Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
Hi,


I just wanted to introduce myself without getting into trouble. (I got banned on solarpaneltalk for advertising without warning. I do not work in the solar industry and was just explaining details of my situation.) I live in Southern California, more specifically in Arcadia. We have had some extremely high, (for us at least,) electricity bills of $533 Aug, $565 Sep, and $408 Oct. Basically my dad and I started arguing as to when to open and close windows, and so decided to get a solar electric system installed.

The installer is to install 28 SunPower E20/327 panels, replacing the spanish tile roofing under the panels with composite, a SolarEdge optimizer/inverter system, and a Heliotex automated cleaning system.

I will report as the process proceeds. As of this point the salesman is suggesting I might not replace the spanish tile with composite, but I don't think I'm going to agree because it was in the agreement. (I had told him I wanted a specific tile Owens Corning Berkshire line, but he did not adjust any price to the effect as I warned him they might be more expensive than what he was originally giving me.)

Thanks for reading, and I hope to be a good contributor to this forum!
«1

Comments

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,314 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    Welcome,

    One question, why would you get rid of a nearly "forever" tile roof and replace it with a 20-30 year comp roof?


    I believe there a lots of PV installs on tile roofs.
    Tony
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    icarus wrote: »
    Welcome,

    One question, why would you get rid of a nearly "forever" tile roof and replace it with a 20-30 year comp roof?


    I believe there a lots of PV installs on tile roofs.
    Tony

    There are different kinds of tile, some more brittle and fragile than others. The brittle ones make a good "forever" roof if you don't ever walk on them. :-)

    Since the panels are covering it, the appearance match to the rest of the roof is not a big issue, and it may end up cheaper for the installer to replace the roof than to do the work required to make weathertight penetrations in the tile roof to support the panel array.

    I also suspect that a 20 year composite roof will last a lot longer with a bunch of solar panels protecting it from the sun and debris. Might get a little mossy in wet climates though.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    icarus wrote: »
    Welcome,

    One question, why would you get rid of a nearly "forever" tile roof and replace it with a 20-30 year comp roof?


    I believe there a lots of PV installs on tile roofs.
    Tony

    Thanks for the welcome!!!

    There is one company that claims replacing the tiles under the panels with composite is the solution to leaks that have been a major complaint. (I honestly don't know the statistics on leaks, but a leaky roof in my past has been a nightmare, and preventing that is VERY important to me, so I believe them. Although now that I think about it, what's the difference between the hole they make in my tile and the hole they make in the composite?) The other company I compared to says that is a new trend to help prevent leaks, and makes an offer with the same. I fall into the "gimmick", and choose a company that does this tile replacement. I guess my thinking is whatever can be done to help prevent leaks is better....
    inetdog wrote: »
    There are different kinds of tile, some more brittle and fragile than others. The brittle ones make a good "forever" roof if you don't ever walk on them. :-)

    Since the panels are covering it, the appearance match to the rest of the roof is not a big issue, and it may end up cheaper for the installer to replace the roof than to do the work required to make weathertight penetrations in the tile roof to support the panel array.

    I also suspect that a 20 year composite roof will last a lot longer with a bunch of solar panels protecting it from the sun and debris. Might get a little mossy in wet climates though.

    Hey, you look familiar from solarpaneltalk?

    Anyways, there are lifetime composite roofing materials out there. I looked it up and requested it. Hopefully they will stay true to their word and give me those because it seems they are trying to get me to not replace tiles. I'm thinking it's because the composite they were originally giving is cheaper, maybe much cheaper, than the ones I requested. I asked him to check the night we signed the proposal and to possibly adjust the price on the agreement, but seems like he didn't verify the price difference and just kept it the same....

    Do you guys think I should take the deduction from my cost and not have the tiles replaced under the panels? The salesman did walk on them and although I don't dare go up to verify, they didn't seem to break. This would save me $2000.

