Stand By Me: Why a Standby Generator Lives Up to Its Name

By: Todd Palmer, Owner, Palmer Generator – an authorized Kohler Generators Dealer

It’s not easy to be without electricity, which is why it’s important to have a generator. There are different types of generators that you can chose from including portable and standby. A portable generator sounds good, but if you don’t know all the facts before you buy, you might be singing the blues the next time you lose power.

I’ve Got the Power! With a portable generator, you’ll have the power once it’s set up. When the lights go out, a few steps are involved to get you up and running. You’ll have to plug in outdoor extension cords, fill it with gas, position the generator so fumes won’t get inside and run extension cords through an open window or door. Portable generators are ideal for camping or tailgating events where temporary power will come in handy, but in a severe weather situation, a portable generator will not offer a long-term backup power solution. It’s also not a realistic choice for hard-wired appliances and critical systems such as your sump pump, well pump or heating and air conditioning system.  And those items can have the biggest impact on protecting your home and family.

So Far Away. Although a portable generator is convenient, there are some things to consider. If you’re home when the lights go out, you know exactly what to do to get your portable generator up and running. What if you’re not? If the power goes out when you’re away, you’ll be singing a different tune. If no one’s home to set up your portable generator in the event of a power outage, you may lose everything in your refrigerator and freezer. Your home freezer going out is a nuisance, but what if it’s your business? Your profits could easily melt away.

I’m Easy. Unlike a portable generator, a standby generator is permanently installed on your property. Can you count to ten? When the power goes out, your Kohler standby generator can restore power to your home in as little as 10 seconds. No extension cords, no heavy lifting.

Start Me Up. A standby generator allows for the high electrical loads of modern homes, so you won’t have to turn off your refrigerator to use your stove. A standby generator gives you great power quality and runs quietly.

No Wind…No Rain. Once your standby is professionally installed, you’re prepared – and that’s a great feeling. With your Kohler standby generator humming in the background, it can always be a beautiful morning at your house. Don’t wait until the night the lights go out in…wherever you are. The best time to prepare for the next power outage is now.


Todd Palmer is the Owner of Palmer Generator, your full line Kohler Power Systems dealer.


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18 Responses to “Stand By Me: Why a Standby Generator Lives Up to Its Name”

  1. Sheryl overby
    July 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    could you run your whole house on one all the time

  2. Robbie Harrell
    July 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    I have a Kohler 20KWRES generator and we run the entire house. A/C and all the lights, stove 2 refrigerators, a freezer. No problems at all. In the winter we keep heat and everything running. This is one of the best investments we made. I highly recommend a home system.

  3. Danielle Hoff
    July 6, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Hi Sheryl, thanks for your question. We do have generators large enough to power your entire home – in fact, we have generators large enough to power an entire hospital or college campus! Although our home standby generators are intended to supply emergency backup power to your home, it is possible to have a generator support an off-the-grid lifestyle. If you’d like further information, your local authorized Kohler Generators dealer can help you further: Please let me know if you have any trouble reaching someone near you.

  4. Max Stanford
    July 10, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    I’m thoroughly impressed with the design of these generators. Considering the cost vs. output and reliability in the Kohler brand, I consider it a must have for anyone in a private location and need of backup power.

  5. Bob
    July 27, 2012 at 3:07 am #

    I have a kohler 14resa, works wonderfully except our gas oven will not light when on backup power. Works perfectly on utility power. Any idea?

    • Danielle Hoff
      July 27, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

      Hi Bob, thanks for reaching out to us. We’d recommend contacting the person who installed the gas line to your generator. You’ll want to have them ensure that the flow rate of the utility gas meter is sufficient enough to supply the generator set at rated load plus all other gas-consuming appliances (like your stove). Please email us at if you have any further questions. -Danielle

      • Bob
        July 28, 2012 at 3:00 am #

        Thanks for the response Danielle. There is no gas supply issue. Gas pressures have been thoroughly checked and considered even before this equipment was ever installed. In fact, we purposely started the gas furnace(which lit up perfectly) when experiencing the oven issue. This is an electrical issue not gas issue. The igniters in the oven glow but oven never lite’s until power is supplied by utility company.

