Top 10 Whole House Generators Reviews — Make A Best Decision

One of the wisest investments you can make around your home is to invest in one of the best whole house generators. A well built, long-term machine can provide you with consistent and stable power supply for extended periods. In the event of a power outage, you can turn to one of these to keep your home or business running. But because different machines have different capabilities, it is even more important to go for a system that meets your exact needs and offers good value for money. Below is a comparison of ten popular generators model with a final verdict on which one of them is capable of providing efficiency and reliability.

Why You Need A Whole House Generator

Power blackouts are sometimes unpredictable. They happen when you least expect and you may have to compromise on your quality of life or schedule if such an occurrence is reported in your neighborhood. That’s where a whole house generator comes in handy. It provides you with much-needed power so that you can complete all your important tasks before powermen can restore their systems. People buy these generators in order to guarantee seamless operation either at home or at work.

Kohler 20RESAL-SA7 20,000 Watt (Air Cooled) Generator

Kohler 20RESAL-SA7 20,000 Watt (Air Cooled) Generator

This standby generator is designed to automatically kick in whenever there is a blackout promising to restore your power is as little as 10 seconds. Kohler 20RESAL-SA7 boasts a 5-year limited warranty or an alternative of 2,000-hour warranty whichever elapses first. The massive generator has an outstanding motor-starting power, great power quality, and corrosion proof enclosure among other features.

  • Powerful and reliable motor powered with hydraulic valve filters and PowerBoost technology which accommodates larger electrical loads.
  • Has low distortion (THD), a feature that is needed to protect your sensitive electronics at home.
  • It operates quietly, all thanks to its advanced silencer technology which reduces sound levels and provides quiet operation at 69 dB(A) from 7 Meters
  • Has a built-in Ethernet and there is no additional hardware needed to make it safe for changing physical conditions. In addition, it has a pack of LED lights which allow you to view ATS status.
  • Meets EPA regulations for phase 2 small off-road engines and CA 2011 requirements.

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For anyone interested, I just finished installing a Kohler 20kW 20RESA residential generator, matched with a Kohler RXT-JFNC-200ASE whole house automatic switch. I chose the Kohler unit because it has a composite noise dampening enclosure, 5 year warranty, Kohler onCue remote online monitoring (it emails and texts me), and basically is worry free except for annual maintenance.I dug my trenches, and poured a 6" thick 3'x5' pad over 2" of gravel, about 3' from my house with the exhaust (left side) angled away from the house. It took 4 guys to help set the 530lb unit in place. Thankfully Kohler makes this easy, since there are two holes in the front and back to insert poles (I used spud bars) to make carrying it like a litter possible. It's heavy though. I bolted my unit to the concrete pad to prevent movement from vibration, and a little more security.The Kohler RXT-jfnc-200ASE ATS switch is a whole house switch mounted externally. I used a local Kohler Authorized electrician for the electrical hookup. They ran the service line from the the electric meter straight to the ATS switch. Then from the ATS switch into the house. The generator of course hooked into the ATS to provide power, but also needed Belden 9402 for the control circuit. An additional 15A 115v circuit was run from the generator to the inside panel.. this was for the battery trickle charger and the carburetor heater. The last run was the low voltage shielded twisted pair Ethernet that went from the generator to my Ethernet switch inside. As mentioned, I picked up a carburetor heater, since I live in Ohio and it gets below 0F... and an Optima Sealed AGM group 51 starter battery. I bought the generator this summer when they offered free software, so I already had my activation key from Kohler.Read more ›
August 29, 2013
Had the generator (20RESAL) installed for 6 months now with load shedding module. Never has run correctly (and was installed, checked and started by a Kohler rep).There's a problem with the throttle - keeps pulsing power which leads to dirty power to the home (lights pulse too, UPS' won't charge due to dirty power) and after 4 visits they still haven't got it right. This is still a problem after the gas utility installed the largest meter possible (800) which is only 3 feet from the generator. We know gas supply is not an issue.Kohler rep says the throttle problems are common. Kohler, you have let me down. Would never recommend a Kohler to anyone based on my experience. Still looking for a solution. Premium price, but does not live up to its reputation or promise.UpdateFinally, after five attempts, the Kohler rep dismantled the carburator. The gasket was cut badly and was interfering with part of the throttle. Quality control was lacking.
November 27, 2013
Ordered Kohler 20RESAL-SE from Home Depot. It was shipped from Kohler, WI. and delivered by Estes Trucking to my home by the Estes truck driver using a lift gate and pallet jack. Arrived in perfect condition. The Home Depot generator installer did NOT handle Kohler generators, however, so I had to find my own. Other local Kohler generator installers seemed not seriously interested in my business since I had bought the generator from Home Depot instead of thru them. However, I found a local licensed electrician and licensed plumber that sold and installed Generac generators who provided what I considered competitive bids. Neither, however, employed an in-house Kohler certified technician for the start-up. I was, however, able to obtain one from Loftin Equipment (Houston, TX) who took care of the start-up and warranty activation - but at a price, $536.25.I decided to go with a second, dedicated gas meter since my existing gas meter would have required an upgrade and it was about 160' from the meter to where I wanted to install the generator. The second meter was installed within about 5' of the generator. It was also the higher output (2 lbs./psi regulator) meter. I had a 1" galvanized gas line run between the generator and the new meter. I used the 1" Maxitrol 325-5AL regulator (Grainger number: 5JC45) to reduce the gas pressure to 7-11" max W.C. (According to the natural gas technician at W.W. Grainger, neither the 1/2" nor 3/4" valves could provide the specified natural gas volume to run the Kohler 20RESAL at full load.) I obtained a prefab GENPAD brand concrete pad, leveled and set the generator on it myself before getting the electrician or plumber out to do any of their work. The generator is very heavy (500+ lbs.).Read more ›
September 18, 2013

