How to maintain your solar water heater

how-to-maintain-your-solar-water-heater

The solar water heater is not immortal… Installing a solar water heater is a wise choice for a household, because it provides hot water at a very low cost, most of the day and for many years.

Most of us, however, forget that the solar water heater is an electrical – hydraulic device that manages a large amount of water that contains salts and “up there at high altitudes” is exposed to the weather. So remember that we need to maintain the solar water heater before our solar system no longer heats water as before or not at all.

How often should I check and maintain my solar water heater?

From a technical plumber,– Αποφράξεις Αντωνίου, it must be done at most every 2 years and ideally every 1 year. However, every owner of a solar water heater, even if he does not notice any problem in the operation of his solar water heater, it is good to examine him twice a year. Below we explain in detail why and how.

Is it necessary to maintain a solar water heater?

Yes! After each new solar water heater installation, there is a maintenance process recommended by the manufacturers and there is a new solar water heater installed in the booklet.

Maintenance of the solar water heater is not only necessary to ensure the continuous production of hot water, our safety and the long life of the water heater. Maintenance is necessary to ensure the manufacturer ‘s warranty (5 or 10 years, depending on the case).

Thus, most manufacturers recommend every 1 or 2 years (depending on the manufacturer), to be checked by a licensed technician and to replace the magnesium anode as well as to supplement if the antifreeze-anti-corrosion fluid of the closed circuit of the collector is needed. Only then does the warranty given to us by the manufacturer apply. 

Magnesium anode protects the water tank (boiler) from corrosion. Due to electrolysis and the antifreeze from freezing water and the accumulation of salts in the solar collector circuit.

how-to-maintain-your-solar-water-heater

When is the best time to maintain a solar water heater?

Regular maintenance of the solar water heater is best done in September-October, ie before winter comes. This is because reduced sunshine and low winter temperatures reduce the efficiency of the solar water heater and in fact, less hot water is produced with the help of the sun. 

If we are sure that everything is working properly, the uninterrupted and safe operation of the water heater is initially ensured in order to avoid a fault that will suddenly leave us without hot water.

Also, if the solar water heater operates at maximum efficiency, we save money because we will not need to turn on the electricity often to heat the water.

What other work can be done when maintaining a solar water heater every 2 years?

The technician who checks our solar water heater every 2 years, must also check the other parts of the solar water heater to judge if some small or even bigger repairs are needed.

During the regular maintenance of the solar water heater, the technician will do the following:

  1. checks pipes, fittings, flanges for any water leakage, or whether they are loose or worn. Any damage is repaired.
  2. controls the boiler and resistance for the accumulation of salts and mud or corrosion. The inside of the boiler is revealed anyway when the magnesium anode is replaced. If the accumulation of salts and mud is intense, the boiler and the resistor are cleaned. It is recommended to clean the boiler every 5 years so that you always have the maximum efficiency.
  3. checks the safety valve (pressure relief) if it has a salt buildup and if it is working properly. If it does not work properly it must be replaced.
  4. controls the insulation in the water pipes. If damaged, they are replaced to protect the entire system from very low temperatures.
  5. checks the electrical circuit to see if the thermostat and fuse are working. If there are loose or damaged joints and to repair them.

Can I, as the owner, do something to ensure the proper operation of my solar water heater?

Yes of course! To ensure the longevity, continuous efficiency and safety of the solar hot water system, each owner must inspect and maintain the solar water heater twice a year. Preferably in April and October. 

The controls and maintenance that the solar water heater must do on the owners themselves include:

  • the maintenance of the solar panel
  • check for any water leaks
  • protection from very high temperatures
  • protection from very low temperatures

Maintenance of the solar collector

First, we need to look at the crystal of the solar collector. It must have no cracks at all, be clean of leaves, dust, etc. and not in the shade.

If the crystal is broken even a little, it must be replaced immediately because the entire solar panel system can be damaged. In this case, we cover the crystal with plastic and call the technician to replace it.

If there are trees that have grown and cast their shadow on the solar panel, then make sure they are pruned so that the collector receives the maximum amount of solar radiation it can receive.

If there is dust or leaves on the crystal of the solar panel that has not been washed away by the rain, then wash the crystal with lukewarm water and dishwashing liquid and remove them. Be careful, not in time with intense sunshine, so that intense contractions do not occur- expansions.

how-to-maintain-your-solar-water-heater

 Check for water leakage

We check the piping, connectors and flanges of the solar water heater. Is there a water leak or are the connectors and screws loose or worn?

We check the safety valve on the boiler. Has a lot of salt accumulated around her? This may have affected its operation and may not be activated.

Water leakage from the safety valve is normal. If it is not done continuously and if the amount of water leaving is small. If we know how to do it, we can see if the safety valve is activated by pressing the lever with a tool.

Finally, we have in mind any water leakage, even small, in all plumbing that brings hot water to our home, as well as in taps.

In any case, the damage must be repaired to prevent further damage to the solar water heater or a sudden failure that will leave us with no hot water at all.

