Solair World

Does a Solar Water Heater Use Electricity?

If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Before you buy a solar water heater, there are things you need to know to determine whether there are worth investing in to begin with. For instance, does a solar water heater use electricity?

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of installing one is equally important. After all, it helps you weigh the ups and downs, thus ensuring you make the right decision.

Besides, understanding how a solar water heater is powered will answer this million-dollar question. So, let’s dive into this important topic for a better understanding and wise decisions.

Do Solar Water Heaters Need Electricity?

You need neither electricity nor electrical components to run a solar water heater. As long as it draws solar energy from the sun efficiently, expect it to run effectively and provide the hot water you need in your home.

One of these water heaters’ most significant components is the solar collector. The component is responsible for directly drawing energy from the sun and using it to heat the water.

Nevertheless, most homeowners install backup water heaters which run on electricity. They come in handy during cold and cloudy days since solar energy is usually inefficient and unreliable under such circumstances.

What are the Advantages of a Solar Water Heater?

Upon installing a solar water heater, here are the benefits to stand to enjoy;

It Saves Money

Hot water is a major contributor to high utility bills in most households. It costs homeowners a lot of money to heat the water with electricity or natural gas.

The expenditure changes drastically upon introducing a solar water heater. After all, it draws its energy from the natural and free sun.

This investment has seen many homes cut their utility bills significantly. So, if you want to save money, installing one is a great place to start.

It Conserves the Environment

If you are an environment enthusiast, a solar water heater is a great opportunity to contribute towards its conservation.

After all, it doesn’t increase the carbon footprint. That’s not the case when generating alternatives such as natural gas and electric power.

Whereas natural gas emits greenhouse gasses, producing electricity often involves coal. These environmental pollutants have dire consequences.

On the other hand, solar water heater gets their energy from the sun. This source is clean and renewable hence excellent for the environment.

It Attracts Incentives

Most governments across the globe are doing all that’s in their power to encourage nationals to embrace renewable energy. Solar is one of them; installing a solar water heater could earn you this benefit.

In some countries and states, common incentives include reduced federal taxes. That could mean saving some money and getting something beneficial in the process.

It Requires Low Maintenance

Since solar water heaters need little maintenance, you don’t have to worry about spending much money on them after installing the system. You may only need a professional once after several years.

Maintenance is as simple as antifreeze replacement after a few years. These professional visits may be frequent if your area has hard water mineral deposits to ensure they don’t clog your hot water system.

However, that’s not the only remedy to these annoying deposits. Alternatively, you can install a water softener, which will do the trick.

It Boosts Homes’ Value

If two buyers are selling a home, a potential buyer may choose the one with a solar water heater over the other. That’s because renewable energy sources have proven to be a great addition to any home.

Besides increasing the demand for the house, it also increases the money the buyers are willing to spend on it. On average, the home’s value increase ranges from 3% to 4%.

Given how home values are huge, that’s quite a considerable amount of money you get to pocket for having such an installation. Isn’t it fair enough?

What are the Disadvantages of a Solar Water Heater?

Solar water heaters have a great side, but their downside is worth noting. The advantages include the following;


Failure to inspect your solar water heater and fix whatever needs your attention on time has proven to increase the chances of corrosion. The same case applies to installing a low-quality system.

After all, various system types are made of different metal types. Since they touch each other, electron transfer will occur, thus leading to galvanic corrosion.

Fortunately, cleaning the solar water heater can curb this occurrence. Equally important, ensure that the heater is dry when not used.


Its occurrence and intensity depend on the type of water at your home. For instance, it is more common in areas with hard water.

After all, mineral deposits clog the heating system upon building up. It may take time, but that’s the eventuality under these circumstances.

It reduces the system’s efficiency, thus the need to avoid the buildup. Introducing a water softener can prevent it.

Reliance on the Sun

If there is no sun, the solar water heater becomes unreliable. That’s because it is the energy source that the system needs to heat water.

Huge Installation Cost

Don’t expect to spend a small amount of money to install a solar water heater. Whereas it is worth it in the end, this high upfront installation cost makes it difficult for most people to install it in the first place.

It Can’t Power Other Appliances

There is a difference between a solar system and a solar water heater. The latter can only heat the water but can’t power other appliances.

So, don’t confuse one for the other to avoid disappointment. Alternatively, install a solar system and connect your electric water heater for various benefits.

How is Solar Water Heater Powered?

Since solar water heaters don’t need electricity, how are they powered? First, various solar water heaters have different components and varying working mechanisms.

However, despite the differences, the general concept that heaters operate with is similar. For instance, water heaters have storage tanks and solar collectors.

They are responsible for absorbing the thermal energy emanating from the sun. Afterward, the components use the absorbed energy to heat the water.

So, electricity doesn’t power the solar water heater hence unnecessary. On the contrary, the sun is responsible for powering such heaters thanks to solar energy.