electric / solar water heater

I have inspected a fair share of home with the ‘usual’ type of solar water heating devices (black sheets or pipes on the roof)

Today’s inspection had a different sent up that I have not seen before. Its hard to discribe so I will load the pictures. The first picture is of the panel on the roof. (a larger version can be seen here: http://www.garibaldiinspections.com/graphics/panels.jpg )

This is the water heater inside the home: (lg picture) http://www.garibaldiinspections.com/graphics/waterheater2lg.jpg

And the top of the unit (lg picture) http://www.garibaldiinspections.com/graphics/waterheater1lg.jpg

Like I said this was a new one for me. It was a pre-listing and I told the HO’s that I didnt have a lot experience with that set up, they said no problem, they had a 3 year transferrable warranty for the system, so dont worry about it.

Well, after I got home this afternoon, I did a little research and cant find a lot of information about this type of system, does anyone here have knowledge of this?



I have what appears to be a similar system.

The Solar Collector on the Roof circulates Glycol.

The Solar Water Heater has an internal Coil that exchanges with the water to provide the heat in the Water Heater.

Pressure gages (if present) indicate the pressure of the water and glycol. Many have temperature gages as well to monitor the related temperatures of the water and glycol.

Service is recommended at 2 year intervals to evaluate / replace the glycol as the collectors and related piping are Aluminum and subject to corrosion.

By looking at the system I posted, can you tell if it is a open system or a closed system? I did not find an additional storage tank, only the water heater.

We do not have freezing temps (one or two nights a year) so I am wondering if this is an open system?

I found a document close to the one you posted here: http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=12850
Same basic information.

Thanks for the information, I appreciate it.

If it were an open system it wouldn’t need the expansion tank seen in waterheater1lg.jpg. Thus it is a closed system.


System appears to be a closed loop by the pictures that you have posted.

Check for a tempering valve on the outlet of the Heater as the water exiting the system (Tank Temperature) can become quite hot thru the course of the day.

Thanks again for the assistance. I am going to be on the look out for ed. classes covering this type of system.