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Solar hot water systems are an excellent choice if you want to create a more eco-friendly home and save money on your energy bills. However, just like any other hot water or heating system, it requires maintenance and occasionally repairs to keep it in good condition. People are often tempted to try and solve any problems that occur on their own, hoping to save money and possibly some time too. But if you want to ensure that everything goes well, you should use a professional instead of trying the DIY approach. If you have a solar hot water system, here are some of the things that could go wrong and how to deal with them.

Circulating Pump Issues

The circulating pump for your solar hot water system can cause a variety of problems. If it’s not behaving as it should be, it can be annoying or result in wider issues for your hot water. Some things that might occur include the pump running all the time, not running at all, or coming on and off during the night. If your circulating pump is always running or not running at all, it could be because of a few different things. The pump might not be plugged in, or there might be a problem with the solar controller. If you find the pump sometimes runs during the night, the cause might be a difference in temperature between the system and a leaking lower valve. Replacing the check valve can solve this problem.


A leak in your solar hot water system could be the result of several problems too. If the temperature and pressure relief valve is leaking, it could cause dripping from your roof. A new valve or seal can fix this. Solar panels can also leak, often due to burst pipes due to cold weather or excessive pressure on the system. Pipe fittings and valves that have deteriorated, been damaged or were not fitted properly can also cause leaks within your hot water system.

Hot Water Problems

If you’re not getting enough hot water from your solar system, it’s not doing its job properly. Sometimes this is because of an issue you can easily fix yourself, such as changing the position of your solar panels. However, it can also happen because of problems like a leaking check valve or sensor wires not being connected correctly. A professional service contractor can take care of these issues for you, first diagnosing the cause and then repairing any problems they have identified.

Sometimes, a solar hot water system might not produce any hot water at all. The auxiliary heater or mixing valve could be to blame, or there could be electrical problems. A lack of power to the heating element or a broken element or thermostat might need to be repaired or replaced.

Issues with Solar Panels

Without solar panels, your hot water system would be pretty useless. So if you’re experiencing any problems with them, you need to get them repaired straight away. One of the main issues that occur with solar panels is broken glass. When it breaks, you can choose to replace the glass or the whole solar panel. Both can be expensive options, so it’s worth weighing up which is the best choice.

Another problem you might find you experience with solar panels is that the glass feels hot to the touch. This shouldn’t happen and could indicate absorber is losing too much heat. Your solar panels are less efficient than they should be and you need to find the cause to help them perform better. There are a few things that could make this happen, including the pump not working properly, something not being connected as it should be, or perhaps scale buildup.

Noises in the Water Tank

Noises coming from your water tank might sound like knocking or banging, and can be very annoying. If this happens, it might be because you have it set so that the pump goes off when the sun is still shining. This can fill the tank with steam, due to making water boil in the panels. Apart from changing the settings on your controller, you can make some adjustments to your system. You could install an automatic cooling thermostat or a tempering valve for better control. An extra storage tank also allows you to save more hot water.

If you have any issues with your solar hot water system, get it serviced by a professional. You can’t put a price on having someone who knows what they’re doing take care of it.