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Questions about Kohler generator

3445 Views 35 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  JAllen
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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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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?
Exactly. We can maintain quality of life running the generator 4 to 8 hours a day (or less) in a catastrophic situation All we really need for survival is water so we could just run the generator to refill our 2,000 gallon water storage tank from the well.

We have plenty of long life food available that isn't refrigerated if we lost the fridges and freezer. Another factor is I haven't calibrated the fuel tank gauge so the 0.7 gph fuel burn is a tentative number. Oh, our stove, clothes dryer, water heater and emergency heat is propane, we have a 500 gallon LP tank and burn about 150 gallons a year.

So I think I have most bases well covered for 90 days or longer.
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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?
Your math is backwards. 400 gallons divided by 0.7 gallons per hour = 571.4 hours of run time.

(0.7 gallons per hour is the same as 1/0.7 hours per gallon).
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Your math is backwards. 400 gallons divided by 0.7 gallons per hour = 571.4 hours of run time.

(0.7 gallons per hour is the same as 1/0.7 hours per gallon).

Yep. That's why I don't do numbers for a living, just bomb materials.
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Did you buy the generator? I bought a 13kw a little over a year ago in a very similar situation. Scored it with the transfer switch for only 900$. I would not worry to much about the parts issue, parts are generally available for these pretty easy. Well maybe not since the big "pandemic". I'd absolutely go for it, you'll love having it once you get it up and running.
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Back to original topic: The local Kohler dealer confirmed they could get parts. So, I bought it. When I get it home I'll share some more details. My plan is as follows:
  1. Get it home - I'm really glad I bought those pallet forks earlier this year.
  2. Check the oil again.
  3. Check the air filter and intake manifold to ensure nothing has gotten in there.
  4. Pull the plugs and check them.
  5. Get the side panels off and check all the wiring for evidence of rodents. I didn't see any when I went to inspect it, but I couldn't tell if there was wiring that was hidden.
  6. Hook up a battery jump pack and see if the engine will spin.
  7. If all appears good, I'll see if there's a way to hook up a propane tank and get it started. I have the installation instructions and there's a few videos on YouTube detailing how to "test run" one of these.
More to follow.

Thanks again for all the helpful advice.
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What did you end up paying for it?

Don't bother checking the oil...just change it and the oil filter. Cheap insurance and you know you start fresh.
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Does he have the transfer switch as well?
Yes.
This followed me home this morning. Had to rent a pallet jack to move it onto the trailer at the seller's location; tractor and pallet forks to unload it here. I thought it was missing the base but later realized it was attached.

For those who asked - bought it for $1200. Might turn out to be a mistake, but I figured a new one is $5000+ so I can afford a few parts before I'm losing money. The dealer said this model routinely last 15K hours.

Plant Natural material Gas Rectangle Composite material
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Sure hope it works for you. Love to see that you lucked into a super bargain.
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Just saw this. Bought a slightly smaller one for my mom about 10 years ago, transfer switch and all about $4000. I bought Kohler because Kohler, they had/have a great name. Some things
1) There was no warranty available unless initial startup/commissioning was done by certified Kohler tech. It was about $500, they were extremely thorough, updated software etc., it took 2 1/2 hours and I was happy I found one willing to make the drive (1 hr each way).
2) We had a lot of computer issues the first year, a lot. The control module was replaced 2 or 3 times, all under warranty. The computer control puts it outside the realm of a handy guy doing it himself.
3) Smooth sailing ever since. Total cost, concrete pads for two tanks and the genset, plumber, electrician, unit, misc was $11,200.

Do whatever you can to get a warranty if they will.
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Update and some more questions:
After sitting under a tarp on my driveway all winter, I decided to get moving on it. I changed the oil, oil filter, air filter and spark plugs. I figured after sitting for 10+ years, it deserved a little TLC. I bought a battery and installed it. The engine turns over and appears to have good compression.

I took it to the 2nd home in April, met with an electrician, poured a pad and set it on it. The electrician is now working to hook it up. The electrician is the one the local dealer uses and he thinks it will run. He was impressed with how good the condition is.

I could use some advice: The propane company will sell a new take and run "Up to 10" of line to connect to the generator." The generator needs a "2nd stage regulator" to get to the right pressure range. The dealer at my 2nd home doesn't have a lot of experience with older units so they are unfamiliar with installing a 2nd regulator. I see quite a few options on Amazon. Has anybody installed one of these on a generator and would you have a brand you can recommend?

Thank you.
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The generator needs a "2nd stage regulator" to get to the right pressure range. The dealer at my 2nd home doesn't have a lot of experience with older units so they are unfamiliar with installing a 2nd regulator. I see quite a few options on Amazon. Has anybody installed one of these on a generator and would you have a brand you can recommend?
My Kohler 30KW system (natural gas) uses a Maxitrol RV52-66-ES01 regulator. Your manual will provide the Kohler part number to use as a cross reference. You'll also have to choose the correct spring for your desired pressure range. I replaced the regulator last year for less than $60 and am very happy with the Maxitrol. The Kohler branded part costs a lot more.
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Here is a picture of my low pressure regulator. It's a RegO. The generator is a 22kW Generac.

White Gas Auto part Circle Metal
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Thank you!
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