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If you are considering installing a whole-house generator, I would recommend against Kohler. After having our Kohler 20 RESAL model professionally installed five years ago, the machine has almost never operated correctly. It has only kicked on automatically for a few of the many power outages we’ve had. We’ve had to call repairmen at least 8 times in the short duration since it was installed, and have already poured more money into repairs than the machine is worth. Kohler has been resistant and argumentative over honoring their short warranty. After just 9 hours of operation, the machine now requires another thousand dollars worth of repairs. Kohler has refused any help. I would rate Kohler generator operation, customer service, warranty, and my satisfaction with this product as poor. We are now replacing this machine with a Generac. The Generac comes with a ten year warranty.
I purchased a new boat 9 months ago with 11 kw Kohler generator model 11EK0ZD. From day one the generator shut down continuously due to the LOP (Low Oil Pressure). The oil has been change twice. Despite endless phone calls describing the situation and disappointment in their product, Kohler customer service accepted that they have problem with the oil pressure sensor and they are running a campaign to replace the sensor. I tried to get the Kohler tech to replace the sensor in South Florida and everyone wants to charge $200 per hour and $1.95 per mile, and they requested a credit card to before they send a technician.
I contacted Kohler Marine South Florida Rep and no help from him. They just didn’t care if the generator is under warranty. I would expect more from a company and would imagine that they would want to stand by their product. Kohler is not a reputable company based on my experience with them. I am stuck and will likely have to replace my generator with another brand as the cost to repair this piece of junk will be more than the price of a new generator. They’ll sell them to you fast but good luck afterwards. You’re on your own. Think about this when considering buying a Kohler generator.
I purchased a new Kohler 20RES generator 6 months ago from a local good authorized dealer. They were the highest bidder. It locked up when running a weekly test 4 weeks ago. My dealer spent 8 hours in the freezing cold troubleshooting the problem and codes. My dealer says the engine is dead and the entire unit should be replaced with a new unit, but Kohler is wanting him to change the engine on site. Stupid. The warranty states Kohler Co. can only inspect a product for purpose of the warranty and an agent cannot, but Kohler will not send an employee to make the warranty adjustment inspection. I’m screwed.
I replaced a 6 year old Guardian generator that constantly broke down and finally the main stator failed. I had never heard of Kohler generators, just bathroom fixtures! My repairman suggested it, as he had been installing them for many years and seldom had any problems. I paid a little more than the repairs for my old generator to install the new Kohler (Kohler 20KW Residential Backup Generator). It now has been almost 3 years of flawless reliable service. I just had it serviced (I never had it serviced and it was not exercising) and the tech told me not to let it exercise regularly as it never really gets a chance to warm up and builds up a white film in the crankcase. He said my generator looks brand new; it has about 43 hours of run time on it and he said it is well made. I live on the West Coast close to the ocean, so I am always concerned about moisture build-up, but if the tech says everything looks brand new, I will assume this is a well-made machine!
I just wanted to share a blog article I wrote about my bad experience with a Kohler 20RESAL home standby generator. Poor support, frequent failures, unreliable, Kohler won't help much at all, have to deal with "authorized service providers" which are expensive even for warranty issues, etc. If you are considering a Kohler I recommend that you please read this. Thank you.
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We had a Kohler 30RES generator installed ten years ago. Little did we know then that we had bought a dud that Kohler would not stand behind. Technicians refer to it as "The Screamer" because it runs at 3600 rpm, double the speed of Kohler's (supposedly) better generators. It failed to start during the recent ice storm despite having been professionally maintained, and my family and I ended up in a hotel. Exactly the situation we thought we were avoiding by having a generator.
The distributor's technician installed a new regulator and fuel valves only to have to generator backfire and blow the top off its air cleaner. The diagnosis? Oil in the fuel mixer. The cause for that? Unknown. We are now faced with having to decide between fixing "The Screamer", with the bill running to $2,000 or more, or replacing it. The distributor assures us a new 24KW generator will provide us with years of reliable service. Ten years didn't seem very long for the 30RES. Why should I believe them?
No discount is being offered for our troubles or to reward our loyalty. If not a price reduction, perhaps a pre-paid service contract. Kohler apparently takes its customers for granted. Is there another brand I should consider? Cummins/Onan? Generac? Or are they all basically the same? Very disappointing. Oh, yeah. A capacitor on the transfer switch's main circuit board also died. That's another couple hundred bucks. Our pockets are being sucked clean. And the transition from snow and ice to thunderstorms is beginning.
