Bottom line: Fafco has poor quality, abysmal customer service, does not honor their warranty, and bad judgement in selecting authorized contractors.
In February, 2016, we contracted Florida Solar East to install a solar heating system. They used eight Fafco solar collectors and botched the plumbing in the process. In the summer of 2018, the first collector sprung a leak. Shouldn’t be a problem, there’s a twelve-year parts and replacement warranty… Well, that only applies to the panel, not any associated service calls. Florida Solar East wanted to charge us for the assessment, then another one to attempt to repair the panel, then another one to replace it, if necessary.
We then complained to Fafco who stated that they had had numerous complaints against their authorized contractor, Florida Solar East, and they have since terminated their relationship with them. They then referred us to a different contractor, Sunlight Solar. The second contractor was much more pleasant to work with and seemed reasonably competent, but they understandably charged a service fee to install the warranty replacement collector. This was all said and done by the end of October, 2018.
The second collector sprang its leak in November, 2018 and the third in December. So in the span of less than three years, three of the original eight panels have sprung leaks. We feel we should not have to pay service charges for defective solar collectors manufactured by Fafco. We have complained to Fafco, and they have now stopped returning our calls.
The second contractor has come out and attempted to obtain warranty replacements for the other two collectors, and Fafco has refused the warranty with the excuse that the leaks are related to an installation problem. Granted, the original installation was pretty poor, but it is difficult to believe that three of eight panels should suffer latent installation damage, and none of them are anywhere near a coupling or object that could cause a leak within the body of the panel.
Even though this second installer is an authorized contractor for Fafco, they do not recommend Fafco for new installations due to their poor quality and reliability. We have talked to other installers as well, none of whom recommend Fafco. As a result, we now have a $5K eyesore on the roof that is completely useless except to drain the pool.