TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

LA installer

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by jurmanji, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. jurmanji

    jurmanji New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    LA
    Want to do solar 8kw system with 2 power walls. Does anybody have an installer they like (would love to know how much they charged)? It seems like the wait to have Tesla do it is forever and they are out of SGIP.

    I've gotten quotes around19-21k pre incentive and around 22k for 2 powerwalls which seemed high. Love anybody's thoughts.

    thanks!
     
  2. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,781
    Location:
    Palmdale, CA
    That was in line with quotes I was getting from the non-Tesla installers. Tesla was still doing SGIP when I signed up last year, so I decided to take my chances with them. In hindsight, it probably wasn't the best choice and I should have just gone with one of the other guys.
     
  3. jurmanji

    jurmanji New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    LA
    The upside is you're going to pay a lot less than us. Installers know that Tesla is out of SGIP so they just raised their prices. I asked for a breakdown and they can barely put one together because it's all BS overcharges.
     
  4. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,781
    Location:
    Palmdale, CA
    Well, that is assuming I get into the SGIP. Tesla told me Step 3 when I signed, but I didn't make it into Step 3. I might not make it into step 4 either. After that it gets dicey on if I run out of my 12 months before the next step opens. They were really bad about those estimates.
     
  5. ChrisMPK

    ChrisMPK Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2018
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Monterey Park, CA
    Don't use LA Solar. They are unqualified.

    19-21 for the solar seems pretty good. 22 for the batteries seems high unless you have some challenging installation conditions.
     
  6. NuShrike

    NuShrike Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2017
    Messages:
    201
    Location:
    SoCal
    Solar price is very cheap, depending on the panels.

    Batteries are ripoff prices with or without SGIP. It should reasonably come in at less than your solar, pre-incentives.
     
  7. jurmanji

    jurmanji New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    LA

    Was going to use Solar Optimum, but they were really sketchy and disorganized particularly about the battery so I went with Treepublic.

    If anybody has a good battery person, let me know.
     
  8. cr0ntab

    cr0ntab Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2018
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    SoCal
    I echo this sentiment, I did get my powerwalls quickly and I did make it into step 2 but I'm still hassling with their install.

    I called the city today about the whole situation and they ended up un-finalizing the permit, so hopefully that gives me more leverage to get them to come out and finish up the job.
     
  9. kodek

    kodek Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    US CA
    Can you elaborate? I was actually planning to go with them, since they did a good job when installing my PV system.
     
  10. ChrisMPK

    ChrisMPK Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2018
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Monterey Park, CA
    @kodek, below is an edited email that I sent to them. Part of my issue was that I had no idea, nor was it ever communicated to me, how long it takes to get PTO once the installation was complete. However, there were more than enough other issues besides a simple communication breakdown. In retrospect, I should have spent more time here on TMC forums prior to my installation. I only started reading the energy section after I had my installation done. That would have left me much better prepared.

    So far I have been underwhelmed with the installation by your team. Below is a timeline of my experience with your firm.

    1/18 - Meeting with Eric: I was totally unclear as to many aspects of the installation so I requested a meeting with your project manager. Eric came by and explained the installation process, how the battery system would work, and took my input about equipment placement and not wanting to have conduit wrapping the building. Prior to this I had very little understanding of how the system and installation would work. LA Solar was sending me emails about scheduling installation with very little explanation about what the plan was or how the system would operate when completed. It was obvious from the start that my installation was not the focus of anyones attention.

    1/25 - I get an email from you that makes it clear that only a fraction of what I talked about with Eric got through. After a few more emails back and forth we get things straightened out and the installation is scheduled.

    1/31 - Installation day. The installers are early, which would normally be a good thing, however they pull up in a sprinter that looks like it just ran the Baja 1000 and lost. This thing is less than 4 years old and thoroughly trashed. Not a good first impression. I meet the lead installer and start to show him around. I mention the crawl access and his immediate response is that he wasn't prepared for a crawl. The crawl access is inside through the floor so I ask him if he has a drop cloth which he doesn't, so I provide one (that's $10 at the hardware store, and something any service vehicle should have).

    I start talking about my plans for the conduit which I had previously discussed with Eric and the lead installer told me that my plan wouldn't work as the conduit from the main panel needed to be 1.25" and the existing was .75". When I mentioned that Eric had just looked at this a week before the installers immediately responded that Eric was just hired and didn't know anything. Not a good look to throw another one of your fellow employees under the bus first thing in the morning. That kind of undermines your faith in an organization overall. Further discussing the conduit, the installers say that they only need a single conduit from the main panel. I point out that code doesn't allow running sub feeds and branch feeds in the same conduit. The lead installer tells me that he has been doing installations that way and they have been passing inspection. My reply is that if it doesn't meet code you don't do it. Furthermore there is already a conduit for the breaker feeds running to the solar that can be used to satisfy the code with no additional work. The installers agree and after laying out the equipment I leave for work.

