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DangerMouse 10-23-2008 10:10 AM

permit needed for solar?
nice to see this Nathan. as prices for everything go up and up, more and more people are looking for ways to cut costs and/or go green. i asked this in a previous thread, but never got an answer. i THINK i will need a plumbing permit once my solar hot water supplement unit is ready to connect, yes?


angus242 10-23-2008 10:27 PM

Just call your local municipality. They will be the only ones that really know exactly what you need. Call anonymously if you'd like but really, they're there to help, not hurt your projects. :thumbsup:

DangerMouse 10-24-2008 05:54 AM

well, of course they are, i always pull permits. it's for MY protection too, ya know. i guess i'm wondering how the inspector will handle this "unconventional" job.... he's probly not seen a lot if any like this.


Termite 10-24-2008 07:59 AM

I can assure you that they'll want a permit and inspections if they're a consciencious department. Solar systems are complex, and will generate power whether they're hooked up or not, and that can be a safety concern. There's a lot to it.

I'll be honest and tell you that I've never looked at one. But they're getting more common!

aaron.klimchuk 10-24-2008 08:54 AM

solar power, heating and even cooling systems are definitely becoming quite popular these days. With all of my experiences you do need to pull permits but there may be a few regions where you don't.

This isn't really meant for you DM (since I know you wouldn't dare not pull a permit!), but it's always best to pull permits for any project, solar are no different.

DangerMouse 10-24-2008 09:03 AM

i need to pull a plumbing permit in the spring or summer when i get to that section of this place, but i guess my concern is what the inspector is going to say. i should chat with him first to see if i need special valves or whatevers in this neck-o'-the-woods, you never know.


concretemasonry 10-24-2008 11:16 AM

You should also consider the zoning and covenant restrictions that may be impacted by a solar system. This is totall separate from the the building code mechanics.

There have been some problems and lawsuits regarding shading and reflection of sunlight in addition to the usual architectural concerns.

The classic case was between the tree hugger that planted trees that ended up shading the neigbor's collectors. He had to trim some of the trees.

If you want 24 hour free energy, get a permit for a windmill since it works all day (sun or not), even with very little wind. The flatlands of SW MI should be good for a long term investment.

DangerMouse 10-24-2008 11:34 AM

we live in the sticks, so neighbors are NO problem, nor is shade where i plan on putting it.
i want to install a windmill too, but of course, $$$ is still a problem. perhaps when they make them a bit more affordable to us po' folks, we'll get a good one.


angus242 10-24-2008 01:17 PM


You may want to look into vertical wind turbines. I did research on them last year and they seemed cheaper than windmills. They are making them pretty small too. I saw a company marketing them for rooftops in urban environments. I apologize for not giving you any links. I recently had a computer crash and I lost all of my bookmarks. Doing a quick search, I came up with this:

or regular ones:

DangerMouse 10-24-2008 01:24 PM

didn't see any prices there....


Educator 10-24-2008 07:04 PM

We have written before how there is a vey, very new mass pilot deployment being subsidized by the Federal Canadian Government for solar water heaters; 8,000 is the goal. If you live in Canada before you do anything you should investigate this new initiative. It could mean another $2,000 grant (from what we have learned) in addition to the $500 Federal and $500 Provincial (depending on the province) to reduce the cost of the solar water heater.

On the other hand, we just received our new solar air heater device last night and are hoping to install it late next week. It look's pretty easy to install.

aaron.klimchuk 10-31-2008 09:22 AM

let us know how the install goes...

DangerMouse 10-31-2008 09:55 AM

will do that, for sure. Po)


frenchelectrican 11-01-2008 12:36 AM

I know it may not be the excat answer but for electric solar system there are very specific code it have to follow in the NEC there is rather pretty new article in the NEC code { I think it is in 690 and 702 thru 705 } if you going have solar grid tied that part you will need get the POCO involved on this one due the POCO have few specific code it have to follow.

The grid inverter controller have to be UL listed { 1175 if that ring the bell to me }

Net metering

size of solar grid panel

Those part you will need to get few permits


I am not sure how many more permits it will need for electric solar grid required.

for Hot water yes there is permit required it will varies depending on the State / Local code requirement.


Marvin Gardens 11-01-2008 09:04 PM

I have never pulled a permit on my solar hot water. They want all kinds of money and the panels have to be "approved". Since I buy used solar water panels on craigslist none of them are approved. Most are out of business. The panels are like new and work great.

I just got 3 really nice panels, a new pump, a differential temperature relay, a 120 gallon heat exchanger and 200 feet of copper piping yesterday for $100 ( I had to remove it all from the house but it was going to be torn down so I didn't have to be nice). This will go on my existing system and now I have 175 sq ft of solar hot water panels.

The city won't let me put up a wind generator since I want to put it up at 60 feet and they have a limit of 42 feet for any structure. Even the blade counts as a structure so I would have to put the generator at 39 feet so the blade won't go past 42 feet. So much for being a green city.

Plus they don't know anything about things like an air scoop and bladder tank on the system. Most ask what they are for.....sigh. One guy had me tell him what all the pipes were for (on another job where I was redoing the system that failed from frozen pipes). I had to explain to him how it all worked.

The frustration I get from dealing from the city is too much for me to handle. They just want the money and the increased tax revenues.

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