Solar Panel Repairs and Servicing

August 30, 2023

If you own or lease a solar system, you no doubt did the math and figured that the energy generated by the solar panel system would reduce your electric bill enough to provide you with a good return on investment. This makes sense. In most states, solar panels can produce an ROI that outpaces long-term returns from other investments such as property or shares. According to Zillow, solar panels can also add about 4% to the value of your home over and above the monthly electric bill savings they generate.

However, like any technology, solar panels require regular servicing and occasional repairs to maintain optimal performance. Without that, your solar system may not operate at its full potential, and all that nice math goes out the window. This can leave you in an infuriating position of having to pay both a monthly solar lease or loan payment and also a full electric bill until the system is fixed. 

When it comes to getting your system fixed, for most people, this will mean a simple call to their solar installer. However, things can be a little more challenging for those whose solar company is either out of business or is not responding to their calls. This is where many solar system owners have been left in the lurch, and their systems are referred to as “solar orphans”.

If you have found yourself in that position, the good news is that there are now specialist solar repairs and servicing companies that have explicitly started to service the needs of solar orphans at a relatively low cost. 

In this article, we will explore the importance of solar panel servicing and repairs, the common issues that can arise, how often you should be servicing your solar system, how to tell if you have a fault, and how much solar repairs and servicing costs.

Why solar panel servicing is important

Solar panel servicing is essential to maximize the energy production and efficiency of the system. It ensures that your solar system generates the electric bill savings that your solar company promised you. Regular maintenance ensures the panels are clean, debris-free, and operating at their peak performance levels. Some of the key reasons for solar panel servicing include:

Common faults that occur with solar systems and common repairs

While solar panels are designed to withstand various weather conditions, they can encounter issues over time. Here are some common problems that may require repairs:

Best practices for solar panel servicing

To ensure the efficient operation of solar panels, here are some best practices for servicing and repairs:

How often should I get my solar panels cleaned?

At SolarReviews, we recommend getting your solar panels cleaned at least once every two years. Solar panel cleaning should cost around $15 per panel or $300 for a 20-panel system. The energy payback on this spend should be well and truly worth it as output can decay 10-20% if your panels are dirty.

How often should I get my solar panel installation serviced?

We recommend a full electrical inspection of a residential solar system at least every five years. In this inspection, you should ask the technician to check the logs of the inverter for faults and also to check that each of the cables and junction boxes is free of any water ingress. Junction boxes should then be re-siliconed to ensure a further five years of trouble-free operation. 

How much do solar system repairs cost?

On average, a solar system repair will cost approximately $400, depending on the type of repair. Usually, this will include a $200 call-out fee which is standard with most servicing companies. Some solar system repairs may fall under the call-out fee, while others, like replacing faulty DC circuit breakers, could cost as much as $800.

Unfortunately, the major inverter companies do not pay the labor component of inverter replacements. However, they do supply the replacement inverter if the failed inverter is still under warranty.

Our last word on solar panel repairs and servicing

Solar panel servicing and repairs are vital for maintaining optimal energy production, maximizing the system's lifespan, and ensuring users' safety. By following best practices, conducting regular inspections, and promptly addressing any issues that arise, solar panel owners can enjoy sustained energy generation and contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.

Just as importantly, regular solar system servicing can ensure full lifetime savings from your system. With the average lifetime electric bill savings from a residential solar system above $30,000, a few hundred dollars every five years for servicing is a wise investment to realize these savings.

This content was originally published here.

Solar Panel Repairs and Servicing