Solar water heaters, with their widely varying temperatures, also experience much more pressure fluctuation than conventional water heaters. Because of this, we recommend that you install an expansion tank when installing your Sunbank. Especially if you also have a check valve or “backflow preventer” installed in your system.
We make the Sunbank out of the best components that we can. That said, nothing lasts forever. We look forward to working with you when your Sunbank is working great. And if it isn’t, we looking forward to working with you to make it better and to help you to continue to harvest that free energy from the sun.
Do I need to keep my conventional water heater?
No! Our system comes with a backup heating element so you can use it as your only water heater. If you do this, you will also need either our WiFi or hard wired controller. However, if you live in a cold climate, want more hot water capacity, or prefer to keep using gas as a backup, then you may want to install the Sunbank as a pre-heater to your conventional water heater.
Can I use this with a tankless or on demand water heater?
Absolutely! That is a very efficient installation scenario because you avoid the standby losses of a conventional tank water heater. Most all modern tankless water heaters accept pre-heated water, or are “solar ready,” but check with the manufacturer before installation so that it doesn’t void your tankless water heater warranty. They can be sensitive systems, and sometimes manufacturers will want to make sure your water is not too hard, also, in order to honor their warranty.
It’s worth mentioning that when comparing a tankless system to a solar water heater, from an economical perspective there is almost no comparison. Tankless water heaters are relatively expensive to install, so while they may cost the same as a solar water heater they still burn gas or consume electricity and are 75% less efficient than a solar water heater.