    Thanks again for the welcome, and please warn me before banning me!!!
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    it is probably just a case for the installer to deal with what he is more familiar with and it is easier in general to deal with shingles than tiles. holes are holes though and need to be addressed in either case, but you are footing the bill for another roof that you may or may not need.
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    niel wrote: »
    it is probably just a case for the installer to deal with what he is more familiar with and it is easier in general to deal with shingles than tiles. holes are holes though and need to be addressed in either case, but you are footing the bill for another roof that you may or may not need.

    Point well taken. It is more complicated than just replacing the roof. They just replace the part under the solar panels. There is one company here that does this with all installations. Since the tiles are higher than the shingles it creates what seems to me a pocket in the roof as they replace tiles around, and below, the panels. I actually expressed concern about how the water will drain when it rains, and wanted them to put the panels towards the bottom of the roof as to not replace tiles below the panels. (Does that make sense? I mean not underneath the panels directly, but on the lower portion of the roof under the panels.)

    Maybe it is a mixed blessing that I asked for the Owens Corning Berkshire composite and the salesman is trying to let me consider not replacing the tiles and refunding me the cost.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    jzchen wrote: »
    Point well taken. It is more complicated than just replacing the roof. They just replace the part under the solar panels. There is one company here that does this with all installations. Since the tiles are higher than the shingles it creates what seems to me a pocket in the roof as they replace tiles around, and below, the panels. I actually expressed concern about how the water will drain when it rains, and wanted them to put the panels towards the bottom of the roof as to not replace tiles below the panels. (Does that make sense? I mean not underneath the panels directly, but on the lower portion of the roof under the panels.)

    Maybe it is a mixed blessing that I asked for the Owens Corning Berkshire composite and the salesman is trying to let me consider not replacing the tiles and refunding me the cost.

    Making the transition from shingles above to tiles below is not simple at all and would require flashing to go from below the shingles to above the tiles. For a gently sloped roof this could be a real problem because of the thickness of the tiles.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,314 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    I would spend some time talking to roofing contractors who have wide experince with tile roofs. Tile is expensive to install, and expensive to remove.

    I would also talk to several PV installers who are familiar with tile applications. Penetrations are always an issue with any roof, but by much so with tile. IMHO, any penetration that relies in caulk is NOT permanent. There are many cases if PV installed on tile, so it is not an insurmountable issue.

    Personally, I would shy away from replacing the roof (not having seen it) with comp if I didn't have to.

    Tony
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    icarus wrote: »
    I would spend some time talking to roofing contractors who have wide experince with tile roofs. Tile is expensive to install, and expensive to remove.

    I would also talk to several PV installers who are familiar with tile applications. Penetrations are always an issue with any roof, but by much so with tile. IMHO, any penetration that relies in caulk is NOT permanent. There are many cases if PV installed on tile, so it is not an insurmountable issue.

    Personally, I would shy away from replacing the roof (not having seen it) with comp if I didn't have to.

    Tony

    Thanks for this info! I'm afraid it is a little hard to follow. I know little about roofing except for the leak problem I had. I was young at the time and did not have to deal with getting it fixed. From reading your and inetdogs' post I am a little unclear. Is flashing different than caulk? They seem like two ways to deal with making holes in the roof. (In my naive understanding I would say flashing is for shingles and caulk is for tile? Can you flash a tile? It seems from what you say that if they have to caulk my tile then don't do that because it is not a permanent solution, but then you say you wouldn't personally remove the tile. The tile is in good shape overall. The house was finished in 2004 so I would say it is well under it's lifetime rating and seems to be holding up well. We had some severe winds here last year that knocked down lots of trees and power for a few days, (up to a week in some places from what I heard.) Nothing seemed to happen to them at all!

    I guess I have to do some more research like you say!!!
    inetdog wrote: »
    Making the transition from shingles above to tiles below is not simple at all and would require flashing to go from below the shingles to above the tiles. For a gently sloped roof this could be a real problem because of the thickness of the tiles.

    I can't really say whether or not they flash from shingle to the tile at all. As I understand after the solar panels are installed they tuck the tiles back in to make it look more presentable. It seems like they can't be able to/won't flash unless they removed the panels at the edges and then do the flashing? I am assuming it might be that the shingles go all the way down the roof to the bottom, and that they just put the tiles back on top for that section which is below the level of the solar panels. Again, I apologize for my lack of understanding. (I think I should have asked more questions before to the salespeople!!!)

