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  • LG Panels Warranty question

    I am considering an installation for my home and I am looking at the LG warranty for the 320 panels. I am concerned about a couple of their exclusions. It reads:
    4-2 This Limited Warranty also does NOT apply to Module(s) which have been subjected to:
    (o) Damage and/or failure caused by external stains or scratches that do not affect output;
    (p) Damage and/or failure caused by sound, vibration, rust, scratching, or discolorations that are the result of normal wear and tear, aging or continuous use;

    Now O sounds like if there is a scratch anywhere on the panel the warranty doesn't apply even if it has nothing to do with the failure. Am I reading that right?
    P sounds like just about any wear and tear on the panel even if it is normal. Doesn't that just about exclude everything. How can they say they have a warranty for 25 years when normal wear and tear invalidates the warranty?

  • #2
    Originally posted by jnkweaver View Post
    I am considering an installation for my home and I am looking at the LG warranty for the 320 panels. I am concerned about a couple of their exclusions. It reads:
    4-2 This Limited Warranty also does NOT apply to Module(s) which have been subjected to:
    (o) Damage and/or failure caused by external stains or scratches that do not affect output;
    (p) Damage and/or failure caused by sound, vibration, rust, scratching, or discolorations that are the result of normal wear and tear, aging or continuous use;

    Now O sounds like if there is a scratch anywhere on the panel the warranty doesn't apply even if it has nothing to do with the failure. Am I reading that right?
    P sounds like just about any wear and tear on the panel even if it is normal. Doesn't that just about exclude everything. How can they say they have a warranty for 25 years when normal wear and tear invalidates the warranty?
    O does not apply as long as the scratch does NOT effect output.
    P is saying that the warranty does not apply to normal wear and tear. Why would you expect a warranty to cover normal wear?
    OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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    • #3
      I would expect the warranty to cover normal wear and tear because if I am using substandard materials and the panel fails early, I can just say well that is normal wear and tear sorry it isn't covered.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jnkweaver View Post
        I would expect the warranty to cover normal wear and tear because if I am using substandard materials and the panel fails early, I can just say well that is normal wear and tear sorry it isn't covered.
        And if I use poor materials and substandard mfg. procedures as a mfg., and it results in an egregiously substandard product, word will spread.

        As a practical matter, panels have become a commodity and most of reality seems to point to few panel failures with most of those being infant mortality covered within most warranties.

        Still, reality is what it is and no warranty covers everything all the time. Won't happen.

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        • #5
          So this is normal? Anyone have any complaints about LG panels? My other choice is a REC 290 or a Trina 300 with Enphase micro-inverters

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jnkweaver View Post
            So this is normal? Anyone have any complaints about LG panels? My other choice is a REC 290 or a Trina 300 with Enphase micro-inverters
            Normal ? Probably, whatever normal means.

            Say this out loud: "Solar panels from reputable manufacturers are now a commodity." Repeat until internalized.

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            • #7
              JPM is correct, modules are a commodity, when built by a reputable MFR. I put up thousands of modules per year and aside from the obviously broken-in shipping ones, there are very few bad units.
              33-CS6P250,1-SMA6000US,SMAwebconn,Egauge

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jnkweaver View Post
                How can they say they have a warranty for 25 years when normal wear and tear invalidates the warranty?
                Any company offering a 25-year warranty on an electrical device that sits outside 24 hours a day, year after year is going to have at least a dozen reasons to dispute their liability if you make a claim years from now. Myself, I would not assign any value to a panel warranty longer than 10 years. If you do lose a panel after 15-20 years do you think they will just send you a new one with no hassle? I really doubt it.
                Dave W. Gilbert AZ
                6.63kW grid-tie owner

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by azdave View Post

                  Any company offering a 25-year warranty on an electrical device that sits outside 24 hours a day, year after year is going to have at least a dozen reasons to dispute their liability if you make a claim years from now. Myself, I would not assign any value to a panel warranty longer than 10 years. If you do lose a panel after 15-20 years do you think they will just send you a new one with no hassle? I really doubt it.
                  Warranties are something that the sales person uses to hook the customer into purchasing something that sounds great but may never last 50% as long as they want.