Protection against high temperatures

In the summer months, if we see that the temperature of the hot water is too high or if we do not use a large amount of hot water, then we cover part of the solar panel with an opaque cover (eg cardboard), starting from the bottom of the collector…

During the summer we are on vacation, we cover the entire surface of the solar panel with an opaque cover. So that the collector is not strained for no reason by the high temperatures.

Protection from low temperatures

We make sure –Αποφράξεις Αντωνίου Αθήνα that the level of antifreeze in the collector circuit is regularly checked and supplemented.

We check that the insulation in the water pipes is always in good condition.

In cold weather, if the water in the water pipes is frozen, we do not turn on the solar water heater.

So if we regularly check and maintain the solar water heater, it will provide us with uninterrupted hot water for many years. And we will have earned the maximum depreciation for the investment we made!

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Common Plumbing Mistakes To Avoid

Common Plumbing Mistakes To Avoid

Plumbing is one of the important procedures that need to be carried out during construction. It is a task that requires a lot of skill and concentration. It is one of those jobs where the professionals cannot afford to do even a small mistake.

Whether it is a house or any building for that matter leaking pipes or stagnating water is the last thing that anyone wants to have. In this article, we will see the common plumbing mistakes that need to be avoided.

Common Plumbing Mistakes To Avoid

Vents and Traps

One of the common things that are being overlooked is having a proper vent in the basement. At times it is easy to combine vents, but before doing it make sure that the state building code allows it. Also, understand that every trap requires a vent.

If there is no vent for a trap, then there are good possibilities that the water can be siphoned which leaves the trap useless and dry. If you are using a trap for the sink opt for the P-trap which is the perfect choice for the sink.

Inadequate slope

We all know that too much of slope is never good. If the slope is too much, we have to keep hitting the floor on a daily basis. At the same time if enough slopes are not provided, then the water flow to the drain will not be perfect.

Some amount of water will be stagnated, and we might have to push the water manually for it to reach the drain. Hence it is mandatory to provide enough slopes so that the water and some solids dissolved in it reach the drain without any hindrance.

Inadequate Clean Outs

When it comes to cleanouts, there are a lot of things that might go wrong. The two common mistakes are the inadequate number of cleanouts and the wrong location of the cleanouts. As per building code cleanouts are not necessary above the first floor.

But depending on the design of the lines it would be better if you can add some cleanouts. At the base of the sanitary stack, a cleanout is mandatory. If the change of direction in the line is exceeding forty-five degrees, then a cleanout is a must.

Space around toilets

Just because you need the hall and the room spaces to be more, it does not mean that you can reduce the space of the toilet. There should be a minimum space of fifteen inches in the side and eighteen inches in the front.

This is because if there is any major issue in the toilet that needs to be treated, space around will make the work easier for the individual.

  Pressure relief valves

As the name states, the pressure relief valves are required to relieve the pressure that is built up in the pipes. These drain piles are closed structures with a constant flow of liquid.

There are good possibilities that pressure might build up in certain areas which are not good for the draining process. Hence enough pressure relief valves must be fitted for the flawless working.

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Interesting Fact About Plumbing

Interesting Fact About Plumbing

We all know that plumbing is a job that involves a professional who deals with pipes, taps and other equipment. The reason why so much importance is given to plumbing is that it is one profession where a simple mistake can cause huge problems.

It might be a minute water leakage from the trap of liters of water coming out of the drain; plumbing issues is the kind of problem that we do not want to face. For people who know to plumb as just a profession, here are some of the things that you need to know about plumbing.

Interesting Fact About Plumbing

The Pyramids

Many might think what pyramids have to do with plumbing. Well, actually sources have said that there are plumbing works that can be found in pyramids.

The Pharaoh Sahure who was the ruler of Egypt from 2517 to 2505 BC had a copper plumbing system that was used to drain the water in the temples after cleaning it.

Babylonian Factor

If you are thinking that the modern plumbing method is a very recent invention, you are terribly wrong.  It was the Babylonians who invented these methods almost four thousand years ago.

Whatever plumbing methods that we are following now are just a mere improvement or the upgraded version of the method that was invented by the Babylonians. Their practice was way ahead of its times that included properly constructed public toilets, drainage collections and a lot of other aspects.

The lengths we have gone

There was a time when copper pipes were very much confined with royal people. But later it became very common because the demand became too high. From the earlier 1900s to date the length of the pipes that we have used for plumbing is so much that it can be circled the entire earth two hundred times.

Plunger types

Interesting Fact About Plumbing

There are good possibilities that you might have thought that there is only one plunger. But the truth is that there are two types of plungers. They are flat bottomed plunger which is used for the showers and narrow bottomed plungers that is used in the toilets.

Gallons and counting

When a tap is dripping the first thing that hits our mind is the annoying feeling that it creates. But there is a bigger problem that never comes to our mind.

In just eight minutes a dripping tap can fill a full glass. If we do the math, that accounts for 2160 gallons every year. If water from one tap can make so much just imagine the amount of water wasted from taps all over the world.

Albert Einstein and plumbing

You might think what this world-famous physicist has to do with plumbing. Well, do not put too much thought into it. He was made as an honorary member of the plumbers and steamfitters union after he stated that he would love to be a plumber.

