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263 of 269 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 20KW Runs the whole house!
In May I will have had this generator installed for 2 years. I have had ZERO problems with it! Just like it is supposed to it "wakes up" every Monday morning and runs at half speed for about 12 minutes to keep everything limber. Recently, I discovered Amazon had the maintenance kit for only $13.97. It has a new air filter, oil filter and 2 spark plugs. Generac...
Published on April 14, 2011 by R. A. Wheeler

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112 of 124 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fails when you need it
When we installed this in February 2012 I wasn't sure we would ever need it. Then came the big power outage starting 6.29.12 and we were so glad we had installed the generator--until it failed. You expect emergency equipment to be reliable when you need it or what good is it? I have spoken to Generac 5 times, and they gave me many numbers in the Washington area to call...
Published on July 3, 2012 by R. E. Cohen


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263 of 269 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 20KW Runs the whole house!, April 14, 2011
By 
This review is from: Generac Guardian Series 5875 20,000 Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator With Transfer Switch (CARB Compliant) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
In May I will have had this generator installed for 2 years. I have had ZERO problems with it! Just like it is supposed to it "wakes up" every Monday morning and runs at half speed for about 12 minutes to keep everything limber. Recently, I discovered Amazon had the maintenance kit for only $13.97. It has a new air filter, oil filter and 2 spark plugs. Generac recommends changing the oil at 200 hours or 2 years whichever comes first, so my plan is to change the oil at the 2 year boundary next month.

I have had 2 complete power failures here in the country over the last 2 years. One lasted about an hour and a half. Both times the generator started in the required 10 seconds or less and the power transferred automatically. I had to laugh when I saw the power company truck drive by looking for the outage and our lights were the only ones on. Grin!! But I am a retired Electrical Engineer and I KNOW how this stuff works. This 20kw unit has practically rock solid voltage and frequency regulation. I have one of those little plug-in units called a Kill-A-Watt and the frequency counter maybe goes down to 59.9hz and up to 60.1hz occasionally, however, most of the time it stays right on 60hz. Now I will admit when the whole house air conditioner starts the generator "moans" a little bit but recovers instantly and keeps on truckin'. The only other comment that might be appropriate here is my surprise when the electric contractor that installed the unit poured the concrete pad that it sits on. I asked, "Isn't this too small". They assured me it wasn't. And since, in the past I had one of the Generac 10kw contractor units that is almost twice the size, was I surprised when I saw how small this unit was. But new technology has allowed even generators to shrink.

All in all I give this generator an A+. I am TOTALLY happy!!
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143 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Held up wonderfully during a 50+ hour outage, June 24, 2011
This review is from: Generac Guardian Series 5875 20,000 Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator With Transfer Switch (CARB Compliant) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I purchased a new construction home four months ago and had two options for a back-up system for the sump pumps in my finished basement: (i) a battery back up with a three hour life, or; (ii) the 20 kW Generac Guardian Series Generator. I went with the generator and it was worth every penny. Three days ago a massive storm rolled through the Chicago area and two tornadoes touched down very close to my home. Electric service to more than 400,000 homes and businesses went out - but the generator kicked on within about 10 seconds of the outage. After 2+ days (about 50 hours after the outage) our power came back on. This generator ran the entire time, powering two refrigerators, two air conditioner units, the entertainment center in my home and a number of lights and outlets. No problems whatsoever: no flickering, no failing, nothing. It did cut down a tad when the air conditioners kicked on but immediately regained full stride. What a machine. When power was restored I checked the oil - still light in color and reading full. What a machine!
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101 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Back-up Post Irene, September 3, 2011
This review is from: Generac Guardian Series 5875 20,000 Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator With Transfer Switch (CARB Compliant) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I purchased this generator in August after we had endured a 6 day outage following a Nor'easter in March of 2010. At the time I questioned whether it was an expensive indulgence, but after losing power for 67 hours during Hurricane Irene I can say that this generator worked like a charm.

