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New Install (7.4kW Solar+Power Walls) in San Jose can't pass inspections

New Install (7.4kW Solar+Power Walls) in San Jose can't pass inspections

Well, I decided to take the plunge and get the solar + Power Wall system from Tesla as I believe in the company and mission even though the Solar Panel System output was quoted at a higher price than a local Solar company. I'm just sharing my experience so far. Everything was going smoothly but there have been a few rough bumps and delays.

Here's my timeline:

12/7/2018 Had the in person consultation with a Tesla Energy Rep. The design and planning took a few weeks. I decided to get a 7.475 kW system with 2 Power Walls.

2/6/2019 Signed all the paperwork for the system.

3/20/19 Installation of the Solar Panels and Power Walls (PWs): Even though it was a rainy day, the installers came and installed the solar panels. They worked diligently from 8AM to 4PM and turned off the power for 2 hours. The Solar City installer guys were courtesy and explained everything as they were installing panels. They installed a new breaker box, inverter, and the gateway. Unfortunately the inspector for the PW mounting brackets couldn't come out that day so they couldn't mount the PWs. So they install crew finished up and I had to reschedule another day for the inspector to come out.

4/4/19 The inspection for the PW mounting bracket passed. Took about 2 hours as the Tesla representative had to look over the system.

4/8/19 The PWs were finally mounted installed and tested. This took about 4 hours and they required turning off the power for an hour or so as there were issues connecting the gateway to my router. When the power was reset my router didn't boot up correctly so I just power cycled it.

4/13/19 The city inspection for the system was scheduled on at 8am on Saturday. The Tesla representative came out about 30 minutes prior to the inspector to make sure everything was working. Unfortunately the system did not pass inspection. I was not there for the inspector as I was nervous and the Tesla representative said that the wiring did not pass the inspection. The rep commented on how the city inspector had the plans for the system and even gave its approval but I guess when the inspection occurred they changed their minds. I was disappointed as I had heard it would take another 5-6 weeks for PG&E to come out to inspect the system after the City Inspection approval.

And that's where I am at currently. The installers are coming back on 5/2/2019 to bring it up to the City inspector's specifications.
Hopefully it should be smooth sailing. I'm hoping to have the system up and running by June if possible as I want to install an HVAC soon as it's been 90F the last few days.

clos000 | 16 May 2019

Sigh, it FAILED inspection again.

5/16/19 The city inspector came out today with the Tesla engineer. They basically told me that the breakers were not installed properly and up to code so it failed inspection. I'm losing confidence in this system.

rynolee | 16 May 2019

I’m sorry to hear about the troubles. Any recourse? Have you called Tesla to complain or work something out in compensation?

clos000 | 17 May 2019

Is there anyone else to contact?

I spoke with the Tesla Engineer who was assigned to my project and I have written to my Energy Advisor and myproject@tesla.com .

2pwr10 | 17 May 2019

hmm...
… All I want to say is that
They don't really care about us
All I want to say is that
They don't really care about us…

TLSC | 17 May 2019

I live nearby in Santa Clara and waited a year, January 2018 to March 2019, for my 2 PWs to be installed.
My installation also failed the first inspection, but the Tesla representative, who was present, showed me the notes of what the inspector wanted corrected.
Tesla made the corrections in mid-April and the 2nd inspection was last week, which passed.

Did your Tesla Inspections Coordinator inform you of what the first city inspector wanted corrected?

clos000 | 17 May 2019

They never showed me any notes. I actually requested the report but the Tesla representative hasn't sent me one yet.

TLSC | 18 May 2019

After our first inspection fail, I didn’t actually ask to see the notes, the Tesla representative showed them to me and explained the issue, then said that scheduling would contact me to set up a date for a crew to come back and do the corrections.
I probably should’ve taken a photo of the notes, but it slipped my mind until after he had left.

It may not help pass your next inspection, but when the repair crew come out, I’d suggest asking them to explain what corrections they’ll be doing and maybe taking a photo of their notes.
That way you’ll at least know what the next inspection will be focused on.

Note, the Tesla representative for my second inspection said that even though they implemented the corrections, it was possible that the next inspector may flag something the previous inspector missed or considered minor, but still wanted corrected.
Obviously, that did not happen, but I thought I’d mention it.

My solar system is only 3kW and has yet to charge our 2 PWs above 80%, even on the sunniest days.
Still, so far in May, we’re averaging a bit over 70% self powered per day.

Good luck.

PPolk | 20 May 2019

I went through a similar situation. No wiring problems but Breakers have to be anchored in Chula Vista installers were not aware of that.. But the system didn't pass inspection for a couple other reasons. Wrong breaker on the service side... Labels not where they needed to be. The Tesla guys came right back out and had everything up to code the next day. City inspector came back out (40 year vet with the city) and he was happy. I have the exact same system as you. And yes SDG&E took their time to milk out two more months of bills before they "Allowed" me to turn the system on. The Solar City guys were Awesome. Also the Tesla Electricians were extremely helpful informative and courteous. Long story short we had some hiccups but I am super happy with the outcome.

andy.connor.e | 21 May 2019

Wow thats really bogus. I just had my house assessed for solar & powerwall last week. Waiting for the design report, and i'll probably need to give them a second utility bill at the end of this month. Apparently they do Roof replacement as well, which is what i need. Thinking of doing the roof, solar & PW2 installation all at the same time. Lots of state & federal credits available.