How to Convert an Electric Water Heater to Solar

How to Convert an Electric Water Heater to Solar

How to Convert an Electric Water Heater to Solar

photo: jeremykrill.com

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A water heater can consume a lot of electricity and is one of the appliances in your house that costs you the most money. I personally have a tankless water heater which only heats up the water when I need it. I have saved about 33% on my water heating by switching. If your water heater is in need of repairs, cleaning, or other maintenance, seeking professional Water Heater Service is a one-time cost that will ultimately allow you to save money over the long term because your water heater will use less energy to heat water and deliver it faster for less overall waste. Learn more here on how you can properly maintain your water heater in good condition.

But if you are interested in getting off the grid or just to reduce your overall electricity bill then this quite simple DIY solar project could help you do just that. It is a myth that solar water heaters don’t work that well in the winter but that isn’t true at all.

Check out this amazing tutorial, if you don’t have the time or money to get this done this year bookmark or print off so you have the information available when you can.

How to Convert an Electric Water Heater to Solar

These step by step instructions walk you through the process to ensure that your conversion from electric to solar power is a success.

Step 1

Examine the top of your water heater to see if there is a second spout. If there is not, you will need to obtain a water heater conversion component. Attach this component at the bottom of the water heater to the cold input line. If your water heater has a second input spout, then that spout will be the new hot water input.

Step 2

The second step is to physically install the . There are different types of water heaters. Choose the one that best suits your needs. Flat late collectors are a popular choice due to their adaptability to different environments. If you’re looking for a relatively simple system, you might go with a batch heater, however these are not ideal in very cold climates. If this conversion is for an industrial application or multi-unit building, your best bet would be an evacuated-tube collector, as these are the most efficient and pricy. Install the solar water heater somewhere with plenty of strong sunshine, such as the roof.

Step 3

The next step is to connect the water heater to the solar heater. There should be an input low on the side of the solar heater. Reroute the cold water through a pump to that input. There should also be a hot water output on top of the solar heater. Connect the hot water output to the new input on the water heater.

Step 4

You will need to install a sensor, separate from the one on your electric water heater. The sensor should respond to temperature fluctuations within the system and trigger the pump.

Step 5

Install a pressure release valve on top of the solar heater and near the output of the water heater. The old heater will retain the same output spout.

Step 6

This final step is unnecessary for those in very warm climates. Fill the solar heater with an anti-freezing fluid and connect the heater to a heat exchanger. If you are configuring your solar water heater in this way, then you will need to route the water line through the heat exchanger instead of through the solar water heater. Otherwise, the system setup is as described.

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