At 2AM on Sunday Morning, in the midst of Irene's fury, we heard the "beep" of our home security alarm indicating that the power had gone out followed by the slow whir of the air purifier turning off. Within 10 seconds we heard the generator start, and power was restored, the alarm beeped again and the air purifier was back up and running. Save for one 7 hour propane conservation interruption, the generator ran virtually nonstop for 67 hours thereafter until power was restored.

Originally I was looking at a 14kW or a 17kW model, but when I spoke to folks at the local generator store (sorry Amazon - have bought many a thing from you - but despite the fact that your price was cheapest I was a little bit nervous about handling logistics on this one - so I opted for the one stop shopping solution of a local retailer that also services these generators) they indicated that the 20kW model would likely power the entire house and because it comes with a load shedding transfer which, (which effectively cuts the power to the two A/C units if the load is too great) it would eliminate the need to "re-wire" our panel. (With most smaller models an electrician will need to isolate the circuits that will be powered by the generator for risk of over taxing the generator.) End result was that we spent about $900 more on the generator but cut our electrician's bill by about $2,000.

During the storm the generator powers our fridges, our freezers,lights, well pump and our second zone central air conditioning unit without so much as a blip. Post storm we did not need the A/C as Irene brought beautiful weather in her wake - but in addition to the above we also ran our TV, Internet, toaster oven, charged computers, etc. We even ran the dishwasher at night before we went to sleep and did one load of laundry (washer and electric dryer). We shut the generator off the first night when we went to sleep because, not knowing the status of roads, I wanted to ensure that we did not run out of propane if we could not get a delivery. Once I knew for sure that the roads were clear, we just shut the generator off for a few minutes each morning to check the oil and then fired it back up again.

For 60 hours of run time we ultimately consumed 70 gallons of liquid propane (about $250) - a hell of a lot cheaper than the $1,500 food loss and $150 per night hotel room during the last storm - not to mention the comfort of being in our own home.
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116 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Generac 5875 Best investment, July 8, 2011
This review is from: Generac Guardian Series 5875 20,000 Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator With Transfer Switch (CARB Compliant) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
Over a year now we bought this and had it wired by local contractor, came with 200 amp transfer panel.
Peace of mind when the power goes out, count to 13 and varoom back on.....this has enough power to run the whole house (3500 Sq FT 2 story) 2 fridges. When the power comes back it idles and cools down and shuts off. Normal homes here have 150 amp service, this was designed to handle a normal house without over taxing the generator.

Common sense says don't run the microwave or hair dryers but it can handle if it has too. We live in Houston TX and when power goes out gas is hard to find for regular generators, this is plumbed into natural gas line and doesn't require much maintenance.
Mobil 1 oil filter 209 fits and has larger capacity.
Super easy to change filter and oil, everything is right in the front.

This is probably the best investment we have added to our home.
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79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has done the job a few times in the short months since installation, March 8, 2012
By 
D. Smith (Columbia, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Generac Guardian Series 5875 20,000 Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator With Transfer Switch (CARB Compliant) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I purchased this generator right after being without power for more than 10 days following hurricane Irene that swept up the east coast in the summer of 2011. With the cost of using my portable at 1/2 load for about $35/day and calculating I could have run the whole time at maximum load on this thing for about $35, it was a no-brainer. With my job requiring me to have lots of computer equipment running 24/7, I can't afford to be without power at all.

I researched thoroughly before purchasing and found I needed 5ft clearance of any opening in the house and needed a pad to place it on that was at least 18in. from the house and 3ft clearance on either side. Also needs 3ft clearance in front of the transfer switch. The pad needs to be 6in. larger on each side than the generator and at least 5in deep crushed stone or pea gravel. There's a poly-pad included that can be set directly on top of the stone. Some people opt to pour a concrete pad. Please do yourself a favor and find out what your local code requirements are BEFORE deciding to make any large purchase.

NOTE: This is a heavy unit and weighs in at nearly 500lbs. Don't even think you can handle placing this unit by yourself. Takes 4 men and a gorilla to get it properly placed.