PROS:
  • Relatively quiet and friendly for most neighborhoods
  • Easy to install, and it has two holes in front and back for easier carrying
  • Quite reliable for long-term usage

CONS:
  • Has a relatively weak throttle

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Generac CorePower 5837 7Kw Generator

Generac CorePower 5837 7Kw Generator

The Generac CorePower 5837 is largely considered an entry level whole house generator because of its size and reasonable price. Like other 20Kw generators, it has an air-cooled engine that has been designed to ensure reliability and long-life. It comes with a ready to work 50amp transfer switch and an empowered circuit load center. Other features include:

  • It is 10dB quieter than a standard generator
  • Has easy to remove sides that make it extremely easy to install
  • It is built with a weather protective composite cover that encloses it allowing it to withstand harsh weather conditions.
  • Comes with an automatic transfer switch, a timed trickle battery charger and revolving field alternator design.
  • Intelligently detects the power outage and automatically starts in about 10 seconds (it doesn’t start unless there is total power blackout).

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Generac 5837 CorePower Series 7,000 Watt Air-Cooled Natural Gas/Liquid Propane Powered Standby...

Generac 5837 new 7,000 CorePower Series standby generator is a complete generator and transfer switch system, priced more affordably than any other system in the market. It makes choosing an ...

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This generator is perfect if you don't need to power the whole house. I got it to run a pair of sump pumps, refrigerator, furnace, and a handful of branch circuits for outlets and lights around the house.By coincidence I'd bought this the spring before hurricane Irene and this unit did not disappoint. When we lost power for a few days, the gennie ran 24x7 without skipping a beat. We were the only house lit up with heat in a sea of darkness. As far as I'm concerned it paid for itself right there. I did have a high gas bill that month, but it was better than the alternative.Caution! As I browsed the customer photos uploaded on this site, I see someone has ignorantly and dangerously put the generator under their deck, proclaiming that this helps reduce the noise. Apparentley he/she did not read the instructions which include a full page diagram of required clearances on all sides of the generator. For the reasons of proper airflow, proper access for regular maintenance, distance from exhaust containing (deadly) carbon monoxide AND National Fire Protection Agency regulations, the manual clearly states, among other points: Clearance at the top of the generator should be a minimum of 60 inches from any structure, overhang, or projections from the wall. The generator SHOULD NOT BE PLACED UNDER A DECK OR OTHER STRUCTURE. Don't be a dimwit, read the instructions for proper operation and your safety.If you're going to install it yourself, then you also need to buy a car battery; it does not come with one. The type you need is a Group 26R with minimum 525 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA). You should replace this every 3 or 4 years at the most, especially in climates that go through a cold winter. You'll also need to supply wiring & conduit to connect back to your panel.Read more ›
October 30, 2012
I purchased this generator in March 2012, and I finally installed it in October -- one day before hurricane Sandy hit.I was a hero when the power went out and the genny kicked in! Unlike the previous year when an October snowstorm left us powerless for a week.This time I was prepared -- we had some lights, heat, fridge, and sump pump all powered. Little did I know there was a defect in the unit that would bring this comfort quickly to an end.Day 2, evening, friends over who had no backup generator, 9:00 pm lights out, the hum of the generator stops.I go outside and discover that the low battery light is lit and the generator will not turn over.I measure the voltage at the battery and it reads 8 volts! How could this be?I quickly pull the battery from our sump pump backup and wire it in. The genny starts and power is restored, but I have an uneasy feeling that this battery will soon die as well.And it does not last 'till morning. I awaken to an unusual silence from outside instead of the usual hum of the genny.It's Saturday and I call Generac customer support who refers me to a local dealer for repair -- at $250 per hour!I had no choice. The repair took about 3 hours to replace a $60 Chinese-made battery charger at a cost of about $800.After 5 months, Generac refunded around $250 of the bill as the unit was under "warranty."Today, April 13, not 6 months after installation, the generator is again in distress. It failed during its weekly exercise operation and will not start.I purchased this unit because it provided enough emergency power at a reasonable price -- or so I thought. The maintenance is becoming more expensive than the original cost of the generator.I hope you have a better experience, and make sure you have a reasonable and competent service technician!
April 13, 2013
I purchased this after Hurricane Irene shook up SW CT. I got a friend who is an electrician so my install cost was only around $2,300. The unit is VERY quiet and sure enough, we got SLAMMED with a brutal October Nor'Easter and the power went out AGAIN. No worries, within a minute the power was back on. The only items this would not power were my Central A/C range and dryer. Since I plan on converting the range and dryer to propane, then really the whole house will be covered. Keep in mind if you have sump pumps/electric hot water or heat, and a well pump, you should go with the 10k unit, this one wont be enough. Since my heat and hot water are propane, and I have city water, it is MORE than enough
October 31, 2011

PROS:
  • Reasonably priced and suitable for a first-time buyer (small scale)
  • Given its specs, it is fair to say it is amazingly powerful
  • It is easy to install

CONS:
  • It’s lightweight and may not be reliable for intensive whole house usage

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Briggs & Stratton 40346 20000-Watt Home Generator

Briggs & Stratton 40346 20000-Watt Home Generator

This whole house generator has the reputation of being reliable enough to provide a long-term power solution while still being flexible enough to meet the essential needs of a homeowner. Briggs & Stratton 40346 is capable of supplying 20,000 watts which are managed through a 200 amp automatic transfer switch – this is enough power to power up to two air conditioners among other devices.

