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SF Bay area Powerwall install problems

mkspeedr

Member
Jun 14, 2015
758
807
Santa Clara, CA
I have been a strong Tesla supporter for the last 7 years. I have purchased 8 Tesla vehicles and I have deposits on two more. I have helped influence my family to buy 8 more and numerous friends. While the service, support and delivery process has been far below the industry average – I have been impressed enough with the vehicles to overlook the issues….until now.

I ordered my three power walls 2 years ago. The inverter was installed the day before Thanksgiving. The install was horrible. They killed power to the house with no warning. Multiple problems and delays forced power to be off until 1:00 am. The house was 61 degrees before the power came on – I have two young kids that were moments away from going to a hotel. The installation was done wrong. The wiring damaged a new $3,000 pool pump, the HVAC controller and microwave. The wiring was a mess and did not pass code. The power wall installation was horrible as well. It started late and the delays forced them to leave before completion. After leaving we noticed the power was off in the garage and to the outdoor lighting. A installer came out the next day and accessed the power walls must be removed and the stucco opened to find the problem.

I cannot get anyone except installers to call me back - any suggestions? I want to talk to someone who can direct this to resolution.
 

SaveOurPlanet

Member
Jan 6, 2018
186
108
San Francisco
Sorry to hear that, you got the Powerwalls installed in November 2020 and you still have problem with them? I’m confused though, the current generation of Powerwall has built-in inverter, they do not require separate inverter installation. Did you get a project advisor assigned to you? Why not contact your project advisor? Strange that they did not tell you that they would shut off the power to the house, they told me I would not have power for the whole day but it turned out to be 4 hours only. You said only the installer would respond to you, but if you are in the Bay Area and you ordered the Powerwalls from Tesla, the only installers are Tesla people.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,659
8,438
Riverside Co. CA
I have been a strong Tesla supporter for the last 7 years. I have purchased 8 Tesla vehicles and I have deposits on two more. I have helped influence my family to buy 8 more and numerous friends. While the service, support and delivery process has been far below the industry average – I have been impressed enough with the vehicles to overlook the issues….until now.

I ordered my three power walls 2 years ago. The inverter was installed the day before Thanksgiving. The install was horrible. They killed power to the house with no warning. Multiple problems and delays forced power to be off until 1:00 am. The house was 61 degrees before the power came on – I have two young kids that were moments away from going to a hotel. The installation was done wrong. The wiring damaged a new $3,000 pool pump, the HVAC controller and microwave. The wiring was a mess and did not pass code. The power wall installation was horrible as well. It started late and the delays forced them to leave before completion. After leaving we noticed the power was off in the garage and to the outdoor lighting. A installer came out the next day and accessed the power walls must be removed and the stucco opened to find the problem.

I cannot get anyone except installers to call me back - any suggestions? I want to talk to someone who can direct this to resolution.

From your post, its not 100% clear but it appears you are talking about both a solar install (what was done the day before thanksgiving, which took down the power to your home) and a powerwall install which was done at some other time.

We dont have any specific escalation path to tesla here in this section of TMC. There isnt any way I am aware of to escalate anything verbally within tesla, other than the person who was your project advisor.

"the wiring damaged the pool pump, the hvac and the microwave" doesnt make a lot of sense, unless you are talking about the powerwalls raising the frequency when on powerwall power to shut off the solar when they are full. In any case, thats not what you are asking.

As I said, we dont have anyplace / any person inside of tesla to "escalate" issues to. Try your project advisor, or ask your project advisor who their supervisor is to try, but not many people have had much success "finding names" to escalate to within tesla.
 

mkspeedr

Member
Jun 14, 2015
758
807
Santa Clara, CA
Sorry - I copied and pasted my post from an email to my Tesla project advisor - my 3rd since the project started.

The gateway and panel upgrade was done Nov 2020 by someone Tesla sub contracted. The power wall was installed last week - almost 4 months later by Tesla.
The gateway and panel installed contractor shorted the panel to my pool house. It fried pool pump, HVAC and microwave.

The Tesla guys installed the power walls and shorted the breaker in my garage. Now they need to remove the power walls and open the stucco to find the short.

The whole process has been horrible and dangerous.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: jjrandorin

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
1,551
249
auburn, ca
Sorry - I copied and pasted my post from an email to my Tesla project advisor - my 3rd since the project started.

The gateway and panel upgrade was done Nov 2020 by someone Tesla sub contracted. The power wall was installed last week - almost 4 months later by Tesla.
The gateway and panel installed contractor shorted the panel to my pool house. It fried pool pump, HVAC and microwave.

The Tesla guys installed the power walls and shorted the breaker in my garage. Now they need to remove the power walls and open the stucco to find the short.

The whole process has been horrible and dangerous.
mine were installed on stucco. Luckily the back side of everything on the PW's, and front side of all the panels behind them, is sheet rock I have been taking apart.
 