I also determined that my gas line was only 3/8" and could not supply enough gas to run the generator alone much less my water heater and furnace. This generator is rated at 294,000 BTU/hr. That's the same as 294 CFH. The typical home is fitted with a 250 CFH gas meter and supply line. So... I asked the gas company about an upgrade. Turns out to the the upgrade, it would cost me about $5,000. The next hurtle was how to get around this ridiculous cost just so the gas company could sell me more gas. Turns out that to qualify for a "FREE" upgrade, I needed standard household appliances that required more gas. I have an electric range but running the gas line all the way to the other end of the house was also too expensive. However, since I had a 50gal. water heater that my kids always run out when showering (and leaving me to freeze), I decided on a tankless water heater that requires 199,000 BTU/hr or 199 CFH. Bingo! With the requirement to run 199 CFH for the water heater and 125 CFH for the furnace, I was over the limit that the gas meter and supply line to deal with. Free upgrade!

I let the company I purchased the water heater from (researched like crasy and bought a Rinnai heater) run the extra gas line for the generator and saved about $1,000 over having a gas plumber do just the generator. I'd have run the lines myself but couldn't pull the permits myself for the gas line.

Next, I needed to pull electric permits. Why? If I used a simple sub-panel transfer switch rather than the service rated whole-house switch I needed (included with this unit), I've have ignored the permits and done the work myself. I'm an engineer but not licensed as an electrician. However, to wire in this transfer switch, it must go between the electric meter and the main breaker panel. That means the meter must be pulled requiring the electric company to get involved in resealing it (the law). I have a friend who's a licensed electrician that pulled the permits and let me do the work. He looked over it before calling the inspector. By the way, I talked to the chief inspector first to make sure he didn't have a problem with me doing the work myself under the supervision of a licensed electrician. He had no problem with it but check with your inspector first. The rules vary widely.

Once it was all done, I called Generac and got someone on the phone in about 2 minutes. The guy walked me through the startup and activation sequence. I could have done it easily on my own but I was told by a friend that an authorized installer must do the activation or the warranty would be void. I wanted to confirm this with Generac and was told the homeowner can do it just fine without any warranty issues at all.

I tested it all out at max load and was really satisfied with the switch's performance and the stability of the generator. Nine days later we had a power outage lasting several hours and this thing kicked right in and kept everything running. There's a delay of 10 seconds before starting the engine to make sure it's not just a "blink" on the power lines. Then about 5 seconds for the engine to come up to speed before the transfer switch kicks the load over to the generator. Total time to transfer is about 15 seconds. When the main power is restored, it waits about a minutes and then transfers it back, runs another minute to cool the engine and shuts itself off.

The generator runs a low-speed self exercise once each week for about 12 minutes. This is to ensure proper operation and to keep the starter battery charged. I did have a problem with it after about 4 months where it would stall out sometimes and throw an error about the RPM sensor. I called a local Generac service dealer who came right out evn though I didn't purchase from them or have them install it. They checked it out and had me running again within a day. No charge since it's covered under warranty. All I had to do was give them the model and serial numbers when I first called so they could verify it with Generac.

Overall, I'm extremely satisfied with this unit and would highly recommend it to anyone requiring backup power for the whole house.
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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate generator, January 19, 2012
This review is from: Generac Guardian Series 5875 20,000 Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator With Transfer Switch (CARB Compliant) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
After Hurricane Irene caused us to lose power for five days (which forced us to move out of the house and stay with friends), I had this generator professionally installed, and therefore didn't buy it on Amazon. Although I haven't yet had a power outage to see it in action, I've seen how it performs during the weekly tests when it goes on for about 15 minutes. Simply put, after about a 10 second delay the house is powered by the generator (as if there was a power outage) and the transition is not noticeable except for the noise of the generator (which is not excessively loud). Here is why I like this.