  • Fast response to the power outage, it responds in seconds and provides stable power essentially protecting electronics from power surges.
  • Has a transfer switch which offers flexible usage making the machine ideal for both indoor and outdoor usage – that is in addition to weather resistant cover.
  • Meets stringent NFPA standards, in fact, you can use it in as close as 7 meters from your home.
  • Has a 16-unit circuit control center inclusive of circuit breakers entirely designed to fit within your yard
  • Backed by a 4-year warranty cover

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Briggs & Stratton 40346 20000-Watt Home Standby Generator System with 200 Amp...

Protect your home and family from power outages with briggs and stratton 20kw standby generator systems. perfect for large-sized homes, briggs and stratton provides reliable power and flexible ...

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See My Youtube Review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN9X_YuBSL420KW Whole House Briggs & Stratton Standby Generator - Part 1Showing an Installed Generator. This is the Same Generator as the:1. GE 20KW Whole House Standby Generator2. Rheem 20KW Whole House Standby GeneratorVery Good Generator. Very Good Value. I recently installed this Generator myself with an Electrician. Much of the installation is DIY, but You Need an Electrician to Run the Service Entrance Cable to the Transfer Switch First and then to the Fusebox Second. You definitely need an expert for that, because 240V at the service entrance can kill you.The rest of the wiring is easy. I Bundled together Romex 4/3 with Ground, 12/3 with ground, and 18/5 sprinkler wire.T his generator has the well regarded approximately 1L, Vanguard Engine with 35HP. This is a Commercial Engine used in commercial tools and small tractors and is an Excellent Value in a Residential generator. Engine is Loud but very Powerful, and insulation could be thicker and is not applied on the back wall inside. This engine Runs Best on a heavy Load.Transfer switch with Load shedding is good, but instructions on setting Dip Switches could be clearer. I recommend setting the dip switch to allow generator to warm up for 50 seconds prior to Load Transfer. The case is Galvaneal which like your car Rusts when Scratched, aluminum is preferable. Buy the Maintenance Kit. Its a bargain because it has oil and filter and oil filter and plugs, though I intend on putting in Platinum spark plugsYou Must get the Heater Kit because I saw even the light 5w30 synthetic oil Congeal in freezing Temps, and the oil warmer (and battery warmer) keeps it liquid. I had a problem in that generator kept shutting down.Read more ›
June 10, 2013
After considerable research on which Whole House Generator to purchase, I decided on the B&S 40396 system. As this was a complete package with Transfer Switch. It was exactly what I needed as my Utility Power is a 400 amp service, split between two 200 amp incoming lines to two 200 amp Electric Panels. So the installation of this system was "just what the doctor ordered." Having been an amazon.com customer for many years, I felt very confident in ordering the system from amazon.com, as they have stood by several problems I have had over the years, and needless to say this was a large purchase.Shipping was very fast! The generator actually arrived in less than a week. But when I unpacked the shrink wrapped box, there was no Transfer Switch enclosed. I had to wait until the next day to open up the actual generator, as I thought the Transfer Switch may have been packed inside. Well it was not there either. I found the amazon.com customer service phone number, after a google search and called. After explaining to the agent that the Transfer Switch was not shipped as it should have been could she check if it was shipped in a different shipment. After being on hold for several minutes, she came back on the line and said this was a large system order and I would need to talk with the large equipment department. And they are closed, as they are only open M-F 8a-6p PT. So I would need to call back during those hours and I would have to go through the same thing all over again, i.e. calling customer service, explaining the problem, missing Transfer Switch and then be connected to the Large Equipment Department, hopefully with no further delay.I called the next morning, got through to the Large Equipment Department, and the agent said, "I didn't know this generator came with a Transfer Switch.Read more ›
September 1, 2013
This system does come with the 2x200amp transfer switch (combined in a single Large enclosure). It does save time over installing 2 separate switches and does simplify wiring. The only thing you need to be aware of is that you need to configure the dip switches on the control board to match the system.I've I installed two (2) of these systems at different residences and have had no issues running them this past season. On natural gas you do lose a bit of power (18500 vs 20000) but for large houses (4500 & 8000 sq ft) running multiple HVAC units, fridges etc... we had zero issues running everything during power outages. Didn't even need to load shed the 2nd HVAC units.We originally considered full house generators in a higher killowatage, but the 20k standby generator has proven to be more than enough.I would definitely recommend and purchase yet again.Pros:Easy installRelatively quietPOWERFULLLooks way better than other units like the brutal looking generacsGreat warrantyINDUSTRIAL grade engine, not consumer or prosumer grade engines like in many other generatorsCons:Heavier and larger than other 20k unitsVERY large transfer box (good and bad depending...)
May 14, 2015

PROS:
  • Automatically restores power after blackout
  • Ideal for large homes
  • Powered by a commercial-grade vanguard engine

CONS:
  • The location of its oil fill is not convenient unless you have an appropriate funnel

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Generac 6244 20K Watts Standby Generator

Generac 6244 20K Watts Standby Generator

Generac 6244 beats other whole-house generators because of its hands-free operation. It requires no fuel, you only need to hook it up to your natural gas source or any liquid propane source. And best of all, you never have to start it manually when the power goes off.

