Solar energy is here, and it is here to stay. Many folks have already transitioned to solar energy for their homes, and many more are preparing to. Tesla is always part of the conversation. However, as with all technologies, there will be some issues.
Tesla has been producing solar roofs since they announced it in 2016. Their production revved up in recent years. A Tesla roof is something different from what most people are used to, and it will have some problems. Read on to discover more about the problems you may face with your Tesla roof and how to troubleshoot them.
Why Are You Having Issues With Your Tesla Roof?
Solar energy has grown substantially over the last two decades. In that time many people have decided to make the switch to solar. There are many reasons for this change.
- Long-term investments. Over time, solar roofs save money. They lower the price of the electrical bill, and they can be used to generate power for part or all of your house. The savings over time can get near $20,000 for some homes.
- Green energy alternative. Solar power is environmentally friendly. It does not leave a carbon footprint. People are much more cognizant of the state of the environment and are trying to do their part to help.
- Solar roofs last a long time. The average lifespan of a solar roof is around twenty-five to thirty years. This means that the solar energy being generated will be generated for up to three decades, which is three decades of savings.
- Tax incentives. Many states have their own tax incentives for switching to solar energy. Additionally, there is currently a federal tax incentive (though this incentive will end after 2022).
Regardless of the reason, solar installations are a massively important trend to look at in today’s world.
This is where Tesla Solar comes into play. Tesla Solar first announced its solar technology back in 2016. Since then, they have become a louder and louder voice in the solar roof market.
Tesla does not offer standard solar panels on a roof. They offer a solar roof where each tile is a solar panel. This new technology is innovative, but it can also lead to issues. You may ask yourself why you are having issues with your Tesla roof. There are a few reason you may be experiencing issues with your tesla roof:
- It is a new technology
- Tesla Solar is not the main output of the company
- Quality Control Issues
Tesla Solar is a New Technology
One of the reasons you may experience problems with a Tesla roof is because it is still a relatively new technology. Solar panels have been around for a very long time but not in the way Tesla has introduced them.
The standard way to have solar panels on your roof is to have solar panels installed directly onto your roof. They sit above the roof and are separate from the construction of your roof. They work as large units to power your home.
A Tesla roof is different. A Tesla roof consists of a series of solar tiles. These tiles are designed to look just like a regular roof. Each tile is its own unit.
The main issue is that Tesla has only been in the market for a short period. Their product is an entirely new roof. The installation of a Tesla roof is a new skill that must be learned. With the relative newness of a Tesla roof, it is possible to have to replace it prematurely because it was not installed correctly.
There are simply not many people out there skilled to properly install this new technology. Additionally, since it is a new technology, there will be some technical errors that can only be fixed with time.
Tesla Solar is Not the Main Output of the Company
Tesla has existed since 2003. For most of the time they have existed, they have been primarily concerned with the automotive industry. Most of their revenue is based on automotive sales, not energy.
So, why is this a reason why you may have issues with your tesla roof? The main concern here is that Tesla is focusing most of its efforts on other technologies regarding their cars. This is not to say they are not actively working toward building up their energy division and making long-lasting changes to their solar roofs.
However, the fact remains the same. They are not a solar-focused company. Therefore, their products can only be as good as the time that goes into them.
So while the technology they use is very innovative, there are still going to be hiccoughs along the way. This is one of the pitfalls of investing in a new technology. The technology itself being a branch of a company not focused on solar.
Quality Control Issues
In an interview from early in 2021, while talking about Tesla’s automobiles, Elon Musk admitted that Tesla has quality control issues. While this interview had to do with their main product, automobiles, it is true about the entire company.
There are quality control issues with any new product. The company wants to get it just right. Moreover, there have been many delays in the factories where the solar roofs are made because of aesthetic issues.
What does this mean? Tesla is a company that has admitted to quality control issues in their products, and it can be applied to the company as a whole. If there are issues with a solar roof, it may be because of something faulty in the product itself.
What Are the Problems a Tesla Roof Can Have?
