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How Much Does It Cost To Repair Or Remove Solar Panels?

National Average Change Location | View National
$624
Typical Range
$187 - $1,065
Low End
$95
High End
$3,000

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Homeowners spend an average of $624 to repair their solar panels. The type and level of damage will put costs in a range of $187 and $1,065. Labor costs $100 per hr. Removing the panels entirely will be $400-$600 before factoring in the price of roof repairs.
By converting the sun's rays into electricity, this technology provides a renewable source of energy for homes and businesses. Although these units are usually at roof level and manufactured to withstand the impact from small airborne debris, they still get damaged. Broken glass, from rocks, bullets, large hail or a fall (loose bolts on the mount), is the most widespread problem. Equipment with extensive damage is cheaper and more efficient to replace than fix, especially if it is near the end of its lifetime. In this scenario, or if you need roofing work done, you will need to hire a solar panel removal service.
Professionals are the best choice for equipment maintenance and repairs. They will know the best course of action and save you money on trial and error. They can find hidden issues and optimize your energy output. Plus, they have the knowledge and gear necessary to complete the work safely.

Solar Panel Removal Costs

It will cost $400-$600 just to have the equipment taken off and disconnected from the grid. However, there are other factors to consider. Add $200 to ship the removed equipment off-site, up to $600 to uninstall mounting hardware, and up to $800 more for costs to fix the roof. The final tally will be $1,800-$2,200. Installer warranties do not typically cover such work. Homeowners choose this service because they want to:
  • Bring the system with them when they move
  • Improve, fix or replace the roof
  • Get rid of an outdated, broken system
  • Update to a newer system
  • Stop using solar energy as a resource

Remove & Reinstall When Repairing/Installing a Roof - $1,500

Homeowners often must take their system down to get roof work done. Removing and then reinstalling averages $1,500. To update or fix a roof with solar components, contact a certified technician. They can take them off and reattach them safely to prevent damage. Just like you wouldn’t want solar technicians to replace your roof, you do not want a roofer to work with your solar equipment. These systems are complicated and need proper handling to prevent damage and expensive future repairs.

Remove & Replace - $16,800 - $32,100

It costs $1,800-$2,100 to remove an old system and $15,000-$30,000 to get a new solar installation. The hourly rate to remove and replace a single panel is around $100 and the average cost of the replacement unit is $150-$350.

Remove & Clean - $10 - $20 per panel

You can remove the system to clean it, as well. This service is $10-$20 per panel. In rainy climates, these systems clean themselves. In dry and polluted climates, dirt and debris build up and decrease system efficiency by up to 30%. Annual maintenance and cleaning go a long way to optimize energy output.

DIY Removal

Working with this technology requires advanced skill and, considering that most are secured to the roof, a high level of risk. There are some areas where local code mandates that certified professionals perform these jobs. You’ll have to handle the electrical connections, which will average $50-$100/hr. When you go the DIY route, the electrician will only handle the electrical side. You handle unhooking equipment and mounts.
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Common Solar Repairs

The typical rate for this work is $100 per hour. Annual maintenance comes out to $18 per panel. Your total bill will be as little as $100 or as much as $3,200. Broken glass, cracked panels and loose connections are the most popular fixes. Expect to pay the hourly rate plus the cost of materials for professional repair work.

Broken Glass Panel - $20 - $350 + labor

The material price for fixing broken glass could be minimal, like $20 for a bucket of epoxy, or substantial, like $350 for a whole new panel. If you can remove the broken glass, a professional might be able to replace it with a new piece. The hard part will be keeping water from condensing inside and fogging the new glass. The panel may still work with the broken glass in place, though it will run with reduced output due to the 'shade' the broken glass creates. Before you throw the broken cell away, check it for output. Your contractor may be able to apply an epoxy or stained-glass tape to secure it.

