Solar & Thermal
Systems, Inc.
Liability Contact
Site Map

The Light is Green




FAQ Category: Liability:

Nobody does business on a handshake anymore.

These questions can be difficult to ask, as they could be misinterpreted as a lack of trust.  So we've tried to anticipate as many as possible.  If you feel an answer here is inappropriate, flip, or otherwise unsatisfactory, I'd like to apologize.  But please let us know.  We'll do our best to re-answer the question is a more satisfactory way.  We like to think of many of these as ice-breakers, we'd hate to have them be interpreted as deal-breakers.  But if you don't ask, we can't answer.  

At some point in the not too distant future, we'll post the actual text of our warranties, guarantees, liabilities, and what we would actually expect from you the customer.  If you bought a new car in the past decade, do you remember all those individual little contracts you got?  One for the tires, one for the radio, another for the paint, yet another for the glass... pages and pages ad nauseum.  Each one severs the manufacturer from the car as a whole.  You can't blame the radio maker if the speakers blow after the car hits a bridge abutment, go figure?  

We will stand behind our systems 100% if a problem develops because we did something wrong.  If a natural disaster wipes out your building, what would you have us do for you?  You're still our customer, and that means something, but remember the legend of Humpty Dumpty 

Don't see what you're after?  Contact us and we'll e-mail you an answer.

Maybe we'll even put the question and answer on the page to help others.

Back to Top


What if it breaks?

We'll fix it. We guarantee against any manufacturing defects. Vandalism, negligence, abuse, we'll fix that too. Pull the big red switch down to the Shutdown position, and attach your service tag to the locking ring and call our service department.

What do I have to do to it?

Keep the main unit clear of grass clippings, leaves, and debris. Hose it off if it needs it.

Does it need service?

Yes. All mechanical things do. We offer semi-annual, annual, and bi-annual plans, with performance guarantees, or a 5-year recharge plan with warranty coverage.

What if a tree falls on my roof?

Well, if the tree is big enough to structurally hurt your roof, you're probable looking at some new panels. We've got all your dimensions on file, call us; we'll work with your insurance company to expedite your claim.

Do you offer 24x7 service?

Yes & no. You can call us 24 hours a day, but, since the units only operate during daylight, so do our crews. Your $5/day coverage goes 365 days.

Back to Top
My well pump will be OK, won’t it?

Sure will! In fact solar well pumps have been used for decades.

Are the panels wind-proof?

Generally, the roof will come off the house before the panels come off the roof. Flying debris is another matter. The main unit will contain diagnostic information if any damage was done.

Will it damage my slate roof?

We've developed special mounts for slate covered roofs. The under-layments we'll apply are also custom designed.

We’ve got a wood, copper, terrazzo, and etc. roof?

Our architectural engineers have developed mounts suitable for many common and exotic roof materials.

It’s covered with leaves and it stopped; did it burn out?

No it's fine. But the debris is restricting airflow and preventing you from realizing maximum benefit. This won’t harm the unit, but is excluded from the $5/day guarantee.

Back to Top
How often do I have to change the oil?

Never. The unit is factory charged with a custom formulated lubricant with a 50-year life.

We had a fire and the unit was damaged, now what?

Call us. We might have a distress call from the system. Either way, we'll help you to get the unit into a safe & stable state. Then we'll work with your insurance company to get things right.

We had a flood and the unit seems fine, now what?

We seal the computer against "moisture"; floodwater is more destructive. If the unit was submerged, it'll need a good cleaning.

It’s time to roof, vinyl side, paint, landscape, etc…

We do a thorough roof inspection and report, prior to beginning work. Siding contractors generally have no problem with the connections. We can disconnect, move, service, and reconnect the main unit for a nominal fee.

We live near the ocean; nothing lasts for 20 years

As you know from experience, regular maintenance is the key in salty environments. We use durable powder coats, and resistant materials, but regular cleaning is critical to long life.

Back to Top
The panels were damaged by… Who can fix them?

We've got all your dimensions on file, call us; we'll work with your insurance company to expedite your claim.

Is it dangerous?

No. No more than electricity, fire, and wet bathroom floors;  they're all dangerous. We've designed the units to be as safe as we can make them.

I thought ammonia was poisonous?

Yes it is, in large quantities. It's also so smelly that you wouldn't be able to stick around long enough to intake a dangerous dose. It's also lighter than air, so it'll naturally float up and away. Besides we never pipe it into the house.

Are your workmen bonded, insured?

Yes, and well trained too. Each crew employs at least 3 specialists, electrical, plumbing, carpentry.

Who can I call if I have issues with installers?

Call your sales rep first; your satisfaction is his/her responsibility. Call us. If you're still unhappy call your local building inspector & utility company.

