Let’s face it – warranties aren’t the easiest (or most gripping) documents to read. There are often a lot of details and fine print included that can be hard to digest, leaving many to wonder: what does the warranty actually cover? Am I vulnerable? Anything I might be missing?
To make it as easy as possible, we’ve read warranty documents for the top inverter equipment manufacturers–and talked to them to confirm what is and isn’t included–and plan to point out the most important aspects of each in a series of articles. In this article, we’ll review the warranty of a microinverter company that’s been around since 2012: Hoymiles.
Highlights of Hoymiles’ warranty
- Hoymiles provides two separate warranty terms: a standard 25-year warranty for their microinverters, and three years for their communication equipment for systems installed beginning in 2022.
- Hoymiles will cover any labor necessary to remove and reinstall repaired or replaced equipment.
- You can transfer your Hoymiles warranty at no cost as long as your system remains in its original place.
Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar-plus-storage options from local installers.
Quick overview: Hoymiles’ history and warranty
Hoymiles is an inverter company that was founded in 2012 by two power electronics college majors in China. The company started off with a single mission: “to make good technology more impactful by lowering its cost and making it accessible to more people.”
Hoymiles manufacturers microinverters, a type of solar inverter technology that’s typically installed at each individual panel. Hoymiles’ microinverter warranty comes with a standard 25-year product warranty and includes both labor and shipping.
Hoymiles warranty at a glance
|Category||Hoymiles coverage||Industry Standard|
|Product (inverter)||25 years||10 years for string inverters, 25 years for microinverters|
|Product (power optimizer equipment – for string inverters only)||N/A||25 years|
|Product (communication equipment)||3 years||5 years|
|Shipping of parts||Yes||Yes|
|Transferability||Yes, no fee||Transfer fee|
|Extended warranty offering||No||No|
Also known as a materials warranty, an inverter product warranty covers the integrity of the equipment itself. If your solar inverter has a defect, mechanical issue, or experiences unreasonable wear and tear, that’s where your product warranty comes into play.
Hoymiles offers two separate product warranties for its inverter technologies: one for the microinverter itself and one for the Data Transfer Unit (DTU), AKA the communications equipment which provides wireless communication between the inverter and your monitoring platform. The microinverters have a product warranty of 25 years, similar to the level of coverage for the panels that lie on top of them, while the communications equipment is covered for 3 years.
Inverter replacement: what happens if your product is no longer available?
Let’s say you have a solar inverter that dies after nine years – inverter technology continues to advance, and by then, Hoymiles may have a brand new product stock. Will they be able to replace your broken inverter?
Should this happen to you, Hoymiles will replace your inverters with either new or refurbished inverters of equal or greater value.
Does Hoymiles offer extended warranties?
Need more protection for peace of mind? Many solar inverter companies offer extended warranties for their products. Depending on the company and the product, an extended warranty may come at an extra cost or only be available for certain installers certified and endorsed by the manufacturer.
Hoymiles does not offer extended warranties for their microinverters in the United States as they already come with the industry standard 25-year microinverter warranty.
More often than not, solar installers are the sole party responsible for providing workmanship–or labor–warranties for your solar installation – they’re performing the actual installation work, after all! However, it’s becoming increasingly common for manufacturers to offer an extra safeguard by tacking on their own workmanship warranty coverage. When applicable, it’s typically only an option if you work with specific installers in a manufacturer’s certified network.
Hoymiles does not currently offer a workmanship warranty to their customers.
How to make a warranty claim with Hoymiles: shipping & labor costs
If you experience any defects or performance issues with your equipment, Hoymiles will be there to help.
To start, if you notice an issue with your inverter, your first phone call should be to your original installer: having designed and installed your system, they are the most equipped to diagnose (and fix!) any potential issue. If you can’t get in touch with your installer, or they’ve gone out of business, Hoymiles recommends that you contact another suitably qualified installer to arrange an on-site visit.
