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Standby Generator
The Official Consumer’s To Standby Generators

Standby Generators
When it comes to making a major purchase such as a standby generator, you want to make sure that you are properly informed.

This Official Consumer’s Guide To Buying a Standby Generator is brought to you by, the Generator Pros.

It is designed to insure that your purchase goes through without any hitches or headaches.

Why Buy a Standby Generator Instead of Portable Generator?
There are a number of differences between a standby generator and a portable generator. In the event of a blackout, prior to use, portable generators have to be physically hooked up. That process includes connecting extension cords from the generator to the appliances it will be powering.

Cranking the unit in the same manner that one would crank a lawnmower by jerking on the pull cord. Then comes the fuel; almost all portable generators are fueled by gasoline and therefore must be monitored to ensure that the unit doesn’t run out of gas.

As you can guess, it becomes a major inconvenience setting up a portable generator, especially during cold weather. As far as safety is concerned, there are two major issues. One is (CMP) carbon monoxide poisoning and the other is refueling. Every year mishaps are reported due to CMP and users attempting to refuel hot portable generators.

On the other hand, Standby Generators are permanently installed and automatically start providing power at the time an outage occurs. This process takes place whether you are at home or away. There are NO extension cords. NO manual cranking and NO constant refueling. The fuel they use, usually propane or natural gas is less expensive than gasoline or diesel fuel and it is more environmentally friendly.

All Standby Generators Are Not Created Equally!
When it comes to generator manufacturers, like anything else, they come in different levels of quality. Some manufacturers produce standby generators that will give you years of unequalled service. Others build what we classify as cheap generators.

Meaning, you will experience one or more of the following: (a) Your warranty will be so limited that it won’t cover the service and repair issues that YOU WILL definitely have. (b) You will notice problems with leaks, malfunctions, noise, fuel inefficiency and generally poor performance almost immediately. (c) The customer service you receive will have you pulling your hair while screaming, “Customer NO service!” Shortly after the purchase, you will regret buying a cheap standby generator.

Cheap Standby Generators Cost More Than They’re Worth!
The problem with cheap standby generators is you can’t return the unit. Your only recourse is to sue the manufacturer and/or post you displeasure on consumer complaint websites. Very few homeowners that make the mistake of buying a poor quality standby generator ever get their money back. You ask why? It has to do with their lopsided limited warranty that leaves you with no rights or recourse.

Which Manufacturers Make The Best Standby Generators?
I want to be crystal clear in stating that this list is not exhaustive. If you are a standby generator manufacturer and believe that we should include your company on this list, contact us with your brand, makes and models and we’ll have our review team go through our evaluation process.

That being said, here are the manufacturers that have proven to produce standby generators that pass the tests of: dependability, ruggedness, warranty response, reliability and customer service.

  • Briggs & Stratton Standby Generator
  • Carrier Standby Generator
  • Caterpillar Standby Generator
  • Cummins Standby Generator
  • Generac Standby Generators
  • Onan Standby Generator
  • Winco Standby Generator

Who Should You Buy a Standby Generator From?
You have a number of options. You can purchase your generator from a generator dealer, an online retailer or a (DIY) Do It Yourself retailer.

Whichever route you choose, you should only deal with a FACTORY AUTHORIZED DEALER. They are the only ones who can provide you with comprehensive warranty response and protection. The OTHER GUYS can only refer you to the authorized guys.

What Are The Major Features I Should Look For in a Standby Generator?
When choosing a standby generator, the buzzword is AUTOMATIC! You should seek a unit that has an automatic shutdown protection system and a automatic transfer switch.

Additionally, at the minimum you should require a 2-year warranty that also covers the generator enclosure and your unit should have a easy access fuel shut-off valve and a main alternator unit. There may be other features but I wouldn’t even think about choosing a standby generator if it didn’t come with those features. Of course, if you are buying a used generator, that’s a horse of a different color.

How Much Should I Expect To Pay For a Standby Generator?
The answer to that question depends on a number of variables. Namely; the size of the generator in terms of the wattage and the installation costs. Standby Generators normally start off somewhere in the $1,600.00 range. The additional costs will be the installation and permits. The equation looks like this, (Generator + Permits + Installation = Total Cost). Generally speaking, you can look to spend anywhere from $2,700.00 to $11,000.00 for a residential installation.




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