Why DIY Solar Might be a Bad Thing


Originally posted by 1Bog: http://bit.ly/cHYV0C

In general, DIY projects are a good thing, from hacking IKEA furniture to making bento boxes. But solar panel installation is something that’s best left to professionals, both for your own safety and to protect your home.

1. You could hurt yourself.

Whenever you’re working with electrical wiring, there’s a very real risk of electric shock. As soon as you attach wiring to a solar panel on your roof, it’s immediately live. If you don’t truly know what you’re doing, you could be seriously injured. When you wire your inverters, you could come in direct contact with electrical energy; worst-case scenario, this could cause electrocution. Even a minor shock can cause an involuntary muscle reaction as you jerk away from the the electricity, and if you’re on your roof, this could cause you to fall. Which brings us to our second point: it’s also dangerous to work on steep roofs, high above the ground, especially if you’re not experienced.

2. You could damage your house.

Although it’s rare, you could put holes in your roof when you install solar panels, which is another reason why it’s important to choose someone with the right skills– and avoid going the DIY route. If installed incorrectly, there’s also a small risk that the solar panels could later cause a fire. Experienced installers, like those we select after careful vetting at 1BOG, can give you peace of mind.

3. You might not install the panels optimally for best performance.

Unless you’ve done a lot of research, you won’t know how to find the best location for your solar panels in order to get the most power from them. Professional installers know how to assess your home and determine where to put the solar panels based on direction and shading, with a consideration of how the position of the sun will change throughout the year.

4. You might be breaking the law.

If you’re not a certified electrician, you can’t legally connect the wiring for your installation. There are very good reasons that a professional is required, as listed above. Even if someone has an electrical contractor license, that doesn’t mean they have the right skills to safely and correctly install solar panels, so it’s really necessary to work with someone who’s well-qualified and experienced in the specifics of solar power.

5. Figuring out how to install solar panels takes a long time.

Aside from the time it takes to figure out where to locate the panels and how to install them, you’d also need to research the number of panels you need for your electricity consumption, the type of panels to choose, the correct inverter to choose, and more details about the equipment itself. Actually performing the installation of solar panels also takes time, and usually happens with a full crew of installers. Using professional installers ensures that you’re getting the best equipment for your home, installed safely and properly (with a multi-year warranty from the installer to boot). Sign up for One Block Off the Grid to let us do the research for you and choose a company with high-quality panels, high-quality installation practices, and stability as an organization. And keep yourself safe and sound, and off the roof.

Photo Credit. Post via 1bog.org

About Isaac Lewis

Isaac Lewis is a web entrepreneur in the solar and renewable energy industry. He works as a web developer, a 3D draftsman, small farmer and linux and FOSS activist.
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