  6. Bob
    July 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    ….this is not a gas issue. Gas pressures are fine, meter gas been changed, gas lines are all proper sizes and system installed by authorized Kohler deselect and highly competent. I reiterate, not a gas issue. Furnace, water heater all lite and perform perfectly. Oven is only issue even if “the only” appliance being tried at that time.
    My dealer/installer is perplexed this issue and still trying to figure
    It out.

  7. Danielle Hoff
    July 30, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    Hi Bob, thanks for all the background information. Look for an email message shortly from our service team. They’ll need some additional information in order to help you further. Please let me know if you don’t see their message and I’ll be happy to follow up.

  8. Bob
    July 31, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    Danielle, I received an email this afternoon from the tech support group contact. Many thanks for your help with this oddity. I will let you know how this resolves. Again, thank
    you for the help.

  9. Bob
    August 6, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    Hi, Danielle

    As mentioned in last discussion, I received an email from KohlervTech support, thanks to your interest and efforts. I responded to that email with additional details about some of the issues including the oven situation. On Friday afternoon I received a phone call from a terrific fellow from tech support. I realize this is not typical chain of contact for technical issues from Kohler, that normally done through distributor and dealer. So I’m especially appreciative of Kohlers(you and Troy’s) involvement.

    The issues we’ve been trying to resolve before your help were:

    1 Oven not lighting under generator power
    2 OnCue time stamp shows erronouses times(4 Hours off)
    3 Variable Speed exercise cycle causes loss of standby status, shows “Low L1,L2”
    4 OnCue event warning “ATS Phase Mismatch” continues to display

    I am happy to say after talking with Troy, all these items will have a solution or in one case explanation.
    Appears there’s new controller sw release which will address item 3 and partially resolve item 2 so time difference will be three hours since system uses greenwich mean time. Troy is sending the sw release to my dealer and arranging for them to install on my system.

    Item 4 should be resolved with next sw release of OnCue, meantime it’s releaving to now know it not due to any system issue.

    Item 1 (Oven issue) I’m happy to inform is resolved but curious solution. As mentioned oven only would lite under utilty power. I decided to try something, I replaced oven ignitor as last resort to eliminate possibilities. Voila…the oven lit with generator power! Cannot explain why but regardless it’s now resolved. Troy happened to call about an hour after this discovery so we both scratched our heads but were happy.

    Sorry for this long explanation but I wanted to thank you and Troy for getting resolution. I’m a deleghted customer and want it known.


  10. Todd
    October 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    I have a 14RESA with the Oncue Software and also have the Time Stamp issue.. Time does not match event…Very happy with system otherwise…

    • KOHLER Generators
      October 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

      Hey Todd, thanks for notifying us about the time stamp issue you’re encountering. Our engineers are working on it and you should expect an email with a resolution soon. We’ll release more information as it becomes available.

    • Todd
      April 23, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

      The timestamp probem was fixed after I installed firmware version Rdc2_5.2.0 , thank you for fixing that :) Is Oncue software version 3.3.2 the latest version? Thanks

      • Cindy Lee
        April 24, 2013 at 9:35 am #

        Hey Todd, that’s great to hear! OnCue 3.3.2 is the latest version.


  11. Jeffrey Camps
    November 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    I installed a standby generator like the one in the picture above. IA Kohler rep initially strated the system and it self tested for three months. When the hurricane Sandy hit, the generator ran for a few hours and then stopped. I could not get a rep to help so I started it by hand , but it would stop after an hour. Finally it would not start at all. I have been without power for 5 days after installing a 15,000 system. I am extremely unhappy about the generator and the service.

    • CindyLee
      November 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

      Hi Jeffrey, we’re sorry to hear that. We’d like to help you get this resolved as soon as possible. Can you please email your generator’s spec and serial numbers to Please let me know if you have trouble connecting with our service team and I’ll be happy to follow up. – Cindy

  12. Mickle Clarck
    August 3, 2015 at 7:56 am #

    I mostly like standby generator than any other. It’s really great. It’s so much useful and I am using it. Thanks for the article.