With all the recent technological advancements, it should be no surprise that more and more people are turning toward solar. We feel that it won’t be long before most US citizens use solar energy as their primary source of power. But, with all the increase in solar panel installation, we cannot help but notice all the mistakes that homeowners make time and time again. So, to help all those future installers, we will cover the most common mistakes to avoid when installing solar panels. Hopefully, you will read this article before you start making your power supply eco-friendly.
Mistakes to avoid when installing solar panels
While there are many ways to make DIY solar panel installment easy, none can substitute professional help. Experienced professionals are well versed in all the little details necessary to set up, and properly utilize solar panels. So, if you do wish to attempt a DIY installation, don’t shy away from at least consulting with a professional installer. Most will be more than happy to give you valuable tips and ensure that your installation goes as smoothly as possible. This is especially important to remember if you run into any significant issues that threaten both your solar system and the structural integrity of your home.
Forgetting the prep work
A full-fledged solar panel system isn’t something that you simply plug in. It is complex machinery that requires careful wiring to function correctly. But, seeing that a good guide can make it seem simple, people tend to neglect to prepare their wiring. This, as it turns out, is one of the more dangerous mistakes to avoid when installing solar panels. Before installing them, you first need to make sure that your wiring is in top-notch condition. Have an electrician go over it and ensure there aren’t any issues. Once you do that, make sure that you entirely understand the wiring guide for your solar panels. If you improperly wire your solar system, you will likely end up with a subpar energy source. And, god forbid, you may even cause considerable damage to your home.
Not measuring roof lines
People often get pretty excited when they decide to opt for solar panels. This leads to them rushing to a nearby store or going online to find a good deal. But, an important step they skip in this process is measuring their roof. Namely, while solar panels perfectly fit in images that stores provide, there is no telling whether they will fit your home. This is why it is paramount that you take accurate measurements of your roof before shopping. Outline how big your roof is and what part of it you wish to use for solar panels. Factor in wiring, racking, and conduit into your measurements to properly plan the installation. Few of the various solar panel systems available will fit properly on your roof, especially if you want to maximize its power-generating potential.
Placing panels in partial shade
While we are on the subject of maximizing power-generating potential, we should mention that you should expose solar panels to as much sun as possible. The more sun they see during the day, the more power they will generate. While this may seem straightforward, people tend to place solar panels in partial shade. This outright lowers their power generation potential and can comprise the efficiency of your entire system.
Ignoring safety concern
Most guides for solar panel installation start with a subtle list of safety concerns and regulations. These are something that professionals know by heart and amateurs often ignore. As we said, people are excited to install solar panels. Which motivates them to either skip or superficially go through the safety guide. This is a big mistake as you can damage your property and hurt yourself.
During the installation, you will move around heavy items and handle the wiring. Both can be dangerous if you don’t wear the right gear and don’t abide by safety regulations. So, before you start, make sure that you can follow all the safety measures that will keep you safe and sound.
Exposed junction boxes
This may seem surprising to some of you, but many people either choose to leave their junction boxes open or forget to close them. In either case, they make a big mistake. An open junction box is prone to damage. This results in a shortened lifespan of your solar system or even considerable damage to your entire home. Once you finish the installment, you really ought to give your junction box one final check.
Nuts and bolts are commonly used to secure the various part of your solar panel system. People with DIY experience have a feel for how tight one should screw in these nuts and bolts. But, those without much experience may feel that the stronger you tighten the nuts and bolts, the better. This, while seemingly common-sense, is wrong. You can easily dent your solar panels and comprise the structure holding them in place by tightening too firmly. The same idea goes for all the wiring installations.
The final piece of advice
Most of the mistakes to avoid when installing solar panels are due to rashness. People want to enjoy their solar panels as soon as possible and needlessly rush through the installation process. We strongly advise you to research DIY guidelines and solar panel installation procedures before you go at it. The more research you do, the fewer mistakes you are likely to make.
Rob Green has worked as a professional electrician and business consultant for over 20 years. He now focuses on advisory work and writing helpful articles for Miami Movers for Less and many other companies.