There are risks to installing solar yourself, such as falling off the roof, damaging equipment, and in rare cases, electrocution. But if you take precautions and follow instructions correctly, installing solar can be safe.
This article covers:
Solar systems have components that conduct electricity, such as solar arrays and inverters. When your system goes live or your panels are exposed to the sun, these parts could electrocute you, although it's unlikely. Here are some precautions that you can take to protect yourself from being electrocuted:
- Don’t disconnect module connectors or wiring when your system is under load.
- Never install in bad weather.
- Cover solar panels with an opaque sheet as soon as they are unpackaged.
- Inspect equipment for damage.
The chances of electrocution are higher when your equipment is damaged. If you drop any of your panels, check them for cracks, broken glass, and frayed wires. Damage like this can cause your system to malfunction and the electricity to take an unintended path through your body.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is specialized clothing and equipment that protects you from getting injured while working. For installing solar panels, this includes:
- Steel-toed shoes
- Comfortable knee pads
- Fall protection system
If you want to install your solar system on your roof, we recommend using a fall protection system if the fall hazard is six feet or more. These systems should include a body belt or harness, an anchorage, connectors, and other equipment to help restrict you from the roof's edge. You can purchase one of these from your local hardware store.
Trips and Falls
Keeping your balance while working on a rooftop can be challenging. Here are some ways that you can protect yourself from tripping and falling:
- Use a fall protection system.
- Never work on a wet roof.
- Cover obstructions, such as skylights.
- Ask another person to help you safely carry materials.
- Keep the roof face clear of debris, trash, or packaging.
Improper installation can cause damage to your system, leading to potential hazards. Besides the safety tips above, you'll need to follow our installation instructions to the tee. We've broken up our instructions into easy, step-by-step videos:
Step 1: Safety First
Step 2: Planning the Install
Step 3: How to Find Trusses
Step 4: Install Flashings
Step 5: Install Railing
Step 6: Soladeck Install
Step 7: Run Wire & Prepare for Electrician
Step 8: Plan Out & Install Micro Inverters
Step 9: Secure Your Ground Wire
Step 10: Wire your Soladeck
Step 11: Secure your Panels
Remember that your safety is your responsibility. If you don't feel confident that you can follow these instructions or establish safeguards to protect yourself, we urge you to have our Project Solar Partnered Installers install your system instead.