SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

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raysun
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SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by raysun »

I have been looking into Lithium batteries to replace my aging VRLA bank. After a good deal of research, I've settled on SimpliPhi-48-3.8 blocks.

A sticking point, for me at least, is the language in their warranty. A lot of it is technical system requirements, which are fine, and easy to meet. The rub lies in their requirement that the deployment must be done by a "licensed installer". I'm not sure what an installation license for Phi batteries entails, but I had a hard time tracking someone down who has one. ;)

I wrote to their sales team this morning and received, in part, this reply:

"As luck would have it, we are removing the requirement for a "licensed" professional as it states in our warranty. We have softened the language to read "qualified installer." Look for that updated warranty document to appear on our website within the coming days. I have attached a pdf copy here. Depending on who performs the installation, please be sure you or your installer fully understand our installation requirements. All the documentation you will need is on our product documentation page."

I haven't cracked open the new language, and the devil is always in the details, but the salesguy talk is heartening.
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by fcwlp »

raysun wrote: Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:03 am "As luck would have it, we are removing the requirement for a "licensed" professional as it states in our warranty. We have softened the language to read "qualified installer."
Interesting. A "licensed electrician" means someone passed a state administered test at some point in time, could read the NEC and now has a piece of paper. Does not mean that they know anything about solar, batteries or DC power circuits but it is easier to point to and say, "yep he had a license."

A "qualified installer" has the big undefined adjective "qualified." I feel that I am qualified but in the eyes of SimpliPhi, am I qualified.

Actually their original "licensed professional" is kind of funny. My wife who is a nurse and is a "licensed professional" meets the requirement while I being an engineer (worked in industry and never got my PE) do not. FYI, she is very good with humans but not electrical or mechanical things.
raysun
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Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by raysun »

Had they said "Licensed Electrician", I'd be good. Anything that is AC, and fixed wiring, I have our licensed electrician do, anyway. It would be no heartburn for either of us to have him look over my battery connections, and say: "Installed to specification". However, the registration process asks for "Licensed Installer". Some nebulous entity not defined in their warranty document.

Now, it would appear they want to imply "proper installation", but can't bring themselves to say it. They are good, so far, about walking through the technical requirements with one of their "applications engineers", and document their recommendations via email.

I'm going to submit my exact wiring and configuration plan, along with all electrical measurements, torque specifications, system parameter settings, test results, commissioning information, and "as built" images to them, and ask: "Is this sufficient to satisfy installation requirements as specified in the warranty/registration documents?" If i get back "Yes" in an email, we're good to go. If not, then we continue the dialog until we get there. I'm hoping it goes smoothly.

The 10%/year pro-rating on the battery replacement costs, still favors them.
pss
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by pss »

Guys, you are all over reacting.
Solar panels from China have a 25 year rated out put warranty. Read the warranty. It almost always says obtain an RMA from the company and then ship the suspect panels back to them in China where they will test them and let you know if there is any coverage. Well what about that?
My 2.5 year old solar pool heater system that I spent thousands to have installed has a 10 year parts and labor warranty. When it leaked the first time, I had to send the contract back to the company to prove I had a warranty, then fight them about "travel charges" to my home separate from the parts and labor. Then it leaked a second time, they came out and fixed it again. Now a big pipe break and still waiting for even a date to repair. Warranty only good in front of a judge, nothing else.

And lets not forget Pentair, the giant swimming pool and spa company that's everywhere in the USA. Their warranty almost always says the warranty only applied if the products were installed by a "pool professional". But what is a "pool professional"? There are no high school classes, trade schools for pool, college degrees or specific license exams to be a pool professional. Totally bogus and undefined. So I purchase the things myself and do the proper installs.

Don't buy a product for the warranty coverage unless you are willing to go to court over a dispute (or in many cases, you gave up your right to sue and have to go to arbitration). And read the fine print very closely for the venue clause, ie. where any legal actions must occur or be tossed out.

