Solar Water Heating Product Recall / Free Upgrade Announcement: Legionnaires’ Disease Risk.
From Solar Twin Ltd “Solartwin” regarding solar water heating installations using conventional twin coil solar cylinder and twin series cylinders. Solartwin review legionella safety for customers of solar water heating systems.
We have decided, following a safety review involving HSE and Legionella consultants, that there’s an elevated Legionella risk with most types of conventional twin coil solar cylinder and twin series cylinders. As the care and safety of our customers is a priority, we will upgrade these to reduce the risk of legionellosis, free of charge where we have either specified or installed such solar thermal installations. These higher risk types of installations comprise a very small proportion, under 1% of our installations. No other products or services in our solar thermal or solar PV ranges are affected. It goes without saying that we’re very sorry for the inconvenience caused.
What should I do?
1/ Please visit this link for a video, brief information of possible risks and on solutions.
2/ If you are immunosuppressed, you should not take showers or do any other activity which generates hot water spray.
3/ If you have such a conventional twin coil solar cylinder and twin series cylinder installation, or if you just think that you might have one, please call us on 0344 567 9032. We will identify your installation, assess any risks and offer a free upgrade if necessary.
No other Solartwin solar products are affected by this recall. Over 99% of our installations are not of the affected twin coil solar cylinder and twin series cylinders types, but are of the safer thermal store and direct heat-to-base types.
Based on a Legionella safety risk assessment, which suggests that twin coil solar cylinders may be up to ten times higher in terms of Legionella risk than conventional vented non-solar hot water stores (whether these are with or without Solartwin direct installations), Solar Twin Ltd are offering a free upgrade for customers for whom we have supplied and fitted:
1/ Indirect twin coil solar cylinders which are unable to heat to the base of the hot water cylinder.
2/ Twin series cylinders which are unable to heat to the base of the upstream hot water cylinder.
The vast majority, ie over 99% of all Solartwin installations (ie those with direct installations and thermal store installations) are unaffected by this solar product recall / free upgrade notice and only a tiny minority of our installations are of the indirect twin coil cylinder or twin cylinder in series types. And not all of these may be unable to heat to the base. Some may in fact have basal backup heaters installed, so these may already be OK
Nevertheless we have provisionally identified that a very small number of Solartwin solar water heating installations installed between 1999 and 2009 may use indirect twin coil solar cylinders and there is also a rare possibility that a very few customers have a twin series cylinder installation.
If you think that you have a twin coil solar cylinder or twin series cylinder please call us on 0344 567 9032 and ask for customer service for further advice, a technical assessment and if required, your free upgrade. We may ask you for photos of your hot water cylinder, and of its label, if you are able to provide them.
This free upgrade is available to you from Solar Twin Ltd irrespective of whether or not your product warranty period has expired, provided that we have installed or specified the solar water heating system for you.
If you are a customer of another solar thermal supplier or of an installer other than Solar Twin Ltd you may want to contact their customer service department and ask for their assistance. Unlike Solartwin, over 80% of “conventional” solar thermal installations use twin coil cylinders. Our new solutions, which were invented in Edinburgh, are safer.
We have asked the renewable energy industry consumer watchdog REAL Code for advice on whether we are required to offer free upgrades and they have not confirmed whether or not we are required to offer free upgrades. Nevertheless, ahead of any of other solar supplier, and against advice from colleagues in the solar thermal industry, who not think that any safety upgrade is necessary, as a commitment to the highest standards of safety in solar heating, we are offering this free upgrade service with the support of Trading Standards, with whom we have met to discuss this matter. This web page is linked to from the Trading Standards Institute “Product Recalls” page.