Poor Workmanship on Solar Energy Systems

Sometimes we see shockingly poor workmanship on solar energy systems. What’s more shocking is when solar contractors argue that the work is acceptable.

One pet peeve of mine is poor wire management. Specifically, allowing wires to run along roof surfaces without proper support and protection drive me nuts. Securing and supporting wires is required by building code. But common sense should tell you that allowing wires to be run along a rooftop unprotected from damage is unacceptable.

In fact, it’s crazy. Imagine what can happen. Wires chafe on the rough roof surface until the insulation rubs off and touch another wire or something metallic. Sparks fly. Fires start.

Obviously Bad Workmanship

We recently inspected a system and something stood out. I’m pretty sure even the average homeowner can tell this is not well done.

I see this all the time, but the story of the above images is even more disturbing. This system was installed years ago, and removed recently to make way for a new roof. The original contractor was long out of business, so another local company removed the system and reinstalled it after the new roof was installed. Believe it or not, this reinstallation was inspected by the local building department and passed inspection!

But it gets worse. The house was being sold, and the buyer wanted it professionally inspected. We performed an inspection and informed the seller that these wiring issues were clear code violations and clearly problematic. The seller wanted their own inspection. The original reinstalling contractor came out and, predictably, said there was nothing wrong. But the seller wanted another opinion and got a second contractor to look at it. Inexplicably, that contractor also said it was no problem! Not only that, they told the seller’s real estate agent that they were CRAZY! Seriously. They called her “crazy.”

Who is crazy in this situation? I think it’s obvious.

Common Sense Workmanship Practices

Common sense prevailed, and ultimately we were asked to properly support and protect the wiring at this site (among other minor repairs).

What is most disturbing is that the other two contractors that looked at this are well-known companies in Southwest Florida. They have installed likely hundreds of systems each. Yet they think this kind of workmanship is acceptable.

If you need a solar panel system inspected, give us a call. We will give you real answers. Frankly, I hate fixing these issues. But consumers deserve accurate information, safe solar installations, and access to service that they can count on. We will continue to raise the bar and hold competitors accountable for poor workmanship on solar energy installations.

 

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