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How to Uninstall Solar Panel System Safely?

It may sound like you just need to uninstall the solar panel system in the reverse manner you installed—it is not that easy, it may sound, but it is a lot more technical than that! Any miss-handling or mistake results in the breaking of plates can cost a handsome amount of money.
Thus, sound knowledge of how to uninstall the solar panel system is extremely necessary.

Although, it is only recommended when;

  • You are equipped with a proper tool kit.
  • You have technical knowledge of electrical stuff (best if regarding to solar panel).
  • The roof or area of installation is not too much difficult to reach—if so, you must have the proper know-how of SOPs according to it.
  • Ready to take any loss, if in case of mishandling or breaking of any costly component.

After adjusting yourself with a disclaimer, let’s get started with the removal method of the solar panel system. As there is a complete setup, and all of the pieces are linked, so removal must be done with caution to avoid harm.

Why Choose DIY Method for Solar Panel Removal?

It would be much convenient if you sought expert assistance or at the very least consulted a basic electrician After all, they are electrical components, and operating on a rooftop necessitates an extra degree of caution. But what if you can save a handsome amount of money by doing it yourself?  Yes, it costs a lot of money to separate these panels.

Method to Remove the Solar Panel Safely

The steps to uninstall the solar panels safely are;

  • Shutting Down the Power
  • Unplugging Solar Panels from One Another
  • Removing Solar Panels
  • Separate Hardware
  • Unfastening Cables/Wires
  • Removing the Grounding
  • Settle the Components

Shutting Down the Power

The first step is to stop the current flowing in the solar power system. Turn of the disconnecting button or circuit breakers.

  • The system may have two types of circuit breakers on the AC side and the other on the DC side—be sure to turn both off.
  • Next, turn off the solar inverter that must be still connected to the battery bank.

What Not to Do: Most of the advanced solar systems have a rapid shutdown button/switch that breaks all the current flow connections—they are only useful in case of fire or another disaster. Using it for uninstallation purposes might damage the components.

Unplugging Solar Panels from One Another

Now that solar energy production is stopped, you need to unplug the switches, AC power connections to the solar system. When performing the mentioned duties, make sure to;

  • Wear insulating gloves, since any leakage can be prominent.
  • Slopes of the roof or any difficult location of the solar plates should be dealt with keenly, with planned way accordingly—wear a harness and take all safety measures to unplug.

Removing Solar Panels

Remove the solar panels from the roof mounting equipment and place them on the ground gently. A standing seam roof will take longer to install or remove than a flat roof. If the roof is sloped, must add at least two more buddies with you to look for the process.

  • Unbolt panels from the arrays.
  • Always take out the solar panel sideways—one side first, then tilt and another side out.
  • If the plates are large, better call the partner to put it down along, put down the lower side first, and gently let it be placed down.
  • Place the solar plates at a proper location/position.

Related: 101 Beginners Guide for Battery Installation

Separate Hardware

Remove the mounting hardware from the roof. Most roofs can be resistant to solar panels’ weight. Mounting equipment, which normally is within the permitted limits of your roof, is 2-4 pounds per square foot (10-20 kg per square meters).

Unfastening Cables/Wires

Remove any electrical cabling and wires from the roof. This requires a lot of care because this part is very dangerous. Hundreds of volts of power are pumped from your solar panels. Live connections can cause shock, or burning from those circuits. Make sure to wear gloves and rubber shoes along (if the ground is wet).

Removing the Grounding System

Disconnect the grounding terminal from the panel array. About the removal of grounding, there are usually two options, one that you are willing to take the grounding system along, or leaving it in the house. If you are relocating, you can leave the grounding at the current place and add value to the house—otherwise, pulling the grounding rod out of the concrete on your own is not a good idea.

Related: Grounding your Solar Panel System to Prevent Surge Damage

Settle the Components

You may require a space to store the solar panels from your roof. Place the components in a dry and shaded place—make sure to add form or packaging material between them. In most cases, the panels hold up fine outside, but only in a location that is protected from the wind and rain. If the solar panels are disconnected, the electrical connections at the back of the panel are vulnerable to moist intrusion. A solar panel failure will be caused by moisture and humidity inside the connectors.


  • Take a big thick towel or any other non-transparent cloth and cover each panel of the system entirely.
  • Switch on the voltage meter and configure it for direct voltage measurement (DC).
  • Unplug the wires connected with the solar panel by removing the nuts or screws, roll them and pack them properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How difficult it is to remove solar panels?

Due to their method of assembly, solar panels are technical to remove; nonetheless, the operation should be followed carefully to ensure safety. It is necessary to use isolating gloves in all of the above tasks since sun protection is critical.

How to remove solar panels from the roof?

The operation of inclined solar roof systems may be harder; a harness should thus be utilized. Depending on the installation and type of roof, removal of solar panels and ratchets uses a different angle approach. For a sloped roof, start with upside panels and eventually come down by completing upper rows.

How much time is required to remove a whole solar panel system?

There are a few factors that contribute in the time required to remove the solar panel system;

  • The count of men that are working to uninstall.
  • The number of plates installed.
  • The roof angle—steeper the angle, harder or time taking it would be.
  • The age of solar panel systems, old or rusted bolts can be time to unscrew.
  • If it is an off-grid solar panel system, then it would typically take more time.

Is water harmful to uninstalled solar plates?

People usually place the solar panels in the open environment/rain etc.—thinking they won’t receive water damage as they were installed exposed on the roof before. The connectors at the rear of the panel are prone to wet entry when the solar panels are unplugged. Thus, moisture and humidity within the panel might cause a panel failure.


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