FAFCO is a solar hot water heating systems for residential applications. FAFCO has two product lines solar hot water systems, and solar pool heaters.
Single-Family ResidenceCombined Heat & Power
Single-Family ResidenceSolar PV
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.
I want you to be aware of what I was caught by with the Fafco warranty. The sales guy was quick to point out the 20 year parts and labor warranty on the panels. I thought that was good, but I questioned him. He informed me that if the panels failed within the first twenty years, they would fix it. Awesome right? Well the panels and the pipes are not one in the same. The piping has a two year warranty. The piping failed for my application after two years...oops $$. The panels themselves have failed three (3) times. Each time they have been fixed by a local company that Fafco chose (not my choice because I called my preferred company, and Fafco will not sell them the $8 part for the repair). So the company comes out and fixes the panels each time, but I get charged a service call of $95. The first two times this happened, this was the only charge on my bill. I contested it but the company informed me that I don't have to pay the labor or part but I do have to cover the trip out. I paid and let it go. The third time this happened was just recently, and the tech wrote the service call, part, and labor charge on the bill, but he scribbled out the labor and part charges. I could still read them. $8 for the part and $20 for labor...oh, and the $95 service call charge which I was responsible for. I called Fafco to make sure the company was not charging me and them for additional labor. Nope..Fafco informed me that the service charge was my responsibility. You decide for yourself, but I want to make sure you are aware of the whole truth behind Fafco's warranty that you will end up paying most of with your hard earned money.