Keeping your home solar safe
Solar energy is one of the gateways open to Victorians for cheap, renewable energy.
Home solar panel systems installed by licensed A-Grade electricians are safe but to ensure they stay safe, you have to get them serviced. You cannot ‘set and forget’ home solar – they are a complex electrical installation, and require regular servicing and maintenance at least once every two years.
How often should it be serviced?
- We recommend you have your home solar panels system serviced at least once every two years.
- Your installer should specify how often servicing should take place, however, in the absence of this advice, you should default to once every two years.
Who should do servicing?
Your installer will be able to service your solar panel system and may provide ongoing servicing as part of a servicing agreement.
- Always check your warranty to ensure servicing by companies different to the installer do not void the warranty. You do have rights under Australian Consumer Law. Check Consumer Affairs Victoria for more information.
- If you need to find someone to service your panels, at a minimum it should be carried by a licensed A-Grade electrician.
- We strongly recommend you look for an electrician accredited by the Clean Energy Council.
- Always ensure that they will provide a detailed a report on what was carried out, what was found and what was rectified. Ask for this report if you do not receive it.
What does servicing involve?
- Servicing is not simply cleaning your solar panels. It involves detailed electrical testing of the numerous components of the solar panel system, as well as a thorough visual inspection to ensure the integrity of equipment and cabling. Clearing any debris or leaf litter under the solar panels and around the inverter.
- The service should include a check and test of the condition of the d.c. isolator. Over time and with constant weather exposure, the d.c. isolator casing can deteriorate, allowing rain or moisture to get into the d.c. isolator which can present a fire risk.
How much does a service cost?
- The cost of servicing varies. Age, size and complexity of your solar panel system will have an impact on cost.
- Your electrician should provide you with a quote for servicing upfront and include within the quote a description of the work to be undertaken. We recommend seeking at least two quotes.
What about people who advertise solar servicing or cleaning who are not licensed electricians?
- You should always check the person carrying out servicing is a licensed A-Grade electrician, preferably accredited by the Clean Energy Council. Ask to see their licence if you are unsure
- ‘Solar cleaners’ or people who advertise similar services, may be cheaper than an electrician, but the work they do to your system could be creating risks or void your warranty. You would not want your mechanic to only wash your car when you get it serviced, you want it to start and, more importantly, stop when needed.