Consider Energy Use Before Installing Solar Panels

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Subject: Solar Power Viability

In some states in the south it just does not pay to have solar. The cost of the system, when financed, will be more each month than the overall current electric bill. If you pay cash, then it takes at least 15 years to break even. This breaking even does not take into consideration the loss of interest earned versus investing the same money in the stock market.

The cost to try and make me feel better about something that someone else is making millions on is not worth it. Also, the tax credits one gets does not erase from the overall cost as advertised. Especially when the price is inflated to reflect the gain the company makes.

When the overall costs are reduced, in the same manner that consumer electronics lower over time, then I will consider this investment for my home.


Subject: What is SREC

I really like your article Samentha. I have one question about solar system. in some stat they give SREC to customer. What is SREC ? I read SREC article from but i am still not clear.

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Are you talking about powering your home solely on solar (i.e. no back up power source or off grid).


The power, once convered from DC to AC via the inverter, is suitable for use by the home. 


Most solar application are in supplement to the current powering of the home and will spin the meter back in the day but are not the primary. 


OK - that should strike Atlantic Plumbing off your vendor list !

You say female pipe to copper pipe connection - I hope you are not saying they connected copper directly to galvanized or black iron pipe. If so, there should have been a dielectric union put in there to prevent corrosion, which could be part of your problem.

Also, generally a bad idea to use teflon tape for hot water tank connections - too much thermal cycling, loosens it up over time. Should use plumbers dope for that application.

It sounds to me like a connection problem - if the tank itself was leaking it should be flooding the top of the tank or more likely running down through the insulation and dripping out the bottom.

Unless you are a do it yourselfer, sounds like you need to find a new plumber with good reviews and rating in your area - Search the List (in green banner bar). This should be an easy fix - should have him put in dielectric couplings (about $5-10 each depending on pipe size) if current connection is iron to copper, and even if not, have him redo connection not only for cold but also hot water - if one was done poorly, probably both were.