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Leaking Hot Water Tank

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  1. #1
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    Default Leaking Hot Water Tank

    Hi,

    I recently discovered my hot water tank on my roof has a leak. I tried to contact the manufacturer (Sola-Kleen) yesterday but they’ve disconnected their phone. I drove around there today and the place is locked up. The tank still has three years warranty left. The solar panel is out of warranty.

    The tank is made of copper and the leak is coming from the bottom of the capping at one end. Is it possible for me to repair it myself and if so, how? Sealant might not work as the water is very hot.

    Do plumbers repair tanks, and can this be done on the roof?

    Any advice will be welcome.

    Cheers.

    VG

  2. #2
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    Default I got an answer on

    9271 5725...give that a try, it was a few months ago...

    Solakleen I understand were bought by a competitor then closed down.

    My neighbour and I both have one and so far we've had a great 10 year run. (jinx!)
    The neighbour had a leak in the copper tube inside the tank which they replaced for labour only cost, which was still a couple of hundred dollars, and I had the frost valve pack up, not covered by warranty but the guy did tell me where from, which one and organise for me to collect one.

    They are doing their best to honour the warranties, I feel. Bear in mind the parts are covered, but possibly not the labour.
    We bought these over the other local solar hot water brand as where we live some people have had around 3 years out of them. One guy's had five replacements!

  3. #3
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    Default Proposed Repairs by Plumber

    Hi David,

    The number you quoted (9271 5725) is the number I tried and it's disconnected.

    In any case, I've arranged for a plumber who repairs tanks to look at the tank on Monday. His call out fee is $132 for a 15 min consultation. At this stage a few hundred dollars to repair the tank is better than the $2,300 I've been quoted to replace the tank.

    Personally, I haven't had much luck with Sola-Kleen. Copper tanks are soft and tend to damage easily. The previous tank imploded when the vacuum relief valve seized. That tank was replaced under warranty but I had to pay for new valves and $520 labour. When the new tank began to leak, I lost faith in the product.

    I'm glad to read that your system is serving you well.

    I'll update this thread next week.

    Cheers,

    VG

  4. #4
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    Default

    15 years ago I patched up a small copper hot water tank in a commercial property and it's still in use today with no further problems.

    This is a small gravity fed system (electric) that supplies hot water to the toilets only.

    All I used to patch it was some grey silicone that I had on hand at the time, not sure exactly what type it was. And the hole in it was substantial, around the size of a 20 cent piece, caused by galvanic corrosion being in contact with steel since it was installed (not sure how old it is but the thermostat is in degrees F so it's pretty old).

  5. #5
    1K Club Member Random Username's Avatar
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    Default

    J-B Weld epoxy (Masters, about $12) has a continuous temperature limit of about 250 degrees C.
    DIY electrical house wiring details suitable for Australia - http://goo.gl/9d33T (PDF file)

  6. #6
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    Default My wife reminded me we

    did have a replacement internal coil installed at no cost.
    When they were here I enquired as to why it was needed.
    The story was that the German made copper pipe they were sourcing became unavailable...so they changed to an Aussie brand which they suspected was sourced from China...
    It developed micro holes under pressure which allowed for the water from the coil to enter the tank, making the tank overflow...
    Towards the end I suspect quality fell away, either causing or hastening their demise...

    Where is the vacuum release valve? Was not aware of one. I'd like to check that!

  7. #7
    PLU.MBR.BL.DR. bricks's Avatar
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    Default

    A gravity fed system is a completely different beast to a main fed solar unit.
    with potential for super heating, and potential for blocked vacuum and expansion valves, I reckon you should get it looked at by a pro.
    If you dont play it, it's not an instrument!

  8. #8
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    Default sola kleen parts?????

    Quote Originally Posted by David.Elliott View Post
    9271 5725...give that a try, it was a few months ago...

    Solakleen I understand were bought by a competitor then closed down.

    My neighbour and I both have one and so far we've had a great 10 year run. (jinx!)
    The neighbour had a leak in the copper tube inside the tank which they replaced for labour only cost, which was still a couple of hundred dollars, and I had the frost valve pack up, not covered by warranty but the guy did tell me where from, which one and organise for me to collect one.

    They are doing their best to honour the warranties, I feel. Bear in mind the parts are covered, but possibly not the labour.
    We bought these over the other local solar hot water brand as where we live some people have had around 3 years out of them. One guy's had five replacements!
    Hi
    Any chance anyone knows where to buy Sola Kleen parts?? 10year old heater may need new thermostat and coil, cold showers are starting to where thin.
    Cheers Tony

  9. #9
    Golden Member
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    Morley WA
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    Default

    Like you I discovered a leak in my Sola-Kleen tank. When to their location in Bayswater only to discover they're closed up gone, but there were a couple of blokes in the building working on hot water units. They repaired and improved my tank and cost around $1,800 to do so.

    If you haven't discovered already house insurance does not cover for repairs to the tank.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi75 View Post
    Hi
    Any chance anyone knows where to buy Sola Kleen parts?? 10year old heater may need new thermostat and coil, cold showers are starting to where thin.
    Cheers Tony
    Great called up Solar Repairs Perth and by early afternoon I was having hot water again.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi75 View Post
    Any chance anyone knows where to buy Sola Kleen parts?? 10year old heater may need new thermostat and coil, cold showers are starting to where thin.
    I'm not sure about this brand specifically, but many of the smaller water heater manufacturers use the same elements, thermostats etc as are used by Rheem (by far the largest manufacturer of conventional electric water heaters in Australia).

    The point being that Rheem spares are very easy to get - any plumber or electrician certainly can get them and even some hardware stores carry the more commonly needed parts such as elements.

    Failing that, it might be some other "standard" element and thermostat since I doubt that they'd have gone to the trouble of making their own parts like this. More likely they just bought off the shelf elements etc.

    If you are so inclined, then posting a picture of the element and thermostat would be helpful (but only if you are confident that you have the power turned off and won't electrocute yourself trying to take a photo......).

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