DIY Solar Hot Water Installation Basics

How To Ensure That Your Solar Heating DIY Success:

With a little know-how, a little training and some patience, most handy-home or business owners can easily size, design, purchase and install their own solar hot water or heating system. And, doing so can save you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars in installation costs.


To ensure your success, you first need to:

  • Understand why doing the project yourself is right for you
  • Understand that if you cannot complete the installation yourself, you need to contact and contract a professional immediately
  • Use a systematic approach to completing the project – i.e. have a solid, proven plan – it can be same the one you follow for every major home improvement project you do!

Once you have taken the time think about the three guidelines listed above, let’s move on to why installing your solar hot water or heating system is the right choice for you!

Reasons to Install Your Solar Heater Yourself:

Why should you bother installing your new solar hot water or heating system yourself?

The truth is there are number of great reasons, including:

  • Save Money: hiring a professional installer for your solar hot water or heating system can be expensive. In fact, often times, a solar installer may charge between 20-30% (sometimes even more) of the cost of materials for installation alone. Even on a small solar heating system, the cost of installation can run to several hundreds of dollars (sometimes a thousand dollars or more). If you want, or need, to save money, you should definitely consider doing the installation yourself.
  • A Chance To Learn: if you are a big time do-it-yourself-er you probably enjoy learning. And, if you are interested in solar hot water and heating, you are probably interested in learning more about solar energy. Installing a solar hot water or heating system is a great way to learn everything about solar energy and solar energy systems.
  • Your Independence & Pride: chances are you love to be independent (probably about everything) and you take great pride in doing things yourself. Also, by installing your own solar hot water or heating system you will learn how to handle many of the problems, or regular maintenance tasks that will pop up throughout the years your solar system is in service.
  • Now that you know the keys to a successful solar hot water or heating installation and the reasons to do the installation yourself, you need ask yourself the first key question!
  • Should I do the Installation Myself, or Hire a Professional?
  • There are a few key factors you need to evaluate when deciding whether you should do the installation yourself. Of course, these factors are other than the money you will save by not hiring a professional.
  • Time Frame: do you need to have your installation completed by a certain date? Do you actually (honestly) have the time to get the installation done by then? Or, do you have the time to the installation yourself, no matter what the time frame is?
  • Skills & Knowledge: do you have the skills to complete the installation, or can you learn them quickly? If the answer to both is NO, you should probably hire a professional to do your installation. If you answered YES to at least one, you should be okay in doing the installation yourself.
  • Associated Costs: while it is true that you will save money by not hiring a professional to do the installation, you must still do a cost-benefit analysis. You will have a loss of your time (and time is money) and you may have to buy or rent specialized tools to complete the job. You need to determine if these added costs in time and money are worth it.
  • Weighing Risks: you also need to weight the risks of doing the installation yourself. There are two types of in doing a solar installation yourself:
    • Safety: If you do not have the skills to actually complete the installation, you SHOULD NOT DO IT! You have have to consider your safety, the safety of your family, and safety of anyone else who may be near by.
    • Financial: mistakes can be costly. You could waste materials, damage your solar hot water or heating system, or even damage your home or office building. All of this may cost a lot of money to repair.

Remember to be honest in your evaluation of these factors. If you fail to do this, you may end up costing yourself more money than you would have spent on professional installation, or causing property or personal damage to yourself or others.

Get The Right Training:

If you have a few questions about how to go about installing your own solar hot water or heating system, you should probably get some first-hand training in the process. You should understand how solar collectors work, how the components of a solar hot water or heating system tie together to create a safe, efficient and cost-effective solar energy system.


If you would like personal advice on how to install your own solar hot water system, the best resource online is:

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