Generac SnapRS Switches are Defective and Prone To Early Failure
A class action lawsuit was recently filed against portable energy giant Generac alleging that its SnapRS swtiches used in residential PWRCell solar energy systems are defective and prone to early failure during normal use.
Failure of these switches decrease or completely impedes energy production for solar residential users. According to the lawsuit, the SnapRS switch, which is designed to be installed between each solar panel to allow for rapid shutdown, “deformed, melted, and/or caught fire during normal use,” causing property damage.
Rapid shutdown capability is required by the National Electrical Code as a way to de-energize residential solar panel systems, including to protect against lightning and in situations in which emergency responders need to access a roof equipped with solar panels where there’s an electric shock risk, the complaint relays.
According to the lawsuit, Generac designed its PWRcell solar energy systems with the SnapRS 801 switch as a way to satisfy the NEC’s rapid-shutdown requirements.
Nature of the Defect
With a SnapRS switch installed for each solar panel, a residential system with 50 panels would thus have 50 SnapRS switches, the filing explains. In most cases, a homeowner’s solar energy system will include “arrays” of roughly eight solar panels, with each array connected to a link that conducts the electrical energy to the inverter before it’s supplied to the home. A failure in a single SnapRS switch in an array will cause the entire solar array to shut down.
Generac Knew Of Defective Switches But Concealed Problem From Consumers
According to the complaint Generac was aware of the problems with its SnapRS switches but concealed it from the public. Generac has acknowledged a near 50% failure rate in its Snaps.
Following thousands of complaints regarding general performance issues the its PWRCell system, Generac initially addressed the SnapRS switch overheating problem by issuing a firmware update.The update resulted in customer systems shutting down for extended periods of time while awaiting warranty service from an authorized Generac dealer.
Beginning in late 2021 Generac redesigned and replaced the SnapRS 801 switch with the SnapRS 801A switch to no effect. Subsequently the SnapRS 801A switch was further redesigned in June 2022 and labeled the SnapRS 802 switch. Despite the redesign, both the 801A and 802 SnapRS switches continue to have high failure rates and perform no better than the original SnapRS 801.
Generac’s Warranty Fails The Consumer
Generac warranties the SnapRS switches for 25 years but mandates that all repairs must be performed by a Generac authorized dealer. Generac’s authorized dealers, however, do not have the parts to carry out the warranty service because Generac has yet to design a Snap switch that adequately addresses the overheating problem.
Between the backlog of service calls and the non availability of parts, Generac customers are left with solar systems incapable of producing electricity despite having invested tens of thousands of dollars to do so.
Lawsuit Seeks to Cover All PWRCell Residential Energy Systems Equipped With SnapRS Switches
The lawsuit seeks to cover all persons and entities in the United States, including its territories and the District of Columbia, that purchased and installed a Generac PWRCell residential solar energy system equipped with Generac SnapRS Rapid Shutdown Inline Disconnect Switches.
The action also seeks to compensate owners for their considerable expense and to permanently prohibit Generac from making unlawful and fraudulent claims about the quality and reliability of its product.