Problem with failed inverter -- now installation company appears to be DOA.. Now What?

So, I've got this little problem -- kinda a lengthy story (sorry!!)

step back to last fall -- late Sept or early October.. One of our two Fronius IG3000 failed with another line voltage sensing issue (it's always the same issue for us). I called Fronius and they wanted to replace the entire inverter -- fine -- I call Premier Power in the Sacramento, CA area who installed the system in late '07 and the two parties talk about the logistics.. About 3-4 weeks go by and I have my new inverter installed... all is fine..

Move forward to just after Christmas -- I walk outside with my wife and notice the other IG3000 is dead with the same symptoms :grr.

So, I call up Premier Power assuming nobody will be around as it was still between the Christmas/New Years period... When I called their number I hear three rings and then the line hangs up.. ***? Voicemail system must be down... So, I wait a few days and try again.. No change.. This is not good.. I send an email to their support person and get an automated response saying she's out of town and will be back 1/2 or something like that..

Flash forward to this week.. I'm still NOT able to get ahold of them -- none of their phone numbers are working (their 877 is always busy -- their 916 number hangs up).. I send another email to all contacts I've spoken with in the past when we did the install and two of the 4 bounce saying "no such user" -- I guess they moved on to better places to work.. The other two didn't bounce but I've not gotten a response either.. (typical of them unfortunately)

Anyway, I did find a press release from this past fall indicating that an Italian firm had bought up 55% of the outstanding shares as is a majority stakeholder in the company now.. Hmm..

So, our inverter has been dead for about 15 days now and Fronius is ready & willing to send a warranty replacement but the servicing company is apparently out to lunch!

I'm thinking that Fronius will NOT allow me to install a new inverter since I'm not licensed (even though I've wired an entire house before) and understand the high voltage issues with both the panels DC volts and AC line.. So, I think my only choice to get the inverter fixed under warranty is to have another installer do it at my own expense..

And, in the off chance Premier Power gets their heads out of their rears, ask for a full refund of the out of pocket expenses...

Are there any other choices you might see/suggest?

P.S. What do you think it might cost to have a licensed local installer pull down the old inverter and replace it with a new IG3000? I think it will take about an hour give or take and perhaps a few hundred $$ -- depending on who sends the old inverter back to Fronius as part of the replacement (unless Fronius doesn't want it back)

Anything else you can suggest would be appreciated..

PPS - Once our Fronius warranty expires in a bit over 4 years, we will be moving to (probably) SunnyBoys and ditch the Fronius stuff as it's just WAY too unreliable with now multiple failures per year..

Comments

  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,366 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Problem with failed inverter -- now installation company appears to be DOA.. Now Wha

    Yes solar installers fall by the wayside a lot. Mine did too, but so far no issues with the PVPowered inverters or the solar panels.

    Do you have any other local electricians that you trust? I am lucky to have found on here that fixed some conduit on my system for me.
    You might call Fronius and see if that is acceptable.
  • osx-addictosx-addict Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: Problem with failed inverter -- now installation company appears to be DOA.. Now Wha
    solar_dave wrote: »
    Yes solar installers fall by the wayside a lot. Mine did too, but so far no issues with the PVPowered inverters or the solar panels.

    Do you have any other local electricians that you trust? I am lucky to have found on here that fixed some conduit on my system for me.
    You might call Fronius and see if that is acceptable.

    Thanks... Good ideas! When we remodeled, we had a great (IMHO) electrician -- the rest of the subs were crap but I trusted the electrician.. I will see if that will pass muster with Fronius or if they want a genuine solar installer -- not sure if there's a difference or not -- other than knowing more specifics to the solar hardware ins-n-outs. In this case a swap-out ought to be easy-peasy for him..
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