solar system managementOne of the decisions that you must make when you purchase a solar panel system is the number of years of warranty on the system. Most people think of the solar panels as the main element and indeed they are, but there are numerous other parts that can cause your solar electrical generation system to stop working and that is when you really need to understand your solar system warranty details.  Do you want a solar system warranty or a solar parts warranty. A solar system warranty will cover the system, including all parts  as well as the labor to diagnose the problem, locate the element that is not working and replace it. If you have a solar parts warranty, you will still need to pay someone to diagnose the problem and replace the part that needs to be changed.

What Are the Solar System Parts and How Long is their Warranty ?

  • The solar panels – good quality panels may have as long as 25 years
  • Wiring – not covered
  • Inverters – may have a 2 year warranty
  • Batteries – may have an 8 – 10 year warranty
  • Variety of connectors – not covered
  • Misc stuff – not covered

The life span of these various parts will often last much longer than the warranty, however as we all know, some things just do not make the grade and that is why warranties are needed.  You also need to look at the fine print in the warranty. What does it cover?  Removal, shipping , repair and installation are the main areas you need to consider. The more service you have, the higher the price will be for the initial installation and purchase.

If you have some sort of service contract with a supplier who is doing the initial installation and offering to provide maintenance and / or warranty service on your system, pay a lot of attention to this part of the contract.  Your system could operate fine for many years. On the other hand there may be many small issues develop over time that requires someone to diagnose a problem and make the corresponding adjustment or replace a part.  All of these issues can add up quickly in terms of cost so you want to understand how this will impact your cash flow.

Insurance Coverage and Solar System Warranties

Damage from falling trees and other acts of nature, vandalism and other incidents too numerous to mention can also put your solar system out of commission. Warranties typically do not cover this sort of thing.  You may want to check with your insurance company to asses what insurance coverage they offer and how much it will cost. Damage from a tornado for example could easily put your system out of service and unless you have insurance, repairs are going to come from your own pocket. You may need a special rider added to your insurance on your home to cover the solar system.

Do your Homework

Like app products that are on the market, there are high quality solar systems and there are lower quality systems at lower prices. Same goes for warranties and service contracts. Investigate all aspects and  make informed decisions regarding the devices you select as well as the installation and service contracts that you put in place. If someone is trying to rush you, then you may just want to back off for a bit and assess what they are trying to offer you and whether it makes sense for you. Think of your solar installation as a system and make sure that all elements are protected with a device warranty and a service or maintenance contract. The same applies to house insurance protection in the case of damage from some outside source.

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