What problems can a tesla roof have? As with any solar power energy source, whether panels or a roof, there come with various issues. It is important to know what to look out for. By knowing what to look for you are better equipped to recognize the problem early. Additionally, you will be able to troubleshoot these issues better.
Some of the problems you may face with your tesla roof can include:
- Inverter issues. The inverter is the unit that converts the energy produced by the solar tiles (panels) into usable energy for your house. It converts DC energy to AC energy. While the solar roof can last upward of thirty years, many inverters can only last half that. Additionally, they may, from time to time, have glitches that need fixing.
- Weather damage. Tesla roofs are guaranteed to withstand any type of weather, but this does not mean weather damage still cannot happen. For example, over time, small microcracks can appear on the tiles from weather such as hail. These cracks can affect how the solar tiles work.
- Wiring Issues. Probably the most common reason for Tesla roof problems comes from wiring issues. Oftentimes, there can be a short circuit or other wiring error that can disrupt the energy output of the roof.
- Poor installation. Another common reason for Tesla roof problems is poor installation. As mentioned earlier, solar roofs are relatively new and this means there are not many people with vast experience installing them. This means errors do occur. Poor installation can also lead to wiring issues.
- Roof Leaking. Another issue that stems from poor installation. Even with standard solar panels placed on a roof, there is always the issue of a roof leaking. This occurs from an improperly installed roof. However, this issue is not that common.
- Hot Spots. Hot spots are areas of the solar tiles that get too hot and overheat, which causes issues with the solar roof. This can come about because of improper installation or dirty tiles that have not been cleaned.
It is important to know these common issues. They can happen to any solar installation, which includes a Tesla roof. If you can understand the cause then you can come up with a solution to fix them.
Troubleshooting Tesla Roof Problems
You may suspect that something is wrong with your tesla roof. Once you have identified what the problem is then it is time to start troubleshooting. Troubleshooting the issue will help you eliminate certain causes while also getting closer to a solution.
There are several ways to troubleshoot your Tesla roof problems. It will depend on what the issue is, how big your house is, and what specific units you have.
When troubleshooting, you need to take a look at each component carefully. The last thing you want is to fix something that is not broken, which is why identifying the cause of your problem is important.
You need to know what you are looking for, and you need to understand why it is important. Once you have done this, you will be ready to troubleshoot your problems with your Tesla roof. Some of the troubleshooting methods include:
- Referring to the Tesla owner’s manual
- Monitoring the Tesla solar roof system
- Making sure the Tesla solar system is clean
- Understanding how time affects solar applications
- Recognizing seasonal changes and their effect on solar applications
- Troubleshooting the Tesla inverter
- Knowing when to call a Tesla technician
Each of these methods will help troubleshoot problems you have with a Tesla roof. These methods will also help you prevent future issues. It is important to maintain your Tesla roof to the best of your ability. This way you will not have to worry about issues in the future.
Referring to the Tesla Owner’s Manual
The first step you should take when troubleshooting your Tesla roof is to refer to the owner’s manual. It may seem like an obvious step, but it is a step that is often overlooked.
When you get your Tesla roof installed, you are given an owner’s manual. This owner’s manual should be kept in a safe place. Whenever you suspect something is wrong with your Tesla roof you should refer to this manual first.
In this manual, you will find all the information you need to make an informed decision regarding your roof. You may find that the answer to your issue is written there, which will speed the process up.
However, there may be times when the owner’s manual is only the starting point of your troubleshooting journey. It may describe the issue you have, but you will have to take further steps to see if you can fix it.
Regardless, referring to the Tesla solar roof manual should be your first priority when it comes to troubleshooting your room. However, if you find that your answer does not reside within the manual, there are other methods you can refer to.
Monitoring the Tesla Solar Roof System
Monitoring your Tesla solar roof system is not only important to troubleshoot current issues but also at catching future issues when they first pop up.
To monitor your Tesla solar roof system, you need to first download the Tesla mobile app. This app will be directly connected with your at-home system, and it includes important information about how your system is running.
Tesla Mobile App Monitors Energy Consumption
The Tesla mobile app monitors the energy consumption of your house. It does this in real-time.