    Thanks again guys!

    Jesse
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    jzchen wrote: »
    I am assuming it might be that the shingles go all the way down the roof to the bottom, and that they just put the tiles back on top for that section which is below the level of the solar panels. ... (I think I should have asked more questions before to the salespeople!!!)

    Thanks again guys!

    Jesse
    That would be the simpest way, as long as the way they attach the tiles on top of the shingles does not require holes in the shingles. The tiles would just be cosmetic and would serve to protect the shingles under them, but the weight of the tiles would still have to be properly suspended for safety. You would not want them sliding off the roof unexpectedly.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    inetdog wrote: »
    That would be the simpest way, as long as the way they attach the tiles on top of the shingles does not require holes in the shingles. The tiles would just be cosmetic and would serve to protect the shingles under them, but the weight of the tiles would still have to be properly suspended for safety. You would not want them sliding off the roof unexpectedly.

    Hmmm. I shall wait and see. Funny, but before he said site survey guys would be out to the house 7 to 10 days later. I called him and he came by once, but now I'm hearing crickets.... I will keep people posted as things move along, whenever they do....
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    Still waiting. I was told by the end of January, then towards the end of February, now it is pushed back to March 14 as I clarified I wanted the tiles replaced where the panels are to be. Specifically requested Owens Corning Berkshire composite....
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    did you pay them any money? (reminder for myself to look at thread title:cry:) if no then find somebody else willing to do the work. if yes, you have a problem trying to force this guy to do the job you already put money towards. hound them to see if they'll move, but otherwise it sounds like a lawsuit to get your money back.
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    niel wrote: »
    did you pay them any money? (reminder for myself to look at thread title:cry:) if no then find somebody else willing to do the work. if yes, you have a problem trying to force this guy to do the job you already put money towards. hound them to see if they'll move, but otherwise it sounds like a lawsuit to get your money back.

    Thank you for the quick response!

    Sorry for the delay in replying! Been having some car issues and it's been taking up my time, besides the usual other stuff.... It's been so long since we put the deposit my father, probably in his old age, has turned to saying he wants to back out of installing solar! He is worried about roof leaks, and it is a very serious issue in his mind, well, besides the cost of the system.

    Yes, I'm afraid the deposit is in their hands. They have been trying to convince me to not replace the tiles, most likely because they made a mistake and did not catch that those specific shingles are more expensive. I am very upset with the way they have handled the issue:

    Proposal was signed 11/14/12. I was in a hurry, so he, (the salesman,) comes back the next day. While he left I specifically ask him to verify the price of the composite roof shingles I requested. He came back 11/15/12 with the Agreement for my dad to sign. I asked him about the roof, and he said they will use them. Funny, he asks my dad to sign 11/14/12 instead of 11/15/12. On my copy he accidentally signed 11/15, then superimposed 4 on the 5.

    In December the salesman calls me and he and operations manager come over and try to convince me it is not necessary to change the tiles under the panels, and that they will deduct the $2000 from the bill. I say I'll think it over. The manager says he'll have the roofer call me. Roofer never calls. I think things over and send salesman an email stating I want the original plan of replacing tiles with composite under the panels. He responds with CC to operations manager that that should not be a problem.

    I ask at the end of January, and start complaining towards the end of February. My salesman leaves the company. I am now dealing with other people, besides the operations manager.
    I call a week before mid March when panels are to be delivered and verify that the panels are being delivered as that was what another person there was saying would happen next. I go back to the Agreement, and read that I should have seen and approved of the CAD diagram and that is before the first large payment is to be made, so I ask for it. I tell the operations manager I haven't heard from the roofer. He says he will have him call me, gives me the company name and the person's name. No call so I search for the roofer on the web and call him. He calls me back and confirms what I have found through this web forum, that it is better longevity wise to replace the tiles. I mention he was supposed to call me for like a month, and he said "he's usually very good at calling people back," and that "operations manger didn't tell him about my project." On the CAD drawing there is no mention of replacing tiles under roof, no mention of the Heliotex automated cleaning system that is on the Agreement, AND the electrical panel box is not even in the right place on the house. File name says "permitting," so I assume that was sent to the city. I estimate they put it about 20 ft from where it actually is. It is in the corner of the house, (well, at least they got the right wall I guess!)