  • Has a remarkable level of smoothness which is achieved through its patented True Power Technology which means you can continue using your gadgets without worry
  • Given its massive size, it runs rather quietly and can be kept 5 feet away from the house
  • Accommodates 200Amp automatic transfer switch to protect the entire premises
  • The machine is CARB compliant and it comes with a 5-year limited warranty cover

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Generac 6244 20,000 Watt Air-Cooled Aluminum Enclosure Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby...

Generac Guardian Series 5875 20,000 Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator With Transfer Switch (CARB Compliant).

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I purchased one of the last units from Amazon Prime. It was drop shipped to my front door with no issues. It's important to find an electrical contractor who knows what he is doing. My installation went OK I guess. I had to have an additional gas line ran to my house because the required gas flow rate is specified when the generator is at full load - You need to call the gas company and make sure you can get the required flow rate before you purchase. I purchase this generator because I have a dug out basement - which means sump pumps - which means you'll probably need electricity during a storm...The unit runs every Monday morning at 9:00 am. I get emails letting me know when the status changes because I purchased the Wireless Remote Monitoring Mobile Link as an accessory.Tip: Since the installation itself is an significant cost, I went ahead and had an additional cut-off switch installed - I can now plug my gasoline generator in if all else fails. Finished basements are expensive to repair.Pros1) The biggest is piece of mind. If, during a storm, when I'm not there, I'll know if I lose electricity. At least the sumps will run.2) Convenience - I mean, if the power goes out when Alabama is playing for another National Championship :)Cons1) That nagging feeling - "Is this really something you want to throw this much money at?"UPDATEWell, its been a little over 5 months. No problems to speak of. We have lost power once since purchasing it. Worked so well, my wife was convinced the generator had started up by accident. When the power went out (about 3 AM), I walked outside and noticed how bright my interior lighting was against a neighborhood of darkness...Be prepared for shock when you seen the gas bill.Read more ›
June 26, 2013
We are an older couple and we purchased this Generac in October of 2012. We live in a rural area and would be without heat and water during a power outage. We bought it for health and safety reasons and also for peace of mind. We had a problem with it during a power failure in December 2012. Technicians made four trips and numerous calls were made and an incident report was filed with Generac. Technician's calls to Generac got them no help nor did our incident report to Generac . After trying things that did not work, one of the men replaced a computer part and the problem was solved - EIGHT MONTHS LATER.Generac was notified that the problem was solved in August of this year and the person handling our case said that our warranty had been extended for another year and that she would get us the name of a technician who would service our generator in a timely manner. She would send that to us in writing the next day. I have made 12 calls in the last two weeks. She doesn't answer the phone and will not return calls. It is now October.We cannot recommend this generator because of lack of dependable local service and lack of concern by Generac.
October 28, 2013
The Generac is a very nice unit and its build very well, that is where it ends. Next time around I might not buy a Generac nor can I recommend it in my area. Its equipment and no matter who makes it problems can come up. That is not my issue at all, I am not upset that it had an issue from the factory. The support is just not their with this unit if your not in their small window of service centers.I have only had it for a few months and was finished with the install 3 weeks ago buy my local electrician. It had a control panel problem from the factory. This is the 6244 with the new evolution panel.I would like to Caution anyone looking into purchasing this unit from Amazon and dealing with Generac. The issue is if your more then 50 miles one way from a Generac repair service, be prepared to pay for the travel expenses and hourly rate for the service tech to come repair your unit under warranty. I live in the lower 48 USA but in an area where the nearest Generac service tech is over 200 miles one way due to Generac changing things where the smaller shops are no longer certified to do the work. My fault, had I known this I would have never bought from Amazon or a Generac.To fix this issue that was broken from the factory out of the box I was quoted over $700.00 and spent days on the phone. Generac will not help in any way as you find when you read your warranty they will only cover 100 miles round trip. For me I will likely end up having to buy the part and fix it myself as the part is a lower cost.If your in a remote area and need backup power you will have to be prepared to have pay for your warranty service. I recommend you do not buy it from Amazon if your not ready to do so.Read more ›
January 2, 2014

PROS:
  • Runs efficiently on natural gas and liquid propane
  • Has an automatic switch-on system
  • Has an automatic transfer switch included

CONS:
  • Incidences of it refusing to start, though not common, have been reported

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Generac 5873 Guardian Series Generator

Generac 5873 Guardian Series Generator

Despite the negative rap the Generac 5873 has received from some reviewers, it has an outstanding reputation for effectiveness, ease of installation and long-term reliability. It is cheaper than other machines that have similar specs without compromising on quality. In fact, the only disappointing thing about it is that its housing is not that strong and it may rust after several years of outdoor use. Another (minor) drawback with the 5873 is that it tends to be louder than average when running at a higher than normal speed. But there are many other features worth looking at including:

  • One of the best whole house generators it offers a convenient, hands-free operation with no fueling required, no extension cords or manual are required.
  • It sustains a smooth flow of power thanks to its patented True Power Technology which makes it safer to use on sensitive electronics.
  • Has an automatic transfer switch with 16 circuits that are well protected (indoor rated, NEMA 1).
  • The whole house generator is CARB compliant and still powerful enough to sustain a rating of 17,000 watts.

