News

Solar customers concerned about $599 to repair rusty screws

One of the screws taken from a reader's roof.
One of the screws taken from a reader's roof. Contributed

A NUMBER of complaints about rusted roofscrews on solar panel units around Gladstone prompted an email from installer Solar Farmers to about 1000 of its customers recently.

The email, sent September 22, invited customers to spend up to $599 to repair screws the Brisbane-based solar company claimed had been corroded by "hostile corrosive atmospheric conditions" only seen in Gladstone.

But Queensland Alumina Limited, who organised a bulk deal for its employees through Solar Farmers as an emissions offset along with BSL and Yarwun, has referred the email and the issue now to the Office of Fair Trading.

A QAL spokesperson said the company "does not agree with the representations environmental factors are the cause".

And in an email to its staff sent on September 30, QAL advised affected employees to seek "appropriate advice".

"Given the scale of this issue we suggest any employees impacted consult with the Office of Fair Trading and seek appropriate advice and support in their capacity as consumers," the email read.

Solar Farmers are standing by their explanation of the rusted roofscrews. We understand manager Craig Balmanno has also contacted the fair trading office and provided documentation that proves the materials used did meet Australian standards.

He told us suppliers have also assured him the screws were not faulty.

"The entire system is manufactured to Australian standards and comes as a kit when we buy it. The kits were not modified in any way," he said.

Mechanical engineer Jeff Dyer --- and also a Solar Farmers customer --- removed one of the screws from his roof last week. He says he is confident it's a stainless steel washer that has caused the reaction that left the screwhead rusty; not cyclone Marcia or Gladstone's air pollution, as Solar Farmers suggests.

Mr Dyer said the washer wasn't magnetic, looked like stainless steel and hadn't rusted which he would expect when stainless steel was in contact with galvanised steel.

"When you put the two dissimiliar metals together, such as galvanised steel and stainless steel, it causes electrolysis between the two metals and creates a high chance of of a reaction," Mr Dyer said.

He has written to the Solar Farmers and said he shouldn't have to pay to replace the screws.

We sent some of the roofscrews to Brisbane for testing; we are still waiting to receive those results back.



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Mum's terrifying run-in with machete man on Gladstone street

WEAPON: Whitehead said he grabbed his machete to confront the man threatening his dogs and followed him up the street.

"Come here you f****ing (expletives).” Gladstone man wields machete

CCTV footage busts McDonald's drive-thru prankster

Sam Gardner

AN early morning Macca's trip ended badly for this Gladstone teen

Bechtel workers await fate in ATO challenge

GLNG site tour on Curtis Island.

COLD-WATER poured on wide-travelling rumors Bechtel case is dead.

Local Partners

Taylor Lautner 'spotted smooching co-star'

Taylor Lautner has been romantically linked to Billie Lourd

David Beckham's tattoos come to life for UNICEF campaign

David Beckham has called for an end to violence against children

Pop star Liam Payne's Facebook hacked with porn

"Things that can happen to you when you don't have sex."

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather during his childhood.

Leo designs shocker tattoo for Tom Hardy after lost bet

Leonardo DiCaprio has designed a new tattoo for Tom Hardy

Hollywood star at home on the Coffs Coast

FEELING LUCKY, SON?: Scott Eastwood visited the Coffs Coast

Guess which Hollywood star has been seen around the Coffs Coast?

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Seven Gladstone homes selling right now leave experts shocked

PROPERTY GURUS pick seven properties that show market has hit bottom

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!