Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works like a champ
It has been a year since I had this unit installed and now that I have a reasonable track record with it I think I can write a knowledgeable review. I had the unit installed by an electrician per our local building code who also sells the unit. In the last 13 months, I have had about 40 hours of power out run time on it plus the weekly test run that it does...
Published 23 months ago by Peder

versus
49 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Expensive Generator with No Reliable Customer Support! Beware!
My wife and I recently - last December (2011) - purchased this generator for our home. We needed it to ensure 100% power availability for a family member who has to do a life-saving medical treatment nightly at home using an electronic machine. We purchased Kohler after extensive review because it was supposed to be the best and most reliable residential generator on the...
Published on July 2, 2012 by Paul A. Ballard


Most Helpful First | Newest First

49 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Expensive Generator with No Reliable Customer Support! Beware!, July 2, 2012
This review is from: Kohler 20RES - 20kW Home Standby Generator (Composite Enclosure) - 20RES (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
My wife and I recently - last December (2011) - purchased this generator for our home. We needed it to ensure 100% power availability for a family member who has to do a life-saving medical treatment nightly at home using an electronic machine. We purchased Kohler after extensive review because it was supposed to be the best and most reliable residential generator on the market. After it was installed, it performed fine in weekly test runs and monthly automatic transfer switch tests ( to switch over to it in case of power outage).

However, on its first real test, during a major storm last weekend that knocked out our grid power from our local utility, this generator failed us completely. It did not turn on, and would not even start up manually.

The authorized dealer we purchased it from and who installed it was very responsive. They sent a technician immediately in the middle of the storm at 1.30am. He diagnosed the problem as an electronic fault inside the generator. But the computer diagnostics were too vague to fully identify the problem. They sent another technician early next morning who spent several hours to finally identify the problem. Two small - $20-30 each - parts had failed deep inside the machine. The dealer and the area distributor for Kohler did all they could to get the parts to come and fix the problem that same day. However, Kohler was closed for the whole weekend (all-day Saturday and Sunday), so could not be contacted until three days later! Oddly, given the simple technology, the inexpensive parts are not available as generics on the local market. You would have thought this would be the case.

Finally, Monday morning we were able to get the order for the parts placed with Kohler. This is probably too late for overnight delivery - but let's hope it will happen! In all likelihood the parts will arrive in a day or two so that the generator will end up being fixed almost a week after it broke down.

We called Kohler's customer service to get help and support. their attitude was totally non-committal and bureaucratic. The customer service rep just kept repeating "we understand your frustrations" but said they could not track the spare parts order or ensure rush delivery. I asked for the name and address of the corporate head office and the CEO of the company. But the customer service rep refused to give it to me. This is not information they give out! I later dug it out through a Google search.

The design of this generator seems quite poor for what is meant to be a standby to be used in emergencies. If something goes wrong with it, it can take many hours to fix even simple problems. The two minor parts that have gone wrong in our generator will take two technicians six hours to replace, we were told by the distributor.

The generator itself is based upon a very simple technology. It is essentially a four cylinder auto engine adapted to run on natural gas that works as a turbine to generate electricity. To this has been added a computerized control system and a computerized diagnostic system. So, the basic technology is very simple and well known for a long time. It is quite surprising then that the generator is configured in such a cramped way internally that even minor repairs can take many hours to be done. Meanwhile, the computerized controls are vulnerable to power surges - for which no internal surge protection is provided - and the computerized diagnostic controls are so poor that the primitive system of alphabetic codes used to designate different problem conditions are vague and ambiguous - so it takes even experienced technicians many hours to figure out what has gone wrong.

In essence a simple technology has been made so complicated by poor design that, if it goes wrong, it can never be fixed quickly in an emergency. But the only time you will want to use it is in an emergency!

We spent over $10,000 having our stand-by generator system installed. But by now, after just one emergency, we are totally disillusioned because the generator failed! Not only that, the company that manufactures the generator is so complacent they don't see anything wrong with us waiting a week to have it fixed.

This has to be one of the very worst products we ever purchased! If we could give it a zero points out of five we would.

If you are considering buying a stand-by generator, do yourself a big favor and do not buy this machine! The basic problems with are : (1) the design is fundamentally flawed; and (2) the manufacturer does not understand that to be in the emergency back-up power business, they have to give top priority to customer responsiveness.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works like a champ, August 21, 2012
This review is from: Kohler 20RES - 20kW Home Standby Generator (Composite Enclosure) - 20RES (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
It has been a year since I had this unit installed and now that I have a reasonable track record with it I think I can write a knowledgeable review. I had the unit installed by an electrician per our local building code who also sells the unit. In the last 13 months, I have had about 40 hours of power out run time on it plus the weekly test run that it does automatically with load. Mine runs on natural gas and the gas company upped the meter pressure to the required level at no charge. The unit comes on quickly and does not seem to have any problem powering my 5 ton air conditioner, well pump, and septic lift station as well as providing all the light and then some that I need. Because it gets real cold here in Wisconsin, I did get the optional carb heater and when we had a power outage with temps below zero it came on without a problem. I was a little worried about it running when we had a power outage during this summer's heat wave which reached over 100 degrees, but it ran fine and powered the AC without a hitch.

