Used Solar Panels - Yay or Nay

IronKneebone

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 28, 2013
15
Apple Valley, CA.
So I've seen used Solar Panels for sale, and the prices are all over the board. I'd like to get some input on used Solar Pool Panels.
I found some Heliocol 12 x 4 and I can get 9 of them for $50 each ($450.00) Total. But the dates are 1997 and they come with no mounting hardware
I found some 10 x 4 Fafco panels that are 7 years old, appear to be in excellent condition, and can get 7 of them for $850.00 total...with all connectors

Is buying used panels an issue?
Should I bite the bullet and buy new?

I'm going to install these if that helps.

I'm just finding it difficult to find New Quality Panels for sale online. If anyone has a link or company that they can recommend, that would be great as well.

Thanks!
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,172
FL panhandle
We have quite a few folks who have installed used panels and been happy with them. I installed new panels purchased from Solar Direct
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
As Danny states above there are some folks on here who have installed used panels and not had a problem. They are somewhat of a crapshoot but priced right you can control that risk.
 

Rossterman

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2016
241
Martinez, CA
Here's my experience:

I built a new system using vortex solar direct panels in 2006 from solardirect. Have had panel leaks intermittently over the last few years as the panels have aged. These panels are inexpensive compared to other brands but almost impossible to repair. Eventually, I was at a point of replacing them with something new or used as repairs became harder and harder to do successfully.

There are lots of people in california are putting electrical solar since utility costs are very high here. The results in used panels being available on craigslist pretty cheap when the roof space is changed from solar to electrical panels. I found some 6 year old fafco panels for reasonable cost. Flipped them for the install and they look new. One that was given to me for free had a leaking tube. I bought a kit to plug the tube which is much easier than trying to plastic weld the vortech panels. They have been working great for a year now with zero issues.

My advice:

1. buy as new as possible. Most have 10 year warranty so buying panels that old is risking a short life. I'd probably pass and wait to find something newer.
2. Use a panel that can be easily repaired if a leak appears. This will allow you to extend the life a few years over non repairable ones.
3. Flip them over for installation to prevent continued UV exposure to the the side already sun baked.
 

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