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Generac Guardian Series 5873 17,000 Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby...

17/16KW, Air Cooled Stand By Generator, Nexus Controller, Powers 16 Circuits Of Your Home Or Business Such As: Furnace, Water Heater, Kitchen, Including Refrigerator, Bathroom, Bedroom, Sump Pump, ...

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I am the proud owner of a well-maintained dead generac 16Kw generator with a whopping 72 hours of use, mostly exercise cycle time. The generac we originally purchased was unable to hold oil upon delivery, and was eventually replaced under warranty. Four years later during a brief power outage a couple of weeks ago our generac failed. The local dealer determined the rotor, the most expensive component to replace, had failed. If you do some research, you will find that this is a fairly common problem. We approached the manufacturer with a warranty claim, but, since their warranty was only two years, the best they were willing to do is sell us the replacement part at their cost, about $565 and leave me to eat the labor to install (including diagnostics to determine problem), another $300. So, let's see, they are only willing to forgo their profit on a part that was engineered to last for 20 years and failed at about 20% of life expectancy, and is well-known to do so. Not wanting to throw good money after bad, we'll be buying a new, better, generator from another manufacturer.I think it's likely you will be disappointed if you buy a Generac product as a long term investment, because as a company they are quite unconcerned with providing you with a product that will perform at all beyond the brief factory warranty. There are many better alternatives out there.
October 22, 2010
I live in NJ, and like most of the state, lost power during Hurricane Sandy.We purchased a 17KW Generac in June 2012.When we lost power during the storm, my 4-month-old Generac did kick in and we were initially happy campers. We were without power for 11 days. Every few days, we powered down the unit, let it cool, and checked the oil, per the user manual. After 9 days, the Generac failed. We were without power for the remainder of the period, about two days, enough to lose the contents of our fridge and freezer.The repairman just left, he told me they are receiving many calls for the 14KW and 17KW units. He believes they have a design flaw where the spinning part can slide slightly along the axle, about 1/32 of an inch, allowing the spinning part to touch and wear down the brushes. He replaced the brushes and installed a spacer to avoid this issue in the future. I hope his jury rig works.I'm dissatisfied when a 4-month-old unit fails after following the user manual recommendations. Wish I bought a different brand/model.
November 10, 2012
On August 11, 2012 I placed order # 114997 with Norwall PowerSystems for a Generac 17kw residential generator and transfer switch. I paid them $3620,12 for the unit. The serial number on this unit is#7046623.I received the unit from UPS Freight on August 22, 2012. I had a slab poured and a propane tank installed and then had the generator installed on September 21, 2012.The unit started and stopped and could not be restarted to test it. Mr Seth Wilson (Suke Enterprises) is a licensed Generac technician. His report was that the magneto had fragmented sending debris all over the inside of the casing.He suggested that I needed to call the `resolutions' department at Generac and see what they would do. On 10/8/12, I talked to Angi Miller, a `resolution specialist' and she referred the claim to a (?technical disputes person) who was to evaluate the report from Mr Wilson. I requested that they send me a new unit. Ms Miller, called and emailed me back that the warranty only guaranteed that they would fix the unit, and that they would send the parts to Mr Wilson who would then come and fix the unit. Although I did not want a repaired broken unit and wanted the new unit I had payed for, she said that I had no other option.I met Mr. Wilson at the site on 10/25/12 @ 10am. He worked until 5pm. He disassembled the entire unit (see photos) in order to replace the flywheel and the ignition coils on my brand new never used Generac 17KW unit.The disassembled unit is now a bunch of parts in a pile. Mr. Wilson finally determined that the crankshaft was bent and he would be unable to fix the unit. There was no reason to reassemble the unit so he left it in over 50 pieces.On 10/26/12, Mr.Read more ›
October 30, 2012

PROS:
  • Low maintenance generator backed by 2-year warranty
  • Provides reliable power back-up
  • Easy to install even

CONS:
  • The outdoor housing may rust if left outside for more than 5 years

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Generac 5871 Guarding Series Power Generator

Generac 5871 Guarding Series Power Generator

When the power goes out, Generac 5871 eliminates the hassle of dealing with a fuse box in the basement or going outside in the middle of a storm to start the generator. After all the required natural gas, LP, and electrical connection are completed, this machine is usually ready to run immediately. No fueling, no manual operation, and no extension cords are required. But that’s just a tip of the ice-berg. Here are more go to features of this product.

  • Utilizes True Power Technology to provide safe and clean energy suitable for electronics with microchips
  • Has an ultra-quiet appeal, its noise levels are low and the machine is 33% quieter than other portable models of its caliber.
  • Its housing is corrosion resistant mainly because it is made of galvanized steel which is known for its durable finish.
  • It features 530cc OHVI Engine which is exclusive because of its high-performance promise and accommodative design.
  • The 5871 generator meets CARB requirements and it requires a Group 26R 525 CCA, 12-volt battery to operate.

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Generac Guardian Series 5871 10,000 Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby...

Enter your model number above to make sure this fits.; Convenient, hands-free operation with no fueling. No manual start. No extension cords. Runs on natural gas or liquid propane.; Clean, smooth ...

