How much does it cost to repair a solar panel?
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Solar Panel Repair Cost Guide
Updated: August 19, 2022
Solar panels have been gaining in popularity as energy prices rise. A well-maintained solar panel system can last at least 20 years, but things can damage a system or cause it to lose efficiency. While some issues can be addressed quickly, others may be more serious and lead to a significant drop in the energy your panels produce. As with many things, getting a repair done quickly prevents future issues and saves money.
Several things may break, wear out, or go wrong with a solar panel system, leading to a range of repair costs. The national average cost range to repair solar panels is $400 to $1,000, with most people paying around $750 to repair two cracked solar panels. This project’s low cost is $120 for repairing a few small chips in the surface of the panels. The high cost is $3,000 to replace a faulty string inverter.
Cost to Repair Solar Panel
|Solar Panel Repair Prices|
|National average cost||$750|
Solar Panel Repair Cost by Location
Solar panels for residential use are most commonly installed on the roof. This location receives the most sunlight, unimpeded by trees and obstacles causing shade. This makes the most sense for panels powering the home because the wiring does not have to travel far.
However, many people also use solar panels to heat their pools. These panels may also be installed on a roof or mounted on a poolside pole or rack. Each of these different systems has a range of costs that are not related to their location but to the types of damage and issues they may have.
|Location||Average Repair Costs (Labor Included)|
|Pool||$120 - $450|
|Roof||$400 - $1,000|
|Ground||$400 - $1,000|
Pool Solar Panel Repair
The cost to repair a pool solar panel averages $120 to $450. Most pool solar panels are mounted within easy reach. They also tend to be smaller, with fewer needed to power a home. The most common repairs involve fixing chips, tightening connections, and occasionally replacing the panel. In most pool solar heaters, issues that arise are more commonly found in the pipes and plumbing and not the panel itself. Those repairs that must be made to the panel rarely take more than 1 to 4 hours.
Roof Solar Panel Repair
The average cost of repairing solar panels on the roof is $400 to $1,000. Roof-mounted panels can have a wide range of issues. Hail storms, falling tree limbs, heavy snow and ice, and other issues may cause several problems. These may include chipped or cracked glass, loose connections, corrosion, or issues with the inverters. Generally, repairs are grouped in two profiles - low and high. Low-profile repairs, such as small chips or cracks in the glass or a loose connection in the panel, have costs starting at $100 and may go as high as $500. High-profile repairs, including more significant damage, cost as much as $3,000, with a total average range of between $400 and $1,000.
Ground-Mounted Solar Panels
The average cost of repairing ground-mounted solar panels ranges from $400 to $1,000. Ground-mounted panels are similar to those used on the roof. They can have many of the same issues and may have more of them. Falling debris can cause chips and cracks because they are lower to the ground. However, you may notice issues on the ground-mounted solar panels earlier, translating into faster repairs. Otherwise, they have identical issues and costs to repair as roof-mounted.
Solar Panel Repair Cost by Type of Repair
Solar panels may have several issues that require repair. Replacement is recommended when repair is impossible. The most common sign your system needs repair is an efficiency drop. If you notice you are relying more on grid power or your batteries are no longer storing as much energy, this is a common sign your system may need maintenance or repair. Generally, homeowners cannot tell which part of the system is in trouble, so an inspection should be done by a professional to ascertain the issue. Below are the most common repair types and their average costs.
|Type of Repair||Average Repair Costs (Labor Included)|
|Glass||$120 - $500|
|Panel||$120 - $700|
|Battery||$200 - $15,000|
|Inverter||$500 - $3,000|
Solar Panel Glass Repair
The cost to fix the glass on a solar panel is $120 to $500. The glass may become chipped or cracked during hail storms or if a falling tree limb hits the glass. Small chips and cracks are easily repaired using epoxy. Large cracks cannot be repaired. In this case, the glass must be replaced. Because the cost of the glass is equal to the panel’s cost, severely cracked glass usually results in a new panel.
