Standby Generator Choice Advice

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  #1  
Old 11-08-06, 04:48 PM
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Arrow Standby Generator Choice Advice

The choice: Kohler 12RES (10.5kw with Natural Gas) vs the Generac Guardian (either the 13 kw or 10 kw model)
For our needs (running lights, sump pumps (3), frig, etc, 10 kw is plenty capacity. We have at least two outages per year, the shortest being 4 hours, the longest 7 days.

My real question is whether anyone has any knowledge about whether the Kohler unit (more expensive) or the Generac/Guardian is a better quality unit: more reliable? less breakdown prone? longer service life? more stable/cleaner power output? Quality of the generator set components? quality of the engine components? Quality of the automatic transfer switch? Any other comments that may help guide me?

Many thanks in advance, Chuck
 
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  #2  
Old 11-08-06, 05:37 PM
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I know Generac has absolutely horrible customer support. I have no personal experience with their long term reliability though.

IMO the Kohler is a better choice.
 
  #3  
Old 11-08-06, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ChuckR600
For our needs (running lights, sump pumps (3), frig, etc, 10 kw is plenty capacity. We have at least two outages per year, the shortest being 4 hours, the longest 7 days.
Many thanks in advance, Chuck
Chuck
Where are you located? I am on the gulf coast and was out 6 days during Katrina. I have just a gasoline powered. It nearly
broke my buying the gas.
 
  #4  
Old 11-08-06, 09:45 PM
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IMHO, go with Kohler.

hear lots of horror stories about Generac--but no first-hand experience.
 
  #5  
Old 11-09-06, 06:42 AM
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Northern Tool sells a couple of units that run on gasoline, natural gas, and propane with "hot" fuel-switching capability. I can't comment on reliability and support but if I were buying I'd check it out. Make sure you check all the wattage ratings since the advertised rating is only for gasoline.

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_398826_398826

Also FYI Generac has grown dramatically in the last few years and that may explain some of their problems with support:

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=503710
 
  #6  
Old 11-09-06, 04:55 PM
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Wink

Originally Posted by wareagle
Chuck
Where are you located? I am on the gulf coast and was out 6 days during Katrina. I have just a gasoline powered. It nearly
broke my buying the gas.
We live in upstate NY. No hurricanes. Just microbursts, rain, snow, ice storms, falling trees and the rare national grid collapse.

Running 10.5 kw at full load would conume 202,000 BTU per hour using Natural Gas, so it still isn't cheap to run. However, you don't have to go to the gas station or get up in the middle of the night to "feed the baby" (as my wife would remind me after all those years with the kids, it was my turn!)
 
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Old 11-09-06, 06:14 PM
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If you are looking for a permanent mount stand-by unit you'll be hard pressed to find other than nat/LP gas. Maybe a few diesel around. These units are very rare in gasoline, and for good reason.

What do you mean no hurricanes. Here in the Hudson Valley we got slammed by Floyd in 1999.
If you are in the Finger Lakes region though I see your point.

I think further up ice storms are the BIG trouble makers.
 
  #8  
Old 11-10-06, 04:09 PM
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I have had a number of generators in my life from 10kw Kohler to Generac 7kw, Detroit diesel 20kw and my personal favorite a 4.25 slow turn 2 lung Lister, hand crank diesel.
Since we both live in the same neck of the woods I personally would go with Kohler.
I do not know anything about Northern Lights.
I found that the Kohler I had was the most reliable and service is pretty good aand parts are easy to come by.

Mark_ms
near Saratoga Springs
 
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