Generator FAQ's

Your Questions. Our AnswersFrequently Asked Questions

You will find answers to all of your most common residential, commercial and marine generator related questions here.

Checking & Refilling Oil

  1. Power off the generator and let the engine sit for two minutes to settle the oil. Pull the dipstick from the back of the engine and wipe with a clean rag. Insert the dipstick back into the dipstick tube and pull it out. Note the cross hatching on the end of the dipstick, from “F” (Full) to “L” (Low), and see where the oil level falls. Add oil if the dipstick indicates that the oil level is low. (See FAQ: What type of oil should I use in my generator?)
  2. Locate the yellow oil-access cap on the front of the engine (look for the oil can icon). Add a few ounces of oil, then recheck the oil level by inserting and removing the dipstick. Add oil until the level is near “F.” Do not overfill the engine.
  3. When you’re finished adding oil, make sure the dipstick and oil access cap are securely in place. Push the AUTO button to place the generator back in standby mode. If the utility power is still out, the generator will start within three seconds. After the generator starts, move the circuit breaker to the ON position so the generator is now supplying power to the house.

We recommend checking the oil level after every 8-24 hours of operation, depending on the size and model of the generator. Oil change and filter change frequency and other routine maintenance varies per model, especially during periods of extended power outage. Check the Operation Manual included with your generator for a complete list of required maintenance procedures and schedules.

The amount varies and depends on the engine model, length of time since the last oil change, amount of power the generator is producing and length of the power outage. Check the Operation Manual included with your generator for a complete list of required maintenance procedures and schedules.

Your generator ships with KOHLER Genuine Oil 5W-30 full-synthetic oil, which is the oil Kohler recommends. Although a synthetic blend may be used, our recommendation is full-synthetic oil. However, if you know that the oil has been changed out to conventional oil, then use only conventional oil from that point on. Do not mix synthetic oil with conventional oil.

The dipstick has a bright yellow ring attached to the end. The location varies by generator, but it’s typically noticeable as soon as you open the access panel or hood.

General Generator Questions

Yes! Many solar energy systems are backed up by KOHLER generators. Whether you are looking to charge a battery bank or back up the home when solar energy alone is not sufficient, we can advise you on the best KOHLER solution for your situation.

Our generators are built to perform in all weather conditions, from hurricanes to blizzards. To ensure your generator functions properly, we recommend the use of cold-weather accessories in regions where temperatures frequently fall or stay below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to determine the accessories that would be most beneficial for you is to speak with one of our sales representatives at 252-773-0739.

RESAL generators come with a transfer switch. RESA generators come with a controller that offers access to advanced settings; a transfer switch is purchased separately.

Our generators connect seamlessly to your home’s natural gas or liquid propane system. If you do not currently have natural gas service, you may have a liquid propane tank installed on your property for your generator.

The size generator that is right for your home depends on your power needs. You can use the Generator Selector tool to get a ballpark idea, but for a detailed estimate, R&T Power Systems today! They can analyze your home’s electrical load and specify and install your generator system.

KOHLER Residential Generators, including the engines, are designed and assembled in America. We source our components and parts from trusted suppliers all over the world, including many here in the USA.

We can provide MSRP prices for our generators and accessories, but the installation process varies from home to home. Factors that impact installation cost include:

  • Your desired fuel source and whether you already have it running to your home
  • Any local permits that are required for installation (R&T Power Systems will handle the permitting process)
  • The location your generator will be installed at on your property

Because of the many factors that impact installation costs, we are unable to give a complete quote without doing an evaluation of your home’s layout to determine where and how the generator will need to be installed. You can learn more about what goes into a generator quote on our blog.

Generator Installation

Yes! KOHLER standby generators are used to provide backup power to mobile homes across the country.

Since KOHLER standby generators are permanently installed outside of your residence, we do not recommend them for apartments that you do not own. Our generators may be installed in townhomes if there is ample space to install it and your community allows it. We recommend first consulting your property manager to ensure standby generator installation falls within their bylaws. If so, R&T Power Systems can determine whether your townhome has adequate space for installation.

Because a standby generator is routed into your home’s gas and electrical system, installing a standby generator is a job for a trained professional like R&T Power Systems. We can ensure a safe installation, navigate local codes, and provide any necessary upgrades to your home’s gas or electric systems. This is why we recommend that you choose us to install and maintain your generator.

