Sunsetter Solar Shade Not Working

Sunsetter is a popular brand of solar-powered awnings and shades. Their automated awnings use a solar panel, rechargeable battery, electric motor, and remote control to open and close with ease. However, technical issues can arise with these components that prevent the solar shade from working properly.

The key elements of the Sunsetter solar shade system include:

  • Solar panel – charges the battery when exposed to sunlight
  • 12V DC battery – powers the electric roller tube motor
  • Tubular motor – raises and lowers the shade fabric
  • Remote control – wirelessly operates the unit
  • Aluminum housing – encloses and mounts the rolling shade

Malfunctions with any of these components can cause problems with shade operation. By methodically checking each element, you can often determine the cause and get your solar shade working again.

In this guide, I’ll cover some common Sunsetter solar shade problems and solutions for DIY troubleshooting. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s find out the problem and solve it.

Sunsetter Solar Shade Not Working

Why Isn’t My Sunsetter Solar Shade Cooperating?

Here are the possibles reasons or issues that force a Sunsetter solar shade to not cooperate: 

  1. Solar Panel not Charging:

Ah, the irony of a solar-powered device not soaking up enough rays. If your solar panel seems to be slacking off, consider purchasing an optional remote mounting plate and extension cord for a strategic relocation. Additionally, ensure the solar panel basks in the sunlight for a full day to recharge its energy stores.

  1. Motorized EasyShade on Strike:

The motor is the powerhouse behind your Sunsetter Solar Shade’s smooth operation. If it’s gone on a hiatus, check the remote transmitter settings (Channel 1), confirm proper transmitter operation, and, of course, give the solar panel battery a sunbathing session. Should issues persist, delve into troubleshooting the motor and run a self-test on the remote transmitter.

  1. Fabric Playing Hide and Seek:

Is your fabric rolling unevenly or favoring one side? It’s time for a checkup. Ensure the aluminum housing is level, the guiding cables are hanging plumb, and tweak the cable brackets for optimal fabric movement. A little adjustment can bring back the perfect roll.

  1. Stuck Fabric Woes:

Discovering your fabric stuck inside the aluminum housing is akin to a fashion faux pas. Rule out freezing as the culprit, tug on the leading bar to break free, and voila – your fabric should resume its stylish descent.

  1. Solar Shade’s Reluctant Closure:

The drama of a half-closed Solar Shade can be avoided by adjusting the up limit on the EasyShade motor. If you’ve replaced the solar screen, don’t forget to set new up and down position limits for flawless performance.

How to Fix a Sunsetter Solar Shade that Is Not Working

Here are the possible fixes for the Sunsetter solar shade not working issue and their troubleshooting methods:

Issue 1: Solar Panel Not Charging Battery

If the battery won’t recharge and power the motor, the solar panel likely has an issue. Try these fixes:

Step 1: Purchase an optional remote solar panel mounting kit to place the panel in direct sun if roof mounting is shaded.

Step 2: Ensure the solar panel has full sun exposure for 6-8 hours minimum. Proper sunlight is key.

Step 3: Inspect the solar panel wires and connections for damage or corrosion.

Step 4: Test the panel’s output voltage. It should be 18-22V in full sun if functioning properly.

Step 5: Replace the solar panel if defective – a 15W 12V polysilicon panel is standard.

Issue 2: Motorized Shade Not Working

If the motor won’t run to raise or lower the solar shade, check these items:

Step 1: Confirm the remote is set to Channel 1 for the shade motor.

Step 2: Check that the remote has a tight battery connection and operates properly in self-test mode. Replace its battery if needed.

Step 3: Let the solar panel charge the motor battery for at least 1 day in full sun.

Step 4: Inspect the power cord from the battery to the motor for any cuts or loose wiring.

Step 5: Push the motor limit switch to reset it if overloaded and not responding.

Issue 3: Motor Running Problems

If the motor strains, is excessively noisy, or turns unevenly, try these motor fixes:

Step 1: Inspect for obstructions keeping the shade from rolling up evenly and smoothly.

Step 2: Run the remote self-test to listen for grinding or uneven motor sounds.

Step 3: Check that the mounting brackets are level so the tube rolls straight. Motor issues can occur if mounting is off.

Step 4: Have a helper support the leading bar while running the motor to isolate any sticking points.

Issue 4: Fabric Roll Problems

If the shade material creases, pulls to one side, or jams in the housing, these steps may help:

Step 1: Verify the aluminum housing is mounted completely level. Use shims to properly level it.

Step 2: Ensure the guiding cables are plumb and untwisted. Adjust cable brackets as needed.

Step 3: Check for fabric freeze-up in cold weather and gently tug the bottom bar to break loose.

Issue 5: Shade Not Closing Fully

If the lower limit position doesn’t fully close the shade fabric, try adjusting the down limit:

Step 1: Use the remote to send the motor to the down limit.

Step 2: Pop off the limit switch cover to access the adjustment dial.

Step 3: Rotate the dial counterclockwise several turns to extend the down limit, enabling full closure.

You may need to reset both the up and down limits if replacing the shade fabric.

Additional Troubleshooting Tips

Resetting the Solar Shade:

When in doubt, hit the reset button. Our electronic friends occasionally need a digital reboot. Hold the motor switch for 20 seconds to reset the motor. If this does not work for you or you are not sure about how to reset, follow the user manual to execute a clean slate for your Sunsetter Solar Shade.

Cleaning and Maintenance:

Dirt, grime, and the occasional bird’s gift can interfere with the smooth operation of your Solar Shade. Regular cleaning and maintenance ensure a spotless performance. Wipe down the solar panel and check connections are corrosion-free.

Checking for Loose Connections:

Wiggling wires and loose connections can lead to a communication breakdown. Conduct a thorough check to ensure all components are securely connected for a seamless experience.

Proper diagnostics and maintenance will have your solar shade operational again quickly. When problems persist, contact Sunsetter customer support for further troubleshooting advice.

People Also Asked (PAA)

How Do You Reset A Sunsetter Awning?

Ans: Hold the motor limit switch button for 20+ seconds until the awning jogs to reset it.

How Do You Reprogram A Sunsetter Remote?

Ans: Press and hold the UP and DOWN keys together for 10 seconds to erase settings. Reprogram limits.

How Do You Adjust A Sunsetter Awning Travel Limit?

Ans: Remove cover to access the limit switch dial and rotate it clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust.

What Tubular Motor Does Sunsetter Use?

Ans: Most Sunsetter shades use a 12V DC SOMFY branded tubular motor to raise and lower the fabric.

Final Words

With a basic understanding of the solar shade components and how they work together, many common Sunsetter problems can be isolated and fixed DIY-style. Double-checking for wiring issues, adequate solar charging, motor faults, and fabric blockages can get your solar awning smoothly functioning again. Use the troubleshooting tips in this guide to save on service calls and keep your Sunsetter shade operational through the sunny seasons. Thanks for reading.

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