended to proceed with fixations of the problems if the above-mentioned measures turned out to be useless. All the further efforts to fix the breakdowns may result in unexpected expenses and total damage to your solar units.

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