Pat Southwell x PV Connections

Join our chat with Pat Southwell from Southwell Solar Inspections as we discuss compliance in labelling and get all the tips and tricks from an LEI, Pat himself.

Pat– ‘First thing I always look for is the PV site information label. It’s usually the first thing you see, other than the panels on the roof. I always go to the PV site information label which is located on the meter box or the main switch and make sure the label is installed in the correct position, is clear and is the right size’

What are the common defects and non compliances do you see with labelling?
Pat– One of the common defects we find would have to do with the position of the labelling and having equipment identified or not identified correctly and put either adjacent to the equipment or not on the equipment- whatever is required. The next thing we see would be that the labels are not selected or installed in the correct environment that they have been installed in. That might mean that labels that are out in the sun and exposed to UV which could fade or may be exposed to weather which can cause expansion and contraction which could lead to cracking.

Why is it important to put your labels on correctly?
Pat– We’ve found since the advent of the disconnection points since the new AS5033 has come in and we don’t have the install rooftop isolators anymore. The labelling on the disconnection point is actually the most important part of it- whether it’s the warning label that’s usually stuck to the panels which identifies the disconnection point or whether it’s each conductors labelling which is required to say it’s only to be disconnected by a qualified person.

Do you have any tips for an installer?
Pat– Don’t skimp on labelling, don’t go for a cheap or inferior product. Then make sure your labels are put in the right position and they are clearly visible. It’s all about location, just ensuring that the location is correct.

Don’t over label your system
Just because there is labels in the bag from your supplier, doesn’t mean they need to go on the system. If you come away with labels that are meant for a larger system or a different system, then don’t worry about putting them on the system if you don’t need too. Get the right labels on the right system, rather than slapping on every label and hoping for the best.


Watch the video. James and Pat discuss a range of topics and important questions for solar installers.

Need help with labelling? Check out our new series called What Goes Where