FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q Does installing a generator at my home require a building permit?
A. Yes, anytime you alter your electrical or gas set up at your home or business, you are required to acquire a local permit. Depending on where you live, you may have to pull up to three permits. The dealer/installer performing your installation will be able to show how to pull the permits or pull the permits for you, depending on the local code requirements where you live.
Q Can I run my whole house with the generator?
A. That depends on the size of your house and the size of the generator you have installed. Typically the average home will require 5,000 watts of power during peak times of the day if the power is out. If a “whole house” automatic transfer switch is selected and installed, this allows you the freedom to move throughout your home and turn on various appliances and lighting. However, you need to avoid turning on too much at once, since this may overload the generator. If an overload happens to occur the generator will turn itself off (avoiding damage to the generator) and you then need to go outside and reset the generator. Transfer switches with built in sub-panels will allow only certain appliances to run during an outage. Study the sizing considerations on the Residential page and consult with your dealer/installer to assure proper sizing.
Q How long can I run the generator continuously?
A. The generator can run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as long as the proper oil level is maintained in the engine and other features like the oil filter and air filter, are maintained. In the event of an extended power outage (more than two days) you need to make sure you are able to service the unit with fresh oil. The recommended maintenance times are outlined in the owner’s manuals. One of the benefits of owning an automatic home standby system is having an ample fuel supply because the generator runs off the natural gas or liquid propane you already have at your house. As a result, you do not have to worry about going to the gas station to fuel up, transporting or spilling gasoline or having the fuel go bad after 30 days. Also, gas stations are often unable to pump gas when the power is out for them too. For questions regarding LP fuel tank sizes (if needed), refer to the contractor performing the installation.
Q Would an automatic home standby system increase the value of my home?
A. For most homeowners, yes. The addition of a permanently installed generator will increase the value of your home. Return on investment varies and may be as high as two times the initial overall cost of installing the unit.
Q How noisy are the generators when they are running?
A. Kohler has designed their units with ultra-quiet sound enclosures that have decibel ratings as low as 65-68dB. This sound level compares to an outside air conditioning unit and is 10-15 decibels less than a portable generator.
Q Aside from the installation of the generator and transfer switch, are there any other costs that may come up prior to installation?
A. Yes, depending on your current electrical and gas supply, there may be upgrades to your current service that may require you to bring your home or business up to current codes prior to installing the generator and transfer switch. These upgrades can include laying a cement foundation for the generator to sit on, updating your electrical panel, or changing the gas regulator at your house to accommodate gas requirements to run your generator. All costs should be discussed and covered with your dealer/installer prior to agreeing to a final installation charge.
Q How long is my warranty good for?
A. There is a 5-year/2000 hour warranty on RES generator models and ATS that begins the day the generator is started up in your home or business by a factory certified service technician. Specific details of the warranty program are outlined in the owner’s manual. If a warranty start up is not completed by a factory certified service technician on or about the date of installation, the warranty start date defaults to the date of purchase.
Q Does my house switch over to the generator when it goes through its test cycle once a week?
A. No, the generator itself will run, but the transfer switch will not change over to the generator during the weekly exercise. The weekly exercise feature is designed to let the engine run and test for any problems within the system and then it will turn itself off. This test cycle lasts 20 minutes and you can set the specific time this occurs so the system does not test itself in the middle of the night. Since the generator does not run your house during this test cycle, the amount of fuel used during this time is minimal. Transfer switches are also available that allow programming the weekly test cycle to switch your house over to the generator.