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135 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Whole House Residential Generator
For anyone interested, I just finished installing a Kohler 20kW 20RESA residential generator, matched with a Kohler RXT-JFNC-200ASE whole house automatic switch. I chose the Kohler unit because it has a composite noise dampening enclosure, 5 year warranty, Kohler onCue remote online monitoring (it emails and texts me), and basically is worry free except for annual...
Published 15 months ago by Christopher Powell

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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad throttle design
Had the generator (20RESAL) installed for 6 months now with load shedding module. Never has run correctly (and was installed, checked and started by a Kohler rep).

There's a problem with the throttle - keeps pulsing power which leads to dirty power to the home (lights pulse too, UPS' won't charge due to dirty power) and after 4 visits they still haven't got it...
Published 12 months ago by Matthew


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135 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Whole House Residential Generator, August 29, 2013
This review is from: Kohler 20RESAL-SE 20,000-Watt Air-Cooled Standby Generator with 200 Amp Whole-House, Service Entrance Rated, Load Shedding Automatic Transfer Switch (Lawn & Patio)
For anyone interested, I just finished installing a Kohler 20kW 20RESA residential generator, matched with a Kohler RXT-JFNC-200ASE whole house automatic switch. I chose the Kohler unit because it has a composite noise dampening enclosure, 5 year warranty, Kohler onCue remote online monitoring (it emails and texts me), and basically is worry free except for annual maintenance.

I dug my trenches, and poured a 6" thick 3'x5' pad over 2" of gravel, about 3' from my house with the exhaust (left side) angled away from the house. It took 4 guys to help set the 530lb unit in place. Thankfully Kohler makes this easy, since there are two holes in the front and back to insert poles (I used spud bars) to make carrying it like a litter possible. It's heavy though. I bolted my unit to the concrete pad to prevent movement from vibration, and a little more security.

The Kohler RXT-jfnc-200ASE ATS switch is a whole house switch mounted externally. I used a local Kohler Authorized electrician for the electrical hookup. They ran the service line from the the electric meter straight to the ATS switch. Then from the ATS switch into the house. The generator of course hooked into the ATS to provide power, but also needed Belden 9402 for the control circuit. An additional 15A 115v circuit was run from the generator to the inside panel.. this was for the battery trickle charger and the carburetor heater. The last run was the low voltage shielded twisted pair Ethernet that went from the generator to my Ethernet switch inside. As mentioned, I picked up a carburetor heater, since I live in Ohio and it gets below 0F... and an Optima Sealed AGM group 51 starter battery. I bought the generator this summer when they offered free software, so I already had my activation key from Kohler.

I had a 250,000 BTU gas meter that Columbia Gas upsized to a 450,000 BTU meter and a local plumber ran a 1" gas line underground to a bracket mounted to the side of the pad. A regulator and shutoffs were placed at the meter and before and after the regulator. Kohler include 1' of flexible gas pipe that was installed on the outside of the generator before connecting into the gas run, this supposedly prevents vibration of the running unit from causing an issue with the gas line.

Initially my display screen wasn't working correctly, so I had a local Kohler dealer (Buckeye Power) stop by and they fixed the issued by upgrading the firmware from 4.7 to 4.9 I knew when they were done when the unit emailed me after the update.. The Kohler onCue software allows me to take a look at the generator diagnostics, battery charge, and even remotely execute a online or offline test exercise.

Great project and it's really unobtrusive... looks like a deck box more than a generator. Sounds like a car idling when running.. I'll add some landscaping around it to help muffle it when running...

UPDATE: 1 yr later...

Still a satisfied owner. Kohler now sells an annual maintenance kit which Amazon carries that makes it easy for homeowners - and costs less as a kit than buying the parts separately. Even if you dont replace the air filter every year, getting the kit the first time gives you the spare when its needed. I'll probably have the 800lb gorilla, buckeye power systems, com in and check the unit every other year -- but I'm proficient with small engine maintenance and with the onCue software, should be able to handle and oil change without too much duress.

B0088XMR84
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad throttle design, November 27, 2013
This review is from: Kohler 20RESAL-SE 20,000-Watt Air-Cooled Standby Generator with 200 Amp Whole-House, Service Entrance Rated, Load Shedding Automatic Transfer Switch (Lawn & Patio)
Had the generator (20RESAL) installed for 6 months now with load shedding module. Never has run correctly (and was installed, checked and started by a Kohler rep).

There's a problem with the throttle - keeps pulsing power which leads to dirty power to the home (lights pulse too, UPS' won't charge due to dirty power) and after 4 visits they still haven't got it right. This is still a problem after the gas utility installed the largest meter possible (800) which is only 3 feet from the generator. We know gas supply is not an issue.

Kohler rep says the throttle problems are common. Kohler, you have let me down. Would never recommend a Kohler to anyone based on my experience. Still looking for a solution. Premium price, but does not live up to its reputation or promise.

