The worst install ever!

We got a call from a guy in Phalaborwa. He had an install done about 3 weeks ago by a qualified IE from a local mine. His inverter is not working anymore and he wants a second opinion. My team is up there currently to do the last few installations before we close down a bit so I have send them out to assess the situation and this is what we found. Inverter already blown as the installer tried to connect 20 of 25 panels on two strings, exceeding the MPPT VOC rating.

Please keep in mind, the installer was paid for this… it’s not a buddy helping a buddy, and not a DIY install.

See the wires running down from the battery, it’s going to the second battery on the floor.
Look at the video below, No battery fuses, gen connected to a plug and from plug to Gen port on the inverter. PV wires for one string nailed to the wall with saddles and the wires for the second string hanging loose. No DC protection whatsoever and no AC protection in site. No cable glands and a burned main breaker. (File Compressed to upload)

We only had 5 hours spare in Phalaborwa before I had to pull my guys back to Gauteng to finish up another 4 installs, so my team gave what they can to get the guy up and running, He took the previous inverter in for repairs and we need to go back to install the inverter after repairs and add 2 more batteries. If it takes my guys 5 hours to rectify (Take off and replace) I guess the previous installer could have put in a little bit more effort. We will fix the paint when we return.

Our quick fix below, with space for the second inverter as well as 2 more battery’s.


You can see priorities are right. He can watch his solar on the right and the TV on the left…

Well done Jaco and team.


Now I am dumbstruck. As we hand over the site a few moments back, the clients tells us that this installer did 2 installations for him. Before my guys leave Phalaborwa, they should assess the second installation, he wants a quote to redo it as well. Cant wait to see what we find. :rofl: :rofl:

My wife is now complaining about my (at today’s prices) “Very Expensive Victron Montage” on the wall.

Keep on saying to her, it looks better the the Mona Lisa for Pete’s sake, but she will put “THAT” up!

This is getting silly. When would there be proper recourse against such atrocious installers/illegal installs?

Can one not report them, with real consequences, somewhere yet?

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If this installer was stupid enough to issue a COC, I can make his life very difficult… if not, there is not much we can do.

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Photo of install 2:

Again no AC or DC protection, Again 10 panels in one string.

Three phase Inverter, single phase Gen. Growatt connected to the gen to charge the battery as the three phase Sunsynk wont bind to the single phase Gen.

This one is a wee bit better, but still require a lot of work to get it legal and acceptable. Another job for end of Jan - mid Feb.

One thing I noticed, and therefore wondering having been made aware of such years ago by our Sparkie who refused to install my original setup as I wanted it, is the height/accessibility of these “installs” (if one can call them that). He said at the time, matters none that we don’t have kids anymore, one day we may have kids visiting.

What the sparky warned me about back then, why he insisted on doing it “his way” (read, SANS way) came around years later with a 2.1yo little body now running around in our house once a week with small, getting very dextrous, fingers and way WAY too keen eyes watching “Mmm, so what IS Oupa doing now … I wanna do that I wanna do that toooooo!”

It gets very “entertaining” very fast.

Something of 1.2m in height springs to mind but details escape me. Just know now that SANS or whatever, these tiny loveable/adorable (sometimes) little shiits can cause endless stress.

Just wondering seeing these loose wires and the height of the equipment.

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Bliksem that is/was terrible!

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Any voltage below 110 dc is not covered in sans, not seen as dangerous. But you.have a point. There is a difference between regulations and good engineering practice. Sometimes limited instalation space forces someone to push the limits a bit.

Edit: We have experienced that any battery with an On/Off switch becomes a toy for any toddler instantly.

I really hope you make his life hell if you can.

Just imagine this poor guys house burned down, insurance would have just shown him a big fat finger.

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Is this not why we’re seeing increasing regulation and more and more conditions imposed by insurers? Because there’s so many of these systems in place now, and because an unknown but non-trivial number of them are DYIs, mates doing each other a favour, or just good old corner cutters.