Every time you open your app, you will be able to see what your house is consuming. You will also be able to see any dramatic changes, which could signal an issue with your roof.
Using the “Powerwall” in the Mobile App
The Tesla mobile app uses a feature called “Powerwall.” This feature shows you the power flow of your roof. There are three different parts of the powerwall. They are:
- Time-Based Control
Each of these can be customized based on your needs. The mobile app will show you your power usage details over time, and it will show you what you are expected to use.
How does this help you with troubleshooting your Tesla roof problems? If you monitor your system, when something is not working right, the numbers on your app will become inaccurate to what they should be. You will be able to see that something is not right.
Making Sure the Tesla Solar System is Clean
As mentioned earlier, dirty solar tiles can become hot spots, and this can lead to problems with the efficiency and capabilities of the solar unit.
It is important to keep your solar roof clean from debris, dirt, pollen, and any other particles that could interfere with its ability to perform.
If you notice that your solar roof is not working properly, you should check to see if the solar tiles are dirty. Your Tesla roof needs to be cleaned regularly. Tesla recommends that one of their technicians cleans it.
The technician does this in a similar way that any regular roof would be cleaned. The water comes from the top of the roof aimed downward.
When you reference the owner’s manual, you will see that soap and other abrasive cleaning agents should not be used on the solar tiles. Using these detergents will potentially ruin the roof. It is good to make note if you have used such agents in the past as they may constitute why your roof is not working properly.
Understanding How Time Affects Solar Applications
Solar applications do not last forever. The average lifespan of a solar roof is around twenty-five to thirty years. Tesla itself offers a twenty-five-year guarantee with their solar roofs, and their warranty also lasts for twenty-five years.
While it is true that the efficiency of a solar roof will degrade at about one-half a percent per year of its life, this does not mean that your solar roof should degrade in quality in a short period.
Tesla roofs are relatively new to the scene. The first ones delivered were only four years ago–only a fraction of the time they are guaranteed for. In the future, you may consider time a real reason as to why your solar roof is not working. At the present, however, it should not be a factor.
If your solar roof has degraded in efficiency (which will be seen in the mobile app) then there is something wrong with your unit that is not time-related.
Recognizing Seasonal Changes
If you find that your solar roof is not producing the energy that it should, seasonal changes could be the issue.
Weather affects solar roofs. Because a solar roof is constantly exposed to the elements, they are constantly at risk of weather-related problems.
Tesla does have a weatherization warranty. Tesla also guarantees that their solar roofs will last twenty-five years. They also guarantee that their solar roofs are durable against different types of weather.
Nevertheless, these guarantees notwithstanding, seasonal changes can still affect the reliability of the system. Certain elements such as:
- Excessive shade from nearby trees
- Wind (that can blow dirt and debris)
All these elements can dirty your solar roof. They can also potentially damage it. If you suspect seasonal changes are to blame, you can get your roof clean and use the weather warranty that comes with the Tesla roof.
Troubleshooting the Tesla Inverter
Minor energy loss can be fixed with the previously mentioned troubleshooting methods. Usually, it is an easy fix. But what happens when you notice that the energy proficiency of your solar roof system is dramatically different than before?
The issue may lie with the Tesla inverter. An inverter is a unit that comes with the solar roof. It is what converts DC energy (energy produced by the solar roof) into AC energy (the energy that your house needs to operate). Sometimes there can be an issue with the inverter that causes a change in the roof.
There are three Tesla inverters that you may have installed in your house. They are:
- Tesla Solar Inverter
- Delta Solivia
- Delta M
The first step is to locate and identify which inverter your roof came with. Each one has different directions on how to troubleshoot.
Many times, the only thing that is necessary to fix your solar roof issues is resetting your inverter. By following the steps indicated below, you will be able to do just that.
Tesla Solar Inverter
If you have the Tesla solar inverter model, follow these steps to reset the system:
- Make sure that you are troubleshooting in daylight.
- Verify that the LED light on the unit is blinking green every five seconds. This will confirm whether the system is operating properly.
- If the LED light is either not blinking, or blinking rapidly every second, then you need to contact the Tesla support line to fix this issue.
