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Who deals with claims on an inverter warranty?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 14 May 2013 at 10:52 am

Q:I have a quote for the installation of solar panels. The quote says that the inverter is guaranteed for 10 years and that the guarantee is directly with the manufacturer; ie the installer does not wish to be involved in any guarantee claims. Is this normal? Is this contrary to the Sale of Goods Act 1979? The manufacturer of the inverter is highly likely to be located outside of UK eg China.

A: The product warranty is always issued by the manufacturers. However, it is generally the installer that acts as intermediary if anything goes wrong. I would expect them to investigate how a manufacturer deals with warranty issues (and how often claims are made) before recommending their inverter or modules.

You may be mis-interpreting a written quote, but I'd be worried if an installer doesn’t want to get involved in any claims. It doesn’t show a great deal of trust in the process of claiming, or much commitment to ongoing service.

I know that some Chinese equipment comes with warranties that require you to send faulty kit back to China at your own cost – and it’s definitely worth avoiding those. Whereas some of the market leaders sort problems out very quickly. In my opinion, the inverter is an area where it’s not worth cutting costs.

It's the installer that usually sorts these things out, and is in a better position to know what's good and what's not. If they are not prepared to be involved in claims, it speaks volumes.

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Photo: SMA


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2 comments - read them below or add one


InterestedComment left on: 14 May 2013 at 10:13 pm

I agree with Cathy entirely -

1) Don’t deal with a firm that is giving this impression.

2) Don’t skimp on product especially inverter, but I would go further and say panels and service too - why with a 25-30 year investment?

3) I agree with other comment, a genuine MSC company would not leave you with this impression and should not.  Start this long term investment and commitment to the environment with a company that you are comfortable with and has a host of positive testimonials.

Gareth Williams - Caplor Energy

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Sims Solar Ltd

Sims Solar LtdComment left on: 14 May 2013 at 12:26 pm

Hi Kathy/consumer, manufacturer guarantee is one thing, it is the installer warranty/guarantee offered by the installer that should be looked at. REA through their Code of practice, stipulate minimum requirements that should be offered by installers registered under their scheme, two years being a minimum length of warranty. sct8.1

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