Hi every body, my name is Tony I live in a small village called Agost which is just inland of Alicante, When I arrived in 2003 the first thing I done was starting to renovate the old house we bought in the Campo of Agost, I soon realised that is was becoming a bit of a money pit ! so I decided to go out and do some building work with a friend, Due to my friends poor health I started to work on my own ( leagaly self employed ) , work was ok up to the begining of the crisis, then the building work almost dried up, so I decided to look for a different way to earn a living.
That is when I decided to go into solar water heating, The sunshine is free and we get a lot of it here so it seened like a good idea to give it a go !
FIRST I wanted to see if solar water heating was really any good !
So I bought a solar water heater off the internet, then my problems started , there were no instructions of how to assemble or fit it , only a hand drawn sketch, I figured out how to assemble the unit and then fixed it to my roof , then plumbed it in as to the sketch. Then when I started to fill the unit for the first time I learnt my frist important thing about vacuum tubes and that was dont fill them with cold water on a sunny day because they can shatter.
After getting 2 replacement tubes and this time pre filling them in the shade I started filling the unit with water , when it was full there were more problems water was leaking from some of the seals where the tubed go into the tank.
After contacting the manufacturer I found out that the type of solar water heater I had was a non pressure type and the importers instalation sketch was tolaly wrong ! as it could not have a direct mains pressure water feed .
So i went to the plumbers merchant and got stuff to make my own small top up tank using a piece of capped soil pipe and a toilet float valve !
Now the main tank could fill its self up automaticly via the float valve .
The water was really hot ! but there was another problem - poor preasure ! because the hot water was only coming down at gravity pressure it was ok for the sink but not any good for showering.
So the next modification was to fit an automatic booster pump to give the hot water more pressure !
In the end the system worked and I proved that it was worth having a solar water heater.
After more reserch I found there were better units that do not rely on gravity so now I import and sell them myself.
I do belive in solar water heating and am sure that it will become more popular here in Spain expecialy as it is not to complicated to self fit .