Troubleshooting Solar System Issues: Common Problems and Solutions

Troubleshooting Solar System Issues: Common Problems and Solutions

Troubleshooting Solar System Issues: Common Problems and Solutions

Imagine this scenario. You have purchased the best solar system for your home and expect it to last for at least two decades long. After 2 years, you find there is a fault in the system and solar panels are not working like before. The issues may arise due to variety of reasons but it is indeed annoying after all the time, effort and money that has gone into installation. How frustrating isn’t it?

Fret not. In this article, we’ve outlined the most common solar system issues you’ll encounter and suggested you with actionable tips for troubleshooting them on your own.

Recurring Solar Panel Problems and the Possible Solutions

Dirty Solar Panels

Solar panels are usually exposed to dirt and dust which can hinder the absorption of sunlight. The accumulated debris have to be frequently cleaned, else there might be chances of reduced efficiency.

Solution: Ensure to clean the solar panels with a brush or a simple cotton cloth with soaping solution.

Shaded Solar Panels

It is a known fact that the solar panels need direct rays of sunlight to generate power and shading is the most common cause for its low power output. The potential obstructions include nearby trees or tall structures.

Solution: Make sure to trim the trees nearby which causes the solar panels to shade during the daylight hours.

Inverter Issues

Inverters play a prominent role in converting the DC electricity generated by solar panels into AC power for daily use at your home. Some of the most common solar issues of inverter include shutdowns, tripping, faults or error messages.

Solution: Examine the inverter display for unusual sounds, error codes or any signs of overheating. If the problems seem to persist for a long time, call a technician for inverter replacement.

Wiring Problems

Solar panels are wired intricately with a set of wires linking each photo voltaic cells to one another and in turn those wires to inverters and batteries. Any wiring damage or loose connections along the way may hinder the efficiency of the solar system.

Solution: Check with a multimeter at various locations to discover the signs of low voltage problems. For complex problems, it is always advisable to hire an electrician.

  • Defective Solar Panels

Solar panels may sometimes exhibit visible damages like cracks, chipping, UV discoloration or other panel problems. There might also be delamination issues or junction box failures. Other major panel fault is PID (Potential Induced Degradation) leading to short circuit or power attenuation of batteries.

Solution: If any solar panel issues occur, contact the company that installed your solar panel system and check for repairs or replacements.

How to Reboot Your Solar Energy System

An important step in identifying a problem with your solar system is to perform a hard reset. Rebooting a solar inverter that is displaying a yellow or red light is necessary, just like rebooting a computer. Following are the steps:

Switch Off Your Solar Inverter

The first step is to disconnect the solar inverter. Find out the location of the inverter installed at your home. Then on your inverter, find the AC/DC toggle switch and flip it off.

  • Disconnect the Solar AC Unit

There must be a gray disconnect box with a red or black handle next to your solar inverter. To turn it off, move the lever to the “off” position. Prepare yourself for a loud popping noise.

  • Switch Off the Main Electrical Panel’s Solar Breaker

Inspecting the main electrical panel is the next step. On the inside, there must to be a breaker marked “Photovolatic,” “Solar PV,” or “Solar System,” specifically for solar power. Make sure the breakers are turned to the “off” position.

  • Repeat the Process

Your solar energy system has been now completely turned off. Wait for 2-3 minutes and turn back your system. This step ensures the resolution of minor problems. Now just reverse the above steps for the system to function again.

    • Set Your Solar Power System’s Breakers To “On”
    • Return to Solar AC Disconnect Box and Turn the Lever Back to “On”
    • Switch “On” Your Solar Inverter


This article has outlined the most common solar panel problems, along with actionable steps. If solar panel troubleshooting the system does not appear to resolve your problem, it is always recommended that you contact your company’s installer, a technician, or hire an electrician, depending on the situation. Once the issues have been resolved, ensure that they do not occur again by scheduling annual or bi-annual maintenance.