Back to Top
Can I turn it off if I want to?

Sure. The big red switch has 4 positions, Connect, Isolate, Disconnect, and Shutdown. Or you can use the computer interface to do the same.

Can someone on the outside see my electric bill?

Yes. They could take it out the mailbox, rip the envelope, and read it. Oh you mean electronically… Well, it's password protected, and the account number is the only other piece of identifying info. Thieves would do better hanging out at the post-office.

How much maintenance does it require?

Very little. Keep it clear of debris (grass, leaves, weeds, branches, feathers, hair, etc.) Use a hose-on window wash on the panels if they get exceptionally dirty.

I’m buying a house with a STS-1; will you cover me?

Of course. Call us; tell us your address, serial number, and meter number. Our service people will take care of the rest. If the utilities have been transferred to your account, we can have you up & running in about 5 minutes.

How much does it weigh on the roof?

Less than 3 lb /sq ft

Back to Top
Will my roof be OK; What if I need roof work?

Prior to installation, if we feel that the roof is unsatisfactory, you'll have the option to correct the issues or cancel your purchase with a full refund. It's your roof, but it's our reputation.

What if my roof leaks after installation?

We'll fix it. We always do a roof inspection prior to any work. We won't start the work unless the roof has a minimum of 5-7 years remaining life. The protection the panels provide will extent the roof life by 2-3 times.

Are you licensed, bonded, insured?

Yes. We always comply with local, state & national building codes. We carry a universal bond for all workmen, and can obtain a bond for your job if you desire. Our workmen are covered by workman’s compensation, have medical benefits, etc.

Is it safe?

Yes! Safety is one of our major concerns. The 4-position switch, ground fault protection, over voltage, current & thermal safeties, as well as child-safe & pet safe design have all gone into each unit.

How long does it last?

We've designed and stress tested units to 20+ years life expectancy. We warrantee the unit against defects for 10 years.

Back to Top
How much snow will it take on the panels?

It depends on how sticky the snow is. The panels will rotate to clear snow; naturally, there won't be any output if they remain covered.

How much maintenance is required i.e. snow?

We believe that your personal safety is worth more than $5/day. The panels have a snow shedding feature built in, even heavy accumulation shouldn't harm them. Beware of sliding sheets of snow (avalanche), as the panels will act as a slip plane.

What if it gets struck by lightning?

Your system is well grounded, but lightning can be incredibly destructive. Effects can very from none to a tube puncture or computer burnout. Try to query the unit via its computer interface. Call our service department if the unit isn't responding.

Is it earthquake proof?

We consider the unit to be at least as earthquake resistant as the building it's attached to. Once you can walk confidently, we suggest flipping the big red switch to the isolate position until utility power is restored.

Back to Top
Is it legal?

Of course. We've made sure we 're compliant with all your local ordinances, and utility safety requirements, before we'll set up an appointment.

How loud is it?

About as loud as an air conditioner

What happens if it breaks / leaks?

We repair factory or installation defects, free. Accidents happen, kids break things, animals chew the weirdest things, and we’ll fix those too. Log in to the system check for errors, have the system report back to us, or give us a call.

Will it stink of ammonia?

No. The leakage rate is so low, you might not be able to detect it even at a shaft seal.

Will it poison me in the night?

No. All the seals are double-oil filled, fluid lines are double encapsulated, and never come into the house. Anyone who says otherwise is itch'in for a fight.

Back to Top
What about my pets?

Our designs are "Child-safe" and "Pet-safe". We've got UL, CSA, TUV, and etc. approvals.

Can I overload the unit?

No. The unit has current, voltage, and thermal overload protection.  The generators are rated at 125% for 15 min, and have 300% surge capacity.

What is the reliability of the system?

We design & engineer the units for 20 year "depreciation" lifetimes. They're built to last much much longer.

Didn't see what you were after?  Contact us and we'll e-mail you an answer.

Maybe we'll even put the question and answer on the page to help others.

Back to Top



Copyright 2001, 2009 Solar & Thermal Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
S&T, STS, STSI, and other abbreviations are Service Marks of Solar & Thermal Systems Inc.
Roof & Distribution© logo and Cool Copper© Copyright 2001 Solar & Thermal Systems Inc.
AEG, PMP, MLP, DRP, are used with permission.
Phoenix logo© and Swirling Rays© Copyright 2005 Solar & Thermal Systems Inc.
Tri-lobed Sun© Copyright 2006 Solar & Thermal Systems Inc.
The Light is Green!© Copyright 2006 Solar & Thermal Systems Inc.
ECO-CO2© Tonne, Railcar, and Coalcar, Copyright 2007 Solar & Thermal Systems Inc.
All other Trademarks, Service marks, etc., are the property of their respective owners.
Updated: 09/11/10 19:31