I purchased my Kohler generator a few years ago. Overall cost with electrician, gas hookup, Kohler service tech (for warranty purposes) and cost of generator was around $7500. I have performed the annual oil/filter and spark plug changes (which is the only maintenance that is to be performed until 300 hours per the owner’s manual.) The first oil change is scheduled for 100 hours or annually. Its first failure occurred at only 82 hours and cost $200 dollars to repair. At 150 hours it will no longer run... Again.
Despite endless phone calls describing the situation and disappointment in their product, Kohler customer service and management has refused to help. I tried to get the Kohler tech that did the initial start and checks on it for warranty purposes to come and repair it. Six weeks later I still couldn’t get him here. He stood me up twice. I contacted Kohler for another recommended tech who charged me $550 dollars and it still doesn’t run! We were left without power (or running water) for 4 days during this. No help from Kohler! I am now told it will cost anywhere from $1500-2800 to repair and Kohler will not help with the cost of parts or labor! Are you kidding me!? This would be like buying a new car and before its first scheduled oil change the car won’t start!
I would expect more from a company and would imagine that they would want to stand by their product. Kohler is not a reputable company based on my experience with them. I am stuck and will likely have to replace my generator with another brand as the cost to repair this piece of junk will be more than the price of a new generator. Please take my advice. Avoid purchasing a Kohler product.
Kohler did not put a model # on the boat generator. The generator starts but will not stay running. Put out only 35 Volts. We cannot get parts because of no model #. The circuit board was found to be OK. We don't know it there is a starting capacitor or not. This is in a 41 Viking Yacht. Any help will be great appreciated.
Been trying to get Kohler generator serviced since November 2017, now February, still no service. Have called multiple times to so-called Kohler service in Portland and Saco and have yet to receive callback to schedule. They’ll sell them to you fast but good luck afterwards. You’re on your own. Think about this when considering buying a Kohler generator. Absolutely wretched service.
I have owned a 14kw Residential Generator for about 6 years. I have had the recommended service done every 6 months by a certified dealer. Runs weekly, loaded transfer tested every service period. Now, when I really needed it, big storm, it will not come on. Under voltage alarm. Trees down on both ends of our road so service couldn't come if I could even get them to come. This lousy generator will be replaced with another brand proto. I do not recommend Kohler to anyone who needs dependable service, ever.
Kohler Generators expert review by ConsumerAffairs
Kohler can trace its roots back to 1873 making cast iron castings. Today, along with plumbing fixtures, engines and furniture, it manufactures multiple models of industrial, home, portable, mobile and marine generators. Kohler generators can be fueled by natural gas or diesel and can be used to power anything from campers, boats and RVs, to large businesses and data centers.
Gas generators: Kohler designs and manufactures over 100 customizable gas generators for light commercial and heavy industrial use. They are designed specifically for standby, prime or continuous power applications and can run on fuel, dual-fuel, natural gas or propane. A full list of gas generator models and specifications are available online.
Diesel generators: Kohler’s diesel-fueled generators are designed and built to power large businesses such as hospitals, data centers, gas stations and airports. Models that are fueled by diesel range in output from 100-4,000 watts with their newest line of KD series diesel generators producing up to 4 megawatts of power. A full list of models and specifications is available online.
Paralleling systems: Designed for large businesses and data centers, Kohler’s Decision-Maker Paralleling System offers 100 percent integration into your current utility setup. Whether you just need emergency backup power or prime power, Kohler can customize a system to fit your business’ needs. The paralleling system uses multiple generators (up to 9+) to provide enough power to run large facilities.
Marine generators: Using a variation of the Decision-Maker paralleling system, Kohler lets you pair two or more generators with a single communication wire. This allows boat owners to place a generator in the starboard and port side, as well as a nighttime generator in the back, all connected to one switchgear.
Sizing program: Kohler has a sizing program app called “Power Solutions Center” that you can download on your PC or mobile device. Its easy-to-use features like drag-and-drop, automatic one-line diagrams and pre-populated engineering tools let you spec and size your power system on the go.
Best for: large businesses, data centers, hospitals and airports.
Kohler Generators Company Information
- Company Name:
- Kohler Generators