In previous articles I’ve told you about installers that put solar on the wrong roofs (which completely destroys your payback time). I’ve covered “lessons learned” as well, but this time I wanted to address downright dangerous things we saw this week at another company installation. Not coincidentally, a familiar contractor name came back up.
The typical calls come in to us where the customer is complaining that their “solar” contractor won’t return their calls or makes up excuses why they can’t come out to fix a problem. We try to explain to them that all solar companies are not alike.
The call this week involved a solar pool pump and heater. The pump and associated control box had quit working and tripping breakers so we sent out a technician to see that the problem was. Keep in mind that the system was just months old and the installer would not come out to service it.
Ungrounded – Solar energy systems and all their electrical components must be grounded to meet code, to ensure proper operation and for the safety of the people around them. The first thing we found was the pump was shorted out and ungrounded. This is extremely dangerous and the improper wiring may have contributed to its early demise! Besides, water and electricity don’t mix well!
While there – we checked the solar pool heater and to our horror we found that the 1 1/2″ PVC pool heater water lines were run through the attic! This means that a glued joint could possibly fail causing catastrophic damage to the contents of the home. Pool heater water lines are subjected to cold and hot temperatures as well as pressure shock from the starting and bypass of the pool heater system. We recommended that this situation be corrected immediately.
These are things that experience teaches you. You also learn what are the best brands as well as the cheaper, often failing brands. If you are in for the long haul (like we are) you want to always offer the best.
Feel free to contact me with your questions or comments.
Jeff Shaw, owner
Gulf South Solar