1. This unit eliminated the need for me to have an electrician assign only certain circuits to the generator, as would have been true if I had chosen a less powerful model. Instead this generator can power whatever I am running in my house, and will sense if powering an additional item would cause an overload. In that regard I have a hot tub outside that draws 40 amps that can be powered, but that would be at the expense of other items, so if I had a power outage I would just shut it off.

2. Based on my research, Generac has an excellent reputation for quality. The unit is attractive looking (so it is not an eyesore for my neighbors) and doesn't take up a lot of space. It also makes less noise than the gasoline powered (and much less powerful) generator that one of my neighbors has.

3. The beauty of this generator is that it will work whether I'm home or not, so if there is a power outage while I'm away, I don't have to worry about spoiled food, alarms to my burglar alarm company, etc.

4. Generac recommends, and I had installed, cold weather kit 5635 (which is a battery warmer) if you live in an area (as I do) where the temperature is below 32 degrees for extended periods of time. Otherwise the generator, which is powered by a battery, may not start.

I also had installed extreme cold weather kit 5615 (which is an engine block heater), which Generac recommends for particularly frigid conditions.

Note: You can install the battery warmer without installing the engine block heater, but not vice versa.

5. I also bought the 5951 wireless remote in-home monitor to keep track of the generator's condition. However this monitor will NOT let you turn the generator on and off remotely except to run a test.

For those of you considering a professional installation, I have the following suggestions:

1. Get lots of bids. The prices I was quoted varied dramatically among the six bids that I received. Also get references. One contractor told me how much my neighbors loved his work, but they said just the opposite when I spoke to them.

2. Generac recommends, and my local building codes require, that the unit be at least five feet from any window or other opening (like a through the wall air conditioner). In order to place this on the side of my house, I had to have my central air outside unit moved because it sat in the only spot that satisfied these requirements.

3. Check with your local gas company before you do anything. My gas meter had to be upgraded, which is not a simple procedure (it took a five man crew about half a day) and can't be scheduled overnight.

4. If you live in a flood prone area (as I do), definitely place the generator on a concrete pedestal (mine is three feet high and the generator is bolted on). Do NOT even consider using a wooden pedestal (as one contractor suggested in an effort to lower the price) because it makes no sense to put something that is combustible on a wooden pedestal, and Generac says so (I recommend calling Generac customer service to answer your various questions).

5. If you use natural gas rather than liquid propane, keep in mind that if there is a really bad storm that knocks out the power and causes lots of trees to go down, the gas company may decide to shut off the gas for fear of ruptured gas lines. It happened in our town during a freak snow and ice storm at the end of October. So even though one of my neighbors had a natural gas generator he still had no power.

Bottom line: This was not an inexpensive proposition, but now I have peace of mind.

Update November 8, 2012: Fortunately I didn't lose power from Hurricane Sandy--even though my overhead electric line was ripped off the side of my house by the wind. But I did lose power multiple times for several hours at a time in the aftermath when my electric company shut off the power to make other repairs in my town. No problem--the Generac kicked right in each time.

NOTE: When the generator goes into weekly test mode, there is absolutely no loss of power, not even for a second. However, when an actual power outage occurs, your house will "go dark" for about 15 seconds, and then the power will come back on via the generator. However, you may have to manually turn back on or reset certain electronic items that don't go back on or reset automatically after a power loss (like my Keurig coffee maker and the digital clock on my kitchen oven).

I am really glad that I bought this after Hurricane Irene.

Update January 14, 2014: One year after my generator was first installed my wireless monitor flashed "Alarm. Inspect Battery." I thought there was a problem and called the installer, who came out and got the alarm to stop flashing, and told me my battery was fine. What he didn't tell me is that this is an annual maintenance alarm to remind me to have the battery checked. Sure enough it went off a year later this January. But this time I knew my battery was okay (see my review of the 5951 monitor for how it lets you check the status of the battery), and called my installer, who told me just to do a reset on the generator. All I had to do was lift the lid and hit the ENTER button twice. That's it. So don't waste a service call on something that takes literally seconds to do.

