Producing electricity from your solar panels is not only great for the environment, it can save you a considerable amount on your energy costs.

But, like any major purchase, it's important to ensure your solar system is regularly maintained. Just as you would do with your car, it is essential to carry out regular checks to keep your solar system running at peak performance, and protect against any potential safety risks.

The good news is there's a lot you can do yourself to avoid interruption to your supply.

First, be sure to check the front of the inverter at least once a week. The inverter is the white box on the wall near your meter box or inside the garage. This box controls the generation of clean energy for your home. Checking it will take just a couple of minutes, but could mean the difference between reaping the financial rewards of your clean energy system, and getting an unwelcome surprise when the next bill arrives due to an undetected problem that has interrupted solar generation.

If the inverter is showing an error message, a red light, or nothing at all on the display during daylight hours, contact ActewAGL Solar for assistance. They can quickly get you back on track. It may sound obvious, but keeping an eye out for obstructions, damage and dirt will also help keep your solar system in perfect working order. While solar systems are very robust, extreme weather, water leaks, foliage – even pests and wildlife – may result in faults or interrupted power generation. During prolonged dry weather, a thick layer of dust can form, reducing the system's performance.

We don't recommend you climb on the roof to clean the solar panels yourself, and never walk, sit or place objects on their surface. Instead, if you notice debris around or under the panels, or other visible signs of damage, call out the professionals to give things a spring clean. We recommend a spring clean every quarter for optimal results.

Over the longer term, consider putting in place a formal maintenance timetable, in which a qualified, CEC-accredited electrician can conduct a solar 'health check'. Never attempt to service or open any part of your solar system unless you are a fully qualified electrician, you have been authorised to do so and have properly prepared the site.

See maintenance guide here.

Never attempt to service or open any part of your solar system yourself and ensure checks and maintenance are always carried out by Clean Energy Council-accredited solar panel system installers.

Maintenance procedure and timetable

Keep your solar system in check with our maintenance timetable.

Follow the steps to ensure your system's longevity for years to come.

Maintenance frequency Maintenance action Maintenance details
Quarterly Site
Check
  • Cleanliness (accumulation of debris around and/or under the solar panel array
  • There is no shading on any of the panels
Clean site as required. Trim trees if needed and safe to do so.
Solar panels
Check the cleanliness (accumulation of dust or fungus on the solar panels). Clean if necessary.
Annually Solar panels
Check for visual defects including:
  • Fractures
  • Browning
  • Moisture penetration
  • Frame corrosion
Panels with visual defects should be further inspected for performance and safety to determine if they need to be replaced.
Inspect junction boxes adjacent to the panels if applicable for:
  • Tightness of connections
  • Water accumulation/build-up
  • Integrity of lid seals
  • Integrity of cable entrance, glands and/or conduit sealing
  • Integrity of clamping devices
Any defective seals, clamps and bypass diodes must be replaced.
Wiring Installation
Check junction boxes adjacent to the panels if applicable for:
  • Tightness of connections
  • Water accumulation/build-up
  • Integrity of lid seals
  • Integrity of cable entrance, glands and/or conduit sealing
  • Integrity of clamping devices
  • Also check
    • Blocking diodes
    • Surge arresters for degredation
Any defective seals, clamps, blocking diodes and surge arresters must be replaced.
Check connections for
  • Tightness
  • Corrosion
Electrical characteristics
Measure
  • Open
  • Short circuits currents
  • Check the:
    • Integrity of fuses
    • Operation of circuit breakers and residual current device
    • Operation of earth fault protection system
    • Operation of solar array isolation device
Mounting structures
Check tightness and integrity of bolts and other fastening devices.
Email fault notification
If the inverter is connected to the internet, a test should be performed to ensure the inverter sends a notification in the event of a fault Contact the ActewAGL Solar Team on 02 6248 3322 for information on how to conduct a test.
Every 5 years Wiring Installation
Check the mechanical integrity of conduits Any damaged conduits needs to be replaced.
Check the insulation integrity of cables installed without conduit Damaged cables must be replaced
Mounting structures
Check tightness and integrity of bolts and other fastening devices.