How to Identify and Address Common Solar Panel Problems

Key Takeaways

  • Learn about typical solar panel issues, including low efficiency, inverter problems, and damaged panels.
  • Discover how to identify these issues with practical steps to rectify them.
  • Understand the importance of regular maintenance for your solar panel system to slow down degradation over time. 
  • Know when professional intervention is necessary to resolve complex solar panel problems.

Harnessing the sun’s power for your energy needs is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save on utility costs. However, like any system, solar panels can have their share of issues, and it’s vital to understand what they are to fix them. 

This article delves into common solar panel problems, how to identify them, and what steps you can take to address these concerns. By the end, you’ll be well-equipped to ensure your solar power system operates at peak efficiency. 

And if you’re considering a switch to solar, your friends at CMC Construction have a wide range of panels and solutions tailored to your needs.

Low Efficiency

One of the most common solar panel problems is low efficiency, resulting from various factors such as incorrect installation, insufficient cleaning, or even unsuitable environmental conditions.

Poorly Installed Panels

Improper installation can result in a lack of stability and secure attachment of the solar panels. This can lead to structural failures, such as panels coming loose or being susceptible to damage from strong winds, storms, or even regular vibrations. Poorly installed panels may not be able to withstand environmental stresses over time.

  • Electrical Issues: Faulty wiring connections, incorrect positioning of electrical components, or inadequate grounding can result in electrical issues. These issues may cause power fluctuations, increased resistance, and potential short circuits, leading to reduced system performance and even safety hazards.
  • Inefficient Energy Production: Improper positioning and orientation of solar panels can significantly impact their ability to capture sunlight effectively. Poorly installed panels may not be optimally aligned with the sun’s path, leading to reduced energy production and overall system efficiency. This can result in lower energy output and diminished financial benefits from the solar installation.
  • Water Ingress and Moisture Damage: Poor installation practices may compromise the weatherproofing of the solar panels and their connections. If not properly sealed, water can infiltrate the system, leading to moisture damage, corrosion, and potential electrical issues. Moisture-related problems can affect the longevity and performance of the panels and associated components.
  • Warranty and Insurance Issues: Solar panel warranties may be voided if the installation is not done correctly. Inadequate installation practices may result in the system not meeting manufacturer requirements or local building codes, potentially leading to complications when filing claims or seeking repairs under warranty or insurance policies.
  • Improper cleaning: Insufficient cleaning can also hinder your panel’s performance. Over time, dust, leaves, bird droppings, or snow can accumulate on the panel surface, blocking sunlight and reducing efficiency.

Identifying and Addressing Low Efficiency

To identify low efficiency, monitor your power output regularly. If it’s lower than expected for your specific panel model and weather conditions, low efficiency could be the problem.

To improve efficiency, ensure your solar panels are installed correctly, ideally by professionals. Regularly clean your panels and keep them clear of obstructions. 

If environmental conditions are the issue, consider using cooling mechanisms or solar panel types better suited to your local climate.

Inverter Problems

The inverter is a critical component of your solar power system, converting the direct current (DC) electricity your panels produces into alternating current (AC) electricity used in your home. 

Inverter problems are thus among the most common solar panel problems. Inverters can fail due to various factors, such as electrical faults, improper installation, or environmental issues.

Identifying and Addressing Inverter Problems

A malfunctioning inverter often results in no power output. Regularly check your inverter’s display or monitoring system to ensure it’s working correctly. If there’s an issue, you may need a professional to inspect and replace your inverter.

These are just a few common solar panel problems that homeowners may encounter. Regular maintenance is essential to ensure your solar power system functions at its peak. 

If you’re unsure or the problem seems complex, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. With the proper steps, you can keep your panels efficient and extend their lifespan significantly.

Physical Damage

Physical damage to your solar panels can occur due to harsh weather conditions such as hailstorms, high winds, or falling debris. Cracks in the glass, broken cells, or loose connections can significantly hamper the performance of your solar panels.

Identifying and Addressing Physical Damage

Regular visual inspections can help you identify physical damage. Look for cracks, chips, discoloration, or broken cells on your solar panels. Also, check for loose or dangling wires, which could indicate an internal problem.

In case of physical damage, professional intervention is typically required. Attempting to fix the panels yourself could result in further damage or voiding your warranty. Contact your installer or a reputable solar panel repair company to assess and repair the damage.

Degradation Over Time

Solar panels, like any other device, degrade over time. Although designed to last 25 to 30 years, their efficiency gradually decreases with age. This process is known as solar panel degradation.

Identifying and Addressing Degradation Over Time

Solar panel degradation is a slow process and might not be immediately noticeable. Keep track of your power output over the years. It might indicate an issue if it’s steadily decreasing beyond the expected annual degradation rate.

Degradation is an inevitable part of a solar panel’s life cycle. However, proper maintenance, such as regular cleaning and inspections, can help slow down the degradation rate and prolong your panels’ lifespan.


Understanding common solar panel problems is crucial to maintain your system’s efficiency and extending its lifespan. By identifying issues such as low efficiency, inverter problems, physical damage, or degradation over time, you can take the necessary steps to address them. 

Whether you’re an experienced solar panel owner or considering installing your first set of panels, stay proactive about maintaining your solar system. 

CMC Construction offers professional solar panel services if you notice any complex issues or need assistance with larger maintenance tasks. We can help ensure your system stays efficient, allowing you to reap the full benefits of solar energy for years.

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