The Wall
Forum / Solar / Brown DrainBack Water
  • Post a Reply to this Thread

    Brown DrainBack Water (4 Posts)

  • Martin Romero Martin Romero @ 11:10 PM
    Contact this user

    Brown DrainBack Water

    Solar Wizards,

    My System:
    4 SunEarth  4' x 10' collectors
    Stainless Plate Heat Exchanger (radiant); Quad Rod Heat Exchanger (DHW)
    15-20 Gallon Drain-back Tank
    Unpressurized Drain-back Setup
    Closed Loop

    A few months after firing up my system about 2-3 years ago, I began noticing just a slight browning of the water visible through the sight glass outside my drain-back tank.  It presently looks like what's shown in the attached photo.

    I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on how to proceed and how much of a concern this "browning" is.


    Martin Romero
    This post was edited by an admin on November 6, 2012 11:11 PM.
  • hot rod hot rod @ 11:00 AM
    Contact this user

    my guess

    would be that the system has a pump with a cast iron body. If so that is where the red color is coming from. A bit of color actually makes it easier to see the level in the sight glass.

    I prefer a pressurized drainback, but as long as it is a true closed loop, you should not see a lot more dis-color.
  • Martin Romero Martin Romero @ 3:37 PM
    Contact this user

    Browning water

    Thanks Hot Rod,

    I was certain the pump was brass, but I will double check. No real concern about heat transfer?
  • Kevin_in_Denver Kevin_in_Denver @ 2:20 PM
    Contact this user

    Most likely a steel tank


    My first guess was also a cast iron pump. That tank could be steel, however. Do you have the brand name and model for it? Even if it is a glass-lined steel tank, a little bit of rusting at the fittings would be normal.

    BTW if it is a true unpressurized drainback system, that means it must be vented somewhere. A vented system usually causes a cast iron pump to fail prematurely. If it's truly a closed loop system, it will create some pressure when the air and water gets hot.
    Superinsulated Passive solar house, Buderus in floor backup heat by Mark Eatherton, 3KW grid-tied PV system, various solar thermal experiments
    This post was edited by an admin on November 9, 2012 2:22 PM.
Post a Reply to this Thread