In the end, remember to decide of the product meets your quality specifications and needs after you have done your homework, then if you are unlucky, try to come out the best you can.
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by provo »

pss wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:31 am
Don't buy a product for the warranty coverage unless you are willing to go to court over a dispute (or in many cases, you gave up your right to sue and have to go to arbitration). And read the fine print very closely for the venue clause, ie. where any legal actions must occur or be tossed out.
I'd be interested in any stories from the many SimpliPhi users on the forum, whether they have ever used their warranty successfully.
raysun
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Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by raysun »

pss wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:31 am Guys, you are all over reacting.
Solar panels from China have a 25 year rated out put warranty. Read the warranty. It almost always says obtain an RMA from the company and then ship the suspect panels back to them in China where they will test them and let you know if there is any coverage. Well what about that?
My 2.5 year old solar pool heater system that I spent thousands to have installed has a 10 year parts and labor warranty. When it leaked the first time, I had to send the contract back to the company to prove I had a warranty, then fight them about "travel charges" to my home separate from the parts and labor. Then it leaked a second time, they came out and fixed it again. Now a big pipe break and still waiting for even a date to repair. Warranty only good in front of a judge, nothing else.

And lets not forget Pentair, the giant swimming pool and spa company that's everywhere in the USA. Their warranty almost always says the warranty only applied if the products were installed by a "pool professional". But what is a "pool professional"? There are no high school classes, trade schools for pool, college degrees or specific license exams to be a pool professional. Totally bogus and undefined. So I purchase the things myself and do the proper installs.

Don't buy a product for the warranty coverage unless you are willing to go to court over a dispute (or in many cases, you gave up your right to sue and have to go to arbitration). And read the fine print very closely for the venue clause, ie. where any legal actions must occur or be tossed out.

In the end, remember to decide of the product meets your quality specifications and needs after you have done your homework, then if you are unlucky, try to come out the best you can.
I'll be sure to stay out of Chinese swimming pools. Thanks for the heads-up! 🤣🤣
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by JRHill »

When I dove into the warranty earlier this year there was also a requirement that the system was 'professionally' designed. Also required were full schematics and detailed pictures. Licensure of the installer is easy enough if it was indeed done with that professional. The design? What do they want (not spelled out)? A PE specializing in solar? If the electrician suffices I've seen a few posts about licensed electricians putting in a really screwed up systems.

Because of the current problem of getting batteries I've kicked around SimpliPhi again. But really, just kicking around.... Still, gasoline for the generator to charge end-of-life batteries is cheaper than a bad decision. Not to say SimpliPhi is a bad decision its just that the technology is changing quickly. Heck, even their warranty is changing.
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by pss »

I must be stupid. I hired a solar engineer who came to my property, made measurements, looked at loads, looked at hardware with me and then drew out plans for the physical construction of the mounts, panels, electrical wirings, Outback components and batteries and load centers. All was drafted on the big sheets. He took it to county building department and got a building permit. I hired a master electrician and together the plans were followed and system built. County building inspectors came twice, to make certain concrete was properly to depth and trenches deep enough to code. Then they came again for final wiring inspection.
I thought this is how you do it so insurance companies, real estate transactions, injury protection and liability reduction all occur as well as adding property value. If I install simpliphi batteries I would have a solid breach of warranty case if they failed.
If others are cobbling together systems as do it yourself projects that's one thing, but simpliphi probably is concerned with improper installation, charging and use of the product. I think if you document your work and can hire a good attorney for several thousands of dollars they will eventually honor their warranty.
pss
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by pss »

Sorry Charles,

There is no such legal definition for a "pool professional". And I would like you to find a statute in any state that defines the term "pool professional". Now, there are for profit 2-3 day courses available for people to pay and take, just like traffic ticket school. And if you have that certificate, I guess you can show it to the world. But, and here is the big but, there is no oversight required of the "pool professional" once they have completed their "formal" education. IE., no internship, residency or fellowship.

In California, to represent yourself as a pool professional, you must be a licensed contractor and then have this sub-speciality: Pool and Spa Maintenance Limited Specialty Contractor, Class Code C-61/D-35. What's unclear is that there is likely no penalty for doing the same work without the C16/D35. But the state does want a $300 license fee from you. After all, it is Cally.