                  The trick is getting compensated for the equipment failure from the Manufacturer. Now that can be a battle if the time period is well into the Warranty time period.

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                  • #10
                    Ok this is what I got from LG through the contractor for everyone's edification.


                    Specifically, section 4-2.O explains that they do not have to replace the panel if is scratched and the scratch is not affecting performance. So it is basically just stating that they do not replace it for cosmetic reasons.

                    Section 4-2.P This is a case where they are saying that normal wear and tear, specifically those caused by sound, vibration, rust, scratches, or discoloration are not covered. However, electrical production is still guaranteed. Basically if the panels get banged up but are still working at their electrical production threshold, they are not going to replace it. If the electrical production is reduced, they will still cover per section 2 of the warranty. I've listed section 2 below for reference.
                    LG offers one of the best warranty of all panel manufacturers currently available. There is always a level of risk with the investment but with LG, it is minimized compared to others.
                    Please let me know if this helps and if you have any other questions.
                    Thanks

                    2. 25 Years Limited Warranty for Power Output
                    LG warrants that for a period of five (5) year from Warranty Start Date the actual power output of the module will be no less than 95%
                    of the labeled power output. From the 6th year, the warranty for power output will decline annually by 0.4% in each of the remaining
                    20 years, so that during 25th year, an actual output of at least 87.0% of the nameplate power output specified on the Module will be
                    [I]achieved. The power output values shall be those measured under LG

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                    • #11
                      Have you read the replies in your own thread about this being a non-issue? Warranty differences should not be a decision point for a purchase when dealing with any reputable panel manufacturers.

                      Concentrate on how your system will be installed and panels mounted and who will do the work. That is what will fail you first and be far most costly and time consuming than a possible panel problem.

                      Do you get suckered into all of those "extended" warranty offers too?
                      Dave W. Gilbert AZ
                      6.63kW grid-tie owner

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jnkweaver View Post
                        Ok this is what I got from LG through the contractor for everyone's edification.


                        Specifically, section 4-2.O explains that they do not have to replace the panel if is scratched and the scratch is not affecting performance. So it is basically just stating that they do not replace it for cosmetic reasons.

                        Section 4-2.P This is a case where they are saying that normal wear and tear, specifically those caused by sound, vibration, rust, scratches, or discoloration are not covered. However, electrical production is still guaranteed. Basically if the panels get banged up but are still working at their electrical production threshold, they are not going to replace it. If the electrical production is reduced, they will still cover per section 2 of the warranty. I've listed section 2 below for reference.
                        LG offers one of the best warranty of all panel manufacturers currently available. There is always a level of risk with the investment but with LG, it is minimized compared to others.
                        Please let me know if this helps and if you have any other questions.
                        Thanks

                        2. 25 Years Limited Warranty for Power Output
                        LG warrants that for a period of five (5) year from Warranty Start Date the actual power output of the module will be no less than 95%
                        of the labeled power output. From the 6th year, the warranty for power output will decline annually by 0.4% in each of the remaining
                        20 years, so that during 25th year, an actual output of at least 87.0% of the nameplate power output specified on the Module will be
                        [I]achieved. The power output values shall be those measured under LG
                        All this is a non issue. You do not understand what's needed to verify a warranty claim or the near impossibility of getting such information, or what it means.

                        As for edification, you're pointing its need in the wrong direction. I suspect you need it relative to your knowledge of what's important with respect to PV system design, purchase and operation more than those who have responded. I've read most warranties and particularly LG's. While not writing for them, I suspect responders to your thread have done similar. We all pretty much know warranties are little more than marketing tools that have little bearing on product quality or system performance. Trying to separate fly specs from pepper on a warranty claim in ways similar to what your doing here may lead you to the same conclusion.

                        Get more educated and you may find your priorities will get rearranged and more focused.

