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Contractor installed CTs on subpanel

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  • Contractor installed CTs on subpanel

    Quick background: prior to getting solar installed, we had a single main breaker on the outside of the house that fed a subpanel in the garage that has all the circuits for the entire house.

    When we got our system installed, they had to upgrade the main service breaker on the outside of the house (100A->200A), and in doing so installed a much larger breaker panel with many empty circuits available. The only circuit on it at the time of installation was still the sub panel in the garage. The boxes associated with the solar (sunpower monitoring, shutoff, and subpanel I think?) were all installed in the garage next to the subpanel (we have sunpower panels with microinverters).

    2 or 3 months after that, we replaced our gas furnace with a heat pump (didn't have A/C previously). The two new circuits to support those were added to the new main service panel on the outside of the house. Shortly after, I noticed that the consumption numbers reported by the sunpower monitoring were missing the consumption form the heat pump. I have now discovered that it is because the CTs were installed in the subpanel in the garage rather than in the new main service panel on the outside of the house.

    I know what the solution is (move the CTs to the main service panel), my question is if I should be expecting the solar contractor to do this work for free? My view is that the CTs were installed incorrectly since they were installed in the subpanel instead of the main service panel. The installation instructions from SunPower for the monitoring box (PVS5x) say that the CTs should be installed in the main service panel.

    If the contractor refuses to do the work for free, what recourse would I have? I don't think this is a major job that I'm asking them to do, it seems like it should only take 1-2 hours. Note that the run from the monitoring box to the main service panel is fairly long, probably over 50' going up through the attic and back down, FWIW.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I highly doubt they will do the work for free. When they did the work, they placed the CTs outbound of all loads. It is not their fault you added loads to a different location.
    I'm not sure why they didn't just put in a single breaker box outside rather than the full panel they used. And I'm surprised they didn't add the inverter breakers to the outdoor box.

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    • #3
      When Sunpower quoted my project last year, they provided an electrical schematic showing the proposed electrical work and position of the CT's. The schematic should be part of the contract. I suspect they put the CT's where they said they would put them, but it is always good to recheck your paperwork. I too think CT respositioning would be outside the scope of the original contracted job.

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      • #4
        Fair enough guys, thanks for the feedback. You're right Phil, I can see the CTs in our design document on the subpanel instead of the main panel. I'm the one that requested that the new solar boxes be put in the garage, I wanted them out of the weather, so I guess it's mostly on me.

        I too was surprised that they put a full breaker box outside when they did the upgrade, I was expecting something simpler. I guess I probably put too much trust in them to do the right things, I just don't know much about electrical so I didn't know what to look for.

        Now I guess I'm stuck paying for another electrician to come and move the CTs... It should just be as simple as moving them to the main service panel, right?

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        • #5
          If you have somebody else come in and change the work that Sunpower did, then you may void the original Sunpower warranty. I'm sure there is a Sunpower XX year warranty on labor and materials. It's best to call your installer to find out. That 50 foot run from your main panel up to the attic and down to monitoring box could be easy or a pain in the ass.

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