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

Typical Range:

$206 - $1,250

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 509 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated August 30, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Homeowners spend between $206 and $1,250 on solar panel repairs or an average of $719. The type, size, and level of damage affect the total price of your solar panel maintenance and repairs. Some homeowners report paying $100 on the low-end, while others report paying up to $3,600 for more complex repairs or replacements.

2022 Notice: Material Prices Are Surging

Demand for siding and other building materials has grown over the past year. And as a result, manufacturers are increasing materials prices. Prices have gone up 5% to 10% this year, and many parts of the country are experiencing long delivery times. If you're planning a building project, we recommend starting as early as possible in the season, preparing for potential price fluctuations, and allowing extra time to order materials.

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National Average $719
Typical Range $206 - $1,250
Low End - High End $96 - $3,500

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 509 HomeAdvisor members.

Common Solar Panel Repair Costs

Solar panel repairs cost around $100 per hour. Annual maintenance comes out to $20 per panel. Your total bill may 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.

Cost Factors

Many scenarios can affect the total cost of the project. You’ll want to keep the following factors in mind when budgeting for a solar panel repair or maintenance project.

  • Location: Most installations are on the roof, but some panels are located on the ground or the side of the home. The ease of access to your system will affect the labor rate. The contractors may need more time or extra laborers to ensure proper safety on high, hard-to-reach areas on the roof, which can add around $100 per hour to the repair cost.

  • 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 due to the higher price of materials or the extra care needed to navigate various components.

  • Size: Larger systems need more time for an inspection to ensure peak performance and can take longer to repair if multiple panels are damaged.

  • Warranty: If your solar panel warranty is still active, you might not need to pay anything for accidental damage or a product that isn’t generating as much power as it should. Sometimes, the manufacturer may cover repairs and replacements but not the cost of shipping. 

Solar Panel Cleaning 

Most solar panel systems cost between $150 and $350 to clean and maintain, with individual panels running at about $15 to $35 per panel. In rainy climates, solar panels tend to need less cleaning. In dry and polluted climates, however, 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 and save you money by increasing the unit’s efficiency.

Broken Glass Panel

The material price for fixing broken glass could be minimal, like $20 for a bucket of epoxy, or substantial, like $500 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 epoxy or stained-glass tape to secure it.

Cracked Panel

Fixing cracks may only take 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 to $550 for the new panel, plus labor. Sometimes, a professional can solder the edges together to save the unit. 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 reinstall.

Loose Connection Repair Costs

As with cracks, it may only cost $100 for an hour of labor to repair a loose connection, but complex wiring damage may cost up to $400. 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 tap the panels with your hand. A professional can cut through the soft silicone embedding in the cells to access the backs of the cells for repair. They may also need to un-solder and then re-solder the equipment or replace or fix the cuts and padding material.

Solar PV Inverter

Micro inverter replacements cost $100 to $250 per unit,while string inverters are $1,200 to $2,500 per unit. 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 to $500 in labor.

DIY Solar Panel Repair vs. Hiring a Pro 

Homeowners can do some repairs on their own. For example, if you have the tools and experience soldering, you can fix a loose connection by cutting into the silicone and re-soldering the wires. You can also remedy minor cracks with stained-glass tape. Though you can find solar repair kits available online, these kits are for solar pool heaters and include plugs specific to that equipment that rooftop PV units don’t require.

However, some solar panel repair work can be challenging, especially when it involves working atop your roof. When in doubt, hire a professional solar panel installer to ensure your system is secure and that you get the greatest output. 

Professionals are the best choice for equipment maintenance and repairs. They will know the best course of action and save you money on the trial and error that comes with trying to repair or replace a solar panel yourself. A pro can find hidden issues and optimize your energy output. Plus, they have the knowledge and gear necessary to complete the work safely.

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Solar Panel Removal Costs

The total estimated cost to remove solar panels is between $2,000 to $2,400. Several steps can affect the total cost of the removal, including any potential roof repair costs.

Solar Panel Removal Cost Factor Price
Grid removal and disconnection $400 – $600
Shipping removed equipment off-site $200
Uninstalling mounting hardware Up to $600
Roof repair costs Up to $1,000

Installer warranties do not typically cover the price for removing solar panels. 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

DIY Removal vs. Hiring a Pro 

Working with this technology requires advanced skills and, considering that most panels are secured to the roof, a high level of risk. Though you could save around $400 to $600 by DIYing the removal, if you don’t have experience handling solar panels, it’s best to call in a pro. There are some areas where local code mandates that certified professionals perform these jobs. 

You'll also need to hire an electrician to handle the electrical connections if you’re unfamiliar with electric work. The cost to hire an electrician is around $50 to $100 per hour. The electrician will only handle the electrical side. You handle unhooking the equipment and mounts.

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Solar Panel Replacement Costs

Average costs for solar panel repair and replacement, with labor ranging $100 to $350

The rate to remove and replace a single panel is around $100 per hour, and the average cost of the replacement unit is $150 to $350 per hour. It costs $1,800 to $2,100 to remove an old system and $17,900 to $33,700 in solar installation costs to replace the system with new solar panels. How much you spend depends on the number of units that need replacing. 

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

The price to remove and then replace or reinstall existing solar panels total project costs around $2,500 on average. Homeowners often must take their system down to get roof work done, but this is a project for a professional—not an avid DIYer. Replacing a solar panel system is a complex project that may require a roofing contractor to fix potential roof damage on top of the solar panel installer. 

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. Contact a certified solar panel technician who can take the panels off and reattach them safely to prevent damage when doing roof work.

FAQs

Do solar panels need a lot of maintenance?

Although solar panels are usually at roof level and manufactured to withstand the impact of small airborne debris, they still get damaged and or need maintenance work from time to time. Broken glass from rocks, large hail, or a fall (loose bolts on the mount), are the most common reasons for a repair. Equipment with extensive damage costs less and is more efficient to replace than it is to fix, especially if the equipment 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.

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 solar panels if they break beyond repair, don’t perform well, or lose efficiency as they approach their end-of-life.

Who is responsible for solar panel 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. If a panel fails due to an installation error or without explanation, your warranty may cover it. If the unit cracked after an impact, you may be responsible 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. Here are some common warranties:

  • Many manufacturers offer a 10- to 20-year warranty

  • For inverters, a typical one is 10 years

  • For panels, it's best to have a workmanship warranty of at least five 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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