Over a few years, I learned that some contractors in the state were misleading customers into believing that their companies had "NABCEP" certified installers and were qualified to perform solar work. After contacting the WV State Fire Marshall, the Contractors Licensing Board, NABCEP and others, I realized that customers need to be educated in solar installation requirements and need to BE AWARE that contractors slide through the cracks of the system. So, there is one way to confirm that an installer is actually NABCEP Certified (NOT a NABCEP ASSOCIATE). Go to NABCEP's Certified online locator and search their name. You will find that in West Virginia there are less than 5 in the state with an installation professional certification. There are only 2 with (2) certifications and only one (Doyle Tenney) with (3) NABCEP Certifications. I am the most qualified individual in West Virginia with the documented certification to prove my standing. It does bother me that other contractors are using NABCEP Associate credentials as a claim at certification. But it bothers me more that customers are not verifying contractor claims of qualifications.
Solar isn't dangerous if its installed properly. But it can cause a house fire or damage to other electrical equipment if it isn't installed properly. So, Im going to point out a few things to look for in a solar installation:
1.) NFPA - A solar array must have 3 feet from the ridge and 2 feet from each side of a rooftop. This is for firefighter access to vent a fire.
2.) NEC - Circuits over 50 volts DC must be in metal conduit. So the pipes coming from the roof need to be metal because the circuits are 400 volts dc. NOT PVC.
3.) NEC - Bare Copper ground wires cannot be ran inside of a home. They must be ran outside.
4.) WV State Law - Any contractor or employee working on electrical systems must have a WV electricians license. At least 1 Journeyman wireman on solar project but everyone working on it must have at least an Apprentice Electricians license.
5.) MOST IMPORTANTLY (NEC) - The breakers and fuses protecting circuits must be able to trip at a current (Amps) before the wire coating fails (fire). This is not a joke and its a common mistake that I have seen made by solar contractors in West Virginia.
If you suspect that one of these solar code rules has been broken on your solar installation feel free to call us. Even if your installation wasn't performed by DT Solar, I can tell you a lot over the phone for free.