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Wires/Cables touching roof, Optimizer failing

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  • emartin00
    If your installer warranties their workmanship for 10 years, I would absolutely get them to come out and fix the wiring. It's likely not the cause of the optimizer failures, but it is a serious risk of fire. It can also cause other issues such as ground faults or isolation faults which will shut the inverter down.
    Zip ties are a terrible choice for solar installs. Even good UV rated nylon 6 cable ties are going to break down in 4-5 years. Nylon is a hygroscopic material, meaning it absorbs moisture from rain and humidity, which makes it increasingly brittle. Unless they are using heavy duty, 100lb rated cable ties, they are going to need to be replaced well before 10 years.

    There are some newer materials such as Nylon 12 or PVDF that will last 10-15 years, but they are significantly more expensive.
    Stainless steel clips or ties are the best option, but they take a bit more training to install properly, and aren't as cheap as plastic cable ties.

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  • azdave
    Originally posted by Alan 1300 View Post
    They warranty workmanship for 10 years,,,should I make a claim to get the cables back up off the roof?
    I would but they will probably tell you that the way the cable tie was placed by the installer was not at fault (their workmanship) but that the cable tie itself is what failed. There is not a single person who would agree that a dangling or swinging cable of any sort up on the roof is not an issue. Maybe when they come out to replace the next optimizer you can ask that they also replace the tie-wraps. If it were me, I would want to buy the tie-wraps myself to be sure you get quality, made in the USA ties and not some home store generics.

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  • bob-n
    The fact that so many wires are dangling is strong evidence that the workmanship was bad. I can think of many benign reasons why one cable tie would break. However, if more than 20% have broken, that has to mean bad workmanship of some sort.

    While you can, take lots of photos.

    It could be that the cables are moving and that's causing stress on the connectors. That's just a guess.

    It could be that the installer used cable ties that are too weak, not UV tolerant, over-tightened, or otherwise not appropriate. Again, that's just a guess.

    You don't want to repair now and have the same problem in the future. So whatever you do, it needs to be repaired correctly.

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  • Alan 1300
    started a topic Wires/Cables touching roof, Optimizer failing

    Wires/Cables touching roof, Optimizer failing

    My 20 panel Sunpower Panel Solar Edge Inverter system is 5 1/2 years old. During that time I have had 4 optimizers fail, 3 in the past 6 months. I noticed most of the cabling that was zip tied to railings that the panels are mounted on have snapped and now the wires are "draped" across the roof under the panels. Obviously water constantly runs over the wires during rain, some leaf buildup happens causing wires to stay wet longer. My installer charges $125 to change under warranty optimizers. Two Questions: Do you think the cabling can be causing optimizer issues since the zip ties have snapped? They warranty workmanship for 10 years,,,should I make a claim to get the cables back up off the roof?

    It is the original installing company that I am dealing with.

    Thank You!