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Drain Clogged Sink

drain-clogged-sink

Pouring chemical drain cleaners down your pipes shortens the life span of your pipes and exposes you to potentially harmful vapors. As an alternative, natural drain clog removers loosen up and eat away at the pipe’s buildup without emitting toxic chemicals. The ingredients for a natural drain clog remover are commonly found in your kitchen pantry. Otherwise, call professional plumbers (υδραυλικοί Αθήνα).


Baking Soda and Vinegar

Like a science experiment, the combination of baking soda and vinegar creates a new chemical, carbonic acid, which creates a bubbling sensation that eats away at gunky pipes. Use 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of white vinegar to clear out clogs, followed by running the faucet to rinse the pipes.

Salt

Salt, when added to hot water, clears out drain clogs in metal pipes. According to Earth Easy, mix 1/2 cup of salt with 4 liters of water and heat on the stove. Be careful not to boil the water, and slowly pour the mixture down the drain. Run the hot water after pouring the solution down the drain to clear out any remaining buildup.

Boiling Water

The heat from boiling water loosens up hair, grease and soap scum that builds up in your drain over time. Heat 2 to 3 cups of water in a pot on the stove, and slowly pour the boiling water down the drain to clear out clogs without resorting to chemical drain cleaners.

Plunger

Fill the sink or tub with 2 inches of water, and plunge the drain with the plunger to force the clogged substance to the surface, according to Ace Hardware. The small level of water in the sink or tub acts as a sealer when plunging, and drains out of the sink once the clog is removed.

 

The Ultimate Shower Drain Clog Remover

 

Long hair and shower drain do not mix well. I found this out the hard way. I have long hair and enjoy long showers; therefore, I found myself purchasing a bottle of drain de-clogger at least once a month or so.

I tried liquids, gels, foams, every product and brand available, it seemed. Nothing worked for long, even those most expensive products with MAXIMUM STRENGTH or PROFESSIONAL FORMULA splashed across the label on the bottle.

I’d find myself showering in ankle-deep water after just a few minutes under the spray. Finally, I spotted a product called the Zip-It Strip at my local hardware store. Desperate for anything to help me solve this recurring and most annoying problem, I decided to give it a try.

The Zip-It Strip is a flexible, flattened piece of coated plastic, about eighteen inches long and about the width of a small pencil. It has a loop at one end to use as a handle and serrated teeth all along the shaft that point upward toward the handle.

Following the directions on the package, I held the loop and slowly inserted the other end into my clogged drain as far as I could. I wiggled it briefly, and then began to pull it back up slowly and carefully.

A few months ago, I received the Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner, complete with shower caddy, from a marketing company to test.

I practically ran to my shower to install it since cleaning the shower ranks up there with cleaning the toilet for me. I must confess, June Cleaver keeps a better house than I ever could. The idea of a set it and forget it mentality really appealed to me.

 

Who doesn’t want to save time cleaning?

 

The instructions were very simple: push the button after your shower, pull the curtain shut, and let the Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner do all of the work for you. A housewife’s dream come true!

The dream come true turned out to be dream gone bust. The Automatic Shower cleaner did not work as promised. Instead, it left a gritty, white residue on my shower walls, not to mention my shampoo bottles! Upon a cursory glance, the shower appeared clean with no sign of mould or rust stains.

The white, gritty residue was not noticeable on the white walls unless you inspected closely and actually did a touch test. Unfortunately, the residue also adhered to the metal spigot and drain, leaving unsightly water marks. While I did save time “cleaning” my shower, it really wasn’t clean.

I decided to try Mean Green Bath, Tub & Tile Cleaner to see if it would be able to remove Shower Cleaner build up and return my shower to the smooth finish that it had before I began using the Scrubbing Bubbles product.

The product instructions directed me to spray the shower, let it sit and work for 3 minutes, and then wipe it off. I sprayed my entire shower, fixtures and all, and waited three minutes before returning to clean it with a damp cloth.

The serrated teeth did their job well, and out came a hamster-sized wad of hair and slimy gunk! I threw the mess in the waste can and re-inserted the tool in my drain.

This time the mess that came out was considerably smaller and less slimy. After three insertions, no more hair came out of the drain. Clean up was very easy; I just squirted a little bit of liquid soap on the strip and held it under running hot water until all traces of gunk were gone.

Since then, I have had NO more problems with the shower drain clogging! I use the Zip-It Strip once every six weeks or so in my shower and sink as preventative maintenance, and I have never had another clogged drain. This handy little gizmo that cost less than the price of one bottle of drain cleaner (it was only $2.49!) has completely solved my problem.

Storing it can be something of a minor challenge, since it is too long for most bathroom drawers. I have mine hanging on a hook inside the linen closet door. It is an indispensable tool that no household should be without!

Either way, literally anyone can restore their septic system, but if you think it is a difficult task, then you should call a professional handyman.

 

Read more:

Common Plumbing Mistakes To Avoid

Interesting Fact About Plumbing

 

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