    Now another person, the new salesman, is calling me to tell me it is not necessary to replace the tiles. I finally tell him as I am angry, (keeps talking, and kind of doesn't let me get a word in), that I do not want to change my mind!

    When this is all over with, I am going to explain to these people that I/my family am/are human too. We understand that mistakes can happen, ie. the price of the shingles are more than they expected. If they had come directly to me in the first place with the issue, I could have gone to my family and told them about this and maybe work things out. But instead they took the view that we wouldn't care about a mistake, and that we would try to take whatever we can get. Now that it's been so long, and I know the trend of things is to get cheaper over time, AND now that they tried to solve their issue in this way, I do not want to renegotiate a price! I want what was agreed upon, and if they are not able to keep the agreement, then I want a refund of my deposit.

    This is 54k and change, car dealers treat you better for your money!!!!

    Please forgive my rant!!!!
  • kell490kell490 Registered Users Posts: 10
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    I would just call the register of contractors and file a complaint to get the deposit back most of these guys will just give it back I did that with a pool contractor that after I signed a contractor came back and said it would cost more then they quoted but kept arguing with me once I filed with the ROC the owner called me the next day and said they had a check for me. Tile roofs aren't perfect either we have them here in Phoenix they look nice but what you don't know is how they cut corners under the tile which is the actual seal some felt or what ever is used. The tile gets so hot it bakes I'm not a fan of tile roofs in Phoenix climate. The cost to re-roof is higher because it takes longer to remove them and put them back. I also got kicked off that solartalk forum I posted a link to the kit I wanted to buy If you look the owner of the forum actually owns an online solar store his prices seem to be higher then the ones I have been looking at maybe he doesn't want any competition.
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    kell490 wrote: »
    I would just call the register of contractors and file a complaint to get the deposit back most of these guys will just give it back I did that with a pool contractor that after I signed a contractor came back and said it would cost more then they quoted but kept arguing with me once I filed with the ROC the owner called me the next day and said they had a check for me. Tile roofs aren't perfect either we have them here in Phoenix they look nice but what you don't know is how they cut corners under the tile which is the actual seal some felt or what ever is used. The tile gets so hot it bakes I'm not a fan of tile roofs in Phoenix climate. The cost to re-roof is higher because it takes longer to remove them and put them back. I also got kicked off that solartalk forum I posted a link to the kit I wanted to buy If you look the owner of the forum actually owns an online solar store his prices seem to be higher then the ones I have been looking at maybe he doesn't want any competition.

    Thank you for the advice! I am kind of sitting on this as my temper is kind of high from what has happened. I told my family what happened, and they were just kind of silent. I may ask what they want/consider, and then decide what action to take.

    Sorry to hear you got kicked off the solarpanel?talk forum as well. (I got no warning. I just couldn't log in anymore. Reason was "advertising" if I remember correctly. Those guys are paranoid or something. I did see that they have a store, but it is all the way on the East Coast. I don't think they have to worry about competition from way over here...)
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    guys,
    i can't say what happened to you on the other forum, but advertizing is a real problem. there are many who just want to drop a link for free advertizing and we have seen it here as well and it often doesn't matter if the site is sponsored or not. we would like to believe we are fairer to the member, but we do find need at times to ban as well. it is always good for one to read the rules of the forum you are on and we are here as well if you have questions concerning if something is allowed or if it would get you in trouble or not.
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    So installation has started. It is going to be finished soon. One thing I was told was that the Solar Edge would not work with the Sun Power panels. I called both companies directly and confirmed that they would. The installation manager said he doesn't want to be responsible if they don't work, so I said I would accept responsibility. I am pretty confident on checking their work on the DC side, but I am not clear/don't know much on the AC side, and I want to verify if they connect it properly. Connections on the AC side are
    B C D E
    N GND L1 L2

    Is there any color I can use as a basis, or do I need to test the circuit with a voltmeter? How do I test and what results should I get accross the lines, ie I am assuming I will be testing voltage AC accross the wires:

    L1 and GND, L2 and GND, L1 and L2. I have no clue how N fits in.