Update
Finally, after five attempts, the Kohler rep dismantled the carburator. The gasket was cut badly and was interfering with part of the throttle. Quality control was lacking.
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kohler 20RESAL-SE, September 18, 2013
This review is from: Kohler 20RESAL-SE 20,000-Watt Air-Cooled Standby Generator with 200 Amp Whole-House, Service Entrance Rated, Load Shedding Automatic Transfer Switch (Lawn & Patio)
Ordered Kohler 20RESAL-SE from Home Depot. It was shipped from Kohler, WI. and delivered by Estes Trucking to my home by the Estes truck driver using a lift gate and pallet jack. Arrived in perfect condition. The Home Depot generator installer did NOT handle Kohler generators, however, so I had to find my own. Other local Kohler generator installers seemed not seriously interested in my business since I had bought the generator from Home Depot instead of thru them. However, I found a local licensed electrician and licensed plumber that sold and installed Generac generators who provided what I considered competitive bids. Neither, however, employed an in-house Kohler certified technician for the start-up. I was, however, able to obtain one from Loftin Equipment (Houston, TX) who took care of the start-up and warranty activation - but at a price, $536.25.

I decided to go with a second, dedicated gas meter since my existing gas meter would have required an upgrade and it was about 160' from the meter to where I wanted to install the generator. The second meter was installed within about 5' of the generator. It was also the higher output (2 lbs./psi regulator) meter. I had a 1" galvanized gas line run between the generator and the new meter. I used the 1" Maxitrol 325-5AL regulator (Grainger number: 5JC45) to reduce the gas pressure to 7-11" max W.C. (According to the natural gas technician at W.W. Grainger, neither the 1/2" nor 3/4" valves could provide the specified natural gas volume to run the Kohler 20RESAL at full load.) I obtained a prefab GENPAD brand concrete pad, leveled and set the generator on it myself before getting the electrician or plumber out to do any of their work. The generator is very heavy (500+ lbs.). However, I used two 6' 1" black iron pipes I bought at home depot that I put thru the holes on the generator's base. Then, using car jacks I was able to lift the generator off the pallet and roll a 4 wheel dolly under the unit. Then, using 3 sheets of OSB plywood, was able to roll the generator from the driveway around to the other side of the house. Then, again using the car jacks and the 1" pipes, lift the generator, roll out the dolly, and lower it on to the concrete pad. A little brute force was needed to line up the holes to bolt it to the concrete pad. Only two skinny people were needed to handle the set using this technique. Otherwise, you'll need 4 strong men.

While I have a 3600+ sq. ft. of living area home with 3 central A/C systems (10 tons total), most of the rest of the house runs off natural gas rather than electricity. However, we do have 2 electric ovens and an electric dryer plus two refrigerators and a chest freezer. However, initial amperage load readings indicated we would be ok to wire load shedding for only the two larger A/C systems (one 5 ton and one 2 1/2 ton). I did have a problem finding the specified Belton 9402 cable for the control wires. Instead, I used two runs of another Belton cable that uses 20 AWG conductors with 7 strands. Each of these cables had a single shield. I also ran a Cat5 (Ethernet) cable thru the conduit with the control cables so that I will be able to add the OnCue option. The two HVAC systems that were connected to the Load Shed Kit (included in the 20RESAL-SE package) using common 20 AWG wire that was not shielded. The "yellow" wire from each A/C system's thermostat were cut and one wire from the Load Shed Kit's HVAC contacts to the cut ends from the A/C's thermostat. (The HVAC contact is a N/C contact and will open the thermostat's "yellow" wire if either or both of the A/C systems need to be "shed" if/when the home's load might ever exceed the capacity of the generator. The 120V A/C wires for the built-in battery charger were run in the second conduit between the generator and ATS.

During the start-up, we turned on all 3 A/C systems, the dryer and one oven without exceeding the capacity of the Kohler 20RESAL. I was very pleased with the entire operation other than having to find my own electrician and plumber. The cost of the start-up technician was a little more than I expected. I could have saved some money and some aggravation of shopping for qualified contractors had I gone with a similar sized Generac, but I think I have a better system that will add value when I sell the house someday and provide backup for electricity for many years.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Customer service is lacking, February 17, 2014
This review is from: Kohler 20RESAL-SE 20,000-Watt Air-Cooled Standby Generator with 200 Amp Whole-House, Service Entrance Rated, Load Shedding Automatic Transfer Switch (Lawn & Patio)
I purchased this product through a local Kohler installer. The unit has had it's minor issues, but the biggest issue I have is trying to get Kohler to respond to the problems I have had with the unit. I should not have to continuously call/email/write to have a warranty issue resolved. The base on my Kohler unit has cracked twice in the same spot. At this point I would not recommend this Kohler generator to anyone and I'd have reservations recommending any generator product they produce for residential use. The maintenance contract is also way out of line for essentially an annual oil change and "priority" placement on a service call in an emergency. I was quoted $625 per year, overpriced in my opinion. The unit does what it is supposed to do too bad Kohler isn't as functional.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What bothers me the most is the poor customer service, August 27, 2014
This review is from: Kohler 20RESAL-SE 20,000-Watt Air-Cooled Standby Generator with 200 Amp Whole-House, Service Entrance Rated, Load Shedding Automatic Transfer Switch (Lawn & Patio)
Please do not buy a Kohler generator. The company does not deserve your business. I installed the 30RESA over 2 years ago and it has been a real problem. What bothers me the most is the poor customer service. I cannot find anyone to make repairs. The Kohler website lists service contractors who in fact cannot do warranty repairs. The company that supplied my unit proved to be incompetent, and finding another company has been impossible. Calling Kohler did not help. They do not return calls. I was told by my electrician that Kohler makes the best generator. Unfortunately, my unit is a lemon and the customer service is worse. Save yourself a lot of stress and buy a Generac. At least you can find someone to service it.

