Install Your DIY Solar Kit with These Tools and Equipment Posted on 21 Sep 09:00
If you’re a handy homeowner, you can install a DIY solar kit, as long as you have the right tools and equipment. Gear up before you get started, and you’ll be able to handle every step of your photovoltaic installation with ease.
You may have most items you’ll need already in your toolbox, particularly if you routinely work on home renovation projects, since no special equipment is necessary. You can borrow, rent or buy anything you don’t already own.
Tools for Installing Your DIY Solar Kit
You’ll need some basic tools to mount the panels.
Useful equipment to have on hand includes nut drivers to fasten hex head nuts and bolts, slip-joint pliers to hold and secure the fittings and an adjustable torque wrench to precisely tighten the mounting rack hardware. You also may need a few other hand tools, such as a level, hammer, screwdrivers and both socket and open-end ratcheting wrenches.
A few power tools also will come in handy during your solar installation. Make sure to have your cordless drill charged up, and keep square drive, Phillips and hex head bits nearby.
If you can, buy or borrow a right-angle drill, as it is easier to use in tight spaces.
Electrical Tools for Installing Your DIY Solar Array
Most solar DIYers hire an electrician to do the wiring and electrical portions of their photovoltaic array. In fact, your utility company likely will require you to have a skilled technician sign off on the electrical work. Unless you are a licensed electrician yourself, this is not a part of the work you can do yourself.
If you are a skilled electrician, however, you’ll need needle-nose pliers to feed wires through the fittings, lineman’s pliers to cut and twist wires, a crimper to attach the connectors and fish tape to pull system wiring through the conduit. You’ll also need wire strippers and cable cutters.
Additional electrical tools include a digital multimeter to measure voltage and amperage and a shade analysis tool, like the Solar Pathfinder or the Solmetric SunEye.
Safety Equipment for a DIY Solar Kit Installation
Working on a roof is dangerous without the proper safety equipment.
We strongly suggest that solar DIYers rent or buy fall protection equipment, such as a roof safety harness or temporary guardrails. Having the right ladder also is important.
Make sure yours is sturdy and extends at least 3 feet above the edge of your roof.
Finally, don’t forget to wear work gloves, a helmet and goggles to protect yourself from injury. And since you’ll be working on the roof, don’t forget your sunscreen!
Installing a DIY photovoltaic system is an exceptional way to save money. Not only will you establish your energy independence, but you’ll realize significant cost savings on your power bills immediately after your system goes live.
Solar GOODs, your online DIY solar superstore, has everything you need to design, purchase and install your system. Visit our website today to learn more about using a DIY solar kit to power your home.