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Older Ruud solar/electric water heater

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Posted by honyakuka on December 1, 2005, 10:51 pm
 
I just moved into a house with an older Ruud solar/electric water
heater.  Because the roof had to be replaced, I had the solar panels
taken down and have not put them back yet.  I've disconnected the
solar-panel pipes from the water heater and capped them off.  (I'm
considering whether to reconnect the panels, but mount them in the yard
rather than on the roof, or abandon them.)

The water heater, even set at about 140 degrees, is producing only warm
water, and even that doesn't last.  I'm wondering if the solar panels
are REQUIRED for hot water.  This wouldn't make sense, in that if you
had a long stretch of rainy days, you wouldn't have hot water, even
with the panels attached.

As far as I can tell, there is only one element.  Where the element
would be at the bottom of the heater, there is a panel, but it opens to
the solid tank, not an electrical connection.

Any feedback would be appreciated.


Posted by Merlin-7 KI4ILB on December 2, 2005, 11:21 pm
 


 I would go ahead and hook them back up and see what happens. Just make sure
you insulate the pipes well.
 The only other option that I can see is replaceing the hot water heater.



Posted by SJC on December 3, 2005, 12:05 am
 Maybe you just have a bad thermostat or heating element.
Capping off the coils should just make it work like and electric I would think.

I just moved into a house with an older Ruud solar/electric water
heater.  Because the roof had to be replaced, I had the solar panels
taken down and have not put them back yet.  I've disconnected the
solar-panel pipes from the water heater and capped them off.  (I'm
considering whether to reconnect the panels, but mount them in the yard
rather than on the roof, or abandon them.)

The water heater, even set at about 140 degrees, is producing only warm
water, and even that doesn't last.  I'm wondering if the solar panels
are REQUIRED for hot water.  This wouldn't make sense, in that if you
had a long stretch of rainy days, you wouldn't have hot water, even
with the panels attached.

As far as I can tell, there is only one element.  Where the element
would be at the bottom of the heater, there is a panel, but it opens to
the solid tank, not an electrical connection.

Any feedback would be appreciated.


Posted by DJ on December 4, 2005, 7:52 pm
 
honyakuka@aol.com wrote:

Abandon them? Heresy ;-). Put them back up...


Your water heater coil is probably shot. And when the panels were
there, they made enough heat that you didn't notice. Now they're gone,
and for the first time ever, the tank has to carry the entire load
itself, and can't. Dirt common thing for electric coils to fail.
They'll likey have them for sale at the local HomeDepot, both the tank
(brand new, ~300$) or the coils themselves (~50$).


Probably just a single element tank only designed to work with a SDHW
system. Pretty common.


Easy problem to fix: Get the electric heating coils replaced, either
yourself, or call a plumber. Might be cheaper to replace the tank
altogether, though, plumbers ain't free ;-).
And get those panels back in production!!!

;-)

DJ


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