Solar Panel Warranties: What You Need To Know Before Installation

One thing that always gives you peace of mind when making any purchase is a good warranty. Your warranty covers your purchase or service in the event that anything goes wrong or doesn’t work as expected.

When buying solar panels and having them professionally installed, it is vital that you understand your warranty before you pay for anything.

Why Is A Warranty Important?

Solar technology has come on leaps and bounds over the years and manufacturers are producing some excellent equipment. However, we’re all human and mistakes can be made along the way.

For example, there may be a manufacturing defect or there could be a problem with how your solar panels were installed. This is no fault of your own and you’ve paid money for a service so, in these unfortunate circumstances, a warranty provides you with a guarantee that the issue will be fixed without you having to pay anything extra.

The great thing about having a warranty is that it is a legally binding contract between you and whoever is providing it. This gives you peace of mind that an expensive purchase like solar panel installation won’t leave you out of pocket down the line.

I can’t stress enough that you should always ensure a lengthy and detailed warranty as solar panels don’t come cheap. The last thing you want is to find that the job is shoddy or the parts are faulty and it’s left up to you to put things right.

How Long Are Solar Panel Warranties?

Normally, a solar panel will come with a warranty that’s somewhere around 20 years. These pieces of equipment are made to stand the test of time and that’s reflected in the warranty. However, it is important to keep in mind that every manufacturer will have its own terms here so be sure to check this out before agreeing to anything.

What’s more, if you’re having other components installed such as an inverter or solar battery then the warranty on these parts will likely be separate and a different duration.

Solar batteries typically come with a warranty between five and fifteen years while a decent inverter may be covered for around 15 years. Again, this can vary greatly between manufacturers so always be sure to check.

What About Workmanship Warranties?

It’s not only the warranty on the physical equipment you’re purchasing that you need to think about; I’d also strongly recommend finding a solar panel installation company that offers a generous warranty on the workmanship.

Let’s say that a roof tile wasn’t properly reattached or the solar panel wiring wasn’t correctly connected; under your warranty, the installer will come back and fix the problem free of charge.

Installers typically offer something in the region of a five-year warranty but you’ll find that those which are backed by the manufacturer of the products they are installing will have the longest warranties.

What’s Included In A Solar Panel Warranty?

When you receive a warranty with your solar panel installation, it’s really important that you know what exactly it covers. In the main, there are two aspects that will be guaranteed; the performance or power of your panels as well as the physical product itself.


In terms of performance, your warranty will usually guarantee that the solar panels will continue to perform to a specific level for every year you own them.

This is called a linear warranty and, each year, the expected performance percentage will go down. For example, in the first year, your warranty may guarantee that the panels will perform at 98% while this may decrease to 96% in the second year, and so on, until the warranty expires.

However, it’s also worth keeping in mind that some manufacturers will provide you with a step warranty. This works in a similar way but is based on the performance of the panels over a longer period of time as opposed to annually.

For example, your warranty may guarantee that the system will perform to 90% within the first five years but this may then decrease and state that for the following five years, the guaranteed performance percentage will be at 80%, and so on.


The solar panels (and any other equipment that is covered in your warranty) will be guaranteed against things like manufacturing defects. This could include problems with the materials, unintended faults, and even failure.

These are usually the longest warranties and may also go by other names including equipment warranties, lifetime warranties, or materials warranties.

I wouldn’t expect a product warranty to be any less than ten years; if it is then I would recommend looking elsewhere. While your product is still under warranty, the manufacturer or supplier will be bound to replace or repair it in the event of a fault.

Voiding A Warranty

As a warranty is a legally binding agreement between you and the person providing it, there are conditions involved that you have to follow. If you do not stick to the terms of the agreement then your warranty could be void and you won’t be able to make a claim on it.

Where solar panels are concerned, there are a few things that you’ll need to make sure of if you don’t want your warranty going to waste. These include:

  • Not performing any DIY repairs or replacements on your installation.
  • Not attempting to modify your system or add additional equipment without the help of a qualified professional.
  • Failing to keep your equipment clean and well-maintained.
  • Omitting to make regular inspections or failing to address potential issues and allowing them to worsen over time.

Things You Should Find Out Before Buying Solar Panels With A Warranty

While I am able to cover most things in this guide, it’s important to keep in mind that different suppliers, manufacturers, and installers will have various clauses and conditions within their warranties.

With this in mind, I would always suggest asking as many questions as possible before agreeing to a purchase. This helps you to ensure that the warranty is fair and is going to provide you with cover where you need it.

You might wish to ask the following:

  • Whose responsibility is it for each of the components of your solar panel system?
  • What happens if the manufacturer has a responsibility but goes out of business before the end of the warranty?
  • Are there any other fees associated with the warranty?
  • Will I be covered for things like the shipping of new or replacement parts while I’m still under warranty?

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