Solar Panel Repair
The cost to repair a solar panel ranges from $120 to $700. A single panel may have multiple issues occur. The simplest issue is a chip in the glass, while the most problematic is damage to the cells. The most common repairs to the panel are to fix small chips and cracks in the glass or fix a loose connection. Loose connections require cutting into the panel, fixing the connection, and soldering it closed, which is one of the more expensive repairs. Damage to the cells or extensive damage to the glass necessitates replacement.
Solar Battery Repair
The cost of solar battery repair averages $200 to $15,000. Most batteries cannot be repaired. Some may have a loose connection, or it may have gone dry or developed corrosion that can be cleaned. These are the most common minor repairs. If the battery is no longer holding a charge, it cannot be repaired in most instances. In this case, it must be replaced. The cost of the replacement battery depends on the number of kilowatts it can hold and the battery style and type.
Solar Inverter Repair
The cost of solar inverter repair is $500 to $3,000. The most common issue with inverters is a loose connection. Finding that connection to make the repairs can be time-consuming, driving up the cost. String inverters can show codes indoors that allow faster repair, while microinverters must be checked at the source. If the issue is not a loose connection, replacement is the solution, resulting in higher costs. Generally, string inverters are the most common to require repair because of their setup.
Solar Panel Repair Cost by Type of Replacement
The most common system repair is to replace the faulty component if the damage is more than “low profile,” meaning a small chip, loose connection, or minor corrosion. The costs below are for the most common replacements needed and include labor and materials.
|Type of Replacement||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Fuse||$120 - $150|
|Tile||$200 - $500|
|Panel||$300 - $500/unit|
|Glass||$300 - $500|
|Inverter||$1,000 - $3,000|
|Battery||$2,000 - $15,000|
Solar Panel Fuse Replacement
The average cost to replace a solar panel fuse is $120 to $150. The bulk of the cost for this replacement is the labor. The fuses are relatively inexpensive and easy to locate. Labor for any repair or replacement is charged by the hour, with a 1-hour minimum being typical even for small repairs or replacements like this. Normally, only one fuse may need replacing at a time, but you may need more than one.
Solar Tile Replacement
The cost to replace a single solar tile ranges from $200 to $500. They are also called solar shingles, and they cover the entire roof. Occasionally, hail or other debris may damage a tile causing it to stop working. In this case, it must be removed and replaced. The cost of the removal and replacement is more than the cost of the tile. Often, several tiles must be removed to get to the faulty tile. Once the bad tile has been removed and replaced, the surrounding tiles can also be replaced.
Solar Panel Replacement
The cost to replace a single solar panel averages $300 to $500. If the solar cells are damaged or the glass is severely cracked, a single panel may need to be replaced. As long as the rest of the system is in place, this is a fairly straightforward procedure. The old panel is disconnected and removed. The new panel can be set into the same mounting and connected to the array.
Solar Panel Glass Replacement
The cost of solar panel glass replacement is $300 to $500. Because this is typically the same cost as a solar panel replacement, the glass is rarely replaced. Instead, a new panel is usually installed if the glass is cracked enough to warrant replacement. The only exception is if the panel is brand new and the glass cracked within a short time. In this case, the glass may be replaced. However, it is most common to replace the entire panel if the glass is broken or the panels are a few years old.
Solar Inverter Replacement
The cost to replace a solar inverter ranges from $1,000 to $3,000. The cost of an inverter varies by type and location. Microinverters are usually installed near the roof and are not connected. String inverters connect and make replacement more challenging because you must determine where the issue is coming from and reconnecting the system once the problem inverter has been replaced.
Solar Battery Replacement
The cost to replace a solar battery averages $2,000 to $15,000. They need replacement every 7 to 10 years. Some types may last longer than others. The cost of the battery is the project’s biggest component. Battery costs depend on the battery type and size. The more kilowatts the battery must hold, the higher the cost of the battery and replacement. Lithium-ion batteries cost considerably more than flooded lead-acid (FLA) batteries.