Generators ship without batteries to ensure that the freshest possible battery is installed at the jobsite. Your Operation Manual recommends the proper battery for your generator model. Batteries come in sizes that are readily available at any battery or auto-parts store.

Code requirements for installing standby generator systems vary nationwide. That’s why we recommend having R&T Power Systems install your system because we are familiar with both local and national codes and permits.

A service-entry-rated switch comes equipped with a main-line disconnect breaker built into the transfer switch. This is a nationwide code requirement when the transfer switch is wired directly into the incoming main power line for whole-house power. A non-service-entry-rated switch requires the addition of a disconnect breaker at the jobsite. The service-entry-rated switch saves you time and money during the installation process.

It’s a good idea to have one of our technicians perform an onsite analysis to determine which generator and transfer switch offer the best solution for your home.

Generator Maintenance

  1. Power off the generator and let the engine sit for two minutes to settle the oil. Pull the dipstick from the back of the engine and wipe with a clean rag. Insert the dipstick back into the dipstick tube and pull it out. Note the cross hatching on the end of the dipstick, from “F” (Full) to “L” (Low), and see where the oil level falls. Add oil if the dipstick indicates that the oil level is low. (See FAQ: What type of oil should I use in my generator?)
  2. Locate the yellow oil-access cap on the front of the engine (look for the oil can icon). Add a few ounces of oil, then recheck the oil level by inserting and removing the dipstick. Add oil until the level is near “F.” Do not overfill the engine.
  3. When you’re finished adding oil, make sure the dipstick and oil access cap are securely in place. Push the AUTO button to place the generator back in standby mode. If the utility power is still out, the generator will start within three seconds. After the generator starts, move the circuit breaker to the ON position so the generator is now supplying power to the house.

Open the generator hood or access door and flip the circuit breaker to the “off” position (you’ll find the breaker near the digital controller). This shuts off power to the house (the load). It’s a good idea to run the generator with no load for 2-5 minutes. Then press the “off” button on the controller.

A large metal key is included in your owner’s packet. Insert and turn the key 45 degrees to open the top hood or side-access door of the generator.

We recommend checking the oil level after every 8-24 hours of operation, depending on the size and model of the generator. Oil change and filter change frequency and other routine maintenance varies per model, especially during periods of extended power outage. Check the Operation Manual included with your generator for a complete list of required maintenance procedures and schedules.

The amount varies and depends on the engine model, length of time since the last oil change, amount of power the generator is producing and length of the power outage. Check the Operation Manual included with your generator for a complete list of required maintenance procedures and schedules.

Water and electricity are a very dangerous mix. If you can safely access it, power off the generator. (See FAQ: How do I manually “power off” the generator set?) If it continues to run when submerged, internal damage to both engine and generator will be significant. If you can’t safely access the generator or the main-line disconnect, do not make any attempt to turn it off.

Your generator ships with KOHLER Genuine Oil 5W-30 full-synthetic oil, which is the oil Kohler recommends. Although a synthetic blend may be used, our recommendation is full-synthetic oil. However, if you know that the oil has been changed out to conventional oil, then use only conventional oil from that point on. Do not mix synthetic oil with conventional oil.

The dipstick has a bright yellow ring attached to the end. The location varies by generator, but it’s typically noticeable as soon as you open the access panel or hood.

Oncue Plus

KOHLER OnCue® Plus is a remote monitoring and generator management app available for download in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. The app is free and is compatible with both phones and tablets.

With the KOHLER OnCue® Plus Generator Management System, you can check the status of your generator, start or stop an exercise, check the oil temperature, contact your dealer, and so much more. And with the OnCue Plus Skill on Amazon Alexa or OnCue Plus Action on Google Assistant, you can control your generator or get status updates using just your voice. Visit our blog to learn more about OnCue Plus.

Warranty

Yes, your KOHLER standby generator will be covered by a 5 year/2,000 operating hour warranty. You may also upgrade to our extended warranty, which covers parts, labor and dealer for 10 years.

To register your warranty, have one of our authorized service technicians complete a post-installation Warranty Start-Up at your home. Then, instead of your warranty beginning on the day the generator is purchased, it begins on the day your service technician submits your generator system’s details to the Warranty Start-Up program. The technician completes a checklist, makes sure the system is properly installed, and enters all necessary information onto the Kohler Warranty site. This moves the warranty start date to the day your generator is installed, instead of the date it left the factory.

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Whether you have general questions or are looking to schedule a free consultation for your own home generator, our knowledgeable staff are standing by to answer your questions.
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