generac generator

Sherrill1October 28, 2012

Last year I bought a small convenience store in ky and I thought it would be wise to purchase a backup generator.I bought a 20KW guardian from generac. The store already had a manual transfer switch connected so the installer told me that it would be just fine. Throughout the summer from time to time a fault would appear on the screen.Low battery was one and low output voltage was the other.I called Gernrac each time this happened.The first few times I called they actually tried to help me,but could never get a tech out here to fix it.They finally gave me a phone number of a tech about 70 miles away and I called him.He told me that he would come out and fix it,but if it wasnt covered under warranty I would have to pay for it myself...260 dollars.I told him that it was under warranty and it had to be a warranty problem.He came out and checked it out,said there was nothing wrong with it and that I owed him 260 dollars.I refused to pay him because he didnt fix anything.I then called Generac again and tried to explain to them what was going on and this person called the tech and talked to him and then called me back and said that my warranty was voided because it was attached to a manual transfer switch.The company who installed it said that they had installed hundreds of them in this same manner.This generator had never even been tried,never been used at all.Just the exercise cycle that it does each week.Just yesterday the power went off here.The generator started up like it is supposed to.I turned off all the breakers in the store and went out and threw the transfer switch and came back in and turned on the breaker to my freezer.The generator ran fine for about 90 seconds and shut itself off,10 seconds later it restarted and ran for about another 90 seconds and shut itself off again.It kept repeating this cycle.Now I dont know what to do except pay some exhorbitant charge for something that they should take care of,or do without power.I just want to say to everyone out there,that generacs customer service dept is one of the most inept that I have ever dealt with.I have called them at least 8 times over the summer and I thought they were trying to help me.This last time that I called it was like well we dont know what is wrong with it,but you are on you own.Please be careful when buying something like this as you may get screwed like I did. If anyone out there knows what could be my problem,please write back and tell me.Thanks

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I hate to rub it in but it is a well known fact (around the interwebs) that Generac's CS is terribly lacking.
You very well may be on your own with this one.

Generac/Guardian (Generac's home center line) standby units ARE designed to work with their automatic transfer switches. They talk to the genny and also have control over the battery charge and other functions.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 12:33PM
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They don't call them gener-Crap for nothing. No offense.
You don't say if your unit is NG - propane - or diesel.
You have to do some investigating on your own. It could be
anything. Overload, underload, over amp.,low oil, low oil
pressure, Out of phase, No ground, feed wire to small,
exciter voltage too high or too low, and so on. It's going into lock out for some reason. It's protecting itself.
Get your local sparky out there to check it over. Remember
you only have 90 seconds to find it. good luck

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 12:42PM
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Do some careful research, and contact the head of the company. It may be better to actually find the GM's secretary's name/contact, and contact them, and ask them to forward your concerns.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 1:23AM
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I don't think the dealer did you a favor by connecting the generator to your existing transfer switch. As petey_racer said, it's designed to be used with a compatible transfer switch. Given that, I'm skeptical of the installer's claim that they've installed hundreds of generators connected like yours.

Here's my story: My generator dealer is a guy who lives and breathes generators. He installed Generac's original home generator and automatic transfer switch for me, in 2000. That generator wasn't very good, but mine lived longer than most of them, with the help of some non-official repairs. When it finally died (governor froze up), he sold me the newer model which I've found to be far, far better than the old one. He offered to save me some money by reusing the old transfer switch. Even with advice from Generac tech support, it took a couple of tries to fix a problem where the battery would drain down while the generator was running. It's fine now and has carried us through some storms. But the installation would've gone much smoother if he had replaced my old Generac transfer switch with the new version.

By the way, in order to assure myself that everything really was ok after the second repair, I ran the generator in failover mode for 2 1/2 days (it powered the loads hooked to the transfer switch, and the rest of the house ran on utility power). That might be a bit extreme, though necessary given the nature of the problem. But my point is that you never want to wait until an emergency to find out if the thing can really do its job.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 7:07PM
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