My inverter went out! Now what?

Here’s some tips to troubleshoot your inverter and ensure continually high energy production of your solar panels.

Quality solar panels are typically built, designed and installed with the guarantee the panels will produce energy for 25 years. Due to their very low maintenance design, most problems that you find with your system are not caused by the panels. Instead, they are typically an issue with other system components such as the solar inverter–which generally have a 10 year warranty– charge controller, wiring or batteries. That said, most experienced solar professionals have found that when there are problems with the system, there are three simple steps a homeowner should take to troubleshoot their system.

STEP 1:  Breathe

Most problems with our solar installations are traced back to problems with the inverter, wiring, or other smaller system components.  Knowing that you will not have to replace your solar installation should bring peace of mind. Yes, there is a problem – but a fixable one that should not overwhelm you. Also remember, most solar components also come with significant warranties – so, many of the issues you might find with non-functioning components may well be covered with the warranty.

STEP 2:  Call Your Solar Installer

Now that you know there is a problem, reach out to the solar company that installed your solar system.  If you are unsure of who the installer is, take a moment to find a local solar installer who has complimentary reviews online and also is fully licensed and insured.  Give them a call and explain the problems you are experiencing with your system and book and appointment to troubleshoot your residential or commercial solar installation. If you’ve seen the problem from your system monitoring but no changes on your electric bill, the solution might be as simple as resetting your internet router.

STEP 3: Get Multiple Quotes

It is always recommended, even if you are in contact with your initial solar installation company, to get three quotes for three local, licensed and insured solar installation companies.  Replacing the inverter, wiring, or fixing other technical components of your solar system should not be overwhelmingly expensive. We recommend you hire installers that are members of the CA Solar & Storage Association, who must sign on to an ethics code that is enforced. Find a CALSSA-member installer.

Although we know that the cheapest bid is not always the best bid, having the quotes and the feedback from multiple companies will give you a baseline to make your decision with.  

Finding A Solution

Finding a solution to a solar installation that is either not performing or is under-performing is important. To get the greatest benefit from your solar installation, having a system that is functioning at full capacity is important.  Not only will your produce more clean, renewable energy, your pocketbook will notice the savings as well. If you experience technical issues with your solar system, remember the three steps:  Breathe, contact your solar installer, and get three quotes. Following these three steps will ensure your system will be back to full performance before you know it.

Got other tips to share? Let us know. Email [email protected] or post your tips on our Facebook page.


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