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I ordered the Generac 5871 last Summer and had it installed by a local electrical contractor. Although I didn't order it from Amazon, the delivered price was just about exactly the same as the price Amazon lists now. I paid a bit over a thousand dollars for the placement of the generator and the turnkey install. I paid my propane supplier about $150 to run another gas line (which was necessary) and hook it up. My total installed and running cost was about $4100.The generator started right up and ran just as it was supposed to. I performed all the tests in the manual: run, no-load, and load, and everything was within the stated specs. (Note: you will need a DMM that measures frequency to perform these tests. If you do not feel comfortable performing these tests after reading the relevant sections in the manual, pay a licensed electrician to perform them.)Since then, it has run its weekly automatic test cycle without incident. Ironically, we have only had one power outage long enough to engage the automatic generator switchover. In March, there was a three hour outage, and the generator started, transferred, supplied power, transferred back, and shut down without incident.I am completely satisfied with the performance of this generator so far.Owner maintenance is straightforward and simple, with one exception. My rating of four stars is based solely on the inconvenience and complexity of one of the routine periodic maintenance procedures: checking and setting the valve clearance. This procedure is supposed to be performed at 50 hours of operation and every 100 hours thereafter. Suffice to say that the procedure involves significant disassembly, a few special tools and the homeowner attempting this for the first time should allow a morning or afternoon to accomplish it.Read more ›
June 22, 2012
A serious problem revealed itself soon after installation of my Generac 10kW generator. The battery, necessary to start the generator in the event of a power failure, was not charging. So, after one or two cycles of the "exercise" period (the generator can be set to run once a week to keep it in operating condition), the battery became fully discharged, and the generator could no longer be started. A brief search online revealed that this is not an uncommon problem. The recharging circuit is apparently built into the master control board, and frequently is damaged during installation - or, apparently, according to the service tech I contacted, by power surges or nearby lightning strikes - and once damaged, the battery is no longer charged by utility power. The replacement board is astronomically expensive, and given the tech's suggestion that it might well happen again, and the many discouraging comments online concerning the commonality of this failure, I saw no reason to replace the board. So instead, I've followed the suggestion provided by the tech, and those of other dissatisfied customers online, I purchased a battery charger/conditioner to hook up separately to the battery to keep it charged.So, whether the charging circuit was damaged by the electricians when the generator was installed, or by a subsequent power surge or nearby lightning strike (both quite common in the mountains where I live, hence the need for an emergency generator), this strikes me as a rather ill-considered design for an EMERGENCY generator. I'm bothered by a seemingly minor, and in this case apparently quite common, failure mode that completely disables the equipment and involves quite expensive repairs. Other aspects of the design are unnecessarily complex.Read more ›
July 25, 2013
We just got through hurricane Irene - we were without power for 3 days.We had installed the generator last year - they were trials and tribulationsto get it installed correctly - fortunately we had our company electricianwho is not cheap - but very good assist. Once we got it up and runningand made sure it was set to propane - generator works like a champ.The past 3 days (ran continuously for 50 hours) it earned its keep.Impressive efficient fuel usage.Keep in mind to limit how much load is put on. We had 2 fridgessome lights, and computer system (needed to work from the house).Keep up the good work Generac.
August 30, 2011

PROS:
  • Rugged and worry-free design
  • Superior technology for quiet operation and durability
  • Backed by 2-year warranty from Generac

CONS:
  • You have to buy the battery separately

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Generac 6437 12 Circuit Compliant Generator

Generac 6437 12 Circuit Compliant Generator

Generac 6437 may not be your common 20,000-watt machine but at 11,000 watts it works wonders. Not only is it automated for seamless operation once the power goes off, it is free of complicated push buttons and comes pre-wired for easy installation. To add onto that, its engine requires little or no maintenance. In fact, the manufacturer’s recommended service date frequency is 200 hours of use or 2 years.

  • Equipped with a fully-fledged outdoor connection lot of mounting pad, fuel line pigtail and installation guide.
  • Weighing a friendly 407 pounds, this machine occupies 48-inch by 25-inch by 29-inch space hence leaving adequate yard space for other uses.
  • In case you are worried about durability, you will be pleased to learn that this machine comes with a 2-year warranty.
  • Another plus is that it uses True Power Technology which guarantees smooth operation and less than 5% harmonic distortion.

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Generac 6437 Guardian Series, 11kW Air Cooled Standby Generator, Natural Gas/Liquid Propane...

The Generac 6437 Steel Enclosure 11,000-Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator has a 12-circuit transfer switch for fast-acting, automatic protection from power loss. ...

Available: In stock
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First the product was supposed to be delivered between 9 and noon, but did not show up until 6PMFirst problem with install was converting from LP to propane. Turned valve per instructions but handle broke off in my hand. Called generac customer service and was told they can be hard to turn and i should use a pair of pliers. When I used the pliers the entire valve broke off inside gas mixer.Local service company had part shipped overnight and replaced.Next when the transfer switch was tested, a coil that pulls in the relay started smoking thick black smoke. Contacted service company and was told there is a Generac service bulletin on this switch for a defect and a new part is being manufactured and would be available 1/5/14.Why are they shipping brand new items with defective parts?As of today still cannot get a commitment for a date to get a replacement part from Generac.I have owned 5 generators. An onan from 1989 that has never had an issue and four Generac's. Two have had catastrophic failure after 5 and eight years, one is running fine, and the brand new one has already had two repairs and is waiting for parts.01/13/14 update- still waiting for parts from Generac to repair transfer switch
January 6, 2014
During a recent power outage, my Generac 10kw standby generator failed to operate. Generac advised me to check the control panel, which read "Stopped - Alarm Overcrank." Generac then told me a service visit was needed. The authorized service provider found no reason for the overcrank alarm. After testing the generator, he found it to be functioning normally, but had no explanation for the failure. Although Generac had recommended the service visit, and the provider found nothing on our end that caused the generator's failure, Generac maintained that the visit was not covered by the warranty, b/c he didn't fix a mechanical defect. Not cool.
May 23, 2014
I have this exact generator installed at my home. It has performed flawlessly through numerous power outages. The key to any brand automatic generator is professional installation and start-up. Most electricians do not have the proper training to install and DIYers should NOT attempt installing at all. The National Electric Code should be followed for a safe installation.You may get a low price buying on-line but you'll get much better service (including warranty) buying locally from an authorized dealer. In this case, saving a buck today may end up costing you more in the long run.I have had 2 Generac automatic generators and both have been excellent investments.
April 27, 2014

