Solar Heating Repairs
Back in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s solar hot water and heating systems were very popular. The Federal Government offered tax credits for homeowners to install these systems, and many people in New York State installed them to save money and help reduce their demand from the utilities. Some of these systems were hybrid systems and did both solar hot water heating and solar hot air for homes. In the Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse regions of New York our team has repaired many of these systems over the years. In all of our years looking at these systems we have yet to see one system that is the same. Please email or call us if you have any questions and we will see what we can do to help you get your system working again. Our contact information is (585) 671-1301 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Our thanks for your patronage!
These systems are GSE9000, Northern Solar and Blackwall solar systems. All of these solar systems worked great for many years, and many still do to this day! We have repaired these systems after they have worked for 30 plus years!
The Blackwall systems were typically mounted on the side vertical wall and gathered heat from the sun and pumped that heat into the house. The main components were the glass collectors, Blower motor, duct work, and differential heating controller with thermistors.
The most common problem with these units is that the motor stops working after nearly three decades of use. Not bad for being in service for that long.
Below is an example of the one of these units.
Solar Heating Repairs can be either a real easy repair, or a VERY difficult one. Depending on where the blower units are mounted, if there are dampers, or where the controller is mounted. All these play a critical role on if it will be a simple fix or a hard fix. In many cases the blowers are located in areas of the attic that are difficult to get to with lots of insulation or a crawl space that is hard to get to.
Another system is the GSE9000 solar heating system. This system is also a great system and has worked for decades for many of our customers. These systems offer both solar hot air, or solar hot water, or a combination of both for a Hybrid system.
The GSE9000 system could be mounted on a roof, dormer or even the vertical wall like the Blackwall system. The GSE9000 system is a much more complex system then the Blackwall in most cases due to the fact it has dampers and motors to move the dampers, usually a more complex differential heating controller that has multiple zones, and in some cases two motors for hot air circulation.
Like the Blackwall system, The GSE9000 solar heating and water system can save a homeowner money during the winter as a supplement to their conventional heating units. If there is sun, there is warmth even on a cold winter day!
- Blown blower motor
- Bad differential heating controller (Honeywell, Delta T,
- Defective thermistor sensor (Replace if needed)
- Faulty switch or wiring (Replace if needed)
- Trees that have grown lots over the past thirty years and now shade the solar panels!
- System works in the manual mode, but not the automatic mode (Most likely the thermistor or wiring or controller)
- System never turns on (Motor, Thermistor, wiring, or controller)
- System making a loud noise (Motor bearings are bad and need replacement)
- Broken Glass
- Failed water pump
Many parts for these systems are still available. Although many of the original parts are no longer available, there are parts which will work in there place. The Thermistors are usually 10K and we carry these in our warehouse. Although the older systems did use other styles.
If you have a defective motor these are still available and this is usually a more simpler fix. Motors will need to be ordered which takes about a week, and labor for replacement can take a few hours.
Broken Glass Solar Collectors can be unattractive and cause both water damage and interfere with the motors operations. In some cases the motors will burn up due to water getting into the motor wiring and short circuit it. To replace a piece of broken glass this is also a fairly simple fix in most cases. The glass is usually tempered and can be cut specific to the system. The hardest part is that the glass can be either bonded to the frame of the solar panel with butyl or adhesive or a rubber gasket with an aluminum frame on the outside. If you have a system with butyl then this is a VERY sticky substance and will likely be a much more difficult repair. In many cases trying to repair a single piece of glass can result in breaking a second piece of glass. 2′ x 2′ were commonly used for the Blackwall systems. 2′ x 4′ or 3′ x 5′ were commonly used for the GSE9000 systems. In some cases they used shower door glass which is tempered. The Blackwall systems typically used 2′ x 2′ non tempered glass.
If you would like us to look at your system please contact us at (585) 671-1301 and we can offer you some suggestions or solutions!