5 Reasons Not To Buy DIY Solar Panels


DIY Solar Panels Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be

The price of electricity today is skyrocketing at incredibly fast rates and it seems like there is no relief in sight. With the rising costs of electricity and the massive expense that comes with professionally installed solar panels, you might be tempted to install solar panels yourself. However, this is not at all advisable. DIY solar panels create safety problems and problems for your wallet. Here’s how.

1. Construction Problems

First and foremost are problems with installation and construction. If you assemble the solar paneling yourself, there is a much higher risk of a problem occurring than if you were to have someone who assembles them for a living do it. A solar panel is not like a piece of Ikea furniture: if you assemble a solar panel incorrectly and attempt to plug it in, it could short circuit your house, hurt you, or even cause a fire. The chance of this happening with a professional installer is almost nonexistent, and the installation has a guarantee in case something does go wrong.

2. Less Warranties

If you installed your solar panels yourself and something goes wrong with them, you are the one responsible for paying for them and fixing them. With the heavy expense of solar panels nowadays, fixing or replacing a solar panel on your own might not be realistic. If you pay a company to install your solar panels, though, they will most likely insure it for 10-25 years, saving you money further down the line. So, while you will be paying more upfront, you will pay less in the long run for repairs and miscellaneous other expenses. Something to keep in mind, though, is that some of the warranties from solar panel companies are limited. The company might insure the paneling, but not the wiring, or might only insure certain types of damage to the panels (rust, as opposed to a surprise basketball landing on your roof and hitting your panel). So, do not depend on the warranty. Maintain the panels as best you can.

3. More Malfunctions

At first, it might seem like everything’s ok with your DIY solar panels, but depending on what company you bought them from, this honeymoon period might not last long. Cheaply made solar panels without professional installation could wear out in less than a year. The solar panels a professional installation company brings in, on the other hand, are of high quality and are insured by both the manufacturer and the installer.

4. Insurance Issues

Did the holes you drilled in your roof to install the panels cause leaks? Is your roof compromised by the extra weight?  Your insurance might not always cover problems, especially if you installed the panels yourself. Although many insurance companies cover solar panels that are professionally installed, DIY panels might not be covered. Furthermore, if the solar panels damage your home and you put the panels up there yourself, you probably won’t be compensated for the damages.

5. Rebates

In order to qualify for a rebate for your solar panel, you have to have it approved by a professional engineer. So, even if you think you did an excellent job on your panels, you still need to have an engineer inspect and sign off on your handiwork. Because of the dangers of poorly installed panels, engineers are very critical when it comes to inspecting them. Your likelihood of passing, then, is slim, unless you are 100 percent sure of what you are doing. Overall, it is best to have your solar panels professionally installed. If you don’t have the money for professional installation, it is better to save up until you do. Otherwise, you might regret your decision further down the line.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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