View Full Version : solar inverter gone to the great beyond

9-27-13, 3:49pm
DH and I have had 12 solar modules plus one bigger one for our water heater on our roof ever since we moved in and installed them abut 10 years ago. We were one of the first houses in Santa Fe to do this. Nobody mentioned there was a day the inverter would give out--I don't know if they knew, the company was so new. So every summer since then our electric bill (our house is all electric due to gas allergies) had gone down to $3 - $6 a month. Until this summer when it was $45 each month. We finally figured out it wasn't the electric company had jumped their prices but our inverter had died. We've just had a new one put in to the tune of $2,770. While doing that the worker noticed the insulation around our pipe on the house for the hot water heater had lost all of its insulation on top, with just shreds of it hanging on the bottom. We've had about 1 1/2 minutes of hot water in the winter shower for several years now. The worker sent his friend out who as I write this is wrapping the pipe with new insultion and wrapping that with what looks like silver duct tape. He also evaluated our leaky door and fixed it--old adobe house no door will ever match. He suggested we put a thick rug with rubber backing in our bathroom where there's a big square piece of the floor hinged on so people can work under the house--no insulation in there and would require tearing out the whole bathroom floor and putting plywood under it and then having an expensive warm raised floor--beyond our budget. So we'll try the rug and hope we don't trip on it. This man will also fix our gate that's dilapidated wooden one where you have to yank so hard to open it that you feel you're tearing it down--many "repairs" to it in the past make it really funny looking but we just want to be able to use it without tearing it down. This man also suggested we get a two-flap dog door instead of the one-flap one we have, because the two-flap one will create an air chamber and less air will come in. That's $130 and we're not sure it will work (particularly for our dog who's phobic about going through the dogdoor anyway) so first this man will try putting on a stronger magnet on the bottom of the dogdoor flap. This man works for $35/hour (lives off-grid and cheap and isn't money-grubbing), doesn't jack up the materials charges and brings his great dog with him every time (twice is every time). This is a long list, but if our house could be warm this winter and we not be afraid to take showers that will be for the first time in 10 years. Temperature is supposed to be one of the 4 things that causes most stress. Keep your fingers crossed that this stuff works. This guy goes around and evaluates energy efficiency for homes and businesses--like the Permaculture Credit Union when they moved to a new office recently, so he knows t his stuff and we never could find anyone else who did.

9-27-13, 3:51pm
That title was supposed to be "great" beyond.

9-27-13, 4:21pm
It sounds like you have found a real treasure. My landlord's son is the same and I appreciate him so much.

9-27-13, 4:25pm
That title was supposed to be "great" beyond.Fixed it for ya.

9-27-13, 4:54pm
Lark, we just had 14 modules come online, so I guess 10 years from now I'll start keeping an eye on the inverter!

For now, it's mesmerizing just to watch the numbers go backwards.....

9-27-13, 5:37pm
You found a gem! What a honest and truly helpful person...glad you will have more hot water now!!!

9-28-13, 8:16pm
Thank you, Alan. I tried but couldn't get it to work. And thanks to all of you for your enthusiasm. It is really cold here because it's 7,000 feet up. We would go as long as we could stand it--or figured others could stand it--without taking showers. The upside of the high altitude is it gets so cold at night that no fleas or ticks can survive here. Since we moved from NY partly because our dogs and I got Lyme disease, that is great. I see I have just derailed my own topic.