Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What is a Solar Water Isolation Valve?

Isolation ValveIsolation Valve
AKA: solar bypass

An isolation valve should be a part of every solar water heater to isolate the solar tank in case of a problem, while still allowing the backup water heater to remain in service. The isolation valve is a manual valve or valves placed in both the incoming and outgoing potable water lines to the solar tank. It can be a three-valve configuration, or a three-port and two-port valve. Manually turning the valve or valves will place the solar tank "on line" or "off line." It works by directing the flow either through or past the solar tank. These valves can also be plumbed to bypass the backup gas or electric water heater, allowing them to be turned off (eliminating standby heat loss) during the seasons when the SHW system can supply 100 percent of the household´s hot water.

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