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National Grid and Tesla Backup Switch [PV + (1) PW+ and (1) PW2]

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
2,184
2,669
Silicon Valley, CA
I am new to Tesla solar, still getting know all these different names mean, For me they installed two power walls, gateway backup 2 and they will install solar panels and inverter tomorrow. I was told PG/E need to place some thing around my meter, I am assuming backup switch ?

Any time line how long it takes, I waited 4 months to get this far, Can I start using the panels energy for the Powerwall and for the house meanwhile ?

If you have the Tesla Gateway 2, then you will not have the backup switch, since they do similar jobs in the system.
 
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dailo

Member
Jul 22, 2017
773
862
Bay Area
I am new to Tesla solar, still getting know all these different names mean, For me they installed two power walls, gateway backup 2 and they will install solar panels and inverter tomorrow. I was told PG/E need to place some thing around my meter, I am assuming backup switch ?

Any time line how long it takes, I waited 4 months to get this far, Can I start using the panels energy for the Powerwall and for the house meanwhile ?

Are you sure they installed a backup gateway? Usually it's either backup switch or backup gateway. Maybe you are referring to the inverter which is on top of the PW+. Just has mine installed but don't know when backup switch will get installed, but won't be able to power anything on until that happens.
 
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Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
2,184
2,669
Silicon Valley, CA
Are you sure they installed a backup gateway? Usually it's either backup switch or backup gateway. Maybe you are referring to the inverter which is on top of the PW+. Just has mine installed but don't know when backup switch will get installed, but won't be able to power anything on until that happens.
I am hoping the Backup Switch is approved by PGE this fast, but I fear it will not be.
 
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slcasner

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2011
1,392
939
Sunnyvale, CA
I am new to Tesla solar, still getting know all these different names mean, For me they installed two power walls, gateway backup 2 and they will install solar panels and inverter tomorrow. I was told PG/E need to place some thing around my meter, I am assuming backup switch ?
If you have a Gateway 2 installed then I would not expect a Backup Switch to be installed. The reason for needing one or the other of those devices is that they provide the contactor (relay) to isolate from the grid. Is one of the Powerwalls a Powerwall+ (with the solar inverter box attached to the top)? I believe a Powerwall+ is required to interface with the Backup Switch.
Maybe PG&E just needs to put a lock back on the meter if the installers had to break the seal and remove the meter to disconnect power from the main panel.
 
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mountfield

Member
Aug 6, 2021
20
17
Chicago
I'll add my install to the list of oddities, but now waiting for inspection & utility approval

originally spaced to be 1 pw+ with 9kw of solar, partial home backup (ac excluded)

electrical install proceeded to plan initially (1x pw+, gateway 2 with integrated panel), then on day 2 another electrical team arrived, informed me that I would now have whole home backup, and added backup switch, and restored the AC circuit to the main panel.

city inspector insists on having utility approval to pass inspection, and now sitting in limbo waiting for comed to accept the backup switch to pass inspection, but I am not sure how likely this is in the short term (seems unlikely). On the plus side, since city has not passed the inspection, and will not without utility ok, I will not have to pay until Tesla sorts this out with the utility
 

ngkl

Member
Dec 24, 2016
45
6
Rocklin, CA
Are you sure they installed a backup gateway? Usually it's either backup switch or backup gateway. Maybe you are referring to the inverter which is on top of the PW+. Just has mine installed but don't know when backup switch will get installed, but won't be able to power anything on until that happens.
Just checked it says backup gateway 2, I guess I need to wait till PG/E installs backup switch " collar " for the existing meter.
Mine is also not showing up in Tesla app, I guess we have to wait till we go through these hurdles
 

ngkl

Member
Dec 24, 2016
45
6
Rocklin, CA
If you have a Gateway 2 installed then I would not expect a Backup Switch to be installed. The reason for needing one or the other of those devices is that they provide the contactor (relay) to isolate from the grid. Is one of the Powerwalls a Powerwall+ (with the solar inverter box attached to the top)? I believe a Powerwall+ is required to interface with the Backup Switch.
Maybe PG&E just needs to put a lock back on the meter if the installers had to break the seal and remove the meter to disconnect power from the main panel.
Just regular powerwall not the Plus, may be, PG/E has to do collar type work around the existing meter, they told me it could take anywhere from 2-6 weeks
 
Last edited:

BGbreeder

Member
Jun 19, 2020
496
298
Bay Area
FWIW: PG&E just replaced the seal on my meter (main panel upgrade) and it took six weeks to get the appointment to cut the power/redo the seal. The linemen shared that they are supposed to have 23 linemen covering this territory. They have 13; four are retiring this year.

It is the same meter; just got moved from one panel to a new one. (For me)

All the best,

BG
 
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powerwall+

New Member
Sep 17, 2021
3
4
Bay Area
Posted this in the other thread, but since this is also being discussed here wanted to share the update I received directly from PGE.

I also didn’t have my backup switch installed yet as was waiting for PGE to remove the tamper tag on the meter.