    Please advise? Thanks for reading, and take care.
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    niel wrote: »
    guys,
    i can't say what happened to you on the other forum, but advertizing is a real problem. there are many who just want to drop a link for free advertizing and we have seen it here as well and it often doesn't matter if the site is sponsored or not. we would like to believe we are fairer to the member, but we do find need at times to ban as well. it is always good for one to read the rules of the forum you are on and we are here as well if you have questions concerning if something is allowed or if it would get you in trouble or not.

    On the other forum I decided to give the specific details on the 3/4 quotes that I had gotten from the companies I contacted. My purpose was to expose what I was going through with each company so as to warn others on what they might expect. I'm afraid that was construed as advertising when I finally explained my choice. It turns out that the company underbid me, (in such extreme fashion,) as to cause severe issues with them complying with the agreement....
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    jzchen wrote: »
    How do I test and what results should I get accross the lines, ie I am assuming I will be testing voltage AC accross the wires:

    L1 and GND, L2 and GND, L1 and L2. I have no clue how N fits in.

    L1 - N 120V
    L2 - N 120V
    L1 - L2 240V
    N - GND 0V (important!)

    I would suggest leaving that to the installer. Wrong connections can cause damage to the equipment(or fire).
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    L1 - N 120V
    L2 - N 120V
    L1 - L2 240V
    N - GND 0V (important!)

    I would suggest leaving that to the installer. Wrong connections can cause damage to the equipment(or fire).

    Thank you!!! (I was actually a CECS major for 3 yrs. I should be able to figure these wires out from a wiring standpoint. I just don't have practical experience, and for some reason wasn't exposed much to AC from my memory.)

    I got the feeling that the installation manager was trying to sell me something else so he could adjust the price upwards again. He said that the Solar Edge would not work with the SunPower panels because they were positively grounded. I did my research about transformerless inverters, and contacted both Solar Edge and SunPower to confirm compatibility. After I said they were, the manager still said he was concerned that they would be responsible if it didn't work, and would have to eat the labor to remove the system, a restocking fee, and to install a new system. I told him I would be responsible, so I just want to "help" check their work, (to make a long story short.)

    I and another person on the installation crew realized that one inverter wasn't even stringed properly in the plans, and I already caught that one N wire wasn't run to the smaller inverter because the plans didn't have that line shown connected....


    System should be fully connected by tomorrow. I was told I would be able to test it. I will report again...

    Thanks again for all the help everyone!!!!
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    You really need to be careful with positive grounding. Most equipment is designed for negative grounding, so if somewhere, something connects battery negative to the ground, you'll get a dead short.
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    You really need to be careful with positive grounding. Most equipment is designed for negative grounding, so if somewhere, something connects battery negative to the ground, you'll get a dead short.

    Thank you! The good thing about the few transformerless inverters that I've read the instructions of, is that the DC side does not get grounded. That is one thing I couldn't understand, how a solar panel would check for proper grounding. I've confirmed that there are just two leads coming out, a + and a -. You'll either find open circuit or closed circuit with that. My EE is definitely rusty though!

    Either way, SunPower confirmed that the modules with the NE specification in the model are neutral, and do not require positive grounding. We should be testing the system today. (I wish I had taken pictures as it was being put up, but I'm afraid I didn't...

    I'll keep things updated with the Solar Edge and SunPower panels. (Doesn't seem like many people have this combination...)

    Thanks again for all the help/advice!!!! I hope/wish I will be a better contributor in the future.


    On a side note to those considering solar in SoCal. There is a bidding war going on with different companies competing with each other to win your business. Some are honest and may give a higher price. One warned me as to his concern that the others were "too cheap." One actually explained that the companies are operating at a loss and are just trying to survive. I believe that now as my experience with this company has shown how much underbidding actually goes on. The tile replacement may have covered 5 squares, or approximately 500 sq ft., but they have to basically redo that side of the roof, and my quote of $2000 actually runs $6000 to $7000, and they were willing to compromise to $4000. I now know how they kind of try to make back the money, as they all of a sudden said the combination of SunPower Panels and Solar Edge wouldn't work. (I must confess though a lot of employee turnaround has happened in the company.) If I bought into that and didn't do my own research I wonder how much extra the TIGOs would have cost as they switched over to other products....
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    System is complete now. Waiting for SCE to send me a yellow tag to attach to my meter and allow me to turn system on. Had to figure out communication connection via RJ45 (ethernet) because I didn't want them to use wireless, but monitoring is functional now with the help of Solar Edge tech support.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,644 admin
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    What did you end up doing for the roofing and flashing?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    Dear Bill,

    I'm sorry for the slow reply.

    On the advice from a GAF elite roofer, I requested that they double flash my roof. Basically flash underneath the tile, and then instead of caulk they flash on top as well.

    I'm not sure if this is good, but as an update the system reports as producing 52.15 kWh today...
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,644 admin
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    Properly applied flashing is usually the best solution.

    Improperly applied flashing you can have the same leak for 70+ years over the garage (as in my house--We just found the flashing was messed up last year and fixed it).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ThomThom Solar Expert Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    "On the advice from a GAF elite roofer" is that some made up term ?

    Thom
    Off grid since 1984. 430w of panel, 300w suresine , 4 gc batteries 12v system, Rogue mpt3024 charge controller , air breeze windmill, Mikita 2400w generator
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    Thom wrote: »
    "On the advice from a GAF elite roofer" is that some made up term ?

    Thom

    GAF roofing products gives different certification levels to roofers that use their products. Their highest level is called "Master Elite." It does sound like some kind of marketing thing, but their highest level is the only one allowed to sell a GAF backed warranty, not just a warranty from the roofer. If you go to the GAF website and sift through the maze of information about warranties then you'll kind of figure it out.
  • jzchenjzchen Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.
    BB. wrote: »
    Properly applied flashing is usually the best solution.

    Improperly applied flashing you can have the same leak for 70+ years over the garage (as in my house--We just found the flashing was messed up last year and fixed it).

    -Bill

    Uh oh. Now you've got me worried. We did have a strong rain just after they finished. Thunder/Lightning and all. Maybe I should take a flashlight up into the attic and take a closer look. Thank you for the warning...

    Just noticed in your signature "(replacement)". Did your panels go bad and they replace them under warranty?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,644 admin
    Re: Introduction. Put deposit on Solar Electric System.

    Yea--My solar panels failed after about 6+ years. They apparently had a design/mfg issue with the junction boxes were the connections overheated over time (there were slight "coffee colored or almost like a light rust color under the glass over the j-boxes). It was pretty amazing. The array was working fine then over a couple of weeks the output went down to about 1/2 normal wattage. Called the installer and found about 1/2 the panels would no longer supply rated current.

    Also had several GT inverters too. The first one was working fine and Xantrex/Schneider mechanically replaced because earlier inverters had a history of failing early due to mfg defect. The new unit worked really well and had a new disconnect switch (old unit had a small twist on/off like a boat DC disconnect. New unit had huge spring loaded knife switches to disconnect AC/DC power--Very nice unit--But the inverter failed after about a year. Got a new/old stock replacement and that unit is working fine now... All the GT inverter stuff was replaced with no costs to me even though it was all out of warranty).

    I could not believe the flashing issue on my home... Lots of roof changes over the years and the roofers all missed the fact that the flashing from around a single dormer took a dive around the base of the window and dumped a nice little stream of water into the garage below. Saw the staining on the wood but never really noticed anything until I insulated and dry-walled the garage (give a little better fire barrier to the bonus room above and part of a general installing insulation in a 1930's home. Took another ~7 years before I figured out I had a problem. We are in a pretty dry area and we don't always have heavy soaking rains every winter. Had ripped off all the siding/trim on the dormer trying to find the leak (I fell off the stupid roof and tore a stupid tendon in my stupid arm when the stupid ladder slipped out from under me on a stupid low roof while looking for the stupid leak--Did I say it was stupid? :roll:).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
Sign In or Register to comment.