In order to obtain that sub-speciality, you must be 18 years old and have "4 years of journeyman experience". So once again, there is really no such thing as a pool professional, ie a scientifically trained individual who understands hydrodynamics, pressures, plumbing, water flow, water chemistry, pool construction, spa construction and electricity. There are however, architects, electricians, plumbers, mechanical engineers, structural engineers, general contractors, concrete subcontractors, and other skilled tradesmen who can design a water feature to safe building codes and oversee the construction and operation of the completed project. Those people are educated in a formal setting and are trustworthy and take on the added risk of professional liability for their actions. I would like to know of a a single case of a successful liability lawsuit against a "pool professional" for their negligence.

Many states differ in their consumer protection laws and almost every company will write a guarantee or warranty to limit their exposure to financial risk. This applies to time, installations, intended use, actual use, atmospheric conditions, and limitations extending to binding arbitration and restrictions on the governing laws of the state and location for legal action.

So, I harken back to my original post: Install the battery properly, if it proves defective, find an attorney willing to take the case, find a technical expert to provide testimony on your behalf. Make certain if you go this route you are willing to spend attorney's fees and costs you many not recover. And be prepared to wait a long time for a resolution you may not like.
raysun
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Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by raysun »

"Ohhhhh, pool boy! Come here and rub some lotion on my back..."

"Ma'am, I'm a Certified Pool Professional. We perform no services for which we have not passed training."
JRHill
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by JRHill »

CharlesChambliss wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:38 am
pss wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:31 am There are no high school classes, trade schools for pool, college degrees or specific license exams to be a pool professional. Totally bogus and undefined.
What do you mean? Do you know that you must complete pool technician certification course to be called a pool professional?
Education has always been important no matter where you want to work.

customwritingz.net
I was responding to this and I noticed "customwritingz.net" was at the end of the quote. This is the first post. Seems there have been a few pool/pond posts lately.

Folks, be careful. Seems pool and pond folks want to get involved here on the forum. Personally I don't do solar powered ponds or pools for our piggies or geese, respectively. The pigs like them as is and the geese? Well I do it because the garden loves the drainage next spring. I am certified by the wife to clean the various tanks. I will sign off on your system for free. I'll send you a sample of the drainage if you wish.
JRHill
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by JRHill »

pss wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:32 pm I must be stupid. I hired a solar engineer who came to my property, made measurements, looked at loads, looked at hardware with me and then drew out plans for the physical construction of the mounts, panels, electrical wirings, Outback components and batteries and load centers. All was drafted on the big sheets. He took it to county building department and got a building permit. I hired a master electrician and together the plans were followed and system built. County building inspectors came twice, to make certain concrete was properly to depth and trenches deep enough to code. Then they came again for final wiring inspection.
I thought this is how you do it so insurance companies, real estate transactions, injury protection and liability reduction all occur as well as adding property value. If I install simpliphi batteries I would have a solid breach of warranty case if they failed.
If others are cobbling together systems as do it yourself projects that's one thing, but simpliphi probably is concerned with improper installation, charging and use of the product. I think if you document your work and can hire a good attorney for several thousands of dollars they will eventually honor their warranty.
No, you are not stupid at all. You had resources available and you used them. You did it formally and "by the book." My hat is off to you.

But I do take issue with "If others are cobbling...." It is obvious that there are cobbled systems. But it is not fair to insinuate that a DIY system is cobbled because they chose to do it themselves. Heck, a time honored issue is you will destroy your first bank of batteries. It would happen regardless of certifications and licenses. But it is that truism.

From an old western: "A guy just needs to know his limitations." To me, that's the point.
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by pss »

JR,

Cobbled just means to assemble the system from the component parts. It itself is not derogatory and was not meant to be derogatory. And it certainly was not meant to demean anyone who purchases and installs their own system. In fact, I put together my parts list myself. But I had help from a hired electrician who read the manuals and then we mounted and connected it all together. I think I was just thinking back to simpler times.

