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Thread: Received quote for solar panels.....then changed my underpants.

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    Received quote for solar panels.....then changed my underpants.

    I'm considering installing solar panels to heat my pool. This is my first pool and I've tried to research as much as I could about solar heating. I've read several posts about the costs involved with installing these systems and thought I had a rough idea of what to expect for a system to fit my needs. I contacted a dealer in my area that installs Ultrasun panels by Aquatherm. He estimated that I would need 12 4x12 panels for my 15x30 pool. The pool will have a screen enclosure and see little to no shade. I have no roof space facing directly south. The areas available for panel installation are southeast and northeast. Because of that he used a 125% factor and came up with the 12 panels, which I understood. I gave him the info he needed to provide a quote and was absolutely shocked at the price he came up with. Total cost would be $7,900 !!! That includes $5,900 for parts and $2,000 for labor. After I caught my breath I asked him to break it down a little further and give me just the price for each panel which was $271 making it $3,252 for the panels themselves. After subtracting labor that leaves nearly $2,700 for mounting, plumbing, controller, etc. I asked if he could sell me the parts for the system so I could do the install and quoted the $5,900 for parts. Do these prices seem anywhere near appropriate? For 12 panels I was expecting something closer to $6,000 or so. This is the only estimate I've received so far. I'm still waiting on a couple of other places to get back to me.

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    Re: Received quote for solar panels.....then changed my underpants.

    FOLLOW UP: Just received another email with further cost breakdown.

    "Rusty, The line item breakdown is as follows...
    Roof System/ Panels / 200ft of pipe/clamps/ boots etc small parts $4621.90
    Pump Station/ Pentair Solar Touch controller /3 way jandy small parts $1206.02
    Professional Fees/ Engineering/permitting /Labor $2088.12"


    Still doesn't seem right to me. I'm ok with the cost of the panels and pretty much ok with the labor. But there seems to be a huge expense for mounting parts, plumbing parts, controller, etc.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Received quote for solar panels.....then changed my underpants.

    125% is a very large panel area for how far south you are. Are you planning to heat the pool well into the winter?

    Those prices seem high and I am confused where the other $2600 in parts comes from. The panels are usually the great majority of the parts cost, where here they are only a bit more than half.

    By all means get some more bids.
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    Re: Received quote for solar panels.....then changed my underpants.

    Jason.......That's exactly what I was thinking. I'm only 15 minutes from the gulf coast and I mentioned that I only wanted to extend the season a month or so on each end, not year round. I too thought the panels, especially the latest and greatest from Aquatherm, would by far be the bigger expense. I never imagined the attaching parts would be so much.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Received quote for solar panels.....then changed my underpants.

    I'd run screaming from that quote.
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    Re: Received quote for solar panels.....then changed my underpants.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyp View Post
    I'd run screaming from that quote.

    I agree. I'd stand over my pool with a hair dryer before I paid that.

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    Re: Received quote for solar panels.....then changed my underpants.

    Rusty13,

    My wife and I installed a fully automated solar system with 6-4x12 panels facing due south on our pool house. With those and the combination of a faithfully used solar cover at night and no shade at all on the pool, I can turn my 18x36 pool into a sauna. We went out of town and forgot to turn it off over the July 4th weekend one year. When we came back the pool temp was 105 degrees. Too hot for the daytime but it was great at midnight... Total cost in 2009 with wifey and I supplying the labor was around $2300.00. Found it online from Solartrope, however there are many others. You get what you pay for though. I have had some couplings leak but probably from having my line pressure too high. Other than that no problems.

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    Re: Received quote for solar panels.....then changed my underpants.

    Sounds like too many panels.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Received quote for solar panels.....then changed my underpants.

    I agree that may be a bit much on panels, but better too many than too few, as to price I did a semi-DIY install last year with 11 4x12 panels for about half that amount (paid a roofer and helper for the roof top part)
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    donaldm823's Avatar
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    Re: Received quote for solar panels.....then changed my underpants.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty 13 View Post
    I'm considering installing solar panels to heat my pool. This is my first pool and I've tried to research as much as I could about solar heating. I've read several posts about the costs involved with installing these systems and thought I had a rough idea of what to expect for a system to fit my needs. I contacted a dealer in my area that installs Ultrasun panels by Aquatherm. He estimated that I would need 12 4x12 panels for my 15x30 pool. The pool will have a screen enclosure and see little to no shade. I have no roof space facing directly south. The areas available for panel installation are southeast and northeast. Because of that he used a 125% factor and came up with the 12 panels, which I understood. I gave him the info he needed to provide a quote and was absolutely shocked at the price he came up with. Total cost would be $7,900 !!! That includes $5,900 for parts and $2,000 for labor. After I caught my breath I asked him to break it down a little further and give me just the price for each panel which was $271 making it $3,252 for the panels themselves. After subtracting labor that leaves nearly $2,700 for mounting, plumbing, controller, etc. I asked if he could sell me the parts for the system so I could do the install and quoted the $5,900 for parts. Do these prices seem anywhere near appropriate? For 12 panels I was expecting something closer to $6,000 or so. This is the only estimate I've received so far. I'm still waiting on a couple of other places to get back to me.
    I just installed a 440sqft FAFCO panel system (10 panels) and cost runs approx $9 per sq ft installed (includes labor). Add additional cost of solar controller and permit fees to the cost. Your estimate is way more than my 3 estimates down here in SW Florida
    Don SW Florida
    10,000 gal in ground concrete pool
    Pentair Cartridge filter, Pentair SWG, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump (11018)
    FAFCO solar panels w/Pentair SolarTouch controller
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Received quote for solar panels.....then changed my underpants.

    I did my 500sqft setup as DIY for about $1500. Bought the panels used on Craigslist. Lucky to only have 2 leaks in the panels to repair. Just pointing out could be another option.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Received quote for solar panels.....then changed my underpants.

    Thats more than the cost of a heat pump! Insane.

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    Re: Received quote for solar panels.....then changed my underpants.

    I'm down in Miami and just received a quote on solar panels that is much lower than yours! We have a south facing roof and was recommended to have approximately 80% coverage (panels SF : pool SF) to extend swimming season to 10 months with water at 85 degrees. 11 panels, control box, labor, etc. - $5,000.
    Swimming!: 19x32 IG rectangular pool, 22,500 gallons; 3' - 6.5'; open spa w/ 6 jets; raised wall w/ 1 sheer descent and 2 minijets, 2 color-changing LED pool lights, 1 spa light; Jandy 2 1/2 HP 2 speed Pump, Jandy cartridge filter (320 SQFT), Diamondbrite Cool Blue

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