Solar hot water cylinders (often cold twin coil or dual fuel cylinder) store the heat that is produced by solar heating panels. Your solar system heats the water that you use in your house. However, some cylinders may start to leak after a number of years. Unfortunately, this may mean that the replacement of the solar hot water cylinder is necessary.
The three main problems that may occur with solar cylinders
- When the solar coil is perforated, antifreeze under pressure travels through the coil and into the domestic hot wholesome water. This is often evident by the fact that hot tap water smells ‘oily and burnt’. Sometimes you may find and an oily brown residue in the water itself.
The antifreeze that was originally used was probably non-toxic. This is, however, a serious cause for concern. In this case it is nearly always recommended to replace the cylinder. Occasionally, though, other alternatives are available which we would need to assess.
- The cylinder itself may leak water. This is often from where the pipes are brazed to the cylinder’s copper walls. Repairs are occasionally possible but replacement is recommended.
- Probe pockets leak. These can normally be capped or replaced and there is no need for a cylinder replacement.
Solar Cylinder replacements – the process
If your twin coil solar cylinder needs to be replaced, your solar system needs to be drained first. Once temporarily decommissioned, your cylinder needs to be drained, ready to be replaced. When the new cylinder is in place and reconnected, we recommission your solar system. This is often also the right time to assess the condition of your system and give your system a service. We can organise both the cylinder replacement as well as the recommissioning of your solar system.
We often deal with cases where the cylinder and plumbing in a customer’s property is insured by British Gas or other providers. In these cases, we work with the assigned heating engineer to make the process as seamless as possible.