Solar Panel Repair Cost by Problem
Most people with solar panel issues notice the problem first and do not necessarily know what repair must be done to fix it. Numerous issues may occur over time. This can be from storm damage, time, elements, or problems in the vicinity of the panels and not the panels themselves. For example, a leaking roof is not necessarily the panel’s fault, but the panel still impacts the repair. Below are some of the most common issues homeowners encounter and the average cost to fix them.
|Problem||Average Repair Costs (Labor Included)|
|Obstructing Branches||$50 - $200|
|Loose Wiring||$100 - $400|
|Hail Damage||$120 - $500/panel|
|Cracked Glass||$120 - $500/panel|
|Rust||$150 - $350|
|Cracked Panel||$150 - $500/panel|
|No Voltage||$400 - $3,000|
|Inverter Not Communicating||$500 - $3,000|
|Leak||$1,200 - $1,500|
Branches Obstructing a Solar Panel
The cost of dealing with branches obstructing a solar panel is between $50 and $200. They work best when they receive unobstructed and direct sunlight. Overgrown trees obstructing the panels should be trimmed back. Trimming trees makes a tremendous difference in how much light the panels are exposed to, dramatically increasing the system’s efficiency.
Solar Panel Loose Wiring
The cost to fix loose wiring on a panel is $100 to $400. Loose wiring can be a simple or time-consuming fix, depending on where the wiring has come loose. This may be a fast fix if it is on the outside of the case. However, the case must be cut open for repair if it is inside the case. After this, the case is soldered shut to keep moisture out. This dramatically increases the repair cost due to the time.
Solar Panel Hail Damage
The cost to repair hail damage ranges from $120 to $500 per panel. If the panels only have a few chips in the glass, these can be easily repaired with epoxy. The same is true if there are small cracks in the glass. However, if the panels were severely damaged by the hail, they must be replaced. It is common to have a mixture of damage after a hailstorm. Depending on the size of the hail, some panels may not be damaged, while others may have significant chipping or cracking.
Solar Panel Cracked Glass
The cost of repairing cracked glass on a solar panel is $120 to $500. Small cracks can be repaired like chips using epoxy. This is the simplest method of repair. Major cracks cannot be repaired. In this case, the most common thing to do is replace the panel because replacing the glass alone is equal to the cost of installing a new panel.
Repair Solar Panel Rust
The cost of removing rust from solar panels averages $150 to $350. Rust is most likely to occur on the panel’s mounting and hardware. Occasionally, it may also impact the casing. Rust removal usually means cleaning the affected area to remove loose rust. A topical agent may be applied to help repair the metal and prevent corrosion. The costs depend on how large the area is and how much work it takes to repair it.
Cracked Solar Panel Repair
The cost of cracked panel repair is $150 to $500. Panels most commonly crack on the glass, but the casing may crack occasionally. Fixing these cracks may include using epoxy or solder. Most commonly, significant cracks mean the panel must be replaced. This is because the cost to replace the glass is equal to the cost of a new panel. Replacing only the casing is not an option.
The cost of repairing a panel with no voltage ranges from $400 to $3,000. Many issues can cause a panel to stop working. Because of this, inspecting the entire system may be required before repairs can be done. The issues may stem from a loose connection or the need to replace an inverter. In rare instances, you may need to replace a panel if the issue cannot be repaired in other ways.
Inverter Not Communicating
The cost of fixing an inverter that is not communicating is $500 to $3,000. There can be several causes of this problem. A loose connection between the panel and the inverter or between different components in a string inverter may be the issue. In this case, locating the loose connection and repairing it is the most effective solution. Sometimes, an inverter stops communicating because it has malfunctioned and cannot be repaired. In this case, the component must be replaced.
Solar Panel Leak Repair
The cost of repairing leaks beneath a solar panel averages $1,200 to $1,500. If you have panels on your roof and are experiencing a leak, blame the roof. To fix the problem, the panels must be uninstalled and removed. The area beneath the panels can be repaired with tar or new shingles. The panels can be reinstalled again once the roof has been repaired.
Labor Cost to Repair a Solar Panel
The average cost of solar panel repair is $100 an hour for labor, with common costs of between $80 and $120. Most repair specialists charge a minimum of 1 hour, regardless of how quick a repair may be. For example, fixing a small chip does not take an hour, but you pay $100 in labor plus the epoxy cost, which averages $20. Most repairs take 1 to 4 hours, making the most common labor cost between $100 and $400.