I had my generator locked (there are two locks, one on either side of the lid), and initially could not get the key to turn and open the lock. Because we've had bitter cold temperatures with a real feel in either the single digits or below zero, I thought maybe the locks were frozen, and tried a lock deicer. No luck. Then I went onto the internet to see if anyone else had a similar problem and found a post saying that to open the locks you have to press down on the lid at the same time as you turn the key. That did the trick, so keep that in mind. Likewise, to lock the lid, you also have to press it down or the key won't turn in the locks.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Investment I have Made in a While, October 26, 2011
This review is from: Generac Guardian Series 5875 20,000 Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator With Transfer Switch (CARB Compliant) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
We bought a home in an older part of town that has very large mature trees. I noticed that about half the homes in the neighborhood had generators so it made me think we probably should get one. The previous owners had an old portable generator.

My wife and I went back and forth on whether to get a portable, partial, or whole house generator. Ultimately we decided on whole house. It was installed in July 2011 and I wondered when or if we would actually use it.

Then came Tropical Storm Lee (Labor Day weekend), we lost power on Monday and it was not restored until late Thursday afternoon. I must say the generator has already paid for itself in my opinion, it would not have been any fun to have our food spoil much less be hot with children in our home.

The 20kW easily powers our entire home including a 5 ton AC unit, three refrigerators, oven, and we can even wash clothes (with gas dryer).

I highly recommend this unit, on its very first service it ran for 73 hours continuously without a single problem.
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112 of 124 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fails when you need it, July 3, 2012
This review is from: Generac Guardian Series 5875 20,000 Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator With Transfer Switch (CARB Compliant) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
When we installed this in February 2012 I wasn't sure we would ever need it. Then came the big power outage starting 6.29.12 and we were so glad we had installed the generator--until it failed. You expect emergency equipment to be reliable when you need it or what good is it? I have spoken to Generac 5 times, and they gave me many numbers in the Washington area to call. No one could take the ticket because they were too full with other broken Generac generators. The dealer who installed it says it is a bad design and the air mixer box breaks, but there are no replacements to be had. I am very disappointed. Buy a different generator.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Trouble in River City, January 23, 2012
This review is from: Generac Guardian Series 5875 20,000 Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator With Transfer Switch (CARB Compliant) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I have had my generac for 1 year. It has stopped working 2 times so far. This last time, it has been down for over a month, so far. I have an elderly mother living here with me. I travel quite often and am worried she will be left in the dark with no elevator or heat. I do not understand why this can not be replaced. The repair company has taken a very long time to try and fix. Finally Friday Jan 20th, all the parts came in and it should have been fixed. The same failure occurred and no generator. The winter is here and I have to travel. What is my mother to do if the electric goes out? The area we live is prone to blackouts. Last year the longest time the electric was out was for 3 1/2 days. I need it replaced. Rating is BAD.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works as advertised., November 17, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Generac Guardian Series 5875 20,000 Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator With Transfer Switch (CARB Compliant) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
Took several weeks for the City permit approval and Utility provider approval since this was a new concept to them. They wanted to physically see the transfer switch in action and verify that the generator power didn't feed back into the Utility lines when switched to generator power. They also wanted to see the load shedding module work. During the operational testing, when the electricians and Utility reps were there, we kept turning more things on attempting to max it out. We had more things on at once than I would ever use during real life use and it handled it without problems. Noise is like a lawnmower, a little louder than our A/C compressor. Within ten days of being installed, the generator has automatically backed up power to our home four times while the Utility provider has been upgrading the power lines in our neighborhood. The longest outage was two and a half hours long. I know this because the history log on the generator documents this data. I was present for one of these outages and it was only seconds for power to be restored by the generator. I used this opportunity to do inquiries on the output in the control panel's menu. Engine RPM's and the electrical frequency were steady and on the mark. This model generatorGenerac Guardian Series 5875 20,000 Watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator With Transfer Switch (CARB Compliant) with it's automatic transfer switch adequately provides power to my 3000 sq. ft. home whether I am at home or not and does so returning it automatically to Utility power once it returns. Pretty cool!
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