"Low Impact" Troubleshooting
Another peculiarity of solar systems is the difficulty of performing
troubleshooting procedures without making it a major undertaking.
As an example, it is difficult to examine the interior of the collector loop pump of a
closed-loop system. The process may require completely draining the solar fluid
into buckets or drums, disassembling and reassembling the pump and refilling the
system loop with fluid.
On the other hand, checking the electrical current draw of the pump can confirm or
deny that the pump rotor is locked. This can be done without ever opening up the
collector loop. This "low impact" troubleshooting usually saves time, material and
Less Likely. But Easy
Most "low impact" troubleshooting is relatively quick and easy. For this reason, it
may make sense to do them, even if they relate to causes you believe are unlikely.
Occasionally, the cause of a problem is not one of the likely ones, and a few
minutes spent performing easy operations is well-rewarded. Also, following a
systematic troubleshooting procedure will uncover other problems that should be
repaired for long term performance and trouble free maintenance.
Never assume that a system is completely without faults after correcting a problem.
A few more minutes spent checking out the rest of the system may save a trip back
later to "rerepair" the system.
Five Steps of Good Troubleshooting
Good troubleshooters usually follow some variation of the following steps when
Finding the cause
4.1 TROUBLESHOOTING TECHNIQUES