9/23/14 - The generator is still not repaired after 6 weeks. Kohler finally referred me to their NE distributor, Kinsley Power. They sent two technicians who diagnosed the problem over 3 weeks ago, and then......nothing. No response to emails or phone calls. I was so angry that I contacted David Kohler himself. He was very professional and seemed to get Kinsley moving. Kinsley's Regional Operations Manager said he would provide me with a daily update until the unit was fixed. I haven't heard from him in a week. If you would even think about buying a Kohler generator after hearing this story, you deserve problems.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The generator is perfect, May 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kohler 20RESAL-SE 20,000-Watt Air-Cooled Standby Generator with 200 Amp Whole-House, Service Entrance Rated, Load Shedding Automatic Transfer Switch (Lawn & Patio)
Problem's resolved with the Kohler issue. We have had 2 power failures since my last review, and I have to say, it performed perfectly. Power was out 8 hours on one and 10 mins. on the other. Can't complain at all, except do not deal with EC Power of Portland to install it. Find someone else.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works very well., March 11, 2014
This review is from: Kohler 20RESAL-SE 20,000-Watt Air-Cooled Standby Generator with 200 Amp Whole-House, Service Entrance Rated, Load Shedding Automatic Transfer Switch (Lawn & Patio)
Overall works very well. My only complaints;
- the transfer switch I got with the unit was not service entrance rated (did not have a service entrance cutoff) so I had to buy a separate box with a switch in it and have that installed.
- Somehow the serial number got deleted and I see a message on the display warning me that the serial number is missing. I have written to Kohler but gotten no response. They seem to only be concerned with the sale of the unit, and not the support.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Customer service......leads to an unusable generator system:, October 1, 2014
This review is from: Kohler 20RESAL-SE 20,000-Watt Air-Cooled Standby Generator with 200 Amp Whole-House, Service Entrance Rated, Load Shedding Automatic Transfer Switch (Lawn & Patio)
Poor Customer service......leads to an unusable generator system:

1) Generator developed a fault code within the first year of ownership. Kohler was called, and referred us to a local service company.

2) 2 calls (left message after being transferred to tech support line) and 2 emails later to the Service company (Cooper Electric in NJ), no reply...no service.

3) Sent another 2 emails to Kohler. No response. Called them again, they said they can only give us the service companies number and that they are not responsible after that.

Original contact date with the company - Feb 2014.....9 months later, no support, no service....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kohler's Service techs not willing to work on these units, September 15, 2014
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This review is from: Kohler 20RESAL-SE 20,000-Watt Air-Cooled Standby Generator with 200 Amp Whole-House, Service Entrance Rated, Load Shedding Automatic Transfer Switch (Lawn & Patio)
I purchased 2 of the 20RESAL units that were installed in May 2014. They both have the same hunting issues. We added the tubes on the demand regulators to try to solve issues and it did not help. Software was upgraded. Still have the hunting issues. When we take cover off of end where battery is located, generator runs good put cover on and it hunts. Contacted Kohler, they gave phone number for tech 400 miles away, they said we were out of their area. Contacted local service techs listed on Kohler website and when they ask what model the unit is they say that it is a retail model and they do not know anything about them and could not help. Before purchasing unit I contacted Kohler and asked what the difference between RESA and RESAL, they said only difference is the controller, other than that units are identical. When purchasing a new unit you should not be faced with all of these problems. A unit should be running correctly out of the box. Kohler should not be passing these problems on to the consumer. When you purchase a new car you expect to drive it off the lot and go, not take it directly to a garage to make it run correctly. I am very disappointed in the tech service available for Kohler generators and am warning future owners to make sure there is a service tech nearby willing to help resolve issues with unit you intend to purchase. We are still trying to get someone willing to help us and it has been nearly 5 months since units have been installed. Very disappointed in Kohler's service. I am located 80 miles south of Chicago IL.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Operating Cost, March 29, 2014
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This review is from: Kohler 20RESAL-SE 20,000-Watt Air-Cooled Standby Generator with 200 Amp Whole-House, Service Entrance Rated, Load Shedding Automatic Transfer Switch (Lawn & Patio)
The only thing that upsets me about my new generator is the operating cost. At $3.09 per gallon for propane it costs around $100.00 per day. Sometimes we have power outages that last for several days.
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