Using used solar Panels

thomaskuhnFebruary 27, 2011

I live on Orlando, fl and need solar for the pool. I love a warm pool, at least anything above 85-90 deg. Since moving into our first pool house a year and a half ago, we wanted to try the pool (8000-10000Gal approx) for a year, and see if we needed solar. Results -> I need solar. It got to about 85-86 for a few weeks and that was it. I would like to have solar, but I know that our roof that solar would be installed on is 2-3 degrees north of west (273 deg), thus not nearly optimal, and I would hate to spend the big $$$$$ for simple solar, especially if there are some great used deals out there. I have heard the average is about $600 a panel installed. At 6 panels (a guess) we are talking $3600, or more.

Long story short, in order to raise the pool temp 10 degrees at most, I wanted to invest in some used Craiglist solar panels that have been removed from someones house (Re-shingle, etc). There are some really good deals out there. These deals include a lot of electric control systems too. I would have my reliable roof guy install the panels, I would do the rest of the plumbing, etc.

Any thoughts,

Anyone use used panels? I know there are leak issues, but for $400 for 6 panels, a little JB weld goes a long way. I am a hard core DIY engineering type, so plumbing, roofing, electrical, etc is no issue with me (Except the slope on my roof, thus the roofer)


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My neighbor got used solar panels from a relative and installed them himself. No problems at all.

I hadn't thought to look on Craigslist. Good idea!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 7:24AM
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Tom, IMHO I would rather pay the professionals to install the solar. I researched the big 3 and also did a quote from someone to install used panels and for a little more money with a lifetime transferrable warranty on the panels and leaks developed from the roof penetrations I decided that I would go with a dealer install. See this thread

Here is a link that might be useful: Our new solar install

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 6:24PM
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I finally got the first pool quote. $4500. I think solar companies are a bunch of shady characters. After hearing the sales pitch, we said no. We practically spend the next 15 minutes arguing with him to get him out of the house. He said we were crazy for not accepting his "deal" or a free saltwater system (but had to act today!!!) I would like for someone to come in here, say "You need 8 panels at $200 a panel, a pump for $400, and install of $800, for a grand total of..." Does not work that way in this industry. Used panels sure sound sweet right about now.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 3:40PM
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Received a second pool quote from a Heliocol dealer. The price was the same, but no gimmicks. As an aside, speaking strictly as an engineer, Heliocol was far better designed than the fafco product.

I found a local person who buys used panels from propane heater installers, and resells them. I purchased 6 used heliocol panels for $300 ($50 a panel). It will be an additional $300 for all the mounting hardware from a solar company. So, so far in am in for $600.

Next on the list is an auto solar control.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 5:04PM
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As long as your panels are not on a four story roof or higher, you shouldn't need a booster pump. Most residential in-ground pool pumps can easily handle a two story panel. However, some AG pumps can't even handle a one story roof.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 7:10PM
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Good to hear about the pump. I have a 1hp that no one has mentioned would not work. So I should be good there. One day I might get a variable speed pump, put that is later down the line.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 8:08AM
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We bought a couple of panels used and they all had leaks! Granted, this is Canadian weather. Upon searching the web, we found a lot of great deals and bought new.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 4:34PM
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Turns out my neighbor's used panels are leaking and he hasn't been able to fix them. So maybe not a good idea.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 4:57PM
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When we bought our home about a year ago it was disclosed there was a leak in the roof as a result of the solar panel installed, but repaired. We've had the roof leak and we are about to repair the roof (terra cotta tile). The install wasn't properly done to insure against leaks and the repair made was caulking. We have to hire a solar company to remove the panels while the roof repair is done and to reinstall the panels. We have been told by the solar company referred to us by our pool maintenance/PB that the solar panel is on it's last legs. The first solar company just gave us a quote to remove and replace but didn't go on the roof. We'll be getting more estimates now, but how long do solar panels usually last? We are in San Diego.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 9:27PM
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