Anybody Do The Solar Water Heater Thing?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by doubletap1, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. doubletap1

    doubletap1

    Messages:
    1,650
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2000
    Location:
    Phoenix
    My neighbor's kid is selling them in Phoenix. It's a package deal where they do some sort of treatment to your ducts to seal them, put a capacitor on the house to "regulate" the flow of electricity, and then a Fafco Sungrabber(?) solar water heater to take it "off the grid". Supposedly it pays for itself in a couple of years. He's coming over tonight to give me a sales presentation.

    Anybody know anything about this stuff?

    TIA. :cool:
     
  2. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

    Messages:
    42,700
    Likes Received:
    2,844
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2001
    Location:
    Taunton, MA
    I can tell you it never works as well as they say for as long as they say.

    Just like everything else in teh world. ;)
     

  3. Nicky D

    Nicky D CLM

    Messages:
    2,431
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    Souderton, Pa.
    I don't know anything about them but would appreciate hearing what your told.
     
  4. raziel52000

    raziel52000

    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Kansas City

    My parents got a solar heater in Florida for the pool hoping to take a little load off of the LPG heater. It's a pretty simple system with just a pump and ducts to get water to the roof and then black solar bags up there to heat it. Sure enough, it is able to heat the water up to 95 degrees (far hotter than they want) without using any LPG.

    I know this is a far simpler system than the home water heater and has a must lower temperature it is aiming for, but you'd be surprised how much solar energy you can capture depending on your locale. I know I sure was.
     
  5. hockeyrcks9901

    hockeyrcks9901

    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    St. Petersburg, FL
    Solar hot water heaters are the quickest return on investment for ANY solar based system. Assuming he isn't ripping you off for the solar water heater it should be a good investment.

    However, the capacitors will not do you any good unless you are at a commercial building where they bill you based on power factor which no one is for residential.
     
  6. DeltaNu1142

    DeltaNu1142 Glock talker

    Messages:
    948
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    I have one installed in FL. It'll take a lot more than just a few years to pay for itself, but it just might, one day. I'm saving about 25% (minimum) off of each month's electricity bill. The water gets extremely hot even on cooler sunny days--in the summer, we have to be careful, but we don't have kids so it's not as much a concern. We needed to upgrade anyway, having an older 40-gallon 240V-electric WH. Now we have 80 gallons solar with 240V backup, and it works great.

    I ended up getting about $3,000 in federal tax credits as a result of the installation, and expecting a bit more in the form of rebates from the state of FL.

    I agree with hockey on the capacitor install; unless you are billed for reactive power, it doesn't do much of anything for you. I declined that device, and you can get one & install yourself far cheaper than a contractor will do it for, anyway.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  7. bfg1971

    bfg1971

    Messages:
    2,244
    Likes Received:
    758
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2003
    Location:
    Ewa Beach, HI
    Had one in my unit of Navy housing in Hawaii. Worked great but then we had an average temp of about 80 year round. Only time we ever had a problem is when a mechanical stop on the timer that turned on the electric heater at night fell off. Woke up to cold water that day. If you live in the right area they can save you some money but I have no idea of what they would initially cost or how long the payback would take.
     
  8. bfg1971

    bfg1971

    Messages:
    2,244
    Likes Received:
    758
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2003
    Location:
    Ewa Beach, HI
    The capacitor shifts the quality factor of power usage in your house so the electric meter is not properly measuring how much power you actually use. It may or may not be legal. Use a big enough capacitor and it is theoretically possible to cause the meter to almost stop. You will definately get attention if you go that far.