Once the installer has identified any issue eligible for a warranty claim, they should contact the Hoymiles Service Center; they must have the following information on hand:
- Product model & serial number
- Failure code & comment
- Copy of original purchase invoice
- Schematic of the entire system
- Documentation of any previous claims or exchanges, if applicable
- Return merchandise authorization (RMA) – a template will be provided by the Hoymiles Service Center
It’s the responsibility of your installer to work directly with the Hoymiles Service Center to determine if your equipment is indeed faulty to see if they can resolve your issues without an equipment repair or replacement. However, if the equipment is found to be faulty and is covered under warranty, Hoymiles will begin the exchange process with your installer.
When it comes time for any repairs or replacements, there are two additional warranty considerations you’ll want to keep in mind: labor and shipping costs.
Labor costs for diagnostics, repairs or replacements
Many manufacturers cover replacement parts at no extra cost but don’t pay for the labor costs necessary to re-install that equipment. Hoymiles will cover the costs to repair any faulty equipment and the labor costs associated with removing and replacing any repaired or replaced equipment. However, you may still need to cover the travel costs for the installer performing the labor.
Shipping of parts
Similarly, not all equipment manufacturers will pay the costs to get equipment to you – but Hoymiles isn’t one of them! If Hoymiles determines that an exchange is necessary, they’ll dispatch a replacement inverter within three working days and will cover the cost of shipping. They’ll also pay for your installer to ship the faulty inverter back to them using the packaging of the replacement inverter.
Comparing product and power warranty terms: the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide
What are some of the most popular Hoymiles products on the market today? Using the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide, you can compare the warranties, performance, and aesthetics of top solar inverters. There’s a lot in there, so we recommend using the filter and sorting functionalities to find the right inverter for you.
Limitations and exceptions
Every warranty comes with limitations and exceptions, including Hoymiles’. These limitations aren’t meant to make it difficult for you or other customers to take advantage of their offering; at the end of the day, they simply need to protect themselves from unreasonable claims.
Here are a few things that aren’t covered in your Hoymiles warranty:
- Damage as a result of improper or non-compliant use.
- Any damage from storm damage, lightning strikes, overvoltage, fire, thunderstorms, flooding, or other events beyond Hoymiles’ reasonable control or not arising from normal operating conditions.
- Superficial defects, such as dents, marks, or scratches.
- Your microinverters won’t be covered if the trademark and/or serial number is defected, altered, or removed.
- If your solar system input power exceeds 1.35 times the microinverter rated power (i.e., your hoymiles microinverters are rated at 300 watts and your solar panels are greater than 405 watts), your microinverters will only be covered under warranty for 12 years, as opposed to 25 years.
Other warranty considerations, and how Hoymiles stacks up
- Transferability: As long as your equipment remains in place, you can transfer your Hoymiles warranties to new owners of your system at no cost – you just need to email email@example.com to complete the warranty transfer.
- Bankability: Hoymiles is on AVL list of solar financing companies Loanpal, Mosaic, and Sunlight Financial and Dividende Finance. They’re also currently undergoing independent tests from the Renewable Energy Test Center (RETC), which should be complete in September.
- Escrows/insurance policies: Hoymiles does not currently have insurance policies, or an escrow that ensures their warranties will be upheld if they go out of business (but they may in the future, so stay tuned!).
- Eligibility: Some manufacturers require customers to permanently connect to their monitoring system in order for their warranty to be valid. However, Hoymiles’ warranty is applicable even if you don’t connect to their monitoring platform.
- Customer reviews: Another critical aspect of understanding a manufacturer’s warranty offering is investigating how their customers feel about their equipment and the services that they provide. Any warranty can look promising on paper, but how the installer or manufacturer performs when honoring their warranty is also critically important. If you are interested in reading Hoymiles’ reviews, you can do so here.
The best way to compare solar inverter options – warranties and all!
The key to finding the right solar panel system for your home is comparing multiple quotes from solar installers. Using the EnergySage Marketplace, you can find local solar installers near you, and make easy side-by-side comparisons of all your solar options, including equipment. By shopping around first, you can find the right option at the right price. If you have a preference for one type of equipment over another–Hoymiles or otherwise–simply note it in your account when you sign up so installers can quote you accordingly.