Can you get electrocuted while cleaning solar panels?

Can you get electrocuted while cleaning Solar panels?

solar, photovoltaic, energy

Solar panels are a great way to transition towards an Eco-friendlier lifestyle. They are also an amazing investment. With their rise in use, a common question among users is, whether one could get electrocuted while cleaning Solar panels?

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know to clean your solar panels. You’ll also find out how to avoid missteps involved in getting the job done.

Danger of Electrocution while cleaning Solar Panel

Risk associated is high in terms of cleaning Solar panel. One has to be extremely precautious when it comes to cleaning, because electrocution can come in different ways.

One way is when birds peck on the wires and when a person gets in contact with the live wire could be fatal.

Another possible way could be, when the top-layered glass that covers solar cells is broken, and when water runs into the surface area, is a real risk in this case.

The Manufacturers of Solar panels highly do not recommend pressure washing your solar panels.

Even a small crack on the surface glass of Solar panels, when in contact with it , directly exposes you to the risk of electrocution.

Cleaning your solar panel

  • Unless you’re running a solar farm it’s likely your solar panels are mounted on a roof. Cleaning your Solar panels without getting electrocuted should be on focus. That will present some difficulty but it’s nothing that can’t be worked around with some caution.
  • Thought to be self-cleaning, you can choose to wash your solar panels should you feel the need from the ground or on your roof.
  • Choosing to wash your panels from the ground is the best option for safety reasons. You’ll need to get an extending squeegee and soft brush long enough to extend your panel array. You’ll want to use a soft brush as any abrasive materials or tough bristles may damage your panels.
  • To clean, you’ll need a bucket and some soapy water. A hose with adjustable flow or pressure will come in handy when rinsing and finishing off your work. Stay away from high-pressure hoses as those may fracture or crack the glass casing on your panels.
  • You could also opt to clean your panels on the roof. If you choose to do so, ensure you have appropriate safety materials. Avoid distraction as the cleaning will get riskier as the panels and your roof get wet and soapy. 
  • A squeegee and soft cloth or sponge and a bucket of water will be all you need. If you’re able to get a hose onto the roof that will make the cleaning go much faster.

How to clean your solar panels

You can follow this simple 5 step process for cleaning your solar panels:

  1. Check the solar panel installation for any cracks, chips, or exposed wiring. (You might want to have a professional do this to avoid any injury or electrocution)
  2. Turn the solar panel off as per the manufacturer’s instruction. You don’t want any current running through the panels as you’re cleaning.
  3. Dust and brush off any solid debris on the solar panel.
  4. Wet the panels and brush them clean with the sponge or cloth.
  5. Rinse the panels thoroughly to avoid leaving any deposits on them.

Cleaning your solar panels is simple when done right. Follow these five steps and your solar panels should be clean. You’ll want to take care to avoid some of the common mistakes people make when washing their solar panels. The list isn’t long at all and your panels will better off for you keeping in mind.

Chances of getting shocked while cleaning Solar panels

If you hired professionals to install your Solar panel, then chances of getting shocked while cleaning is pretty low. Only when there is a crack, or potentially chewed wire that was left unnoticed and only when a person gets in contact, accident might occur. 

In short, if you’d installed a DIY solar kit, then there might be a problem. In most cases, you’re good to go.

Here is a list of things to avoid when cleaning your solar panels

Simple doesn’t mean easy. You’ll want to care to avoid some of the definite No No’s when it comes to cleaning solar panels. Keep these 4 points in mind every time you set out to clean your panels.

  • No abrasive products, detergents, and powders – These could scratch and leave residues on your panels reducing their efficiency.
  • No mineral-rich water – Water with a high mineral content will leave deposits on your panels.
  • Don’t clean when hot – Subjecting your panels to drastic temperature changes will weaken and may cause your solar panels to crack.
  • Don’t wash the back – You want to wash only the top glass-covered surface of your panels as washing the rear may wet the electronics and cause damage.

Washing solar panels carries with it the danger of electrocution. You should take great care when cleaning them. Exposed wiring or a subpar installation could cause electrocution. That is why you get a qualified professional to do your initial installation.

Before cleaning, check the glass thoroughly for cracks. Water seeping into the panel during cleaning will cause serious injury or electrocution.

Advancements in technology now make it possible for you to have your solar panel cleaning done by an autonomous robot. Autonomous cleaning comes with many benefits. They can achieve a greater level of efficiency when cleaning and help you avoid personal injury during the process. While convenient a cleaning robot for your solar panels should not be something you feel compelled to rush towards.

You can get through your panel cleaning by simply hosing down your solar panels every month or so. Unless you get a lot of birds flying over your panels or you live in an area with a lot of dust getting blown into the air, the dirtiest your solar panels will ever get is having some dust settle on them. 

Hosing your panels down occasionally will be more than enough to keep your panels clean. Remember to avoid using mineral-rich water so you don’t get deposits left on the panel as the water dries off.

Cleaning your solar panel does come with some risk but it’s not anything that should put you off getting it done. A little caution and a diligent hand should make for a safe clean up of your panels and keep them working at their best for the duration of their lifespan.

Final Thoughts..

If you do decide to wash your solar panels you should try to get it done during the Spring or in the Winter months. That’ll allow you to go through the longer Fall and Summer days with your panels clean and working their best.

 Solar panels do their best work during the cool yet sunny days of the year. Picking the right time of the year to wash your panels will also help you get the most back for your effort 

To end, you can clean your solar panels once every once in a while. Does it carry some risk and could you get electrocuted? Yes, but that can be avoided by taking some precautions before you start cleaning. It certainly shouldn’t put you off taking care of your solar panels.


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