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  • #16
    Re: Thoughts on solar hot water heaters

    Impeller in the circ pump may be shot after 20 some years.
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    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
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    • #17
      Re: Thoughts on solar hot water heaters

      OK. It looks like it is a glycol system and all of the glycol leaked out of it. The gauge is only reading 4 psig. I'm thinking it is bone dry and the gauge just needs recalibration. Well, what are your opinions on this thing? I guess I have been wasting money on the small pump running. There are two motors in this thing. One is a small motor at the bottom of the heat exchanger. A magnet is attached to the shaft, so I think it turns an impeller within the heat exchanger through the magnet. I have never heard the other pump run although the light on the control says the pump is running and the small motor is running. Can someone give me a quick explanation of the sequence of operation of this thing.









      The heat exchanger is right above the small motor pictured.
      Last edited by fronty; 06-07-2007, 09:45 PM.

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      • #18
        Re: Thoughts on solar hot water heaters

        Get rid of it , put your money into a tank-less unit if you want to conserve on energy. In the long run this unit is just going to be a headache. My 2 cents
        THE GLASS IS ALWAYS HALF FULL

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        • #19
          Re: Thoughts on solar hot water heaters

          If you decide to switch to a tank-less system get estimates now, so you can decide whether to keep it inside or not. If you put one outside you will want the roofers to take out the flashing for your old gas heater ,if there is one (seeing as I have not read the whole thread).
          THE GLASS IS ALWAYS HALF FULL

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          • #20
            Re: Thoughts on solar hot water heaters

            Fronty, I have some bad news for you.
            Your pictures tell me alot about your system and it isn't good.
            The pump has been running without Gylcol. Pump is dead for sure. No pressure in system means theres a leak somewhere. Relief valve on rooftop has never been changed may be the culprit of the leak or maybe the corroded boiler drain. Look closely at the pump wire housing; is that black soot from an electrical short? The small back motor below heat exchanger is extremely dirty and was probably never oiled every several months as it should have. I'd doubt if it worked at all. With all of these issues combined with cloudy panels I'd rate this system about a 3 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being excellent. It could be saved but you need to have an expeirenced solar mechanic evaluate it. $600-$800 just for the things that I know are wrong with it and that's being conservative.

            ~Bill

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            • #21
              Re: Thoughts on solar hot water heaters

              Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
              Fronty, I have some bad news for you.
              Your pictures tell me alot about your system and it isn't good.
              The pump has been running without Gylcol. Pump is dead for sure. No pressure in system means theres a leak somewhere. Relief valve on rooftop has never been changed may be the culprit of the leak or maybe the corroded boiler drain. Look closely at the pump wire housing; is that black soot from an electrical short? The small back motor below heat exchanger is extremely dirty and was probably never oiled every several months as it should have. I'd doubt if it worked at all. With all of these issues combined with cloudy panels I'd rate this system about a 3 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being excellent. It could be saved but you need to have an expeirenced solar mechanic evaluate it. $600-$800 just for the things that I know are wrong with it and that's being conservative.

              ~Bill

              Yes, it looks like an electrical short. I killed power to it. The only motor that I have seen run is the small motor below the exchanger. Do you know what this motor is for? Are you saying $600-$800 if I did the work or if I hired someone to do it. I used to work in the HVAC field, so I would feel comfortable replacing the motors, etc. I guess I would have a ton of questions in regards to the glycol. Where to buy, how to charge the system, etc. Now, I'm kind of pissed that I never had the thing running for a long time. I don't really even know how much it would have saved me. I'm actually kind of intrigued. I wouldn't mind getting it running. I just don't want to lose money getting it running/ not get a pay back from lowered utility bills.

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              • #22
                Re: Thoughts on solar hot water heaters

                Fronty,

                All your solar questions can be answered here : http://www.solarexpert.com/dhw-heat.html


                Good news, up to $2,000 tax credit if new solar system installed by 12/31/07

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                • #23
                  Re: Thoughts on solar hot water heaters

                  sure looks like a domestic system to me. i don't see a heat exchange or glycol?


                  all i see is an expansion tank.


                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

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                  • #24
                    Re: Thoughts on solar hot water heaters

                    At 800 bucks you are already a third away from installing a tank-less unit. Plus if your holding tank goes out any time soon which it probably will, you will have spent close to the install price of a new noritz installed(in most cases). Look on line and compare the savings. Not to mention think of the space you will free up by removing the holding tank. Also think in the long term maintenance and up keep.
                    THE GLASS IS ALWAYS HALF FULL

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                    • #25
                      Re: Thoughts on solar hot water heaters

                      Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                      sure looks like a domestic system to me. i don't see a heat exchange or glycol?


                      all i see is an expansion tank.


                      rick.

                      The heat exchanger is above this motor. It looks like a car radiator/ air conditioning coil (aluminum fins).

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                      • #26
                        Re: Thoughts on solar hot water heaters

                        Originally posted by fronty View Post
                        The heat exchanger is above this motor. It looks like a car radiator/ air conditioning coil (aluminum fins).

                        I would like to see a good pic of this external heat exchanger because it should be inside the tank. I guessing it's an supplemental component used to heat this space with that small dirty blower motor.

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                        • #27
                          Re: Thoughts on solar hot water heaters

                          Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                          I would like to see a good pic of this external heat exchanger because it should be inside the tank. I guessing it's an supplemental component used to heat this space with that small dirty blower motor.

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