Solar Water Heater

Solar Water Heater is not Heating: 5 Common Issues

The solar water heater is a crucial piece of equipment in the house. It supplies hot water. Home appliances can break down or malfunction at any time, and a solar water heater is no exception.

When the solar water heater’s efficiency turns to zero, a question comes to mind: “Why is my solar heater not heating?” There are many reasons why a solar water heater stops heating water. When the solar water heater’s efficiency turns to zero, a question comes to mind: “Why is my solar heater not heating?” In those cases, the water heater test helps you to find the reason why a solar water heater stops heating water.

Below is a brief explanation to help demystify the solar heating system. Continue reading to find out the main five common reasons why your solar heater is not heating.

What Is a Solar Water Heater and How Does It Work?

A solar water heater can be defined as a device that concentrates light energy from the sun to heating water. Today’s modern solar water heater panels have digital controllers. Michael Diginovic, electric at Smile HVAC tells that in order to operate, it transforms the sun’s heat and uses it to heat your water.

This trapping of heat occurs by directly heating the water or heating a particular chemical known as glycol that conserves the heat energy and transmits it to the water. Below are a few issues that may help an individual understand the failure of the water heater.

5 Common Problems with a Solar Water Heater

5 Common Problems with a Solar Water Heater

  • Wrong Settings

Today’s modern solar water heater panels have digital controllers. The digital controllers help regulate heat, what time the electrical boosters kick in, and the temperature the water should be heated. Low heat from the sun affects the performance of these boosters.

One may not get hot water at the required time if the controller settings are not in line with the requirements. Some of the symptoms include; getting an adequate supply of hot water on hot days. However, on cold days, there is no supply of hot water. In this case, you will need a water heater repair pretty soon after your purchase

  • Wrong Orientation or Location of the Roof

Location is about two instances that include either the wrong location geographically or the wrong location within your compound. Geographically means that one is in an area that hardly receives high temperatures. This means that the solar water heating system may not be your best solution to water heating.

This doesn’t mean that all forms of solar are not applicable in the area. Meager light may still allow solar PV (photovoltaic) that works by capturing light and converting it into electricity, unlike the solar water heaters that trap the captured ambient heat and convert it into electricity. Having a solar water heater panel in your rooftop’s shadow areas is one example of a poor location within your compound. For optimal performance of your solar water heater, direct radiation is required. In my case, the wrong orientation is the main issue.

  • Wastage of Hot Water

Wastage of hot water is one of the reasons why my solar heater is not heating. Once water is warm, it is stored in a solar water tank insulated to help reduce heat loss. The hot water in the tank should be used sparingly as the storage is always limited. Use of the water by your domestic workers for other purposes other than bathing is a waste of the heated water.

If you need warm water for your shower, then do not use the hot water to wash your sleek vehicles or irrigate your lawn early in the morning, as this may cause a shortage of solar-heated water. There is always an equal amount of cold water that gets into the cylinder for every drop of hot water that gets out. This leads to a further cooling of heated water.

  • Wrong Installation

Aesthetics has become a significant concern for clients making it quite a trend to conceal the water tank. Specific parameters, unknown to the client and the novice installers, should be adhered to well during the solar water heating system installation. For instance, there is a maximum height difference set between the top of the tank and the solar water heating panel. Such parameters need to be followed accurately.

Lately, many artisans in the streets are claiming to be experts in solar water heating system installation. Though many of them are qualified by experience, they always tend to let their informal assistants do the job. These result in the pipes’ faulty connections between the panel and the tank and may result in no hot water from the solar panel.

Another significant factor to put into consideration is the distance the hot water has to travel. This distance should be reduced and, where necessary, ensure the pipes are lagged to reduce heat loss.

  • Purchase of Poor Quality Solar Water Heater

There are many elements that one needs to consider while purchasing a solar water heating system. Quality is one of the first elements that one needs to check before buying a solar water heater. The goodness or the badness of a product is essentially its quality.

To understand the product’s quality, one has to know how well the product meets specific needs. An online review can help you get answers to such a question. Besides that, every person has a budget, but it does not mean getting a low-quality product is a way to go. If one happens to buy a product that malfunctions or breaks down within a short time, they will have to replace it soon.

Always monitor hot water usage and stop wastage. Ensure that you still use contractors that have been registered by relevant bodies such as the national construction authority or the energy regulatory commission. This ensures proper installation of the solar water heating system.

It is imperative to have a qualified technician to assess your climatic conditions. Sometimes it may be a waste of resources to install the water heating system in some areas. It is also imperative to check on the sizing of water tanks as they come in different shapes and sizes. In such a case, one needs an expert to assess the requirements and the size of the solar.

Finally, it is always good to avoid buying low-quality equipment. Our market today offers a wide variety of solar water heating equipment. Although they all use solar to heat the water, it is essential to note differences in quality.


Always ensure that after purchasing the solar water heater, you ever read the manual. This is helpful as it ensures the proper usage of the equipment.

To provide the required time to heat, always adjust the start time of the boosters. If you set the booster time now, it is impossible to get hot water in the next ten minutes. If you cannot solve the issue, call a professional HVAC company.