Electrph

Member
Aug 29, 2019
273
157
Central California
@jjrandorin is spot on .. difficult to escalate a problem within Tesla in anyway most of us are accustom... I have tried with an issue that is minor compared to yours but non the less frustrating.. and have gotten almost nowhere
The consensus seems to be the quality of Tesla's installs is solid .. their customer service can often be very poor. Sorry to hear you have been put into this situation.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,659
8,438
Riverside Co. CA
@jjrandorin is spot on .. difficult to escalate a problem within Tesla in anyway most of us are accustom... I have tried with an issue that is minor compared to yours but non the less frustrating.. and have gotten almost nowhere
The consensus seems to be the quality of Tesla's installs is solid .. their customer service can often be very poor. Sorry to hear you have been put into this situation.

This is true (about the installs) but there have been a few reports of things like this OP is mentioning. Not many at all, but a few installs that sort of "went sideways". With the number of things that OP is mentioning shorted our, or fried, during installs, there either wasnt enough care, or not enough due diligence on the part of the design team in making proper recommendations to avoid these issues, or both.

I would say that, installs like OP is describing is one of the reasons tesla doesnt want to do main panel upgrades, or complicated installs. The more they have to sub out, the more chance something they dont have tight control over goes wrong, because we KNOW they are not going to have "tight control" over some subs during an install.

Anyway, OP I am sorry this is happening to you. Very few things worse than someone "messing up your home" I hope you get it sorted out in some manner that you end up being happy with. I wish I had better advice for you other than "contact your project advisor and ask them for a name of their boss to escalate" but thats likely all you can do, other than driving to a tesla energy office and trying to talk to someone in person there.

I have no idea if tesla still has offices for tesla energy like they did "BC"* (*before covid). good luck, hope it works out.
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
117
53
California
I have been a strong Tesla supporter for the last 7 years. I have purchased 8 Tesla vehicles and I have deposits on two more. I have helped influence my family to buy 8 more and numerous friends. While the service, support and delivery process has been far below the industry average – I have been impressed enough with the vehicles to overlook the issues….until now.

I ordered my three power walls 2 years ago. The inverter was installed the day before Thanksgiving. The install was horrible. They killed power to the house with no warning. Multiple problems and delays forced power to be off until 1:00 am. The house was 61 degrees before the power came on – I have two young kids that were moments away from going to a hotel. The installation was done wrong. The wiring damaged a new $3,000 pool pump, the HVAC controller and microwave. The wiring was a mess and did not pass code. The power wall installation was horrible as well. It started late and the delays forced them to leave before completion. After leaving we noticed the power was off in the garage and to the outdoor lighting. A installer came out the next day and accessed the power walls must be removed and the stucco opened to find the problem.

I cannot get anyone except installers to call me back - any suggestions? I want to talk to someone who can direct this to resolution.

Does you house have power now?
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
1,828
2,101
Silicon Valley, CA
I have been a strong Tesla supporter for the last 7 years. I have purchased 8 Tesla vehicles and I have deposits on two more. I have helped influence my family to buy 8 more and numerous friends. While the service, support and delivery process has been far below the industry average – I have been impressed enough with the vehicles to overlook the issues….until now.

I ordered my three power walls 2 years ago. The inverter was installed the day before Thanksgiving. The install was horrible. They killed power to the house with no warning. Multiple problems and delays forced power to be off until 1:00 am. The house was 61 degrees before the power came on – I have two young kids that were moments away from going to a hotel. The installation was done wrong. The wiring damaged a new $3,000 pool pump, the HVAC controller and microwave. The wiring was a mess and did not pass code. The power wall installation was horrible as well. It started late and the delays forced them to leave before completion. After leaving we noticed the power was off in the garage and to the outdoor lighting. A installer came out the next day and accessed the power walls must be removed and the stucco opened to find the problem.

I cannot get anyone except installers to call me back - any suggestions? I want to talk to someone who can direct this to resolution.

Sounds like a rough install, but I don't have a magic bullet to help you. Maybe get someone famous to tweet Elon lol.

Likely this is a case where its not clear who screwed up (Tesla or the sub) though it is clear someone did. Sounds like some wire through the structure may have been damaged, sorry this happened. Tesla should take care of it if it was their sub or not, that's how it works when we make mistakes.

Let us know how it goes. Certainly you could pay another electrician to fix it, then bill Tesla but you'd likely have to go to court to get them to pay. Otherwise you just have to wait for resolution from Tesla.

Unfortunately this happens with any installation, but its unfortunate you are left to post about your unpowered garage on the forum, due to inattention from your sales team. This is one risk with the Tesla approach and company structure. You'd think the field teams could just elevate this to a supervisor themselves.

Is the issue with a subpanel in the garage, and the lighting circuit you mentioned is a part of that subpanel?
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
1,551
249
auburn, ca
Sounds like a rough install, but I don't have a magic bullet to help you. Maybe get someone famous to tweet Elon lol.

Likely this is a case where its not clear who screwed up (Tesla or the sub) though it is clear someone did. Sounds like some wire through the structure may have been damaged, sorry this happened. Tesla should take care of it if it was their sub or not, that's how it works when we make mistakes.

Let us know how it goes. Certainly you could pay another electrician to fix it, then bill Tesla but you'd likely have to go to court to get them to pay. Otherwise you just have to wait for resolution from Tesla.

Unfortunately this happens with any installation, but its unfortunate you are left to post about your unpowered garage on the forum, due to inattention from your sales team. This is one risk with the Tesla approach and company structure. You'd think the field teams could just elevate this to a supervisor themselves.

Is the issue with a subpanel in the garage, and the lighting circuit you mentioned is a part of that subpanel?
My contractors comment is if something is not done right, they will fit it. I have used this mentally during our 4 year and going remodel project.
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
117
53
California
Yes, the house still has power but two circuits are off in the garage.

Did you already pay? If you paid with credit card, you could dispute it with the credit card company to to get them to help to get Tesla's attention. There is usually another channel that you don't have access to. I did that successfully with another company. Not sure if would work with Tesla. Otherwise, you'll likely have to decide if and when it would be good time to pursue legal recourse.

In general, I would not assume good experience with one division of a large company as assurance for another division. It's been my experience working with and in large companies especially when it's small division (Tesla Energy well under 10% of Tesla total revenue). Internally, small divisions often have a very difficult time competing for adequate resources against the big divisions from corporate.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
979
587
East Bay NorCal
If you want to get Tesla's attention, the easiest way I can think of is to challenge their license and permitting ability in Santa Clara County.

If Tesla ran their work through an incompetent sub, they need to be reported. And these reports will often trigger immediate events with your permitting office.

You can file a complaint with the CA OAG here; make sure to identify Tesla knowingly placed you in harms way through their sub-contract.

You can also file a complaint with the Northern SWIFT (they cover Santa Clara county). This group is related with the California State Licensing Board and can also enforce instances where unlicensed work is attempted. The work you described sounds like someone made a bottom-dollar pass through to suspicious groups at the bottom of the totem pole that may not be licensed.
[email protected]
 

mkspeedr

Member
Jun 14, 2015
758
807
Santa Clara, CA
If you want to get Tesla's attention, the easiest way I can think of is to challenge their license and permitting ability in Santa Clara County.

If Tesla ran their work through an incompetent sub, they need to be reported. And these reports will often trigger immediate events with your permitting office.

You can file a complaint with the CA OAG here; make sure to identify Tesla knowingly placed you in harms way through their sub-contract.

You can also file a complaint with the Northern SWIFT (they cover Santa Clara county). This group is related with the California State Licensing Board and can also enforce instances where unlicensed work is attempted. The work you described sounds like someone made a bottom-dollar pass through to suspicious groups at the bottom of the totem pole that may not be licensed.
[email protected]
Excellent suggestion. Thanks. This is a great idea.
 

mkspeedr

Member
Jun 14, 2015
758
807
Santa Clara, CA
Did you already pay? If you paid with credit card, you could dispute it with the credit card company to to get them to help to get Tesla's attention. There is usually another channel that you don't have access to. I did that successfully with another company. Not sure if would work with Tesla. Otherwise, you'll likely have to decide if and when it would be good time to pursue legal recourse.

In general, I would not assume good experience with one division of a large company as assurance for another division. It's been my experience working with and in large companies especially when it's small division (Tesla Energy well under 10% of Tesla total revenue). Internally, small divisions often have a very difficult time competing for adequate resources against the big divisions from corporate.
I have not paid - thank goodness - if I did, I would probably call my lawyers.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
8,810
9,403
SF Bay Area
Years ago we had an issue with our new house and the developer (subs also) over a range hood ventilation issue and ductwork (vent pipe too narrow and hood couldn’t open up into the duct). We weren’t getting anywhere with them so went to our city building department. City inspector came out right away and actually red tagged their work on our house over it and that got the developer out pronto. City inspector was involved throughout the work that needed to get done until finalizing the permit for it. Kind of last resort you don’t want to take but if it’s over a safety issue especially good to know the city will probably have your back.

Sorry you are having this issue. I’m guessing the powerwalls were delayed due to inventory shortage last year into this year? We had our MPU done by our own electrician as Tesla said the guys who did this work were booked way out and we didn’t want to wait to get our system in. Stucco work too. Feel for you having to live through this a second time but I hope to hear that Tesla makes it right.

As far as contacting your advisor I believe we were told once the install is done and you have an issue there was another number to call for after-install service, that you don’t go through the advisor any longer. And in an emergency there was a Powerwall hotline.
 
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