Welcome to The Kohler Generators Blog

Thanks for stopping by – we’re so glad you dropped in. Pull up a comfy chair and plug in next to your favorite floor lamp. We invited you here to protect your peace of mind. What does that mean? Well, let’s start here…

This situation has likely struck you before: Somewhere between dreamland and reality, your eyes open and close slowly as you roll over and try to focus on your blurry alarm clock. It’s flashing a red, glaring 12:00. What does that say? You check your cell phone and there – next to the blinking battery symbol – the screen says 8:52. Panic!

It’s Monday morning and you’re supposed to be at work at 8:00. Now you’re facing a cold-shower, no-coffee, non-garage-door-opening, dead-cell phone kind of morning. Wonderful.

Whether we like it or not, we rely on power to get us through our day. Sure, a power outage can be inconvenient, but in some cases it can even be dangerous. Being without things like your sump pump, alarm system, refrigerator, furnace or air conditioning unit can even be life-threatening.

That’s where we come in.

Kohler Home Generators

This blog is intended to be a warm and inviting place for you to learn more about how a standby generator could help your family. It’s also a place to get tips on home protection, read about power outage stories, get ideas for powering your small business and much more. It’s a space to ask questions and to share your thoughts with us. Most of all, it’s a place to help protect your peace of mind.


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34 Responses to “Welcome to The Kohler Generators Blog”

  1. Jeff Elliott
    March 2, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    Natural gas as fuel for generator. While a day or two without electricity would be inconvenient, I’m more concerned with outages of several days to weeks. I cannot store enough diesel or gas to power a generator. I assume gas stations will be closed. Will natural gas continue to flow?


    • Danielle Hoff
      March 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

      Hi Jeff, you raise some great questions. Standby generators are permanently installed outside of your home and run off of your home’s existing fuel supply (usually natural gas or LP). That means – as you pointed out – that during extended outages, you won’t have to search for a gas station that is open and refill this type of generator. A standby generator kicks in when there’s a loss of power from the utility grid and continues to run until grid power returns.

      Of the two fuel choices both are usually very reliable in most areas. Natural gas is usually very reliable and provides fuel without the need refill a tank, however gas lines may be shut down during earthquakes or wildfire events. If you have your own propane tank it is under your control, and if it is appropriately sized, it will provide fuel for extended outages without the need to refill the tank. You may want to consult with an expert in your local area to advise on the best solution for your situation.

      Here’s a link to learn more about standby power: http://bit.ly/oegGlX. Hope this helps! -Danielle

    • Ruma
      July 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

      What is a good brand name of generator(9000w),that will not break my bank acconut?I am looking to purchase a good generator to power my home in emergencies,what is a good brand name with very little breakdowns/repairs .I have done plenty of reviews on all,but still can’t decided on a good one .can someone help?

      • Danielle Hoff
        July 27, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

        Hi Ruma, thanks for your question. If you’re interested in a Kohler standby generator, there are three main steps to help you determine which generator is right for you. This link is a great place to start: http://shout.lt/bFsq. If you have any questions or need further information, please let me know. -Danielle

        • Gracye
          October 2, 2012 at 4:13 am #

          Thanks for your thoughts. It’s hleped me a lot.

  2. Geetha Sivaprasad
    August 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    How long can we expect the Standby 20 KW Residential Generator to last? Since it would be used approximately once or twice a year, will it need replacement in the next 25 years? How expensive are the repairs? Which components go bad, from your past experience? In short, what are the recurring costs I should be aware of and what is the life expectancy?
    Thank you,

    • Danielle Hoff
      August 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

      Hi Geetha, thanks for your questions. Our generators pass through stringent tests to ensure that their quality meets industry standards – and our own. Since each environment is different and each generator will be tasked with a customized performance based on your home and your family’s power needs, it’s hard for us to quantify exactly how long a generator will last. That said, we have been making generators since 1920, so we know a thing or two about longevity.

      Your generator’s regular maintenance needs are similar to the steps taken to maintain your vehicle (oil changes, filter/spark plug replacement, etc.). Detailed maintenance information is included in each owner’s manual.

