DIY Solar Hot Water
Install it Yourself

The DIY solar hot water system is the solar hot water heater that will save you the money involved in installing such a system. It is recommended for people who like DIY, however keep in mind that the parts are heavy and that you need means to lift them up. For $1500 to $3,500 you can get a turn key system, and energy tax credits can save you at least 30% of the gross expense

The benefits of the Solar Powered Water Heater

  • A solar water heater provides your family with abundant supply of hot water
  • With what you save on fuel (or electricity) and with the available tax credits the investment on a solar water heater can be paid back within 2-3 years
  • You contribute to better environmental conditions on this planet

Choosing the Right Type of Solar Water Heating System

Start by choosing the right type of for where you live, bellow is a table that summarizes the options:

Temperatures are always above freezing temperature, the tank can be installed above the flat plate collector

Temperatures are always above freezing temperature, the tank can not be installed above the flat plate collector

Temperatures may drop bellow freezing temperature, however the region is sunny

A northern region, not sunny, bellow freezing temperature conditions are expected

Install a passive solar hot water system.(direct system, water only).A flat plate collector and a tank. Pump is not needed

Install an open system (direct system, water only). Pump is needed

Install a closed system (indirect system, antifreeze liquid), a flat plate collector, a tank a pump and a heat exchange are needed

Install a closed system (indirect system, antifreeze liquid), an evacuated tubes collector, a tank a pump and a heat exchange are needed

Size correctly the diy Solar Hot Water Heater

Your next step is to decide what is the right size of the system. You need to size correctly the size of the hot water tank and the size of the solar collector. If the size is too small you won't have enough water, if the size is too big it is a waste of monet

Installing the System

After you have chosen the right size elements, your next step is to see how you are going to install the diy solar hot water system. You need to take into account the following:

  • Is it possible to install the collector facing South and inclined to the horizon? (South-East or even East can be good enough if the region is sunny)
  • Trees are not shading the place you plan to install the system
  • On slant roofs install the collector parallel to the roof and close to it
  • On flat top roof you need a construction to hold the collector tilted
  • If the temperatures are always above the freezing point, try to install the collector bellow the tank to save the need for a pump
  • If roof installation is not possible, you may consider installing the system in the garden (in a non shaded area)
  • Take into account that for the tank and for the collector you might need a simple lifting mechanism to elevate them to the roof level

Get a second opinion from a certified Solar Contractor

Invite a certified solar contractor to see your site and give you a technical proposal and a price proposal; The proposal can serve you as a baseline for comparison. You may also decide to ask the contractor to do a turn key job if the price is right (you can deduct from the contractor proposal what is the installation cost, and does the DIY solar hot water idea still worth the saving; in some countries, like the UK the saving might be substantial)

Shopping the Solar kit

Find a good solar store to buy an entire diy solar water heater kit. A good store will provide you with assistance and guidance before you buy and a reliable after sale support

Unless you have decided to go on a turn key job, go ahead, purchase the DIY Solar Hot Water Heater kit and Build it Yourself.

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