Q:

Is it possible to install the system myself?

A:

Yes it is possible to install the system yourself. In order to get a warranty on their product, most manufacturers require that an approved installer inspect and certify that the system was installed properly.

It takes a number of different construction skills to install a solar system well. Roofing skills (working on roofs and ladders), plumbing skills (soldering pipe, installing fittings, applying pipe insulation), carpentry skills (cutting materials/drilling holes, building/reinforcing solar supporting structures), electrical skills (running wiring, connecting sensors, testing electronics), and general mechanical know-how (hauling tanks, collectors, etc.).

The Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) now has a solar hot water installers certification program. It was intended to provide certification/recognition for those who have been in the industry and have installed a number of SDHW systems. Unfortunately it is no longer a good measure of the experience of the solar installer, as the process now allows those who have not actually installed a solar system be certified.