      Your local dealer or distributor (http://khlr.co/b9Uy) would be a great resource to provide you with more detailed information based on your specific situation. Your dealer can also provide you with a quote for a service agreement for regular maintenance as well as the cost of equipment and installation. Please let me know if you have any trouble getting in touch with someone near you.

  3. Ken Hanes
    October 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    What music was used in your commercial?

    • CindyLee
      October 22, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      Hi Ken, sorry for the late reply. The music used in our latest Kohler Generators commercial is from a collection of untitled music. As a result, we are unable to provide the title or the artist of the song. Thanks for your interest and please let us know if you have any other questions. – Cindy

  4. Scott
    November 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    How often should I turn the generator off to rest if my power is out for a week?

    Does it make sense to keep as many lights off as possible and use as few electronics when the generator is running to conserve propane and the wear and tear on the generator?

    Is it bad to mix regular and synthetic 5w 30 oil?

    Does Kohler have a remote to start and stop the unit, if so how far from the house will the remote work, if not why dont you have one?

    How often should you check the oil?

    IS it bad to run the generator for a week straight?

    • CindyLee
      November 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

      Hi Scott, thanks for your great questions. Please keep in mind that your local Kohler dealer is another great resource for questions regarding your generator.

      It isn’t a bad thing to have a well-maintained generator running for a week! That is what it was designed to do. That said, it’s a good idea to check the oil every 8 hours and change the oil every 100 hours during an extended outage. Please follow the maintenance instructions found in your owner’s manual, especially if you’re experiencing an extended outage lasting more than a day. Do not mix oils because it could damage the engine in your generator. For more tips on how to service your generator, click here: http://blog.kohlergenerators.com/faq.

      Shutting off a few lights won’t really help you conserve propane because their wattage requirements are very small and don’t draw a lot of power from the generator. However, limiting the use of larger appliances like the TV, computer or microwave will make a noticeable difference in the fuel used by your generator. To better understand how your appliances consume electricity and how to manage your loads, here’s a blog post on that subject: http://blog.kohlergenerators.com/what-will-my-kohler-standby-generator-run-during-a-power-outage/.

      All Kohler generators are installed with an automatic transfer switch (ATS) which will automatically turn the generator on during an outage and off when utility power is restored. Our OnCue Generator Management System also helps monitor your generator while you’re home or away. You can learn more from your dealer or here: http://kohlerpower.com/residential/category.htm?categoryNumber=13161&sectionNumber=13561.

      Thanks again for your excellent questions and let me know if you have any more! – Cindy

  5. Bill
    February 12, 2013 at 5:28 am #

    I had a 14K unit installed in the summer of 2012. It got us through a 6 day outage after hurricane Sandy with flying colors. This year we got hit with the blizzard of 2013. We had a 42 inch snowfall which completely buried the generator and the intake and exhaust ports. We were able to clear the ports just in time for the weekly exercise that was programmed for the morning after the storm. So, I am interested in ideas for the clogged port issue. I could build a small shed around the generator but that would bring up zoning, building code, ventilation, maintenance access, safety, and possibly other issues. Another possible solution would be fabricating snorkels (4 or 5 ft high) to fit the intake and exhaust ports. Before proceeding with either plan I would be interested in your response.

    • Cindy Lee
      February 13, 2013 at 8:28 am #

      Hi Bill, I hope your family and home are all okay from the snow storm. Keeping the intake and exhaust ports clear are very important to ensure your generator runs properly, however we do not recommend building an enclosure around the unit. You local dealer may have some possible solutions for your area. Let me know if you have any other questions. – Cindy

      • Bill
        February 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

        Thanks for the quick response Cindy. I agree with the enclosure evaluation. But I think snorkels may work. They could be fabricated out of fiberglass and made in an S shape to prevent snow from entering similar to a bilge vent on a boat. Is this something that Kohler would consider offering as an accessory?

