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Old 12-02-2012, 11:46 PM   #1
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Generac GP5500 a bust??


Hi;
I was about to purchase a Generac GP5500 portable generator (when they are back in stock at my local store), but after reading about the fuel problems, and terrible cust. service, I don't think I will buy any Generac product.
It is unfortunate that Generac has built up a great reputation, but now is apparently using cheap parts and not providing good customer service.

So, if I cannot afford a Honda for $2,000+, what should I buy?
I am looking for a unit that can deliver about 4,000 Watts continuous, with a strong surge of about 5500 Watts.

I have twice used my brother's Craftsman 3600 Watt with 5300 Watt surve and love the thing. It has performed flawlessly during two outages, one was 3 days, the other 7 days!
But this machine is about 10 years old, and I'm sure that whoever is making the Craftsman name now is also using cheap parts...

It is so frustrating to be reading about all of the manufacturers of so many pieces of power equipment using cheap/inferior parts just so they can maintain their profit margins (and keep their stock prices high!), and then not providing good (if any) customer service when a problem does occur.

Thanks for your help;

FW

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Old 12-03-2012, 12:31 AM   #2
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Generac GP5500 a bust??


I would look at a Briggs and Straton unit or Kohler power.

Those seem to be really reliable.

The best option is to find a low RPM unit (1800) it will last MUCH longer than the 3600 RPM units, however, they are more $$$$.

Avoid the generic cheap knock off brand of diesel generators you'll find on craigslist...pure JUNK!

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Old 12-03-2012, 12:33 AM   #3
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Generac GP5500 a bust??


Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewF View Post
I would look at a Briggs and Straton unit or Kohler power.

Those seem to be really reliable.

The best option is to find a low RPM unit (1800) it will last MUCH longer than the 3600 RPM units, however, they are more $$$$.

Avoid the generic cheap knock off brand of diesel generators you'll find on craigslist...pure JUNK!
Thanks for your advice.

FW
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:41 AM   #4
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Generac GP5500 a bust??


If you are specifically looking for older well made stuff and are handy with repairs, Craigslist, E-bay, local papers, or other online sources are your best bet.

I canít stand the newer junk either. My mower is a 1966 Toro and I have a really nice 70ís Kubota (Yamaha) generator.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:09 AM   #5
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Generac GP5500 a bust??


www.northerntool.com
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:53 AM   #6
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Generac GP5500 a bust??


What do you think of a used / reconditioned Coleman 5,000 watt generator with a Suzuki engine?
A local dealer has one for $550. Says it's pretty quiet.

FW
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:59 AM   #7
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Generac GP5500 a bust??


And where would you get parts for it?
Stick with the B&S, Kohlor, or Honda so you can be sure of finding even simple parts for it.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:10 AM   #8
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Generac GP5500 a bust??


Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post

It is so frustrating to be reading about all of the manufacturers of so many pieces of power equipment using cheap/inferior parts just so they can maintain their profit margins (and keep their stock prices high!), and then not providing good (if any) customer service when a problem does occur.
The saying goes... you get what you pay for. A high quality 5000W generator costs over $2000... you're looking to buy one well under $1000. Of course you're going to get inferior parts and inferior customer service.

If you're using this once a year for power outages, I would go with the generac... chances are you won't have a problem. If you're using it more often, save up for the Honda. It will last forever.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:19 AM   #9
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Generac GP5500 a bust??


Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
Hi;
I was about to purchase a Generac GP5500 portable generator (when they are back in stock at my local store), but after reading about the fuel problems, and terrible cust. service, I don't think I will buy any Generac product.
It is unfortunate that Generac has built up a great reputation, but now is apparently using cheap parts and not providing good customer service.

So, if I cannot afford a Honda for $2,000+, what should I buy?
I am looking for a unit that can deliver about 4,000 Watts continuous, with a strong surge of about 5500 Watts.

I have twice used my brother's Craftsman 3600 Watt with 5300 Watt surve and love the thing. It has performed flawlessly during two outages, one was 3 days, the other 7 days!
But this machine is about 10 years old, and I'm sure that whoever is making the Craftsman name now is also using cheap parts...

It is so frustrating to be reading about all of the manufacturers of so many pieces of power equipment using cheap/inferior parts just so they can maintain their profit margins (and keep their stock prices high!), and then not providing good (if any) customer service when a problem does occur.

Thanks for your help;

FW
Here is some history about Generac from Wikipedia.
Founded in 1959, the company soon began producing portable generators for Sears, Roebuck and Co. under the Craftsman brand. During the 1970s, Generac expanded its offerings in the portable and recreational vehicle markets, and in the 1980s the company entered the commercial and industrial markets with its backup power generation systems.[7]
By end of the 1980s, the company was manufacturing residential, commercial and industrial generators, and in 1989, Generac introduced the first gaseous-fueled automatic home standby system.[7]
In 1992, Generac began private labeling generator sets for Caterpillar, Inc. As the partnership grew between the two companies, they discussed a potential acquisition of Generac by Caterpillar, although a deal was never finalized. In June 1996, Caterpillar decided to terminate the private labeling agreement. Generac then sued Caterpillar under the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law ("WFDL"), the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Wisconsin common law concerning restrictive covenants, and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.[8] The federal district court, in two separate orders, disposed of the action in Caterpillar's favor. Generac then challenged the lower court's rulings in the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that Generac's claims were properly dismissed by the lower court.[9] Generac continued to supply some transfer switches to Caterpillar until 2002, when Caterpillar changed suppliers.
In 1998, Generac sold its portable products division to the Beacon group, a private equity firm, who later sold it to Briggs & Stratton Corporation.[7] Upon expiration of a non-compete agreement related to the sale in 2007, Generac re-entered the portable generator market in 2008.[7]
So wheter you bought a Craftsman than or now or a Generac who will be buying a Briggs and Stratton product.
I have install many portable and whole house Generac generators and up to this time have not had any problems with the products.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:28 AM   #10
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Generac GP5500 a bust??


OK. Still searching.
Just found this Westinghouse WH5500 for $629 with free shipping on Amazon.
So far, looks like it's exactly what I need, and haven't found any issues relating to this unit so far in my searches.
Anyone with experience with Westinghouse portable generators?

Thanks

FW
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:44 PM   #11
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Generac GP5500 a bust??


One thing you might try if you have a HD with a tool rental. They sell their tools after a certain amount of time, and you can often get a good deal.

Check other area rental stores as well. It's worth a few phone calls...
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:53 PM   #12
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Generac GP5500 a bust??


Thanks for all your input guys!
I have finally made my choice, and purchased the Westinghouse 5500 watt unit from Amazon. There was a 10% promotion plus free shipping, so I think I made out pretty well. Now, all I have do do is pray that the unit arrives without damage... I've read some pretty scary stories about that, but I will be sure to carefully inspect the box when it comes off the truck.

In the end, I guess I could have bought a Briggs & Stratton, or a Generac and been happy with it. I would have gone with a Honda if I could have afforded it. I did check Craigslist for used Honda, but didn't find anything with a reasonable price. Maybe waiting another 6mos would have produced better results, as most people have short memories for things like storm preparedness. But I didn't want to wait that long, considering we are entering winter, and who knows what storms (and power outages) lie in our near future.
Even last night when we had the wind and rain (no snow here in NJ) from winter storm Draco we had several power glitches where I heard my computer's UPS kick in for a second; I was very nervous, but at this point, we still have my brother's generator in our garage. Not a pleasant thought to get a call from him early in the AM that his power is out and I have to deliver it to him, but there was no outage either here or at his house.

Have a happy!

FW

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