HVAC For Beginners

Solar Water Heater Ratings

A Repairman Reviews The Brands

With our solar water heater ratings, you can compare units side by side using our Head To Head tool. You can compare the models from all of the brands in ten categories such as warranty, efficiency, capacity, & cost. You can also read the individual reviews of each brand below. Our simple rating system gives each brand a color code and a star rating. If the card is green, then, that is one of the top picks from HvacRepairGuy. If the card is yellow, then, that would be a budget pick from HvacRepairgGuy. If the card is red, then, the brand is not recommended by HvacRepairGuy. With our solar water heater reviews you can cut through the sales hype and find value. It truly is like you were taking a repairman shopping with you!

These reviews are for systems that use a heat exchanger to separate the heat transfer fluid from the domestic hot water and that fluid is pumped throughout the system. These system are typically used in climates that experience freezing outdoor temperatures.

HvacRepairGuy's 2023 Top Pick


★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

This brand is a part of AO Smith and the standard systems include the basic parts for installing the system while the deluxe packages include the materials such as flashing, etc. to install the panels on the roof. The systems are available in sixteen different configurations to suit just about any need and they have solar energy factors of up to 10.1 which means that the solar power that is used to heat the water is 10.1 times more than the electricity used. They are available with tank sizes of either 80 or 120 gallons with backup electric heating elements for the cloudy days. The systems have multi-speed pumps with programmable controls for added efficiency but their guarantee is not as good as some of the other brands and they are not equipped with remote monitoring capability.


★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

These systems are kits for the do it yourself homeowner and are to be added to an existing water heater. The systems are available in Australia as well as the USA and Canada and they can be purchased directly from their website or Amazon store. The Freeze Protected kits feature a durable stainless steel heat exchanger and a solar powered single speed pump but their guarantee is not as good as some brands.


★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

This brand is a part of Paloma Industries and the systems are available through their authorized dealer network in the USA but not in Canada. The SolPak systems are available in 65, 80 or 120 gallon capacities and with electric or gas fired backup heating. Their Pump Master combines a three speed pump with a differential controller, expansion tank, and fittings/valves in a compact enclosure. It has compression fittings for connecting the glycol and water lines which provides for quick and easy installation.


★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

This brand is available in the U.S. and Canada from ACR SOLAR INTERNATIONAL. The SKYLINE 5 systems are available for easy DIY installation with their no solder loop connections. The systems have a PV panel to power the pump so that regular electrical power is not required. The kits are only sold through their authorized dealers which are not easy to find.

Smart Solar

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

This brand is from Energy Kinetics and the systems are sold through dealers in the USA. They feature a flexible line set to connect the tank to the collectors and it has push connections for quick and easy installation. The collectors can be roof, wall, or rack mounted and their energy pack controller offers digital programmable system control. The system features patented passive anti-fouling protection which ensures maintenance-free, reliable operation of the heat exchanger and their patented stagnation protection eliminates overheating.


★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

This brand is from the Paloma Group and is available worldwide but only through its authorized dealers which are very limited in the USA. The Streamline MLV systems are for areas with medium to high solar gain while the MCS systems are for areas with low to medium solar gain. They offer three sizes of systems with low profile panels to minimize the visual impact on the home but their guarantee is not as good as some of the other brands.


★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

This brand is from Mr. Sun Solar and offers kits that are shipped worldwide for the do-it-yourselfer. They have a built-in photovoltaic panel and a dc pump to provide the electricity that is needed. They use a 80 or 120 gallon storage tank that is made by Rheem but the kit does not include the copper connecting pipe or the antifreeze (glycol). For the most part, the warranty is good but the guarantee on the collectors is not as good as other brands.


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This brand is available worldwide and is backed by a very good guarantee although it is not easy to find and purchase the kits in the USA. The SOLkit systems are available in five sizes to meet the needs of virtually any home. The kits are relatively complete and include either a 80 or 105 gallon tank and a three speed pump.


★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

This brand can be purchased directly from the manufacturer on their website. The HelioMaxx kits are available with either flat plate collectors or the more expensive/efficient evacuated tubes and the kits are available in three tank sizes of 80, 120, or 132 gallons. The tanks feature durable copper coil heat exchangers and their UniMaxx Plus pump station and controller provides for quicker and easier installation. Although the warranty on the panels is very good, the guarantee on the other parts of the system is not as good as some of the other brands.

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