Cracked Panel - $100 - $400+

Fixing cracks may only total the cost of an hour or two of labor at $100 per hour. Depending on the extent of the crack, the fix may need a full replacement at $200-$300 for the new panel, plus labor. Sometimes, a professional can solder the edges together to save the unit. However, if you notice a crack, addressed it as soon as possible. The sooner you address the issue, the more money you will save in the long run. While individual solar panel costs vary, it will be less expensive to solder a crack than to replace and re-install.

Loose Connection – at least $100

As with cracks, it may only cost $100 for an hour of labor to repair a loose connection. Loose solder connections cause the connection to cut in and out as the panels heat and cool. You may notice cells cutting in and out if you sharply rap the panels with your hand. A professional can cut through the soft silicone embedding the cells to access the backs of the cells for repair. They may also need to un-solder and then re-solder the equipment. Then, they can replace and/or fix the cuts and padding material.

Cost Factors

Your rate will vary because each system setup is unique. The following factors play into cost:
  • Location - Most installations are on the roof while others are on the ground or the side of the home. The ease of access to your system will affect the labor rate in many ways. The contractors may need more time or extra laborers to ensure proper safety.
  • Roof Grade - The steepness of your roof will affect how much time and what safety precautions will be necessary to perform the work.
  • Type - Higher-grade systems may cost more to repair, whether due to the higher price of materials or the extra care needed to navigate various components.
  • Size - Larger systems will need more time for inspection to ensure peak performance.

DIY Repairs

Homeowners can do some repairs on their own. For example, for those who have the tools and experience soldering, you can fix a loose connection by cutting into the silicone and re-soldering the wires. You can remedy minor cracks with stained-glass tape and you can remove and replace cracked glass. However, this work is very dangerous, and the best choice is to hire a professional to ensure your system is secure and that you get the greatest output.
Solar repair kits are available online. However, these are for solar pool heaters and include plugs specific to that equipment which aren’t present in rooftop PV units.
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Replacement Parts

You can resolve most issues with the components of your system with cleaning and maintenance. During maintenance, a professional can tighten loose bolts and manage corrosion. In some cases, the inverter may need a replacement.

Solar PV Inverter - $100 - $2,500

Micro inverter replacements are $100-$250 per unit while string inverters are $1,200-$2,500. This equipment handles converting the direct current energy into alternating current energy. In the case of the micro type, each panel has its own inverter. String inverters, on the other hand, serve the entire system. Both types should last the length of the warranty. Once the warranty has expired, it may be time to replace this part. A professional should complete this task, which could add $250-$500 in labor.

How Often Do You Need to Replace Solar Panels?

The units themselves are tough and often last beyond their expected lifespan of 25 years. Newer models can last up to 50 years. You’ll only need to replace them if they broke beyond repair, not performing well, or losing efficiency as they approach their end-of-life.

Who is Responsible for Repairs?

Unless you are leasing your system, you are responsible for maintenance and repairs. However, if certain parts are under warranty, you may have a significant amount of coverage on them. For example, if a panel is failing due to an installation error or without explanation, your warranty may cover it. If the unit cracked after an impact, you will be paying for repairs. Call your installer and read your warranty before you do any work on your equipment. They will have useful insight into your coverage, service limitations and options.

Insurance Costs and Warranties

Warranties and insurance are very important when it comes to this equipment. This is why homeowners should thoroughly study their installer’s warrenty options before installation. Your company may cover repairs and replacements but not the cost of shipping. Many manufacturers offer warranties of 10-12 years. For inverters, a typical one is 10 years. For panels, it’s best to have a workmanship warranty of at least 5 years. This will cover any fault in installation which leads to damage or inefficiency. Then, there is the typical power production one of 25 years. This will come with an energy output guarantee, meaning that your system should not drop below a certain level of efficiency within the 25-year period.
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Jagdishchandra Patel More than 1 year ago
very helpful with my problem
Rita Burke More than 1 year ago
There are NO electrical panels. Water runs through PVC pipe heated by solar panels (non electric) on roof
steve many More than 1 year ago
was looking more for new install rather than repair.

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