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                        • #13
                          Different application but same topic; would you consider extended Inverter warranties worthless also? I have SolarEdge with the extended 25yr (installer threw it in). I would think if it fails I get a replacement, no?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by frankge View Post
                            Different application but same topic; would you consider extended Inverter warranties worthless also? I have SolarEdge with the extended 25yr (installer threw it in). I would think if it fails I get a replacement, no?
                            If you're asking me, the answer is probably no, but for reasons that may not be directly related to quality.

                            Ever wonder why almost everyone who sells durable consumer goods, including PV equipment to end users breaks their ass to push extended warranties ad nauseum ? Well, follow the money.

                            Ever notice that extended warranty pitches contain more than a small amount of fear mongering in them ? Blame most of that on consumer ignorance. Most string inverters of reasonable quality don't fail during the warranty period. I've got no numbers on that but after riding herd on what's now 140+ arrays in my HOA, to the best of my knowledge, a string inverter has yet to fail.

                            Extended warranties are a gold mine for mfgs. and sellers. In effect, that means that the odds of a warranty claim are small enough (or the cost of what amounts to failure insurance is great enough according to some de facto actuary/rate setter - same thing) to make them a profit center for the mfg/seller with no overhead except the spiff the salesperson gets - which can ne substantial. All that makes them statistically a net loser for users ignorant enough to get suckered into such B.S., putting those losers on the wrong end of probability for what they are led to believe are higher failure rates than reality would verify.

                            Kind of like the odds in a casino. The house will, at the end of the day and on balance, always win. So it is with extended warranties. Ask the question: " If your product is so good, why do I need insurance against failure ? "

                            I'm not much of a gambler but I do follow the logic that fortune favors the bold, at least the bold who play head's up ball, and I take my chances because I'm pretty sure extended warranties are, in reality, no more than extended B.S.

                            On the day/day side of reality, maybe a string inverter will only last 10 years or so. I'd imagine that an inverter not exposed to an outside environment and kept cool might have a greater probability of making it past its warranty period, but I'm betting it'll last at least through the warranty period and that's what I bought/paid for.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
                              Kind of like the odds in a casino. The house will, at the end of the day and on balance, always win. So it is with extended warranties. Ask the question: " If your product is so good, why do I need insurance against failure ? "
                              Everything fails eventually. So for some people having a guarantee that the thing will be replaced if it fails within a certain time might be a good deal.

                              And it's not a "gold mine" for manufacturers. Manufacturers offer them because they think they can make money on the warranty - but that's not always the case. If engineering screws up and produces a lemon, such warranties can lose the manufacturer a lot of money. I have a friend of mine who _always_ gets the extended warranty, and if he has a problem, leaves no stone unturned in his quest to get the replacement. About five years back he managed to leverage an extended warranty on a car into a replacement (new) car due to a minor manufacturing defect (bad application of anti-corrosion treatment.) Pretty sure Ford lost a lot of money on that.

                              This is a pretty common discussion in companies that produce consumer products. An MTBF analysis shows something will last, on average, 16 years, using a baseline environment. Maybe it's due to electromigration in an IC, or the odds of exposure to static. Maybe it's due to dryout of electrolytic caps. They could fix it, of course. They could use film caps or put a clamp on every single line.

                              "No way jose!" says accounting. "We have to sell this thing for $19.99, not a penny more. We can't afford all that stuff. And we're already a month late with the design. Ship it!"

                              So they ship it. And when it comes time to decide what price they are going to charge for the extended warranty (and its term) they are going to decide that this warranty is going to be expensive - because out at 10 years they are going to see the beginning of the Gaussian curve that characterizes such failures. And no way are they going to offer a 20 year warranty. They choose a warranty price so that they will tend to make money - but it's a gamble, because MTBF analysis is far from foolproof. If the engineer was a little off, and they start seeing the caps dry out in 9 years instead of 16? They just lost a boatload of money.

                              All that being said, it is often not worth the price to me, because 1) the odds that I will damage it in a way that isn't covered aren't zero, 2) I tend to fix my own stuff anyway and 3) I'd much rather invest that money, then have the extra money for the occasional replacement if it comes to that. But not everyone will make the same decisions.

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