Cheating Out on Water Heater Systems

If you review the availability of solar water heater systems, you’ll find a large range of prices and performances, and you’ll discover that some systems don’t work very well in cold climates. If you’re in a climate where tempera­tures can drop below freezing, the pipes or the collector in some solar water heaters can burst (but the manufacturer will never tell you that).

Now picture this scenario: It took six men to lift the collector onto your roof, and this was after it took an hour to pull the thing out of its very large, very expensive packing crate that was delivered via truck because UPS doesn’t deliver anything that big. So now you need to get six men to lift it back down, repack it, and send it back to the factory for warranty repairs. The company fixes it, repacks it, then trucks it back to you (warranty repairs generally don’t cover shipping costs, so you’ll have to pay those). Then you must find six men to lift the collector back into place on your roof. But you still have the same problem: You cheaped out and bought a system not made for your particular climate.

The point of all this? Be very thorough when researching and selecting a solar water heater system. It’s the best thing under the sun, but it can be the worst if you don’t do your homework.

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