You might think you have asked a solar salesperson all of the essential questions. But did you ever consider asking how they do wire management?
It’s the small things that matter. People get hung up on warranties, temperature coefficients, and panel brands, but they fail to ask the most important questions when hiring a solar contractor. And I get it – you would expect solar professionals to deal with these mundane issues with the right products and good workmanship. But you can’t leave these things to chance.
What if I told you that the vast majority of solar panels installed in Southwest Florida are done with plastic zip ties supporting the wiring to the solar rails? That’s right. These contractors think that plastic zip ties are going to hold up to the elements and keep wires suspended above your roof for 25 years. The truth is that after a few short years, the heat and elements will degrade the plastic, and it will get brittle and break. Then, all of your wiring will be resting on the roof. In wind and rain, the wires will move around and eventually get abrasion damage, causing system malfunction or safety issues.
Fixing issues like this is very costly. The only solution is to lift up every solar panel and redo the wire management using proper products and techniques. You can imagine how much it costs to send two trained installers up there for half a day just to deal with something the original contractor should have done right in the first place.
In this tongue-and-cheek video we highlight how your city or county inspection will not save you. The inspectors will not catch this grievous deficiency. It is up to you to ensure that your contractor uses the right products. We are not perfect, and we failed an inspection in this video, but it just goes to show how many inspections for our competitors should fail, but almost never do.
So, ask your salesperson what product they plan to use for wire management. And then make sure they actually don’t use zip ties. Or just hire us! We have a ban against zip ties on the roof.