PROS:
  • Easy to install and perfectly built for outdoor environment
  • Its exercise test only runs for 12 minutes, weekly, bi-weekly or once a month
  • Backed by good customer support and warranty from the manufacturer

CONS:
  • Its oil hose needs to be handled with care and checked from time to time.

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Generac 6438 Standby Generator With 11,00 Watt

Generac 6438 Standby Generator With 11,00 Watt

Generac 6438 is the go-to machine when you need one of the evolved whole house generators on the market. It is powered by an 11,000-watt generator and reinforced by a 200 Amp transfer switch. One feature worth looking forward to is an evolution controller that contains a dual-line, LCD display and built-in hour meter. You will also love the fact that this machine is digitally advanced, unlike others.

  • Boasts mobile link wireless remote monitoring system
  • Powered by True Power Technology which enhanced smooth operation and protects your electronics
  • Its enclosure (or housing) is sturdy and finished with rhino coat offering superior protection even against 150 MPH wind.
  • Third-party rated to NFPA standards and backed by 5 years limited warranty

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Generac 6438 11,000 Watt Air-Cooled Steel Enclosure Gas Powered Standby Generator with...

The Generac 6438 Steel Enclosure 10,000-Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator has a 200-amp Smart Transfer Switch for fast-acting, automatic protection from power loss. ...

Available: In stock
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amazon.com
Since it is powered by natural gas, it is relatively quiet to the gasoline powered generators in the neighborhood. It was trouble free and gave very even output no matter what the load was on the unit with its 20 circuits. For a 3000 square foot home, including the pool house / equipment, it powers about 65% of the devices (lights, water pump, heat pump, electronics / tv / satellite ) and makes staying in the home easy while my neighbors either went to hotels or struggled with their portables, refilling their tanks every 6 to 12 hours of use.Although I have most of the house on the system, I bought this unit primarily because winter ice issue to deal with almost every year. Prior to getting the generator, I have had varying degrees of sucess with portable generators, with a few times our generator did not even start, and the amount of anxiety wondering what the power out game plan was going to look like in action.As far as installation goes, most electricians are going to charge anywhere from $500 to $1000 for transfer box, and then the plumber to hook up the gas line. Gas has to be ran to the unit, so unless you have an existing gas line already in place, the plumber has to lay pipe and your natural gas. Total cost for install was just under $1500.The unit looks great, self tests every week, and providing I maintain the unit, it should last many yearsRuns on natural gas or propane
October 14, 2014
I can't give it a five star review yet, as we have just had it installed Nov 11th. It was done by a local electrical company. Installation took all day and they knew what they were doing. First they had to float a serious reinforced concrete slab. .Install a new second electrical box. This had to be outside because our laundry room was too small to accommodate both boxes. They re plumed our gas to the generator. It was running and powering almost the entire house by 6PM. This was on Saturday and on Monday we got our inspections. We started to have a major wind stormso the electrical company sent someone out that night to turn it on for us and make sure our other pilot lights were lit.Everyone around us lost power but our little town was spared. The lights flickered but no outage. Wouldn't you know it!Anyway. The price that you see here, double it. Ours came in at just over $6,000. We now no longer panic when the wind starts to blow.We live in WA state and are always loosing power. It's well worth the price for the piece of mind.By the way they will maintain it for you once a year for $275.00. We have a guarantee of five years if we have problems we call them.That's what I want because I have no idea how to do this. My husband says it's like maintaining a car engine but he said let the expects do it.
December 24, 2014
Although I have most of the house on the system, I bought this unit primarily because winter ice issue to deal with almost every year. Prior to getting the generator, I have had varying degrees of sucess with portable generators, with a few times our generator did not even start, and the amount of anxiety wondering what the power out game plan was going to look like in action.As far as installation goes, most electricians are going to charge anywhere from $500 to $1000 for transfer box, and then the plumber to hook up the gas line. Gas has to be ran to the unit, so unless you have an existing gas line already in place, the plumber has to lay pipe and your natural gas. Total cost for install was just under $1500.The unit looks great, self tests every week, and providing I maintain the unit, it should last many yearsSince it is powered by natural gas, it is relatively quiet to the gasoline powered generators in the neighborhood. It was trouble free and gave very even output no matter what the load was on the unit with its 20 circuits. For a 3000 square foot home, including the pool house / equipment, it powers about 65% of the devices (lights, water pump, heat pump, electronics / tv / satellite ) and makes staying in the home easy while my neighbors either went to hotels or struggled with their portables, refilling their tanks every 6 to 12 hours of use.
October 14, 2014

PROS:
  • Technologically advanced
  • Powerful enough to power a medium-sized home
  • Extended warranty coverage

CONS:
  • May be difficult for a first-time user to operate

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Gen-Tran R301060 Generator

Gen-Tran R301060 Generator

If there is one thing Gen-Tran R301060 in known for, it is versatility. It has a reliable transfer whichis ideal for powering important appliances with a portable generator during power blackouts. The machine comes built with 10-16 household circuits and can be used with any generator of up to 7500 watts. Further to that, this machine allows for easy plug-in connection and it is ideal for a wide variety of devices from well pump to refrigerator and gas furnace blowers.