    Upon returning at the end of the day I go to check out the installation. Things mostly look good from the outside, but I immediately notice that the screen on my existing solarinverter is damaged (1st photo). After further inspection I determine that the damage could only have been done with the cover removed, which means it happened when they opened the inverter to re-route the solar wiring. I start to look more closely at the installation and notice that the breaker feed conduit (which should be the output of the sub panel) is running instead into the cutoff switch for the sub panel, and the branch feeds are again running through the same conduit as the sub feed (2nd photo) which we had agreed wouldn't be the case as it wasn't to code. I also notice that there are five 20A breakers in the sub panel, instead of four 20's and two 15's as I had discussed with the installers before I left (I gave a list of the breakers I wanted connected as critical loads to the installers in the morning). Knowing that the 15's were wired to the main panel with #14 and that couldn't be landed to a 20A breaker I opened the main panel to inspect. I found that they pulled 5 #10's from the critical load panel to the main panel. Four were tied into #12's, which is fine, and one was tied to 2 #14's (3rd photo), which is a code violation. Furthermore, there was not a ground or neutral in the breaker feed conduit which is also a violation. It seems evident that they didn't have any #12 or #14 or any green or white wire on the install van so they just pulled the red and black #10 they had and didn't think anyone would notice.

    I also removed the cover to the sub panel to see what it looked like and found that the cover was stuck on and almost had to be pried off. After investigating I realized that this was because the LR conduit body was not fitted properly and was distorting the bottom of the panel (4th photo), making it very difficult to service. This also would have been an easy fix before it was wired, they just needed a longer section of conduit. Lastly, according to my wife who was home during the rest of the day after I left, the area was littered with pieces of copper and small metal debris from the installation. No effort had been made to clean up the area when installation was complete.

    After all of this I decided to see how the battery worked. The installers didn't speak to my wife or leave any instructions other than the permits when they left so I searched on the web and found the website to register the battery. After a couple days I got an email back from Tesla saying my battery was registered but it still doesn't show up on the app or website. The light was flashing green which further research indicated meant that it was not communicating. I ran an ethernet line to the gateway and followed the instructions from Tesla but I'm still unable to communicate with the battery.

    So four days later I have a battery that isn't activated, corrections to bring to the conduit and wiring up to code, a broken display on my existing solar inverter, and no communication from LA Solar to let me know what is going on. I'm left wondering if this is typical of how you approach your projects or if my case is an outlier. I've gone from excited about this project to regretting how it has gone so far and how much work I'm going to do and money I'm going and time I'm going to have to spend to get it completed. Think about that for a minute. Customer satisfaction is everything to a service business and I am not just unsatisfied but starting to regret the decision to do this project at all.

    I propose the following resolution: Your installers complete activation of the battery and / or troubleshoot the connectivity to the internet; I will, at my expense, rectify the wiring and inverter screen and bring it up to code, as I do not have confidence in your installers; I will pay you the balance of the total cost less my expense to resolve the wiring once the system is up and running. I won't be happy with the overall experience, but I'll be content that it's done and not feel the compelled to write negative reviews about it.

    I'd like to hear you're side of the story if you think that my observations are inaccurate, my conclusions are illogical, or if you already had a plan to resolve all of my concerns but just didn't have the time to contact me yet.

    I look forward to hearing from you the beginning of the week
    [​IMG]
     
    • Informative x 1
  11. Artimis

    Artimis Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Ladera Ranch, CA
    I used LA Solar for my PV + 2 Powerwall (whole home backup) installation. As others stated, their pricing on the solar system was excellent but their battery pricing was higher than I would like. Still on par with other non-Telsa installers and the the SGIP incentive is guaranteed (plus it is their headache.....I'm not out-of-pocket while they are waiting for the incentive payment).

    As far as the installation, yes, I had some issues. The installation took much longer than it should of and they kept sending a different person each time. That person would spend the majority of their time undoing the work of the previous person. They also ran conduit/mounted components in areas that I specifically told them not to. Ultimately, I was able to get them to redo things until they met my requirements.

    So far, the system has been working exactly as I had hoped and PTO was achieved very quickly.
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC