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Will Tesla Solar move roof plumbing vents and upgrade panel to 200 amp before solar install?

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
2,081
2,518
Silicon Valley, CA
Interesting, I learn something new everyday. One code that impacted me, that my installers seemed to not know about, in my county is clearance.
They said and installed all sides to 36 inches. But, I now find the code is 18 inches. I could have place a lot more panels on my south and west facing if
they had known this, or I, and asked why. I do believe the 36 is safer, but, ....


The vent opening must communicate with outside air over an area no less than the area of the vent pipe, measured on the inside. For a 2-in. pipe (1-in. radius), that area is 3.14 sq. in. Assuming the pipe is clear around all sides, a panel could be as close as 1/2 in. above the vent and still provide the minimum 3.14 sq. in. of communication with the outside air.
The 36" ridge clearance was reduced to 18" on either side of the ridge, for homes with less than 33% PV coverage on the roof, or 66% if your home has fire sprinklers.

(2) 36" walkways must access each ridge above modules, and one of those walkways must be on, adjacent to, or sharing on and adjacent roof surfaces with the PV modules. Also one access pathway must be on the driveway or street side.

https://up.codes/viewer/california/irc-2018/chapter/3/building-planning#R324
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,048
661
auburn, ca
The 36" ridge clearance was reduced to 18" on either side of the ridge, for homes with less than 33% PV coverage on the roof, or 66% if your home has fire sprinklers.

(2) 36" walkways must access each ridge above modules, and one of those walkways must be on, adjacent to, or sharing on and adjacent roof surfaces with the PV modules. Also one access pathway must be on the driveway or street side.

https://up.codes/viewer/california/irc-2018/chapter/3/building-planning#R324
Interesting. With my 90 panels, I am probably over 33% now, but may not have with the first 15Kw of panels. Thanks, again, I learn so much here!! Either way, they are on now. Still waiting for my 3rd true up this year to throw out all my credits from the best solar months. :(
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
8,366
11,440
United States
It's safe as long as you follow the code. Some jurisdictions allow it, others do not regardless of the code.

Yep... my understanding is that it's just a vacuum break. And long as you're not sealing a panel to the top it's not going to affect its function.
 

mje123

Member
Oct 6, 2021
6
3
North Bay
I wish I took a picture of the vent pipes during the roof installation. They cut them off almost flush with the roof surface... They sat up about 1/2" above the decking and they had a waterproof collar around them. The roof tiles sit about 2" above the decking, so there is plenty of airflow under the roof tiles to allow the vents proper headroom.

It's a pretty cool design change. I otherwise would have had three pipes interrupting the main solar generating section of my roof. It would have severely impacted the number of panels they could fit on that roof section.

As far as accessing for waste pipe clean out. If you needed to, you could pop the roof tiles to find the vent stack... but that would also require you knew approximately where it was located on the roof. The tiles are designed to be popped in or out as needed.
 

slcasner

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2011
1,358
916
Sunnyvale, CA
As far as accessing for waste pipe clean out. If you needed to, you could pop the roof tiles to find the vent stack... but that would also require you knew approximately where it was located on the roof. The tiles are designed to be popped in or out as needed.
Another good reason for carefully photo-documenting the installation of your roof. I wonder, though, whether a plumber would be willing to pop a roof tile.
 

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