  • Weighing a light 22 pounds, this machine sits pretty in the dimensions of 4-inch by 18-inch by 18-inch.
  • It is NEMA third-party rated and it comes with a weatherproof enclosure that is durable and easy to mount outdoors.
  • It accommodates GFCI breakers and arc-fault breakers which may be required in some states and jurisdictions.
  • Can be expanded to accommodate 16 circuits so you only upgrade instead of replacing it.

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GenTran R301060 30-Amp 10-Circuit Outdoor Generator Transfer Switch for Generators up to...

GenTran|Reliance R301060 30-Amp 10-Circuit Outdoor Generator Transfer Switch for Generators up to 7500 Watts

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amazon.com
We are very happy with this product and the price. Itbis easy to install [if you have some electrical background] and does everything that much more expensive units promise to do. Thank you, Amazon for carrying this product. We are very pleased and now know that we can handle any kind of power outage with ease.
March 9, 2014
This is a very well put together product! Everything you need is in the kit including all wires, wire nuts and easily replaceable circuit breakers. Very clear instructions and relatively simple for someone with a decent electrical background.
November 29, 2012

PROS:
  • Well built for outdoor use
  • Versatile allowing for future upgrades
  • Compliant with most industry leader’s guidelines
  • Great value for money

CONS:
  • May not be ideal for large scale house power requirements

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Briggs and Stratton 40400 Generator System

Briggs and Stratton 40400 Generator System

Briggs and Stratton 40400 is a market leader as far as whole house generators are concerned. It has a streamlined design that meets the power needs for a typical home setting at a friendlier cost per session. The machine is fully automatic as it detects utility power and automatically starts in a few seconds.

  • Comes with a 12kW fully automated generator system with 200-Amp service entrance rated automatic transfer switch.
  • Built with computer controlled load management power switching through Symphony II Transfer Switch (2×4-Ton AC) that allows one to expand the generators range by prioritizing powered circuits.
  • Its enclosure is sleek, compact and capable of blending in an outdoor environment (Galvaneal steel). Besides that its streamlined design keeps it cool and capable of operating even in demanding times.
  • Has a brushless alternator and it offers a smooth flow of power making it safe for use even with advanced electronics and computers.

PROS:
  • Rustproof protection for extended outdoor life
  • 5 years limited warranty
  • Streamlined design

CONS:
  • Difficult for a rookie to install

  • Product

Briggs & Stratton 40400 12000-Watt Home Standby Generator System with 200-Amp Automatic...

Turn on the performance with our new Briggs and Stratton 12kW home generator system. Its streamlined design meets the power needs of your whole house, with a smaller, more affordable unit. Briggs and ...

Available: In stock
Buy this item
amazon.com
Bought this from a local store & had it installed by a local dealer about for years ago. It is the GE brand.Started having trouble with it getting a error code during weekly test. The local installer informed me they do not work on this generator. I found a dealer in the next town. She informed me she went to school on my generator. She stated the settings were off. She made the adjustment & it is running fine. Since then it has started & ran during a 5 hour outage & last month a 8 hour outage. Both at night time. If I had to do it over again, get a local generator dealer to do the complete install to avoid the headaches.
March 12, 2016

What You Need To Know When Buying a Whole House Generator

Generators are generally rated by wattage. The higher the wattage, the more lights they can support and the more the appliances they can run in your house at once. Besides that, a good choice is one that automatically starts when the power goes off. Moreover, there are some generator types that offer a push start button as an option to the age-old pull-start methodology. Most standby generators run on gasoline though some come built to run even on propane or natural gas – some can be converted. Another important factor to consider is the smoothness of power emitted. Some manufacturers have invested in sophisticated technology that prevents power surges and protects your delicate equipment.

Which One Is The Best?

Of all the ten generators we have reviewed we have observed that there are some which are quite powerful yet noisy. Others are not as powerful but they offer incredible reliability. Generac Core Power 5837 generator, for instance, leads the pack in quietness but it lags behind because of its weight and complicated installation. Generac 5873 standby generator, on the other hand, is quite powerful but it lags behind because of a weak housing that is susceptible to rusting. Generac 6437 is a great and powerful machine but it loses the top spot because of a weak oil hose that needs rechecking. Generac 6438 tops the rungs with its advanced technology but misses out narrowly on the top spot because of smaller wattage and complicated operability.

The story goes on and on and if you observe keenly it is pretty easy to spot the winner – Generac 6244. This machine offers hands-free operation and can be powered by natural gas or liquid propane. It has a remarkable smoothness of power-flow and is CARB compliant. Above all, it provides a decent 20,000 watts which is enough to run all whole house operations.

Verdict: Generac 6244 is the overall winner.

Sources:

NYTimes.com

HuffingtonPost.com

ConsumerReports.org

 

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