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mikiewest


Joined: Dec 29, 2007
Points: 262

standby generator reliability
Original Message   Jan 21, 2013 8:46 pm
I am looking at purchasing a natural gas 20k standby generator.The choices are generac,kohler,c ummins onan. Is there one that is truly more reliable than the other?And if so what makes it more reliable.
This message was modified Jan 21, 2013 by mikiewest
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mml4


Snow is good,
Deep snow is better!


Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Points: 544

Re: standby generator reliability
Reply #1   Jan 22, 2013 6:43 am
Mikie- I know 4 people that have Generac units and all of them had trouble during Sandy. I don't know about the others you listed but would strongly suggest Gillette or Winco. Marc

SnapperV210P,Toro22177,TroyBilt42010Snowthrower,Craftsman Shredder,American Turbo Pressure Washer HondaGX200,Stihl011Saw,EchoPas260Trimmer Edger,EchoPB602Blower,EchoHCR150Hedge Clipper
nibbler


Joined: Mar 5, 2004
Points: 751

Re: standby generator reliability
Reply #2   Feb 1, 2013 1:22 pm
We have 2 big ( need a crane and a tractor trailer big) Generacs at work. We haven't had to use them but they are tested and maintained on a regular basis. No problems that I've heard of.

Reminds me of a story about an emergency gen set with 5 hours of fuel in the tank. For four years it was tested each year for 1 hour. During the 5th year they had an outage and the thing died after 1 hour. They added a "refuel after test" to the check list.

Main points:

  1. Test your setup every so often and include a full load cycle;
  2. Make sure fuel is either good for long term storage or changed regularly;
  3. Natural gas is good as long as whatever killed the power doesn't kill the gas lines (earthquake);
  4. A properly installed cut over switch is mandatory, a 20K unit should have one as part of the package.
mikiewest


Joined: Dec 29, 2007
Points: 262

Re: standby generator reliability
Reply #3   Feb 1, 2013 8:48 pm
The problem with winco and gillette is finding someone to service them.generac has plenty of service techs followed by kohler.
mikiewest


Joined: Dec 29, 2007
Points: 262

Re: standby generator reliability
Reply #4   Feb 1, 2013 8:48 pm
The generacs that had problems,were they air cooled?ARe the water cooled generacs more reliable?
This message was modified Feb 1, 2013 by mikiewest
Bill_H


Location: Maine
Joined: Jan 12, 2008
Points: 354

Re: standby generator reliability
Reply #5   Feb 2, 2013 9:56 pm
I would be more worried about parts and service for the actual generator half of the unit.

It's usually no big thing to service an engine yourself or find a small engine service shop.

Who the hell let all the morning people run things?
hirschallan


If it aint broke don't fix it !!


Location: Northern Hills of NY
Joined: Aug 25, 2005
Points: 327

Re: standby generator reliability
Reply #6   Feb 2, 2013 11:43 pm
Mikiewest, I would check this forum out. lots of chat going on there. http://www.zillerstore.com/forums/

Snowbound


Joined: Feb 17, 2006
Points: 76

Re: standby generator reliability
Reply #7   Feb 9, 2013 11:58 pm
Check out $#%*mins Onan closely.  They're a huge company in the generator business with a very good reputation.  I have a 5.5 KW gasoline driven version purchased from Costco and it has been great.  I run it (excercise it) every few months although they recommend every month.  Change the oil once a year.  They have parts and service in key cities nationwide. I've had this gen for six years and last year I had to use it for the first time and it was great.  We were the only residence in the area with power.  We live on a main street and got a lot of questions when we were the only house with lights at night.  Our "ordeal" lasted for two days yet it seemed like it never happened.  I highly recommend ownership of a generator.  The simple run-and-maintainence requirements are worth the benefits when suddenly you need it!  My family actually forgot that the area was without power.

There are several affluent towns in Massachusetts who rely on well water (electric pumps).  They lose power and their backyards behind bushes become their bathrooms (latrines).  Some people I know rely on local hotel rooms for which the price would pay for a gen set.

This message was modified Feb 10, 2013 by Snowbound
mml4


Snow is good,
Deep snow is better!


Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Points: 544

Re: standby generator reliability
Reply #8   Feb 10, 2013 5:42 am
mikiewest wrote:
The generacs that had problems,were they air cooled?ARe the water cooled generacs more reliable?


Mikie-They were all the air cooled model. One belonged to my son's in laws, one to a person i worked with and the other two were a fishing buddy of mine and his neighbor. I am most familiar with my son's in laws situation.The unit has failed on them every time they have lost power in the 3 or 4 years they own it. Marc

SnapperV210P,Toro22177,TroyBilt42010Snowthrower,Craftsman Shredder,American Turbo Pressure Washer HondaGX200,Stihl011Saw,EchoPas260Trimmer Edger,EchoPB602Blower,EchoHCR150Hedge Clipper
saund77


Joined: Feb 8, 2013
Points: 1

Re: standby generator reliability
Reply #9   Mar 15, 2013 1:59 pm
mikiewest wrote:
I am looking at purchasing a natural gas 20k standby generator.The choices are generac,kohler,c ummins onan. Is there one that is truly more reliable than the other?And if so what makes it more reliable.

When we were taking a look for our home generator we had this same issue. The few top brands are tough to tell apart and there seems to be a wide range opinions. There are lot's of guides and articles out ther ebut Here is one I found specifically helpful when making my decision. I ended up choosing generac due to it's reputation, but hopefully this will help you decide which brand is best for you..

http://www.norwall.com/blog/news-and-updates/20-kilowatt-standby-generators/
jimbedro


Location: Maynard MA
Joined: Feb 20, 2009
Points: 52

Re: standby generator reliability
Reply #10   Mar 16, 2013 7:13 pm
My Troybilt, 030477, 7500 watt purchased new in Oct, was dead by Feburary. It worked for the hurricane. I ran it in Nov, & Dec.Loaned it to my stepdaughter and her husband at it was dead When they tried t ouse it after the blizzard. The Rotor, Stator and regulator were fried to a crisp. New parts are on back order. I suggest staying away from Troybilt units.
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