        • Cindy Lee
          February 15, 2013 at 11:42 am #

          Hey Bill, I’ll pass your idea on to our team. Your local Kohler Generator dealer or distributor will be a good resource. You can enter your zip code to locate the one nearest you: http://khlr.co/b9Uy. Please let us know if have any trouble connecting with someone near you. –Cindy

    • Alan Bredbury
      August 14, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      It seems to me you side stepped a question.
      My 81 year old father bought and had installed a 14RESAL generator.
      It appears to work fine however he would like to be able to shut the unit off at night during an outage from inside the house. Needless to say at his age we don’t really want him wandering around in hip deep snow. The electrician ran some extra wires so that a remote shut off could be set up however it seems that he was not able to execute this. The operation manual states that remote starting and stopping can be accomplished by putting a switch on terminals 3 and 4. The manual does not give me any detail about how this may interact with the transfer switch. I assume the electrician tried this. The unit was bought from Home Depot so I don’t think your stock contact our local dealer comment is going to work for us. Basic question, can the unit be shut off remotely with a physical switch to conserve fuel when hooked up to an automatic transfer switch. If so how.

      • Cindy Lee
        August 14, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

        Hey Alan, thanks for reaching out to us. It doesn’t matter where you purchased your Kohler generator, our authorized dealers and distributors will serve you: http://khlr.co/kMK4.

        Our home generators can be connected to an Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS), which detects an outage and automatically turns the generator on. However, our generators currently do not have any type of remote switch that can manually turn the generator on and off from inside the home. As of right now, the only way to manually turn the generator on and off is at the generator itself.

        We’re sorry about the confusion. We’re more than willing to explain this in depth. Please email us at generator.feedback@kohler.com.

        Thanks, Cindy

      • Bill
        August 21, 2013 at 8:03 am #

        I’m a 68 year old paraplegic, so I’m in the same situation as your father. I also asked about a cut off switch and was told I needed a remote computer monitoring hookup which was very expensive. And I was looking for a solution that didn’t require any manual intervention. My in laws who have a second home in Vermont which is often unoccupied are looking for the same type of a solution as a heavy snow blocking the intake/exhaust ports can cripple the generator and in some cases actually cause damage to not only the generator but the home as well. Thanks for your feedback.

  6. Dale Jacquish
    March 28, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    I have a new 20Resal with OnCue. The OnCue literature states that I can remotely test the generator. OnCue wont let me do it. What is going on. Also OnCue says the oil pressure is 0.0 PSI which is very disturbing.

    • Cindy Lee
      April 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

      Hey Dale, we’re sorry for the late reply. A Kohler generator dealer will have to take a look at your generator to try and figure out why the oil pressure isn’t reading correctly.

      Our OnCue Home Generator Management System can remotely turn your generator on to run an exercise. The instructions are outlined in your owner’s manual, but your Kohler generator dealer can also guide you through the process of running a generator exercise through OnCue.

      To find your nearest Kohler generator dealer, enter your zip code here: http://khlr.co/cfux.

      Please let me know if you’re having trouble connecting with someone and I’ll be more than happy to help. – Cindy

  7. Isaac
    June 16, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    Two questions: Within the last year I bought and had installed a 20RESAL w/ RTX ATS, however I bought it via Lowes. At the time Kohler was running a special on the “OnCue” system however when I tried to inquire with Lowes and Kohler, they both pointed at each other when I asked for the OnCue system. My question is if the “OnCue” system is just software, which I could download and get running myself or do I need to have a knock-down drag-out fight with Lowes and Kohler to get install disks? The OnCue IS just software correct, or is there a device modem, interface controller box etc?

    • Cindy Lee
      June 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Hi Isaac, sorry for the late reply. You don’t need to knock-down or have a drag-out fight with anyone LOL

      OnCue is software that you can download onto your computer yourself (http://khlr.co/jMKb). However, you need to purchase an activation code in order to actually use it. The great thing about OnCue is that it’s a one time fee. Please note that OnCue is currently only compatible with Windows operating systems.

      Sales & promotions vary by dealer/seller. We, as a manufacturer do not offer promotions at this time. But if you’d like to find and reach out to authorized Kohler Generator dealers in your area to see if they have any promotions, enter your zip code here: http://khlr.co/b9Uy.

      I hope that answers your question. Please let me know if you need help with anything else.


