Testing the Fill KIT

 

You're here for one of two reasons – Your tank is either over filling or under filling. If your tank is overfilling, you will see or hear water coming out of the top of the tank. If it is underfilling, the coil in the tank will not be submerged and as a result, you will not be getting much hot water.

Please read the below information, then select “over filling” or “under filling”. First, lets go through how the fill kit works to make sure you understand the process, what the main parts are, and what you will need to test it all.

The fill kit is made up of a solar panel, which provides the power to the electronic solenoid, the solenoid will keep the low pressure side of your tank full by opening to allow water into the tank through a hose or pipe. The solenoid, is told when to switch on or off by the stainless steel float which sits inside your tank. There will also be some kind of circuit board/control box, this will vary depending on the age of your system and where you purchased it from. Please click here  to see the current installation instructions for the fill kit. Before starting the trouble shooting below, please ensure that all the electronic connections are good by gently pulling them by hand – a loose connection will stop the fill kit operating.

 

Trouble-Shooting - What you will need (to take up on the roof with you)

                 

* A 12V battery with connectors.

* A sunny day. This will be better to test, and safer on the roof.

*  A hose (if tank is low on water).

*  A Multimeter (if you have one, this is good but not necessary)

*  Short piece of electrical wire (approx 30 mm long)

*  A phillips head screwdriver.

*  A small flat head screwdriver

*  A tape measure

*  This trouble shooting guide (on a mobile phone, or print out the relevant parts)

 

 

Under filling

                  Important - If your tank is under filling. Please ensure that the tank is full before doing any trouble shooting, this can be done via a hose. If the sun is out, and the tubes are hot, then they can break with cold water, and during the testing, you will be injecting cold water into the tank. Please click here for information on filling the tank.

 

 

Over filling

Important -  If your tank is overfilling. Please cover the solar panel with something solid – this should stop the overfilling. If it does not, you will need to turn off the water before working through the trouble shooting steps.

 

 

 

 

 

Under filling trouble shooting steps

The best way to test for under filling, is to start by testing the solenoid and the solar panel together, and work backwards from there by testing the circuit board, then finally the float. This is all very easy to do. Make sure that you have the water supply turned on for the testing.

 

Test solenoid and solar panel

Hopefully you are testing on a day with direct sunlight hitting the solar panel, this will allow you to test the solenoid and the solar panel together.

 

Start with a clean uncovered solar panel (or a 12v battery). Take the plastic cap off the top of the solenoid. Take the positive and negative wires from the solar panel (or battery), and touch these on the two stainless lugs on the top of the solenoid. Touch the negative wire onto the left lug, and the positive onto the right lug. (The negative wire will either be black, or it will have a black stripe on it)

Power to solenoids.PNG

When you connected and disconnect the power to the solenoid, it should clunk as it opens and closes. You may be able to hear it, or feel it if you are touching the solenoid. If you are unsure, you can pull the filler line out of the tank and you will see water squirting out of the filler line (assuming you have the water supply turned on still).

 

No this did not work - If this did not work with sunlight, then repeat the test using your 12v battery. If neither power supply operates the solenoid, then the solenoid needs to be replaced. If it only works with the battery, then there is not enough power coming from the solar panel, please ensure the panel is clean and facing direct sunlight, if it is still not working you will need to replace the solar panel. Please continue testing in case you need any other parts. Go to next step (bridging test).

 

Yes this worked - If this has worked, and you did it with sunlight, we know that the solenoid and the solar panel are both working fine. This is good. Now we can test the circuit board to make sure this is working. We will do this with a “Bridging test”. Go to next step.

 

 

Test the circuit - Bridging test (Under filling)

Your solenoid and solar panel are both fine. Now it’s time to test the circuit board. This is the brains behind the fill kit. You will have one of two types of circuit board on your system – either a black control box with an internal circuit board, or a simple circuit board on the solenoid itself, both are illustrated in the pictures below.  

 

Connect the power supply up to the circuit board paying careful attention to the polarity of the solar panel (or battery) see diagram below. Then using your short piece of wire, bridge across the two points on the circuit board where the float connects too – this will give the same message as if the float is asking for water and should turn the solenoid on and make it “clunk”. Please see the below picture for how to bridge the circuit board.

Bridging Test.PNG

No this did not work - If this did not work, but the solenoid had previously worked with the direct connection from the solar panel (or battery) then there is an issue with the circuit/control box. If you have a control box, it needs replacing. If you have a circuit board, we do not sell these as a replacement part, so you will need to upgrade to the new style of fill kit with a control box. Please continue testing in case you need any other parts.  Go to next step. (test the float)

 

Yes this worked - If this has worked, great. We will now test the float. Go to next step. (test the float)

 

 

Test the float

 

There are two ways to test the float – A non-technical way using the parts on your roof, and a more technical way using a multi meter. Obviously, if there is a fault with the previously tested parts you will need a multi meter to make sure that the float is operating correctly.