If a job is large, two or more specialists may be required. In this case, the cost per hour is doubled. However, having an extra technician typically shortens the amount of time needed, lowering the cost.
Solar Panel Maintenance Cost
The average cost of solar panel maintenance is $300 to $700. Solar panels need varying amounts of maintenance, depending on their age, type, location, and where your home is located. The panels should be inspected regularly and cleaned. Homeowners are encouraged to remove debris from their panels and remove snow during the winter to prevent an energy drop. Visually inspect the system and keep an eye on how well it is working. If you notice cracks, rust, or a significant power drop, you may want to call in a specialist for a more detailed inspection and cleaning.
Solar Panel Inspection Cost
The average cost of a solar panel inspection is $150 to $300. During an inspection, the specialist checks for chips or cracks, loose wiring, rust, faulty connections between inverters, and other common issues. They may recommend cleaning or other minor repairs to keep the system working. The larger the system and the steeper the roof pitch, the higher your inspection costs are. The smaller the system and the more accessible it is, the lower the average cost.
Repair vs Replace Solar Panels
If you have solar panels installed and are experiencing issues, your system may need simple repairs, or it may need to replace part or all of the system. Often, the repair or replacement question is not completely cut and dried. The entire system rarely needs replacing unless it is very old. Frequently, small repairs can be made to extend the system’s life, and these repairs can be mixed with partial replacements. For example, you may replace individual panels if the glass has cracked. Or, you may replace an individual inverter or battery. However, when looking at the average cost of repairing a system versus replacing it entirely, repairs are much lower in cost. Total system replacements should generally be reserved for much older systems in poor condition and ones that have not had repairs or maintenance for many years.
|Project||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Repairs||$400 - $1,000|
|Total Replacement||$15,000 - $21,000|
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Remove Solar Panels
The cost to remove solar panels from your roof is between $300 and $500. This is the cost of unhooking and taking down the panels. It does not include repair costs, disposal costs, or replacement costs.
Move Solar Panels
The cost to move solar panels averages $600 to $1,000. If your panels are not in a good location or not getting enough sun, you can move them. Keeping all the components in place except the panels is the easiest method for this project.
Clean Solar Panels
The average cost to clean solar panels is $150 to $330. If paying individually, this ranges from $15 to $30 a panel. Cleaning your panels is a good idea if they are no longer performing at peak efficiency.
Solar Water Heater Repair
The cost to repair a solar water heater is $150 to $750. Many issues can occur with this kind of water heater. Most are issues with the pipes, tank, or other plumbing components, but issues can also occur with the panel.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Licensed technician. Always use a licensed technician to work on your solar panels. Hire the same company who installed them whenever possible because they are the most familiar with your system.
- Compare quotes. Always get at least three quotes from three different companies. Compare the quotes for the price and project scope to ensure you are hiring the right person for the job.
- Warranty. Some solar panels are under warranty. In this case, some issues and repairs may be covered. Speak to your installer for more information.
- DIY. These repairs should not be done by the homeowner. Always call a professional for assistance.
- Lifespan. Solar panels should last 20 years or more when properly installed and maintained. To help your panels reach this lifespan, have them cleaned, inspected, and repaired regularly.
- Can a solar panel be repaired?
In many cases, yes. It depends on the issue. In the worst case, the panel or a part may need to be replaced.
- How often do solar panels need to be repaired?
There is no one set timeframe for this. Damage can happen at any time for a number of reasons. By inspecting your panels yearly, you can catch issues before they become serious.
- What can damage a solar panel?
Hail, falling tree limbs, and serious storms may damage a solar panel. They are designed to be used outdoors in inclement weather, so this damage can be uncommon.
- How do I know if my solar panel is broken?
Some issues may be visual, meaning you can see a crack or other issue when viewing the panel. Other issues may be seen by a performance drop.
- What kind of maintenance is required for solar panels?
Generally, maintenance includes inspections, cleaning the panels, and making repairs.
- What happens if a solar panel cracks?
If the crack is very small, it can be repaired with epoxy. The panel may need to be replaced if the crack is larger because moisture can damage the cells.