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Old 03-15-2020, 08:10 AM   #1
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2019 28' Flying Cloud
Dripping Springs , Texas
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 326
DIY Solar Combiner Box

I'm planning on pulling my Zamp combiner since there seems to be trouble with it (short circuit, grounding, wire chafing - don't know yet since I haven't pulled it.) I will need a replacement.

Hoping to go camping tomorrow so I need it NOW. I know everyone uses the AM Solar box but it seems I can make my own.

Bought these strain relief cable glands, they have a rubber grommet that squeezes down when the nut is tightened: $2.50

2-gang weatherproof PVC box, comes with threaded entry points for the cable glands. Drill out only what you need, the rest are sealed. $9.50

And a bus, I'll cut it in half for the positive/negative sides, $5

- Do I need anything else in there? A fuse or breaker?
- How shall I mount this thing? Was planning on putting it upside down and sealing with sikaflex all around. In that case I would cut off those little mounting ears.

- It also comes with a lid, has a rubber gasket. I could leave it off if putting the box upside down, or put it on then put it upside down, or put it on and mount it 'right side up.' In the latter case I worry about water eventually getting into the box, the lid doesn't have a lip or any kind.

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Old 03-15-2020, 08:37 AM   #2
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Chelsea , Maine
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I would use the gasket and mount it right side up.
If you need to open it later, having it upside down will add difficulty to an otherwise easy task.
If you’re worried about moisture getting in, put some of your sikaflex on the gasket and screws.
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Old 03-15-2020, 08:38 AM   #3
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You need to make sure your bus bars are securely attached to a NON conductive surface and not through the back of the box.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:00 AM   #4
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2019 28' Flying Cloud
Dripping Springs , Texas
Join Date: Dec 2019
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Ended up finding a local solar supply company! They didn't have any "combiner" boxes but they did have junction boxes. Turns out they are really one and the same. They also sold nice cable glands so I built my own. There are two pieces of bus bar inside mounted to a small wood base ($5 from HD for the long section of bar.)

The box has a great lid, there are little tabs that swivel to allow access.

(that conduit and PVC pipe attach to my rooftop vent pipe...)

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Old 03-18-2020, 09:40 AM   #5
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If your using those ground bars for a common junction and you are also using heavier wire to feed back the larger wire may not fit into the bar. They do sell clips that you can insert into 2 of those common juction bars that will take a larger wire. I bought them from HD when I was in the states last year, as in Canada the big box stores don't carry them. But most electric supply stores should have.
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