GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- If you have solar panels or you're thinking of going solar, there's an important thing you should keep in mind. When it comes to replacing your roof, you're going to have an extra expense you probably weren't expecting.

3 On Your Side - Replacing a roof when you have solar panels

Gary Pyke showed 3 On Your Side where the water pours into his bathroom every time it rains.

"From wherever it's leaking, who knows, but it goes, it comes down and goes through this particular light," Gary Pyke said, showing 3 On Your Side where his roof leaks every time it rains. It's a problem that he says is getting worse.

[WATCH: Solar customers face extra cost when repairing or replacing roof]

"We have a couple of leaks on the roof, so we need to repair the roof," he said matter-of-factly.

With the monsoon and heavy rains coming soon, it needs to happen sooner rather than later. The Gilbert homeowner found a roofing company that said it could replace his entire roof for $11,500.

3 On Your Side - Replacing a roof when you have solar panels

Before he can fix his roof, Pyke has to have his 55 solar panels removed.

But before that roofing company -- or any company, for that matter -- can replace Pyke's roof, his 55 solar panels need to be removed.

According to Pyke, that's pricey.

"More than fixing the roof," he said.

Removing and reinstalling those solar panels will cost $13,000. That's on top of the $11,500 for the roof.

That $13,000 quote came from Tesla, which now owns the company that installed Pyke's solar panels seven years ago.

Pyke says he can't believe the $13,000 price.

"I've called several times to them to verify that price," he said.

3 On Your Side - Replacing a roof when you have solar panels

Tesla, which now owns the company that put in Pyke's solar panels seven years ago, quoted him $13,000 to remove and reinstall them.

Pyke says he's satisfied with the solar power and monthly savings, but he's not happy with the $13,000 Tesla wants to charge to remove and reinstall those panels.

While he could go with a less expensive company to remove the panels, Pyle believes that causes another problem.

"[Tesla] said if there's any damage those solar panels at that time or in the future, they're not responsible to cover any of that damage," he explained.

3 On Your Side contacted Tesla to verify that it really wants to charge $13,000 to remove and reinstall Pyke's solar panels. The company confirmed the price. But after our involvement, Pyke says Tesla reached out to him and reduced the cost to $9,000. Pyke says that's still a ridiculous amount. He said he had no idea it would cost so much when he went solar back in 2012.

[MORE: 3 On Your Side]

3 On Your Side - Replacing a roof when you have solar panels

"Seven years later, and I need to fix the roof," he said. "Now they want $13,000 take them off and put them back on."

This is a common issue for anyone who goes solar, but it's something they simply don't think about. Any savings you get from using solar will go to removing and reinstalling those panels should you need to repair or replace your roof.


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3 On Your Side Investigative Producer

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(6) comments


Yes, but think of all that money you're "saving...." My neighbor, Ben Dover, bought solar panels....


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Money saver solar.....right. SUCKER!!!


Agreed, Wazoolie. People who buy or lease solar don't have sense enough to come in out of the rain.


Why don't they put them in back yard , leave roof alone.


Most houses these days do not have back yards large enough to be a dog run, let alone install solar panels.


I think roofs are ok, but I think a lot of HOA's probably are against building structures in the backyard taller than the fence.

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