- If the LED light is verified to be working, your next step is to turn off the system.
- If the solar inverter has an AC lever, pull it down.
- On your home’s main electrical breaker, switch off the levers labeled for your solar unit.
- You must wait thirty seconds before turning everything back on in reverse order.
- Now your system has been reset. It may take up to a day to see production being reported through your system.
If you have the Delta Solivia, and you need to troubleshoot it, follow these steps:
- Make sure that you are troubleshooting the inverter when it is sunny out. You need the unit to be operational.
- On the main screen of the unit, take note of what the current wattage is. Make sure the number is above zero. If it is not above zero, end here. You need to call the support line for Tesla to fix this issue. This is also true if the display is not working at all or there is an error message.
- Assuming there is greater than zero watts, turn the inverter off.
- If your inverter has an AC lever, you need to pull it at this time.
- On your house’s main breaker, you now need to turn off the levers associated with the inverter.
- After waiting thirty seconds, turn everything back on in reverse order.
- Your system comes with a Gateway. At this time, you need to disconnect its power source for thirty seconds and then plug it back in.
Following these steps should reset your system. It may take up to a full day before new readings are coming in.
If you have a Delta M inverter system with your Tesla roof, then following these instructions to troubleshoot your system:
- Make sure you are troubleshooting during the day. This will ensure your system is working.
- On the Delta M unit, check to see if the leftmost light is solid green. There should be no other colors showing on the panel.
- If there are other colors showing or the leftmost light is not solid green (is blinking) then you need to call Tesla support for further assistance.
- Assuming that the light is a solid green, which indicates solar production, then your next step is to turn off the inverter.
- If your Delta M unit has an AC lever, pull that down now.
- On your home’s main electrical breaker, turn off the switches for the solar units.
- Now you must wait thirty seconds before switching everything back on in reverse order.
- Next, you must find your Solar Gateway. It is usually located near your internet router.
- Once you have found the Gateway, you must disconnect it from its power source for thirty seconds.
- When you reconnect your Gateway, make sure the LED light is on, which indicates it is working properly.
- Now your system is reset. You may have to wait up to twenty-four hours for the system to begin showing production.
Knowing When to Call a Tesla Technician
When you are troubleshooting the Tesla inverter, you may find that there are issues that cannot be solved by resetting the system. As mentioned above, if you notice error messages, red lights, indicators that are not on, and so on, then you will need to call a Tesla technician.
In other instances, you will find that you cannot find the issue or that you cannot troubleshoot the problem to fix it. In these instances, you will need to call a Tesla technician.
Knowing when to call a Tesla technician is important because you do not want to damage your system. This is why Tesla recommends you do not get onto your roof in an attempt to fix perceived damage. Getting on the roof can cause further damage to the roof and can also result in personal injury.
Remember, if you try to fix the problem yourself and you cause more damage to the unit then you may void the warranty on your unit. To maintain your warranty, you have to know when to call Tesla.
Tesla will send out a technician who is equipped to handle any problems your solar roof may have. Additionally, if you have questions about your solar roof, they have the experience to answer you.
Why It Is Important to Maintain Your Tesla Roof
Many issues can be avoided with proper maintenance of the Tesla roof. Prevention should be a top priority. Of course, certain issues can come about even with the best maintenance that are out of your control. In these instances, calling a Tesla technician is your best option.
Regardless, making sure that your system is up to date and in good condition is key to making it last the full predicted lifespan that Tesla guarantees.
To maintain your Tesla roof to avoid any future problems, make sure to:
- Keep your Tesla Roof clean. Remember, dirt and debris can cause issues with the functionality of the solar tiles.
- Monitor the system. This can be done through the Tesla mobile app.
- Occasionally check your roof. When checking, do not stand on the roof. If you suspect any damage, call Tesla to maintain your warranty.
It is important to maintain your Tesla roof to the best of your ability. Doing so will help you avoid having to troubleshoot any problems that may arise. However, if issues do arise, remember to indicate what the issue probably is, troubleshoot accordingly, and if nothing works, call Tesla directly.