Service a solar geyser system…yes or no?

This article is about a *natural flow solar geyser system with a flat panel (as in the picture) which we serviced recently.  The question is to: Service a solar geyser system…yes or no?

*natural flow = thermosiphon (it is where the geyser is located higher than the solar water panel and no pump is required to circulate the water between the geyser and the panel).

After a few years of working hard to harness the sun’s energy to heat your geyser water, various factors may play a role in the continued efficiency of your solar geyser system:

The environment and man may have an impact on the need for a service over time.

  • The sun/birds/squirrels may be working away at the *lagging around the water pipes on the roof;  * lagging is insulation material which limits heat loss.
  • We sometimes find that squirrels and/or rats enter the roof space and damage the Geyserwise controller wires and or lagging within the roof;
  • Dust and other material may collect on the surface of the panel(s) and impact on the absorbtion of the sun’s heat energy;
  • Another factor may be that repairs to the municipal water network may result in debris moving into your solar water panels and impact its efficiency;
  • Just after the installation, the new owners are usually very excited to experment with the different options on the timer and over time they forget and then the settings don’t really suit their needs anymore due to changed circumstances in their household;
  • Maintenance work at the house may result in someone stepping on parts of the solar geyser pipework or other parts and damage occurs;
  • Smaller parts (element, timer, pressure control valve, etc.) may be or become faulty, although we stick to trusted parts from reliable suppliers.

We find that the service requirements differ from area to area due to the weather and environmental differences.  We therefore propose a basic service for our existing clients in order to keep the expenses as low as possible.  If we find that e.g. the lagging need to be replaced, we then first discuss it with the client and get his/her approval to replace it.  The basic service has a fixed cost (if we have to travel quite a distance, we will then discuss additional fuel cost with the client beforehand).

This is a solar geyser system we installed almost 5 years ago.

This thermosiphon solar geyser system which we installed almost 5 years ago in Kuils River has been serviced recently & is in tip-top condition again.  We are indeed blessed with happy customers who are reassured that they have a high quality installation and system.  Our installations meet the SABS standards (including all the safety measures as relevant for the Western Cape climate). This geyser (which don’t rust) and flat panel in this picture are designed for our weather and locally produced.

During this service at Kuils River, we drained and flushed the solar panel to remove a lot of impurities accumulated from the municipal water pipeline.  By removing the debris accumulated in the solar panel, we ensured that thermosiphon flow will take place at optimum rate, which results in a higher geyser water temperature through the workings of the sun.

We did the following as part of our standard service plan:

Work includes:

  • Check if geyser and solar panel(s) are still working correctly.  If we find problems and it is still under warranty, then the suppliers are contacted, if outside warranty period, we’ll quote on repairs where possible;
  • Clean the surface of the solar panel (for more efficiency);
  • Flush the solar panel to drain possible build-up of mineral and other deposits;
  • Check and reseal where pipes enter the roof;
  • Check that the element is working correctly and that the timer is set correctly.
  • Explain the settings of the timer if needed (clients may want to alter the settings for winter and summer months or for when they have guests).

Work excludes:

  • replacement of lagging (as you know lagging helps to prevent heat loss from the pipes and if the lagging needs to be replaced, we will contact you while on site and discuss)
  • Any extra work to be done (we’ll contact you when on site and discuss)

Time at your house: ± 60 minutes

Service your solar geyser system ….yes or no?

The benefits outweigh the cost and time.  If you are unsure and have questions, you are most welcome to contact us.

We also provide the client with the following information about the possible savings over the past 5 years.

Your annual environmental savings (conservative calculations) from switching your electrical geyser to solar:  The following savings is calculated from using less coal (coal being burned to generate electricity).

We provide the relevant information (for 150 or 200 liter system), e.g.
You saved the following with your 200 liter solar geyser system:
  • Water used in Eskom turbines: 10.4 kilo-liters (2,07 x 5 years)
  • Coal: 5000kg (1000kg x 5years)
  • Harmful gasses: 22.5 tonnes (4.5 ton x 5 years)
Possible financial savings:

As the electrical geyser contributes between 39% to 60% towards your electricity bill:  your saving may be between R390 to R600 per month per R1000 electricity bill.  At an average of 45%, one can calculate it at R450 per month (per R1000 electricity bill) and the result may be a saving of R450 x 12 months x 5 years = R27,000.  This is just an example and it would be interesting to hear if you have done any calculations.

What if we did not install your solar geyser system, but you can’t find the original installer? Maybe you are not sure whether your system benefits from the sun and is only working with the electricity backup?

We will first inspect whether the installation was done correctly with all the safety measures in place, e.g:

  • When the geyser is installed lower than the panel and there is no pump installed, then the system doesn’t benefit from the sun;
  • Are heat traps installed on a pump system?
  • Does the pump solar system have a 180° heat release valve on the roof?
  • Does your solar system have a tempering valve to saveguard you against burning (solar water can reach temperatures which can burn/injure the user)?
  • Pump system: Is there an intelligent controller to run the pump or is it just running on a PV panel and battery?
  • If the geyser is located inside the roof, are the drip tray and all outlets installed correctly?
  • Is a timer installed and set correctly?
  • Was an isolator installed in the roof?
  • Does the system have a stopcock to switch off the water supply in case of an emergency?

If the system is correctly installed, we can service your system while we are on-site.

If the system is incorrectly installed, we’ll provide you with a quote to make the corrections.

If you require any of our other services, we can discuss your requirements when we are at your property.

Solar Juice services include the installation of:

  • solar geyser systems … more info
  • heat pumps…  more info
  • swimming pool heating ….<a href="http://solarjuice about”>more info
  • 750 Watt solar (PV) swimming pool pumps ….more info

As well as the following services:

  • Service of existing systems (solar geyser, ITS heat pumps, pool heating) ….…. more info
  • Adapt the settings on your geyserwise controller & also show you how to do to it yourself ….

To request a service or quote from us:

Kindly visit or email: or call 083 384 3840

Solar Juice: Service area

Western Cape (Cape Town ,Somerset West, Strand, Gordons Bay, Kleinmond, Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek, Malmesbury,Piketberg, Montagu,  …)  Please ask if unsure