Clearwater Plumbing & Heating Ltd have Essex plumbers, Gas Safe registered heating engineers based in Grays.
Using the sun’s energy to heat the majority of your hot water is widely considered to be the most cost effective and energy efﬁcient system. However, a badly designed or installed solar system can often waste more energy that it will ever save. The Solar Repair Service specialises in making existing systems run efﬁciently, reliably and cost effectively. Solar heating have been installed in the UK for more than 40 years, sometimes to very high standards, and others by organisations who understood or cared little about the quality of the equipment and installation, who have probably ceased trading.
Solar Hot Water System Glycol Check
As part of your service we also check the level of the glycol based heat transfer ﬂuid in your solar heating system as maintaining the correct level is crucial to your system’s eﬃciency. We use a borescope for this operation and either replace or top up the system as required because the glycol can deteriorate over time. During this phase of the service we also carry out is a full system check for possible airlocks.
There are solar systems where the pipes will need a complete cleaning, these are usually systems that been subjected to a lot of over heating and rendered the anti freeze properties of the glycol to zero, a "Top Up" of glycol in concentrate form will very rarely work to bring the properties back to the recommended -30°C.
Other systems can have the pipes and manifolds blocked by glycol that has been subjected to intense heat causing it to form a crust or "plug" preventing any transfer fluids from circulating around the system. The solutions to the above are two entirely different processes:
Changing out the transfer fluid (glycol mix) usually involves draining down the system, flushing it through with clean water and re-filling it with a new prepared blend of glycol and water to achieve an anti freeze level of -30°C
Where pipes, manifolds or tubes are blocked or partially blocked the best results can be achieved by power flushing the solar system using specialist chemicals from companies like Fernox. It is important to have the flushing process carried out as soon as you recognise there is a problem because transfer fluid that has formed crusts causes further damage to the system as it can be very acidic, it can also cause problems to the valves, expansion vessel, flow meter etc. The process is best described as forcing a high speed jet of solution through the system, the system is not pressurised at any time therefore should any damage occur it will most likely have been caused by the acids in the damaged transfer fluid and not the flushing process.
Solar Thermal Panels Service Schedule
During our service schedule we go through a full pipework check which involves making sure that all the pipes are correctly covered with Armaﬂex insulation. We also ensure there are no leaks or kinks in the pipe work which would cause the solar thermal hot water heating system to fail. Additionally we check the pipework for any damage that could have been caused by pests such as birds, especially pigeons, rats, mice and squirrels. If your system is not clean then it may have problems with functioning. In checking that your system is clean, we help you to avoid this issue and make sure your system keeps running smoothly.
Low pressure is the most common fault that we ﬁnd in domestic solar hot water systems and will cause you to experience low eﬃciency or total failure and is often caused by leaks or damaged pipe work. To rectify any issues with pressure we ﬁrst need to ﬁnd out what the issue is and then we can work on ﬁxing it. If it is an issue with a leak, ﬁrst we will need to locate the leak and then we can cure it. After this is completed we will need to add pressure into your system. An Alternate but equally important problem is checking that all the pumps and expansion vessels are sound and do not have any pressure leaks.
While it may look like you have no pressure in your solar hot water system, you could still have a fully operational unit, it may just be your controls that aren’t working. We frequently ﬁnd that the sensors in a unit are faulty and that is the only problem that that customer will have. To ﬁx this we initially ﬁnd the faulty unit, and then we can replace it. To make sure that the new sensor is working we fully test the system. If you think that you have issues with your sensor then do not hesitate to contact us. While we do say that it is usually the only problem, there have been cases where a fault sensor has lead to system failure.