Proper maintenance practices for solar water pumps

While you might be able to handle some of the inspections and maintenance tasks on your own, others may require a qualified technician.

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When it comes to the solar water pumps, the maintenance touches on both the pump as well as the solar panel. This is because the two work concurrently in the pumping process.

Solar energy systems require periodic inspections and routine maintenance to keep them operating efficiently. Also, from time to time, components may need repair or replacement. You should also take steps to prevent scaling, corrosion, and freezing.

While you might be able to handle some of the inspections and maintenance tasks on your own, others may require a qualified technician.

Here are some easy troubleshooting tips.

Solar panels
Contrary to popular belief, maintenance of the solar panels is easier than most people perceive. Every couple of years, the solar panels need to be cleaned with some soap and water. Moreover, as long as there is sunlight, the solar panels will continue to operate for 25 or so years without any additional maintenance.

Water pump troubleshooting
When turning on a faucet, take note of the water flow. If there is little to no water flowing out then your pump may be set too high in the water source. This is because over the course of time as the pump pulls water from the source due to high water demand, it ends up draining the water levels such that it is no longer submerged. On the other hand, the low levels could be attributed to drought during the dry seasons.

Pumps should not run continuously. If this happens, it may be an indication of a break somewhere in the line. The other possible cause could be a check valve in the riser pipe stuck open and as such in need of repair. On the other hand, the break will either be between the pump and the building or within the building’s plumbing. Similarly, a soggy area in the yard might indicate a break in the pump line.

It is important to note that it will be hard to tell if the pump is running continuously unless there is a small control light in place that goes on when the pump is running. Alternatively, the water to the house could be shut then the water pressure gauge observed. If this holds steady, the check valves are working and there are no leaks in the lines. However, if the pressure drops, there is a leak in the line to the house, or there is a problem with a check valve.

Another common problem is where the water pump runs for a few seconds and then shuts off. This is likely to mean that pressure is building up too fast. This, in turn means that there is not enough air in the pressure tank. It is thus recommended that one enlists the services of a professional at this point.