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FAQ

Why use a Solar Hot Water Heater?
A FAFCO solar hot water system can save you up to 50 percent or more on your hot water heating costs. Our systems are environmentally friendly and easy to install. A solar hot water system can add great value to your home.
Why buy the FAFCO solar hot water system?
The FAFCO solar hot water system has many benefits over other systems:
  • Your FAFCO dealer is knowledgeable on FAFCO products and solar energy systems, having worked with FAFCO solar products for many years.
  • It is the simplest to install. The FAFCO solar hot water system can be installed by a FAFCO dealer in half a day without large work crews or cranes to hoist heavy panels on the roof. This means that the overall installation costs are less than the cost of most other solar hot water systems.
  • The FAFCO system does not use expensive materials such as copper and aluminum. This results in a more affordable system with good performance that offers the most BTUs for the dollar.
Is there enough sun where I live?
Yes. There is enough sun in most areas of North America. For more specifics on the amount of sun in your area, visit the Solar Radiation Resources Information website and their Solar Radiation Data Manual, which provides information on solar radiation in your area and charts for areas across the U.S. for a 30-year period.
How does a solar water heater work?

There are three main components of the solar hot water system that work together to deliver heat from the sun to your faucet: the controller, the collectors and the circulation module.

The controller is the brain of the system. It has one sensor on the roof and one sensor on your water tank. When the controller determines that the temperature on the roof is warmer than the temperature in your tank, it sends power to the circulation module.

The circulation module is where the heat from solar is transferred to your water heater. It circulates one loop of water up to the roof to be warmed by the sun and it circulates a second loop of water from your water tank. The heat is transferred from the solar water to the potable water via a heat exchanger inside the circulation module.

The solar panels are where the energy is collected from the sun. The black polymer panel on your roof absorbs sunlight in both the visible and the invisible spectrums and turns it into heat. As the water flows through the panel, the heat is transferred to the water and then to the water heater through the heat exchanger.

I have a large family, can I expand the system?
Yes, one way to expand the system is to add a solar storage tank which will make any number of panels perform better. If desired, additional solar panels can also be added. Your FAFCO dealer can assist you in configuring the best system for your needs.
Does it replace my existing hot water heater?
No. A solar hot water system works in conjunction with your existing gas or electric hot water heater. In most situations, the addition of a FAFCO solar hot water system will extend the life of your existing system by reducing the amount of scaling.
Does the FAFCO solar hot water system require maintenance?
You will need to keep an eye on the drainback tank to make sure that it doesn’t run dry of water when the system is running. This should be checked monthly. See also your FAFCO Owner's Manual.
How long will it take a FAFCO dealer to install the system?
The system can be installed in about a half day with a two-person team.
How will well water and possible sediment affect the system?
Sediment or hard water can cause mineral build up on the heat exchanger. Many off-the-shelf "de-scaling" products can be used to dissolve this build up if it becomes necessary.
Will the polymer panel affect the taste of my water?
No. The circulation module in the solar hot water system pumps water through two separate loops, one to the solar collectors and one to your hot water tank. Heat is transferred between the two loops without the solar water ever mixing with the household water.
Will the system have to be removed from my roof when it gets below 32 degrees Fahrenheit?
No, the drainback feature of FAFCO’s system ensures that water is not in the panels when the pump is not running. As long as the drainback tank is in an area that does not see freezing temperatures, the system should be fine.
How do I purchase a system or receive more information?
You can use our Find a Dealer page to locate the dealer nearest you.
What is covered by the warranty?
The FAFCO warranty provides 10 years peace of mind on the solar panels and a 1-year warranty on system parts. For detailed warranty information check with your FAFCO dealer.
What is the expected life of the system?
FAFCO is the oldest and largest solar thermal panel manufacturer in the country. With 1,700,000 panels installed in the field, we have seen that most panels last at least 20 years.