Check your solar hot water system now

The recent cold weather damaged solar hot water system. Picture: DONGYUN KWON

By Dongyun Kwon

While the local community was shivering from the cold weather, even solar hot water systems found it hard to survive from it.

Healesville resident Ian Enting found water spilled out from the roof of his house in the morning on Wednesday 3 July, the day when Healeville reached 0 degrees Celsius.

Mr Enting said the plumber confirmed that the solar hot water system didn’t have a frost pressure relief valve to deal with the cold weather.

“He disconnected them from the mains supply and we no longer have solar water heating,” he said.

“We bought this house about three years ago with the solar panels.

“We will not possibly get the new solar panels because the warranty doesn’t cover the installation costs.”

Solar Choice chief executive officer Jeff Sykes is encouraging community members to check their solar hot water system to prevent Mr Enting’s case.

He said good quality solar hot water systems are built for the climate in Yarra Valley and even much colder, so this type of issue would be rare.

“Homeowners could check the brand and model of their solar hot water system and check that the operating temperatures are suitable for the location or have the system inspected by a plumber,” the CEO said.

“Where there are issues, it would be a great idea to consider upgrading to a good quality hot water heat pump as there are three separate rebates that can be claimed to reduce the upfront cost.

“Very important that they consider a good quality brand as the cheaper brands will run into similar issues in cold Yarra Valley winters.”