Lastly, as for the "pool professionals", the one I fired 3 years ago charged me $80 al a carte to remove my pool filter cartridges, use my hose and water to clean them off and then put them back together. Since that time I spend 40 minutes of my own time to do the job myself. No "formal" training was required.
And presently, our attorney is sending the demand letter to the solar pool company who has walked away from their 12 year parts and labor contract after 3 leaks this summer in the 3rd year of use. These so called "pool professionals" apparently feel breach of contract and abandonment are okay. Now, if a physician abandons a patient, they can lose their license. I don't suppose a pool professional would fret over that.
raysun
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Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by raysun »

I'm DEFINITELY NOT going to install my lithium battery in my swimming pool. The warranty complications seem too onerous.

🤣🤣
JRHill
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by JRHill »

pss wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:55 am JR,

Cobbled just means to assemble the system from the component parts. It itself is not derogatory and was not meant to be derogatory. And it certainly was not meant to demean anyone who purchases and installs their own system. In fact, I put together my parts list myself. But I had help from a hired electrician who read the manuals and then we mounted and connected it all together. I think I was just thinking back to simpler times.

Lastly, as for the "pool professionals", the one I fired 3 years ago charged me $80 al a carte to remove my pool filter cartridges, use my hose and water to clean them off and then put them back together. Since that time I spend 40 minutes of my own time to do the job myself. No "formal" training was required.
And presently, our attorney is sending the demand letter to the solar pool company who has walked away from their 12 year parts and labor contract after 3 leaks this summer in the 3rd year of use. These so called "pool professionals" apparently feel breach of contract and abandonment are okay. Now, if a physician abandons a patient, they can lose their license. I don't suppose a pool professional would fret over that.
We've seen pictures of some absolutely beautifully done installs posted here. I cringe at posting pictures of my layout in comparison. Mine was intended to be reliable/functional and safe but flexible. I wasn't sure if I would expand further so I kept it simple if I needed to rearrange. As it turns out very little is needed for add ons so the way it is is the way it is. At this point I'm not going to break it apart for conduit, etc. Being installed before the ground around the new foundation settled and sealed I was also concerned about humidity - the first three years the ground around the footings in the crawl space actually got spongy. But there isn't even tarnish on the lugs or connectors. It is now sealed. I had good reason to be suspicious:

Before we built the house, water was the priority. If no reliable water we were kidding ourselves. So I built a 4x8x 5ft deep pit with a drain line and ventilated lid to contain the pressure tank, batteries controllers, etc from the well head.. All was good and it didn't freeze up. Wonderful. Then the spring thaw. We came out for a weekend and no pressure. When I opened the pit lid the batteries were under water even though elevated a foot off the bottom. Fortunately the controller for the solar and Grundfos were near the top. That was a cobble in hind site. I never in my life would expect dense clay to move that much ground water. Oh, and the drain line was air locked. The pit is now self sealed.

Gosh I have some more stories for sure. They don't involve solar/electrical (except for batteries) but more livestock, snow/ice, mud and risk of fire. We might be getting too far up there for this project. I've learned that there are a few folks in HI that would make good neighbors and know about solar and good coffee. ;) Somehow that sounds more and more and more attractive.
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by JRHill »

raysun wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:11 am I'm DEFINITELY NOT going to install my lithium battery in my swimming pool. The warranty complications seem too onerous.

🤣🤣
All of use off grid OB folk's have pools, right?
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by sodamo »

Need to change the sand in our pool filter and replace the flange clamp, but priorities...

We’ve had some thick cloud cover last few days and generator need to run. 1st time in 10 months. Unfortunately, I had managed to unplug the battery charger and forgot. Learned the autostart generator won’t start with dead battery. Complacency comes with a cost. Batteries in the diesel generator were dead also.
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by fcwlp »

JRHill wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:09 pm All of use off grid OB folk's have pools, right?
I don't miss having to maintain a pool one bit. But I now do have a pond or a tank as we call them in AZ.
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Re: SimpliPhi warranty and installation requirements

Post by JRHill »

sodamo wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:30 pm Need to change the sand in our pool filter and replace the flange clamp, but priorities...

We’ve had some thick cloud cover last few days and generator need to run. 1st time in 10 months. Unfortunately, I had managed to unplug the battery charger and forgot. Learned the autostart generator won’t start with dead battery. Complacency comes with a cost. Batteries in the diesel generator were dead also.
I was having the O2 sensor error on the Honda (E-0A).The unit is pretty tight but not THAT tight.
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