One service item, in winter if you have a lot of snow, you need to clear the snow away from the ends of the unit, but that is hardly an issue for me.

The pluses of the unit are it is not ugly and most folks really don't know it is a generator. When it runs it sounds like a lawn mower and at my house it is mounted below our second floor bedroom and we hardly notice it when it is running but you do notice it a bit more at night when things are quiet.

We were lucky that we had a large open area in the basement next to the electric panel to mount the transfer switch. The switch is about 1.5 times the size of the 200 amp service panel and that could be an issue for some.

When the unit was shipped here, there was a small crack on the end piece. But the installer got a new one from Kohler in a day or so and it was never an issue.

I have no issues with the unit and I have at least two other friends who after seeing it are buying their own units. I would highly suggest to this anyone who needs a large whole house unit. Kohler does require that for warrantee that it be installed by an authorized agent, but that was not an issue for me as I had pull a building permit for it and have it installed by an electrician anyway.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars please read, July 10, 2012
This review is from: Kohler 20RES - 20kW Home Standby Generator (Composite Enclosure) - 20RES (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
to the reviews on this unit, i work for a kohler dist. we cannot decline warranty b/c of a handyman installed it,unless he did something to damage the unit. which then we would send him the bill. as far as the failures on this unit, i have never heard of any part deep within the unit. the furthest any replaceable part is located in the back were the brushes,slip rings are. i have never had these fail. however i have had a few of the 20resa unit controllers fail. this is different then the 20res. the resa have an advanced controller. i can assure you,your 2 reviews on these units are appreciated, but all in all, when you compare generac to kohler your comparing a lexus and a geo metro. im not sure who the local kohler dist is. but i would suggest you buy from a reputable company. buying online isnt a really good way. also no matter what someone tells you on almost any home gen. it IS NOT a whole hose generator. u CANNOT run everything all at once. it is an emergency gen, us house appliances only as needed. dont expect this 20kw gen to run 4 air conditioners. it wont happen. if you wish this to happen buy a generator with the same amp output as your main breaker in the house
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Still waiting for help., December 4, 2012
This review is from: Kohler 20RES - 20kW Home Standby Generator (Composite Enclosure) - 20RES (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
It was 18 months and 5 days from the day we bought this generator. It had been giving us problems with shutting down earlier but it died 5 days out of warranty. After 3 full days of tech service guys going over the generator the first diagnosis was a bad controller. Nope, that wasn't it. Then he finally decided that it was a seized rotor assembly gone bad ($1300). Well, it has been 27 days and the generator part was received yesterday and this morning the guy called and told us the part to be taken out has seized and they can't get it out. We have gotten all kinds of comments as to why this is our fault. My husband built a wooden soundproof shed with large window and vents.Because this piece has rusted they now told us that it is our fault that it got wet.????? And don't even bother trying to call Kohler. You are transferred constantly, given this number and that number to call and when I finally got to the correct dept. he was completely rude and inconsiderate. I couldn't believe he talked to me in such a condescending manner. If you are looking at this brand of generator make sure that you have a very reliable person who can work on the generator. Be aware that parts can take forever to receive. In other words maybe you should look at another brand of generator. It has been 27 days and we are still without our full power, we had to buy a portable generator for $5000, buy cords to run through our house, buy containers for gas and go for gas every 3 to 4 days and we still need to go to the laundry mat. Just sign me disgusted and still waiting.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kohler does NOT STAND BEHIND THEIR GENERATOR! !, October 5, 2013
This review is from: Kohler 20RES - 20kW Home Standby Generator (Composite Enclosure) - 20RES (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I bought a home that had one of Kohler's generators installed. The #20RES KOHLER. The previous owners had had considerable problems with the unit so I asked that it be serviced by the Kohler network. They came out and changed the oil in the 6 cyl Honda engine and billed the previous owner $1400! Wow! Then we closed and the unit still does not work . When asked for help, the Kohler company. ...their own service network...and a local electrician all failed to repair it or stand behind it. Literally thousands of dollars have been poured in to the unit in high priced maintenance and extremely expensive repairs. I WOULD STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU HIRE A NEIGHBOR to watch over your properties rather than spend thousands and thousands on the JUNK THAT KOHLER NOW SELLS WITHOUT ANY DESIRE TO ADEQUATELY SERVICE THE CUSTOMER AFTER THE SALE. KOHLER HAS GONE THE SAME DIRECTION AS OTHER HUGE AMERICAN COMPANIES. THEY all want us to buy American and yet they put out junk and don't know the first thing about Customer Service. Beware of Kohler 20 RES Home Generators... You ARE ON Your OWN!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.