Ready to Install Solar Yourself? Read This First! Posted on 08 Mar 09:00
You really can install a solar power system yourself — all you need to do is study up a bit and take a few important precautions.
If you’ve done all your homework and you’re ready to tackle a DIY solar panel installation, the next step is to order your do-it-yourself solar kit. Before you unpack those boxes and bust out the ladder, however, take a moment to read our beginners’ guide to DIY solar installation.
Most important, remember to stay safe!
Before You Begin the DIY Solar Installation Process
As you’re planning, check off all these boxes:
- Determine that your roof is capable of handling the weight of the PV panels. Contact a licensed roofing contractor or engineer for assistance.
- Call a certified electrician to handle the wiring and electrical connections. Electricians also will be familiar with the electric codes in your area.
- Gather all needed tools and inspect your scaffolding and ladders to make sure they’re safe.
Tips to Follow During Installation
As you begin installing your system, be sure to follow these basic safety precautions:
- If bad weather occurs, stop working immediately. Even the possibility of wind or lightning is reason to come down off the roof!
- Never work on the system when it is raining, or right after a rain when the roof is slippery. Ditto for cold weather, as condensation can form an invisible — but deadly — sheet of ice on the roof.
- Do not sit or step on the PV panels. They could break (expensive!) or shock you (dangerous!).
- Take care not to drop anything on the PV panels. They’re durable, but not designed for the impact of a falling hammer or other tools.
- Use the right materials and processes when penetrating your roof to avoid future problems with leaking. Also, be careful not to allow the roof’s underlayment or sheathing to get wet; this could lead to future leaks and extensive damage.
- Make sure that your entire system is safely and properly grounded — this is important in order to prevent electrical shock and possible injury. This is where you need that licensed electrician!!
- Do not install your system near flammable gases, as this could cause a fire or an explosion. If you have gas lines on the roof, contact a licensed plumber to relocate the lines.
After the Installation Is Complete
Photovoltaic solar systems, once installed, are fully automatic and have their own built-in safety features.
Once your system is up and running, you should never try to alter or repair the system without the help of a professional. Lots of electrical current is coursing through that system, and just one tiny mistake could lead to serious consequences!
More practically, when you work on or alter the panels in any way, you may also void the manufacturer’s warranty. If you have problems with your system after it’s been powered up, contact your trusty electrician to come out and take a look.
And finally, whenever you do need to get on the roof, always have someone with you — never go it alone!
Solar GOODs, your DIY solar superstore, has everything you need to design and install your own PV panel array, quickly and easily. You’ll save a ton of money too, handling some of the installation process on your own. Just remember, we want you to stay safe so you can enjoy your energy independence and cost savings for decades to come.
Check out our helpful site today, to learn more about how to install solar yourself!