Are Your Solar Panels Affecting Your Wifi?

We all have a love-hate relationship with technology. We love it because it allows us to get things done more quickly and efficiently. We hate it because it can be distracting or worse – the wifi might go out. When this happens, we curse the gods of the wifi, turn our router on and off, and then curse the gods of the wifi again when it still doesn’t work.

While it’s extremely rare, your solar panel system may affect your wifi. When this happens, it is likely caused by an AC power cable from the panels on the roof. AC power cables emit magnetic fields that can be picked up by a nearby cable and interfere with its signal.

Of course, now that we know that the solar panels might be affecting our wifi, we want to get it fixed – ASAP. How else are we going to binge-watch all ten seasons of Friends?

Interference from Solar Panels

Solar panels create a direct current (DC) of electricity, where most homes in North America use alternating current (AC). Because of this, solar panels require an inverter to convert DC power to AC power. There are two types of inverters. One that is located right next to the solar panel (the microinverters), the other near the electric meter (central inverter).

Before you start cursing your solar panels, it’s important that you are aware of where your solar panel inverters are located. Because it is only AC current that emits magnetic fields, if it’s the DC power cables running by other cables, chances are it’s not your solar panels causing the interference.

Because the central inverter converts the current to AC away from the solar panels, the wire that runs alongside your house will all be DC electricity.

Microinverters, however, convert the electricity to AC right at the solar panel, making for the wires to be all AC electricity.

However, even if it is AC current running through these wires, chances are it’s still not you solar panels effecting your wifi. The wires have three layers of shielding preventing the magnetic fields from getting through

Other Things that Might Impact Wifi

Well, if it’s not your solar panels, what is it? This is starting to get really annoying and all you want is to get your internet up and running. The thing is, there are a lot of things that can run interference, things that are found in just the everyday household.


Yes, your favorite kitchen appliance that reheats yesterday’s takeout leftovers may be having an adverse affect on your wifi. Microwaves use electromagnetic (EM) waves of 2.4 gigahertz (GHz), which is the same EM frequency that some older wifi’s may use. However, microwaves use a much higher wattage than wifi access points do, making it so that the microwaves overpowers thes wifi’s waves.

Fortunately, this would only affect your wifi when you’re using the microwaves, and therefore shouldn’t be too much of a nuisance. However, if you find that this continues to be a problem that you don’t want to deal with, it may be time to update your wifi to something newer.

Cell Phones

While your cell phone shouldn’t cause too much interference, it too has a certain capacity to do so. They do emit radiowaves after all. Any interference they cause, however, will be minimal.

Walkie-Talkies, Radios, etc.

Just like with your microwaves, walkie talkies, baby monitors, and other radios use the 2.4 GHz frequency, which can interfere with older wifi systems. This may be more of a problem than with the microwave due to the fact you’re more likely to be keeping these devices on for longer periods of time.


Yes, your earbuds, speakers, smart watch, and rainbow-colored neon mouse that you love may in fact be affecting your wifi. This is because Bluetooth frequency hops, which means it changes which frequency it uses, up to 1600 times a second.

As Bluetooth technology jumps across a frequency that your wifi might be using, it can cause delays in your Netflix browsing.


Sometimes the problems stem from one of the oldest in the book – the weather. Have you ever been driving home in the rain and your radio seems to lean on the static side? Rain droplets can absorb radio signals, and if your router is within range, it can affect your wifi. If you wait for a little bit, your wifi should be back once the storm is through.


We’ve all been there. We walk into a big department store, the basement of a school, or drive down into a parking garage and found ourselves without a signal on our cell phones. Just like with our cell service, your wifi can be adversely affected by thick walls, especially if you are trying to send a signal to multiple floors of a house or building.

Another barrier you may have in your home is an aquarium. Aquariums and other water features may reflect radio waves and block your wifi signal.

Cordless Phones

Okay, okay. Yes, it’s the 21st century and many of us have ditched cordless home phones in favor of cell phones, but if you are still hanging on to them, these devices can also be impacting your wifi. Cordless landlines run on various frequencies, so you’ll need to check to find out what they are running on to see if it’s on the same frequency as your wifi. If it is, you may want to replace your phone with a different model that uses a different frequency. Or you could just trash it all together without replacing it – that might be easier. And honestly, what can a cordless phone do that a cell phone can’t?

Other miscellaneous things

It’s really not hard to find things that may be affecting your wifi. Any number of things not listed above might be your culprit – or all of them at once! Anything that is wireless but uses electricity – like a remote control or a wireless microphone – has the potential to hurt your wifi. Just check to see what frequencies your gadgets may be using and compare it to the frequency your wifi is running on.

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