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Old 07-06-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
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Kohler vs Generac standby


Looking for opinions on Kohler vs Generac for standby home generators.

Also, have a 4 ton Lennox 13ACD Merit series with compressor locked rotor amps of 97 and condenser locked rotor amps of 3.1. What size generator would be needed to start this unit?

Thanks for any assistance.

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:50 PM   #2
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Kohler vs Generac standby


Generac is OK. Well made, decent warranty. Easy to install. Transfer switches are well laid out.

Kohler is very well made, better warranty. Not bad to install. New ones require special shielded cable for the controls (ie: NOT found in home centers).
The one thing I do not like about the new Kohlers is the plastic housing. It cracks WAY too easily. PLEASE don't ask me how I know this.

What is the running amps of the A/C?

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:57 PM   #3
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Generac is OK. Well made, decent warranty. Easy to install. Transfer switches are well laid out.

Kohler is very well made, better warranty. Not bad to install. New ones require special shielded cable for the controls (ie: NOT found in home centers).
The one thing I do not like about the new Kohlers is the plastic housing. It cracks WAY too easily. PLEASE don't ask me how I know this.

What is the running amps of the A/C?
Thanks for the reply.
The rated load amps for the compressor is 19.2 with a power factor of .94. The full load amps for the condenser is 1.7. Not that I know what any of that means, but it was the info on the Lennox engineering data book for the unit.
Thanks again.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:15 PM   #4
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Kohler vs Generac standby


Same question for a gen to run only a central AC unit: 4500W continuous and 4x this much during startup.

I'm waiting on two generator companies to also answer this question so now I guess I'll try to e-mail Kohler.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:15 PM   #5
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Kohler vs Generac standby


FWIW, I have a Generac and my neighbor has a Kohler, both of the same capacity. The Generac is noticeably quieter. Something to think about, both for the noise in your own house during the outage, and that of your neighbors stuck with their windows open trying to cool off in this summer heat.

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Old 07-06-2012, 10:30 PM   #6
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Kohler vs Generac standby


You might also consider Onan. Costco probalby has the best prices for the Onan generators. If must go with generac, I would go with the Quietsource series. They have automotive style engines and aluminium enclosures.

The best way to figure your AC starting current is to put a clamp meter on the unit and start it up. They can capture the starting current required.

A "Hard Start Kit" will also reduce the amount of power that your ac needs to start. The kit has a Capacitor that helps to start the AC thus reducing the power needed to start it.

Here is the kit I put on my AC:

http://five-two-one.com/

They cost about 45 bucks on ebay. It reduced the starting current of my four ton ac from about 90 to 42 amps. That allows me to run the ac on my 12kw generator without problem.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:30 PM   #7
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Kohler vs Generac standby


My Generac sounds like a small lawn tractor. I don't consider AC a necessity in the event of a power failure, so I chose an 8KW unit. It's been 3 years with no issues. LIghts, tv, home office, fans and keeping the freezer and refrigerators operating. Generac has improved greatly in the last few years, Kohler has always been good. A 10k generator is capable of delivering 41A @ 240v. Watts divided by voltage equals amperage.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:36 PM   #8
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Kohler vs Generac standby


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Originally Posted by 7474 View Post
Looking for opinions on Kohler vs Generac for standby home generators.

Also, have a 4 ton Lennox 13ACD Merit series with compressor locked rotor amps of 97 and condenser locked rotor amps of 3.1. What size generator would be needed to start this unit?

Thanks for any assistance.
Just as a heads up, if you choose not to include the AC in your generator needs, with a automatic generator, you will have to provide load shedding to disable the AC. Generac provides this feature in its newer ATS. (automatic transfer switch)
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:39 PM   #9
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Kohler vs Generac standby


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Just as a heads up, if you choose not to include the AC in your generator needs, with a automatic generator, you will have to provide load shedding to disable the AC. Generac provides this feature in its newer ATS. (automatic transfer switch)
Not if it is sized properly.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:39 PM   #10
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Not if it is sized properly.
Yeah, I think I indirectly mentioned that. That was my point, I just didn't come out and say it.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:41 PM   #11
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Yeah, I think I indirectly mentioned that. That was my point, I just didn't come out and say it.
Then I think I misunderstood your comment.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:42 PM   #12
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Then I think I misunderstood your comment.
Not your fault, I totally missed my mark.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:33 PM   #13
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You might also consider Onan. Costco probalby has the best prices for the Onan generators. If must go with generac, I would go with the Quietsource series. They have automotive style engines and aluminium enclosures.

The best way to figure your AC starting current is to put a clamp meter on the unit and start it up. They can capture the starting current required.

A "Hard Start Kit" will also reduce the amount of power that your ac needs to start. The kit has a Capacitor that helps to start the AC thus reducing the power needed to start it.

Here is the kit I put on my AC:

http://five-two-one.com/

They cost about 45 bucks on ebay. It reduced the starting current of my four ton ac from about 90 to 42 amps. That allows me to run the ac on my 12kw generator without problem.
Thanks.
I was thinking the same thing regarding the hard start kit. I presented this on an HVAC site looking for a quantification of the reduction and one of their moderators stated the amp draw for start up would be the same with the hard start kit but would be for a shorter time. Didn't really understand this as my understanding of the hard start kit was as you had stated.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:35 PM   #14
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Not if it is sized properly.
With a home full of gas appliances (stove, dryer, hot water, furnace) and CFLs, how would you size the generator based on the AC. Kohler's site says the 14res can easily start a 5-ton AC. However, the generator rep out to my house stated I would need at least a 17 or 20 kW unit.
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:34 AM   #15
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Thanks.
I was thinking the same thing regarding the hard start kit. I presented this on an HVAC site looking for a quantification of the reduction and one of their moderators stated the amp draw for start up would be the same with the hard start kit but would be for a shorter time. Didn't really understand this as my understanding of the hard start kit was as you had stated.
All I can say about that is that the Fluke (meter) doesnt lie.

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