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Solar hws excessive leaking

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Canberra
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    4

    Default Solar hws excessive leaking

    Hi all
    We have a spilt system solar hws installed just over a year ago. We've been noticing a lot of water run off and pooling in the backyard lately from a small water tank connected to the down pipe but as it is only in the mornings, we put it down to roof condensation from the frost overflowing the full tank. Had guests stay recently who complained about the constant water noise in the roof above them all night.(guest room is directly under the panels), which we had heard before but had put down to water trickling in the pipes as we could never find a leak in the daytime.
    It was a very overcast and frosty morning last week when was out at clothes line very early and could hear that same water running noise. Turned around and saw water running out of a pipe thingy on the side of the panels. Not dripping, a steady flow too.
    So that night in the freezing cold, took the downpipe diverter hose out of the water tank and into a 10ltr plastic bucket. Went back out 10-15min later and it was full. Have taken water meter readings and we're missing about 700 ltrs between 12 and 7am.
    Now, the warranty guy who's number is on the side of the tank insists that this is normal. He launched into a whole spiel about water freezing and expanding and breaking the panels if it isn't recirculated and dumped when the air temperature is below 10 deg. I kept reminding him that it's a lot of water flooding my backyard but he says that what happens in Canberra. Oh, and if it is still running in november/December then to call him back.

    Surely, surely this is not right? Has anyone else heard of this happening? People wouldn't be installing these things if there was that much water usage? Or have I been duped and installed the wrong sort of panels for the Canberra climate.
    And by getting a plumber in myself to fix it, will it then not be covered under/or void the warranty?
    (Sorry for the long post)

    TIA

  2. #2
    1K Club Member
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    Sydney
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    1,272

    Default

    700L in one night - that's like 100L per hour. That's a ridiculous amount of wasted water that he's claiming is normal. I can't see how anything like that would be "normal" or legal if it wastes that much water.

    I would expect a few litres from the situation you describe (and the reasoning) but not a constant flow of nearly 2L/minute.

  3. #3
    Apprentice (new member)
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    Oct 2009
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    Canberra
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    Default

    Oops, sorry meant to say that 700ltrs between 5pm and 7am (as we had filled a 240ltr wheelie bin from 5-12 and added that to a meter reading of
    the rest of the night.
    Which is still a lot though.

  4. #4
    Resigned SilentButDeadly's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    Not here...
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    It's broken. Get your installer back. The frost has probably blown either a fitting or a little blow out blanking disc.

    Truth is though that your system should be set up to EITHER re-circulate a small amount of warm water through the panels when it gets really cold to prevent just this occurrence OR have a frost valve in the panels - if not then your installation isn't best practice....so your installer isn't either.
    Joined RF in 2006...Resigned in 2020.

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