At Gold Coast Solar Power Solutions we specialise in after sales service of solar power systems and lately we have seen a disturbing trend with some supposedly “cheaper” solar inverter companies. This trend involves the inverter warranty conditions changing without notice, which doesn’t really seem too legal to me.
As experts in the the maintenance and after sales service of solar power systems the main component of a solar power system that tends to have issues is the solar inverter. As the inverter is the principle source of issues the warranty that the solar inverter has is very important.
The standard warranty on solar inverters is 5 years, but what’s actually covered under that warranty differs between each inverter manufacturer. Some cover parts and labour for any repairs, some cover just parts but not labour, and some cover freight whilst others don’t, and some change their warranties as it suits them which is quite disturbing.
A Disturbing Solar Inverter Warranty Trend
What we have been finding is the warranties have been changing and this isn’t just on inverters installed from today; this trend with certain solar power companies back dates to all inverters already installed.
Lets have a look at a few examples:
Sharp Solar Inverter Warranty:
Sharp are seen as a reputable brand however unfortunately with their solar power inverters they have changed the warranty conditions quite substantially. Gold Coast Solar Power Solutions used to be a service partner with Sharp for their range of solar power products.
We used to have our time for warranty calls covered by Sharp but they have now changed their service model and no longer offer this service. Here is a brief overview how Sharp warranties have changed:
Original Sharp Inverter Warranty Policy
Current Sharp Inverter Warranty Policy
All solar inverter issues covered under warranty.
Main issues are no longer covered under warranty.
Service technician paid by Sharp for service calls to site.
Service technicians are no longer paid, this cost therefore falls onto the customer.
Warranty freight costs covered by Sharp inverter warranty.
Warranty freight costs are no longer covered, therefore passed on to customer.
As you can see the inverter warranty on Sharp solar inverters has changed dramatically in the last few years. I personally don’t understand how a supposedly “reputable” company can get away with this.
This trend is very disturbing, when you purchase a product you don’t expect the warranty to change without notice along the way! I personally cannot see how this is legal but these companies are doing it anyway.
One good thing I suppose is that the manufacturers mentioned above are still around to honour their warranties to some degree unlike companies such as Aero Sharp, Beyond Building, KLNE, CMS, Sunna, Sunny Roo etc.
If you have these inverters and they are out of warranty or nearing the end of the warranty terms and you are having an issue the best thing to do may be just to replace the inverter with a quality replacement. We highly recommend Fronius as a high quality replacement inverter; Gold Coast Solar Power Solutions are a service partner with Fronius and since 2008 we have found that Fronius to be the best solar inverter company in the industry to deal with in the case of a warranty issue.