Did you know that the cost of residential solar hardware dropped from $1.52 per watt to $0.96 per watt over the past six years? As solar installation gets more affordable, residential solar panels are becoming more and more common.

You don’t have to have to know how to install solar panels or be a solar energy expert to benefit from a solar system. On the contrary, this eco-friendly and cost-effective energy solution can help anyone! But if you do own one (or more) solar panels, you should learn how to recognize when you need solar panel repairs.

Curious how to tell when your solar panels need repairs? Read on to learn 4 key signs.

1. Low Power Output

There are many possible explanations for low power production, so your solar maintenance team may need to do some detective work. Dirty panels may need to be cleaned and damaged panels may need to be replaced. Shoddy installation or wiring can also cause low output.

If you have a string inverter setup, every panel on the string can only produce as much as the lowest-producing panel in the bunch. Addressing the “weak link” panel will improve the entire system’s importance.

Your panels shouldn’t drop below 80% of their initial production capacity within their first 25 years. However, panels very occasionally fail within those first 25 years. A good manufacturer’s warranty will cover replacements.

Not all panel manufacturers have a reputation for durability. It’s better to pay more for high-quality equipment upfront. Solar installers like Blue Raven Solar can help you find rebates and financing plans for this worthwhile long-term investment.

2. Unexpected Shutdowns

Installation issues, wiring problems, and manufacturing defects can all cause unexpected shutdowns. Your solar installer should go over your system to check for loose wires and any other issues.

Your inverter may shut down frequently if it’s getting too much voltage. You may need to change your inverter settings or your set-up to handle high voltage appropriately. If your circuit breaker trips frequently, check the connection between the breaker and your system.

3. Inverter Malfunction

Your inverter is one of the most important elements of your system. When your inverter breaks down, the rest of your system can’t function either.

Check it for any error messages or red lights. Fixes for a faulty inverter can be as simple as reestablishing an internet connection, or the unit may need to be replaced altogether.

Shield your inverters from the elements whenever possible. Always check the manufacturer’s warranty in case of a major breakdown.

4. Dirty or Damaged Panels

It’s always a good idea to check in on your panels if you can do so safely. Do they look dusty or covered in debris? A simple cleaning may improve their production dramatically.

Cracked glass or moisture inside the panels likely indicate damage that’s inhibiting production. Very high wind conditions or earthquakes can damage panel mounting and wiring.

Solar panels are designed to withstand even extreme weather conditions. If you experience weather-related damage, you may be eligible for repair or replacement under your warranty.

Find Someone You Trust for Solar Panel Repairs

If you’re like most people who own solar panels, you don’t understand solar panel reparation yourself. That’s why having a trusted solar provider is so important. Keep an eye out for performance problems and call a trusted solar maintenance crew to get your system back into shape.

Interested in learning more about solar panel repairs and solar panel maintenance? Read more tips for solar panel owners on our website.