Hands touching button on blue solar charge controller.

How to reset a solar controller

Fact Checked Fact Checked

In this Canstar Guide we walk you through how to reset your solar controller. We also share some solar panel charge controller troubleshooting tips for the next time it stops working.

Solar controllers play a vital role in regulating the amount of charge that flows to solar batteries in solar systems with battery back-up options or off-grid systems. They’re a useful safety mechanism that help to ensure solar battery systems run as efficiently as possible – but what does it mean for your system when your solar controller is on the fritz? And, what can you do to fix it?

We’ve listed some troubleshooting tips for solar panel charge controllers below, as well as a general guide on how to reset your solar controller, should you need to.

Advertisement

Why isn’t my solar controller working?

Solar controllers are complex devices which work to connect multiple moving parts of a home solar panel and battery system. As such, there could be a number of reasons why a solar controller isn’t working, from a blackout triggering a fuse to everyday wear and tear.

Some of the most common problems that might alert you to an issue with your solar controller include: the solar controller no longer charging your battery properly, issues with the voltage control from the panels or the controller simply not turning on.

What should I do if my solar controller isn’t working?

If you find that your solar controller is not working as it should, it’s important to troubleshoot a few different causes, as it could mean that a larger issue is impacting the solar panels or battery.

As a starting point, you should ensure that all working parts of the solar controller and adjoining system are clean and clear of shading or obstructions. Once this is completed, and it is safe to do so, ensure the wiring from the solar controller is adequately connected to the rest of the system

By this stage, if you are still seeing issues, it might be time to safely perform a soft or hard reset of the controller itself.


Read More: Solar panels not working? Here are six common problems for solar systems that could be the cause.


How to reset a solar controller

There are two different ways to reset your solar controller: soft or hard. A soft reset will simply reboot the system, while a hard reset will bring the system all the way back to its original factory settings. In most cases, it’s always best to try a soft reset first as a hard reset means that saved data could be lost.

Any kind of reset on your solar controller should be performed when your solar panels are using the least amount of power, to avoid unintentional damage to the system – e.g. night time or when adequately shaded.

Depending on what type of solar controller you have – whether it be a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) or Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) system – the instructions for the reset may differ greatly. As such, you should always refer to your solar controller’s user manual before attempting a system reset to ensure the correct steps are being taken.

As a general guide however, a soft reset for a solar controller can be performed by doing the following:

  1. Press and hold all the buttons on the front of the solar controller for about 15 seconds
  2. Once you see the screen start to reboot, release the buttons

If you complete these steps and still see no changes to the solar controller, then it might be time to perform a hard reset. Again, it is best to refer to your user manual for instructions before attempting a hard reset of your PWM or MPPT solar controller.

For a hard reset, you could try the following:

  1. Remove the controller from its mount and unplug the wires, keeping note of where each wire was connected
  2. Let the controller sit unplugged for about 15 minutes
  3. Reconnect the disconnected wires back to their corresponding ports

Please note, you should only attempt a hard reset if it is safe to and you feel confident in doing so. If you have any concerns or questions regarding a reset of your solar controller it is best to contact the manufacturer before attempting any resets yourself. Alternatively, it may be helpful to contact a solar electrician or your solar installer for further assistance.

Homeowners should not attempt to complete any electrical repairs without the help of a licensed professional.

Solar Plans & Providers

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 3911kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4613kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on SA Power network in Adelaide but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4011kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

My solar controller still isn’t working: What should I do?

If you have attempted both a soft and hard rest of your solar controller and find it still isn’t getting the job done, then it may be time to purchase a new solar controller. It might also pay to organise a system maintenance check for your solar panel and battery system too, as there could be larger issues at play.

Solar systems should be serviced at least once every five years to ensure everything is working as it should. If you can’t remember the last time you had your system checked then it could be time to organise a service, particularly if you are still within your warranty period.

To organise a solar system maintenance check, it is best to contact your solar installer or panel, battery or inverter manufacturer.

See the best-rated solar installers in Australia

Image Credits: Nataliia Martynets/shutterstock.com

Kelseigh Wrigley
Energy Specialist
Kelseigh Wrigley was a content producer at Canstar Blue for three years until 2024, most recently as an Energy Specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the Queensland University of Technology.

Share this article