  8. Charles Lee
    July 16, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    Power glitch from Power company only lasted 10 seconds and the 12 kw Kohler propane generator kicked in. The power came back on but generator did not quit and is still running the power hooked to it and the house power that wasn’t on the transfer switch is still working. How do I get the generator to cut off and turn it back to power company. I tried to cut it off at the generator and then back to auto but that didn’t work. On the transfer switch box there is a red blinking light ?????????

    • Cindy Lee
      July 17, 2013 at 11:55 am #

      Charles, thanks for reaching out to us. For immediate assistance, please contact your Kohler Generator dealer. Have you contacted your local Kohler Generator dealer? If you did, please let us know who and we’ll follow up with them. Otherwise, enter your zip code here to find the dealer near you: http://khlr.co/b9Uy.


  9. Patsi Hodges
    July 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    We have a backup 30,000 kw Kohler set to auto start and sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s driving us crazy. It’s back up for our solar system. We have no electrical power here. And we have no idea where to start. We live in a remote area of Baja California, Mexico. No techs available and actually no experts on solar. Help, please.

    • Cindy Lee
      July 29, 2013 at 9:12 am #

      Hey Patsi, thanks for reaching out to us. We’re sorry to hear that you’re experiencing some issues.

      Please reach out to your Kohler Generators distributor. They’ll be able to help you further:

      Av. De las Fuentes No. 33. 5to piso
      Col. Lomas de Tecamachalco
      Naucalpan de Juarez 53950
      Estado de Mexico
      Phone: 52-55-5519-0777
      Fax: 52-55-5519-0777

      Let me know if you have trouble reaching them and I’ll be sure to follow up. -Cindy

    • Nick Campion
      August 14, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

      Cindy, I know this is an old post, but I too am having trouble with my Kohler backup generator for our solar system in Baja, MX. Did you have any success by contacting the Kohler rep. in Mexico. Nobody down here know anything about generators or solar power systems. I think I’m the local expert and that’s not saying much. Thanks

      • KOHLER Generators
        KOHLER Generators
        August 17, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

        Hello Mr. Campion,

        We have made the area manager for Mexico aware of the situation. He is currently traveling, but will follow up as soon as he can. -Mallory

      • Jill Diamond
        September 3, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

        Nick, did you find someone to fix your generator? I am also having problems with my Kohler gen, I live off grid on the East Cape, Baja. I have an excellent generator mechanic, however, he thinks he may need parts and we have no idea where to get them. Did you find out anything?

        • Nick Campion
          September 5, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

          Jill, I’m still limping along with my problem. The Mexico City contact they gave me does not seem to have an English speaking rep and my Spanish is not good enough to “talk technical” with them. I know if I could speak to an engineer I could solve the problem. I would love to be able to contact your mechanic if possible. We have several ways of getting stuff shipped down here if you need help getting parts, including a friend who is coming down in a couple of weeks who could carry small parts. You can contact me directly by email at: ncampion@aol.com or phone at: 613 104 51 11. Thanks

  10. Jim Orban
    November 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    I’m considering a 14 RESA to connect to my existing manual transfer switch. Am I correct in that this generator is not configured to allow a simple remote start/stop switch and hourmeter panel inside the house.

    • Cindy Lee
      November 18, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      Hey Jim, our home generators are paired with an automatic transfer switch to eliminate the need to manually turn the generator on and off. Since we’re not familiar with transfer switches that we don’t make, your best option is to reach out to your Kohler Generators dealer.

      You can search for dealers in your area here: Sales and Service.


  11. Jennifer Johnson
    September 14, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

    Having problems with the Automatic Switch not starting my 20,000 Watts generator. The generator works perfectly and the transfer switch appears to be ok but when the electricity is off, I have to go outside and turn the generator on manually. Please help!

    • KOHLER Generators
      KOHLER Generators
      September 15, 2015 at 9:06 am #

      Hi Jennifer –

      Our best advice would be to call a dealer. There’s many different potential causes of that, but we would need many more details.
      To locate a dealer to come out and take a look at things, enter your ZIP code here: http://www.kohlergenerators.com/sales-service/find-a-dealer