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Solar panel system maintenance

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  • 13-03-2022 6:31pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 704 ✭✭✭


    I inherited a Wagner & Co solar panel heating system with the house and need to do some maintenance as the hot water has a bad smell and is discoloured. There's a 10 litre empty container next to the control panel but it's in German. See attached screenshots. I'd appreciate if anyone can help. Thanks




Best Answer

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,910 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk


    First of all the water in the solar panels never mix with your "hot water" It just uses a coil to transfer the heat, So unless something is seriously wrong with your hot water tank the odour and discolouration isnt coming from the solar.

    Maybe the hot water got stagnant in the tank, If you flush the hot water system eg run the water out of it and down the drain and replace it with fresh water.

    The empty jar must be the antifreeze (gylcol) that was put into the system the last time it was serviced.



Answers

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,485 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger


    I'm guessing that the discolored water could be because it's sat there for an extended period of time . When you say "I inherited ... " is this a house that you recently have purchased and perhaps the water has been sitting in the tank for 6+ months?

    Have you tried flushing the system, i.e. running the water to make sure that all the dark water has been replaced. This may take some time depending on the size of your tank.



  • Registered Users Posts: 704 ✭✭✭Logo


    Thanks bllit_dodger. The house was unoccupied for an extended period. I have flushed the hot water system a few times but maybe more flushes needed. Any chance you'd know what the 10 L container contained - disinfectant maybe?



  • Registered Users Posts: 704 ✭✭✭Logo


    Thanks graememk. I'm flushing the hot water system again now so will see how it goes. If the problem persists I assume that a plumber is the best point of contact - or maybe a solar panel service...



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,113 ✭✭✭John mac


    what's the cold water in the bathroom smell like ? could be the tank in the attic something has fallen in and died ...

    best check it .



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,485 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger


    I've a place in France that sits idle often for 6+ months at a time, and like you regularly see brown water when I get out there. With covid and lockdowns and what not, I wasn't there for ages and that's why it prompted me to think that it's just been sitting there idle. It's regular enough apparently when I looked into it before.

    The problem of course is that running the taps etc just "dilutes" the brown water in the tank. What you really want is to drain the immersion/heat exchanger tank, and then refill it.....but even just running the water for an extended period should clear it after you run a couple 100's of liters. I'd be 99% sure it will go away if you run enough water.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 704 ✭✭✭Logo


    Thanks for the replies. I'm going to flush the hot water tank for a few days more and see if it improves. The cold water seems okay (hopefully because I've been drinking it). Thanks again



  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,910 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk


    you wouldnt normally be drinking the water out of the tank, eg kitchen tap is straight off the mains.

    Do check the cold water tank too.

    and if you do have a cold water tank, most hot water cyclinders have a drain on them where you can connect a pipe/hose, so turn off the water to the cold tank, and drain it completly, then refill, will avoid most of the mixing.



  • Registered Users Posts: 298 ✭✭spose


    The container is propylene glycol



  • Registered Users Posts: 704 ✭✭✭Logo


    Thanks for the helpful replies. I checked the cold water tank in the attic but it seems okay. Flushing the system seems to have minimised the colour but the metallic-like odour remains and is staining the bath (see attached pic). I've cleaned the staining with bleach with some success. Any ideas are welcome. Thanks




  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,910 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk


    I'd try something acid based, eg vinegar, citric acid etc ( look for descaler)



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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,015 ✭✭✭con747


    I have a deep well and when I moved in years ago the water was orange from the Iron in it, and the smell wasn't great either. I would get a bottle and fill it with the cold tap from the source and leave it settle a day or two and see what it looks like to discount the supply as the problem. Mine would turn rusty orange after a day or so. Well treatment upgrade sorted it for me so it depends where your getting your supply.

    Don't expect anything from life, just be grateful to be alive.



  • Registered Users Posts: 704 ✭✭✭Logo


    Thanks con747. The water is supplied from a well so that might be the problem. I'll flush system for another few days and see how it goes (the drinking water from the same well is perfectly drinkable)..



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,015 ✭✭✭con747


    Leave the water sit in a big bottle for a day or so, mine "looked" ok until settled. A well water test can be done for about €150 or less from the likes of Fitz Labs in Drogheda if you want to check the condition for drinking purposes. You can also avail of a well treatment system grant every 7 years and can have other works done under the grant scheme so check it out.

    Don't expect anything from life, just be grateful to be alive.



  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,910 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk


    Ah.. around where I am it's called spa!

    We have it in field drains, when it's moving it's perfectly clear but if it settles the iron starts to drop out.


    Nothing wrong with it though just looks bad.

    It will take a while to clear the tank.

    A water softener may mitigate it too.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,391 ✭✭✭dathi


     There's a 10 litre empty container next to the control panel but it's in German


    it looks like they have used the empty glycol container to catch any discharge from the prv valve if the system overheats and pressure builds up the valve opens and lets some of the solar fluid out of the system and the container is to catch it.




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