Do we need a commercial license or permit at all?

JoeNorm

Senior Member
Location
WA
A roof is being replaced on a commercial building and we have been asked to remove the modules and re-install them onto the new roof. Trouble is we do not currently have an 01 within the company.

What is the legality here if its just removal and replacement? Maybe this does not need a permit at all? The roof attachments will change but all the electrical components will be the same.

Thanks
 
I have a hard time believing that can be done without licenses and permits. WA does allow like for like replacements without permits but I don't see this falling into that category. I'm sure labor and industries can answer any questions.
 

Joe.B

Senior Member
Location
Arcata Ca
Occupation
Building Inspector
Maybe if it was included in the scope of work for the re-roof permit? Every state and every AHJ will have their own take, but if I got to make the call and the roofer came in for a permit it would make sense to me to included sub-contracted solar work to facilitate the re-roof work.
 

pv_n00b

Senior Member
Location
CA, USA
It's not as simple as taking the old system off and putting it back on while just reconnecting everything the same. Stuff will be damaged in the removal, failed stuff will be found. Once removed all the equipment will need to be inspected and damaged or worn out parts replaced. Reinstallation will require installing at least some new parts. All in all, it's much more like a new installation than you might think. The legality is outside my scope, but legal or not a licensed electrician needs to be involved to make the system safe.
 

Joe.B

Senior Member
Location
Arcata Ca
Occupation
Building Inspector
It's not as simple as taking the old system off and putting it back on while just reconnecting everything the same. Stuff will be damaged in the removal, failed stuff will be found. Once removed all the equipment will need to be inspected and damaged or worn out parts replaced. Reinstallation will require installing at least some new parts. All in all, it's much more like a new installation than you might think. The legality is outside my scope, but legal or not a licensed electrician needs to be involved to make the system safe.
I absolutely agree with everything you say, for me I would look at how the customer is paying for the job. Is the homeowner hiring the roofer and then the roofer is subbing out for the solar replace/repair? Or is the homeowner paying the two contractors separately. Depending on that answer would determine if it needed to be one permit or two, if I were making that call. Every AHJ does things differently. Where I work if someone's building a new house we issue one permit to the GC. They then sub out most of the work. Some places require each trade to get their own permit.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
The fact of a permit being required or not is not as significant as the fact that a licensed electrician must be doing the work. I don't think you can get around that.
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
Location
Northern California
Occupation
Solar and Energy Storage Installer
It's not as simple as taking the old system off and putting it back on while just reconnecting everything the same. Stuff will be damaged in the removal, failed stuff will be found. Once removed all the equipment will need to be inspected and damaged or worn out parts replaced. Reinstallation will require installing at least some new parts. All in all, it's much more like a new installation than you might think. The legality is outside my scope, but legal or not a licensed electrician needs to be involved to make the system safe.
For sure. Other than the cost of equipment, which is the biggest chunk of new solar installations, everything else about a remove and replace job is more work with fewer efficiencies.
 

pv_n00b

Senior Member
Location
CA, USA
Also, if the system is over 10 years old you are probably better off with a new system than reinstalling the old one. PV modules are better today and a 10-year-old inverter is getting close to the end of life. In commercial systems, I have never seen a reinstall. It's always been a replacement.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
Also, if the system is over 10 years old you are probably better off with a new system than reinstalling the old one. PV modules are better today and a 10-year-old inverter is getting close to the end of life. In commercial systems, I have never seen a reinstall. It's always been a replacement.
There is a lot of labor in deinstalling something like this in a way that allows it to be reinstalled later. I don't know the exact numbers but it would not surprise me if it was cost effective overall to replace.

Especially if there is a time crunch involved. Newer stuff seems a lot more installer freindly.
 
Top