Since I was waiting, decided to to see if they had more info on the backup switch. I called PGE today and was routed to a different dept that handles the requests to have someone come out to remove the tag for the meter. I specifically asked about the backup switch and the lady mentioned that they just received an internal memo ~1 hour before I called that the Tesla Backup Switch is not approved and will not be allowed at all. I asked her what would happen for people that already had it installed and she wasn’t 100% sure but said since this is new info on their side but that it is definitely not approved and they will probably have to recall them. She also said they won’t be scheduling for techs to come out to remove the tags for this purpose anymore. Obviously not sure if everything she said is true but from what I also gathered from these threads my project advisor and PGE, it will be a great challenge.

When I called my project advisor this morning, he seemed aware that there’s been some trouble with these and that there would be some delay (weeks to months he said). However this update from PGE side seems to completely block using backup switches at all.
 

mountfield

Member
Aug 6, 2021
20
17
Chicago
Posted this in the other thread, but since this is also being discussed here wanted to share the update I received directly from PGE.

I also didn’t have my backup switch installed yet as was waiting for PGE to remove the tamper tag on the meter.

Since I was waiting, decided to to see if they had more info on the backup switch. I called PGE today and was routed to a different dept that handles the requests to have someone come out to remove the tag for the meter. I specifically asked about the backup switch and the lady mentioned that they just received an internal memo ~1 hour before I called that the Tesla Backup Switch is not approved and will not be allowed at all. I asked her what would happen for people that already had it installed and she wasn’t 100% sure but said since this is new info on their side but that it is definitely not approved and they will probably have to recall them. She also said they won’t be scheduling for techs to come out to remove the tags for this purpose anymore. Obviously not sure if everything she said is true but from what I also gathered from these threads my project advisor and PGE, it will be a great challenge.

When I called my project advisor this morning, he seemed aware that there’s been some trouble with these and that there would be some delay (weeks to months he said). However this update from PGE side seems to completely block using backup switches at all.
My install was with backup switch, gateway 2 and pw +. Inspection failed as they wanted proof of compliance from my utility regarding the backup switch.

from there Tesla has been working with the utility (ComEd / Excelon) and have gotten nowhere.

So now Tesla came out and removed the backup switch and reverted to gateway 2 in order to pass inspect / acceptance by ComEd


If you have the Tesla Gateway 2, then you will not have the backup switch, since they do similar jobs in the system.
in this case they installed both, possibly because it was a late addition of backup switch, but as it turns out I’m glad they also installed gateway 2 as this was straightforward to revert.
 
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h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,100
677
auburn, ca
My install was with backup switch, gateway 2 and pw +. Inspection failed as they wanted proof of compliance from my utility regarding the backup switch.

from there Tesla has been working with the utility (ComEd / Excelon) and have gotten nowhere.

So now Tesla came out and removed the backup switch and reverted to gateway 2 in order to pass inspect / acceptance by ComEd



in this case they installed both, possibly because it was a late addition of backup switch, but as it turns out I’m glad they also installed gateway 2 as this was straightforward to revert.
Makes no sense to have installed a backup switch and Gateway 2? What was technical reason to start with?
 

mountfield

Member
Aug 6, 2021
20
17
Chicago
Makes no sense to have installed a backup switch and Gateway 2? What was technical reason to start with?
I’m not aware of any technical reason.
The backup gateway was installed first, and was what the plans called for. Then a day or two later they informed me they were changing to backup switch and added it, but left the gateway.
Now that ComEd refused the switch it’s back to the gateway only.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,100
677
auburn, ca
I’m not aware of any technical reason.
The backup gateway was installed first, and was what the plans called for. Then a day or two later they informed me they were changing to backup switch and added it, but left the gateway.
Now that ComEd refused the switch it’s back to the gateway only.
Sounds like some folks have no idea what they are doing
 

slcasner

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2011
1,392
939
Sunnyvale, CA
I’m not aware of any technical reason.
The backup gateway was installed first, and was what the plans called for. Then a day or two later they informed me they were changing to backup switch and added it, but left the gateway.
Now that ComEd refused the switch it’s back to the gateway only.
Sounds like they were using your house as a test case. Result: fail.
 

FurryOne

Member
May 1, 2019
130
116
Rome, NY USA
Here's the setup they are using to get around National Grid's refusal to approve the Backup Switch. That's Tesla's own meter attached to the Backup Switch. I'm pre-PTO, and the Inverter can't get through a self test. Tesla won't even give me a status - in fact the jerk hung up on me when I tried to explain the problem. That's some great service.
IMG_4636.JPG
 
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h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,100
677
auburn, ca
Here's the setup they are using to get around National Grid's refusal to approve the Backup Switch. That's Tesla's own meter attached to the Backup Switch. I'm pre-PTO, and the Inverter can't get through a self test. Tesla won't even give me a status - in fact the jerk hung up on me when I tried to explain the problem. That's some great service.View attachment 711638
Seems time makes more sense to stay with what is proven to work, the GW. So, how is the switch solution better than just using the GW2?
 

slcasner

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2011
1,392
939
Sunnyvale, CA
Seems time makes more sense to stay with what is proven to work, the GW. So, how is the switch solution better than just using the GW2?
For starters, it's one less box on the wall. But for those of us in the West with combo meter main service panels, if the existing main panel has enough breaker space and ampacity remaining to add breakers for solar and storage, then there is no need to relocate the branch breakers to a new panel. Much simpler installation, with reduced power shutdown time for the homeowner.
 
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