 

Remove the float from the tank, and using the previous diagram for the “bridging test” attach the float to the circuit board where the “bridge wire” is in the diagram (moving the floats will activate the solenoid through that circuit, or if your solenoid is not working but you do have a functioning black control box then the red light on the control box will switch on and off). If you are using the multi meter set it on Ohms (Ω) and connect it to the two wires of the float, moving the float up and down will change the reading from open circuit to low resistance.

 

If you have two floats, hold the bottom one up for this test (the top float is the float used for maintaining the water level, the bottom float is an emergency cut off float). If you only have one float, then ignore the bottom float in the diagrams. The effect of moving the float is outlined in the diagram below:

Testing the float.PNG

No this did not work - If you got different results that in the above diagram then there is an issue with the float. Please measure the width of the nut on your float, and order a new one.  See the diagram below. Also please tell us what your old float was plugged into (black box, or circuit board). 

 Your float will have a measurement of either 31mm or 36mm across the top of the nut as shown above.  

Your float will have a measurement of either 31mm or 36mm across the top of the nut as shown above.  

 

Yes this worked – If you got the correct readings from your float, this is good news. Please just order the other parts that you require for the fill kit, and your old float will be compatible with the new parts.

 

You have now completed the test for the fill kit parts for an under filling issue.

Please click the bottom below to be taken to an online form that will give us all the information need to supply you with the replacement parts.

 

 

Over filling trouble shooting steps.

 

Covering the panel did not stop the tank over flowing

If you turned the water off because covering the panel did not stop the tank overflowing. You have two options: (1) Replace the solenoid (2) Check inside the solenoid to see if there is something stopping it from closing properly. To do step (2) Remove the white plastic cover off the solenoid and carefully unscrew the 4 screws, then carefully roll the top of the solenoid off, you will see the diaphragm and by lifting this out, you are likely to see some debris stopping the solenoid from operating. Clean this and put it back together. You probably need some filtration to your hot water tank to stop this from happening again.

 

 

Covering up the panel stopped the tank from overflowing

You have already covered up the solar panel, and this stopped the tank from over flowing, so we know that the solar panel was powering the solenoid and telling it to open, so the solenoid and solar panel are in good working order. So we need to check the circuit board and float switch to find out what the issue was.

 

Test the circuit - Bridging test (Over filling)

Your solenoid and solar panel are both fine. Now it’s time to test the circuit board. This is the brains behind the fill kit. You will have one of two types of circuit board on your system – either a black control box with an internal circuit board, or a simple circuit board on the solenoid itself, both are illustrated in the pictures below. 

 

Connect the power supply up to the circuit board paying careful attention to the polarity of the solar panel (or battery) see diagram below. Then using your short piece of wire, bridge across the two points on the circuit board where the float connects too – this will give the same message as if the float is asking for water and should turn the solenoid on and make it “clunk”. Please see the below picture for how to bridge the circuit board.

Bridging Test.PNG

No this did not work - If this did not work, then there is an issue with the circuit/control box. If you have a control box, it needs replacing. If you have a circuit board, we do not sell these as a replacement part, so you will need to upgrade to the new style of fill kit with a control box. Please continue testing in case you need any other parts (link to next section).

 

Yes this worked - If this has worked, great. We will now test the float.

 

 

Test the float (over filling)

 

There are two ways to test the float – A non-technical way using the parts on your roof, and a more technical way using a multi meter. Obviously, if there is a fault with the previously tested parts you will need a multi meter to make sure that the float is operating correctly.

 

Remove the float from the tank, and using the previous diagram for the “bridging test” attach the float to the circuit board where the “bridge wire” is in the diagram (moving the floats will activate the solenoid through that circuit, or if your solenoid is not working but you do have a functioning black control box then the red light on the control box will switch on and off). If you are using the multi meter set it on Ohms (Ω) and connect it to the two wires of the float, moving the float up and down will change the reading from open circuit to low resistance.

 

If you have two floats, hold the bottom one up for this test (the top float is the float used for maintaining the water level, the bottom float is an emergency cut off float). If you only have one float, then ignore the bottom float in the diagrams. The effect of moving the float is outlined in the diagram below:

Testing the float.PNG

No this did not work - If you got different results that in the above diagram then there is an issue with the float. Please measure the width of the nut on your float, and order a new one.  See the diagram below. Also please tell us what your old float was plugged into (black box, or circuit board).

 Your float will have a measurement of either 31mm or 36mm across the top of the nut as shown above.  

Your float will have a measurement of either 31mm or 36mm across the top of the nut as shown above.  

 

Yes this worked – If you got the correct readings from your float, this is good news. Please just order the other parts that you require for the fill kit, and your old float will be compatible with the new parts. If your tank was overfilling, but the float/solenoid/circuit all worked well in the tests, then you might find that something is obstructing your float from moving up and down the shaft freely – there could be something fouling this movement in the tank, it could be a build up of calcium on the shaft, or it could be that the tank is at too much of an angle, when viewed from the side the float port should be pointing straight up at 12’o’clock so that the floats are moving vertically.

You have now completed the test for the fill kit parts for an Over filling issue.

Please click the bottom below to be taken to an online form that will give us all the information need to supply you with the replacement parts.