Pre-wiring for solar

balor123June 29, 2012

I don't want to instal solar panels in my home but if my roof is damaged by hail or the cost of power goes up significantly in the future then it might be interesting to replace the shingles with solar singles some day. What's involved in pre-wiring the home for solar? Is it just a small conduit to the outside? I presume the conduit can be closed off so as not to leak air in the mean time?

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Annie Deighnaugh

By the time you want to put solar in, the technology may have changed significantly, so best bet...and a good thing to do include a couple of chase ways in the home for any future remodeling work...that is pipes that run from the basement to the attic which can be used for running wiring in the future. We put 2 in our house.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 11:04AM
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Why is more than one needed? Also, there's no basement in the home (rare in Texas). Where should I run them to, the garage?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 11:06AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

we did 2 as our house is a ranch so it could be a long run depending on what you are wiring.

If you don't have a basement, you certainly would want one near where the electrical panel is...

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 3:18PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I just spoke with DH and he said I lied. He said we only put one in to come out by the meter....he knows better than I.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 3:19PM
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balor123 - do you have a timeframe for when you think you may get solar? THe answer may be issue depending on whether you are thinking 3-5 years out, or sometime in the future.

Regarding solar shingles, have you looked at the cost of them versus panels?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 6:11PM
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The home will already have composite shingles and I haven't even seen the HOA documents yet so not in the near future. I wouldn't want to be the only house with them in the area so I'd wait until others decide it's interesting and then only when the roof needs to be replaced. I think that will happen as efficiency improves and price of energy increases so my best guess is maybe 10 years? How much of a disaster will it be to put it in later if I do nothing now in preparation for it?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 6:27PM
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Slightly off topic, but I think home insurance covers your roof if it's hit by hail. However, I'm not sure an insurance company could be convinced to put solar panels in instead of replacing the roof.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 6:43PM
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We also just ran a length of conduit from the "attic" to the mechanical room.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 7:14PM
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They would still get a ck from the insurance com. that they could apply toward solar shingles.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:46PM
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