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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All:

I have a chance to purchase a "new" Kohler 17KW standby generator. "New" means it has never been installed and is still bolted to the pallet. But I suspect it is 10 years old. The engine is full of clean oil. The enclosure is in excellent condition. There's no evidence of mice or other rodents living in it or chewing wires/hoses.

The owner bought it but never had it installed. It is sitting on a porch behind the house.

It is 520 lbs and I'd have to move it around the house to load it.

Question 1: From what I can gather on the Internet, it is at least 10 years old. Should I be concerned?

Question 2: He asked me to make an offer. What should I offer? I've looked at similar used items on eBay but I'm inclined to offer less since I'm not sure if it actually works.

Thank you.
 

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Was or is there gas in it??

Give it the sniff test.......if its pewtred smelling.......cut your planned offer in half
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Was or is there gas in it??

Give it the sniff test.......if its pewtred smelling.......cut your planned offer in half
Thanks - this is a LP/NG model. I suppose I should have included that. I did pull the dipstick - the oil looked brand new.
 

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17kw is methane/lpg powered usually so no old gas issues probably.

I would go about 60% of new cost.

If you buy it, change the oil...no matter how new it looks. Use compressed air and blow out the windings.
 

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I agree with the 60%, if you can figure out what the new price is. Maybe he'll tell you.

Hope you have NG. That would be a no brainer to use it if you have a line.
 

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If the generator has control electronics be certain it is still supported.
 
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Does it have all of the switches, etc. that is needed to install? I'm in the process of getting a final quote. It is around $15K if it is installed near the house. If I put it out in the woods, about 100 ft away it is an additional $3K. Did I mention I will be lucky to see it by August 2022.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions and advice. The seller said they have the transfer switch and other "accessories."

I'm going to call a local dealer tomorrow to check on parts - even if it works today, it will likely need parts in the future. Kohler has all the owner/installation manuals online, to include wiring diagrams and parts diagrams/lists.

It has a heavy duty metal enclosure that is reportedly "rodent resistant" and that appears to be working - the inside was quite clean once I figured out how to get the top open.

It might be missing the polymer base that sits on the ground - I imagine a concrete pad might be a better solution. But it does need to be mounted on rubber isolators. Or, I could just leave it on the pallet for now.

Based on some online info, Kohler household standby generators are very reliable. I think I'm going to buy it - it is more than big enough for the retirement home we've purchased and will be moving into next year.

Once I get it, I'll try to start it by connecting to a propane tank. Once that works, I'll see if it the generator is working.
 

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I bought a Generac in a similar situation. The owner bought it never installed it and it was still shrink wrapped on the pallet. I think I paid about 50-60% of new and it's been fine.

Checking on the electronic parts availability is a good idea as well as blowing out any dust and checking for rodents, bugs etc. The jets for propane and NG are different- before trying to run it on propane make sure the correct jets are installed. It may also have an hour meter which you can check but if it's on the pallet, I'd believe it's never been installed.

You can buy the composite bases. I would recommend them as they trap less moisture than concrete.

I did the install myself except for the gas hookup. The only reason I did was that electricians wanted more than I paid for the unit to install, even if I did the hard work. Fortunately I had access to not only volt meters but more importantly a frequency meter to set the speed. Our breaker panel really needs replacing and I'll let an electrician do that with one that's set up to work with a genset. Those weren't common when we got our generator and while it's worked well, I've never really liked our breaker panel as the PO bought on price and did some screwy things when wiring the house. I've changed some but never really liked the set up.

You will like having the genset. I think my wife would leave if ours goes down and doesn't get replaced. Reliability of the Dominion Battery and Candle system in our area isn't good. About 1/3rd of the full time residents have standby systems and the other 2/3rds wish they did.
 

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For those on the fence about a whole house generator, ours has given me a sense of peace - it's about being independent and prepared for short term emergencies. In our case we are totally prepared to be completely isolated for at least three months. It's quite liberating.
 

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If you get a GREAT deal, but compare to this new $5300, 20kw Cummins (w/200 amp transfer switch) before deciding. One of these has been backing up our remote cabin since 2018. It is also connected to the router and notifies me via an iPhone app every time the electric goes out.

 

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Yikes. That's an expensive fuel bill. About 2500 gal or so?
13 kw diesel at 1800 rpm, we are averaging about 0.7 gph running the house and well pump (400' deep well.) 100 gallon base tank and I have a 300 gallon bulk tank.
 

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13 kw diesel at 1800 rpm, we are averaging about 0.7 gph running the house and well pump (400' deep well.) 100 gallon base tank and I have a 300 gallon bulk tank.
After what you've been through, I'll be .7 gallons/hour doesn't sound bad at all.
 

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400 gal x .7 gal/hr = 280 hrs of run time

280 hrs ÷ 24hrs/day = 12 days of fuel.

I'm missing the 3 months completely isolated part. Are you going to ration the run time to stretch it to 90 days?
 
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