Rated 3.0 out of 5 by 2
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by BillK Beware. Not a reliable Product
I purchased this generator, transfer switch and display set from Home Depot in November 2012 and had it installed January 2013 by my electrician and had Cummins Onan do the start up as prescribed by Cummins Onan. Of course I did not have any power failures once I purchased the unit and it was only going through its regular exercise for 20 minutes.
A year later [January 2014] after a whole 6.6 hours of exercising and no power failures, the generator did not start. The starter was bad and had to be replaced. At least the part and labor was covered for this incident. That was just the beginning.
Then in June 2015 at the 19.3 hour mark, it did not start again. The control board had to be replaced. It was during this breakdown that I discovered that the great 5 year 2000 hour warranty only covers parts for 5 years and labor for 2 years. I was 5 months past the labor warranty when this occurred. Cummins is not flexible on this warranty even when you have minimal hours on it. That is when you find out the extreme labor and travel costs that Cummins charges to residential customers in servicing the generator. That cost me $1,488 for labor.
Then once again in January 2016 after an additional 12.5 hours of exercise, the transfer switch broke. Well, I thought through the marketing materials that the generator plus transfer switch were under the 5 year warranty by it was pointed out to me that the transfer switch only has a 2 year warranty. I had utility power but the transfer switch only brought half power into the house so I had to shut off the utility and run the generator to have power. To add insult to injury, Cummins put me on the back burner for service and ensured that I was serviced during overtime hours vs. regular hours in order that I pay more than necessary. Now this cost me an additional $3,550.
Now my total out of warranty cost [during the 5 year warranty period] is now up to $5,038 for both the generator and the transfer switch. My in warranty/out of warranty cost of $5,038 is almost as much as what I paid for the generator set of $5,399.
I was told by Cummins that the product is a Cadillac product. What Cadillac product would run for such few hours [38.4 hours] consisting mainly of exercise time and break down as often as this one? This is no Cadillac. It's more like a Gremlin.
Stay away. Cummins is not really cost effective in servicing residential generators and it seems their products don’t work very well. They are set up to service commercial customers. I can’t wait to see what I have in store for me going forward. Although I initially thought I was paying more for a higher quality product, that is not the case. I wish I would have purchased a Generac. It's too bad Cummins can't make and stand behind a product that works. Companies are usually flexible in adjusting warranty where a product is as defective as mine, but Cummins does not seem to care.
April 3, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by 2acre Great Generator, and really Quiet!
I needed a backup generator that would provide power to the whole house. I started looking and comparing generators. This generator is prewired to provide a trickle charge voltage to the battery, this is not an industry standard, it is an add on option. It has a remote control panel standard that is not an industry standard, but an add on option. It is quiet! you can stand beside this generator running under load, and hold a conversation in a normal tone of voice. I mean literally a foot away from it, you can actually whisper to someone and they'll hear you. Inside the house I can't even hear it running. I really mean it's quiet.
I went through the Home Depot Installation Service, and their installers in my area are fantastic! They worked with me on every aspect of the installation, and took pride in their work even changing the installation because they saw a better way to make a cleaner installation.
During the startup testing we did the utility failure test, and at 8 seconds the generator was supplying power to the house. It handles the heat pump with no issues, as well as the electric furnace. There was no power blink when they came on. All we saw was an increase in the load on the generator. 10 seconds for an automatic transfer commercial generator is industry standard. There is no residential standard. 5 minutes after power was restored, the transfer switch unloaded the generator automatically. Industry standard is 1-5 minutes. 5 minutes is to ensure full restoration of utility power. The generator went through a 5 minute cool down prior to shutting down. There is no industry standard for residential generators.
Everything is controlled from inside the house at the remote control panel, not at the generator. Power readings are taken inside the house, not at the generator. You can leave everything in automatic, and it's a touch free operation to include a test you can schedule any day of the week. You can also manually start/stop the generator, and transfer the load. There is a manual start at the generator if needed and a manual transfer at the transfer switch, but normal operation is from inside.
As for the remote control panel, it monitors the load on both circuits, displaying voltage, frequency, and percentage of load during operation. When the generator is in standby, it displays the battery voltage for monitoring. You can review the events log to see if there were and outages, when the generator last started/stopped, changes to the system configuration, and when the last exercise test was run. The faults log will display any potential problems such as low oil pressure, low battery voltage, when the transfer switch is in manual, and more. The indicators on the panel tell you if there is utility power and if connected, if the generator is running, if it's not in automatic standby, and if there is a configuration problem or fault requiring action. You also have the option to wire this into your home network for remote monitoring while away from home that is a hardwire Ethernet connection.
The generator base is strong and designed for installation in gravel. There is a rubber boot in the bottom of the housing designed to route power lines from underneath. It comes with a gas regulator inside the housing. The housing can be locked for security, and it's really a stout housing that could easily take the weight of an average person. There is a breaker on the generator to isolate the generator from the ABT when working on the generator, plus a remote/off/manual start switch.
The Automatic Bus Transfer (ABT) switch is complete with lockout/tagout control on the breaker. This is necessary for any electrical work done at the ABT breaker or main power panel. There is a remote/manual switch inside for the ABT switch as well as a manual physical throw with an included throw lever. So the ABT has 3 ways in which to operate.
Right now the only time I have to open the generator housing is to show it off to my friends, and for scheduled maintenance. The only time I have to open the ABT panel is for scheduled maintenance. The only thing I have to do at the remote control panel is look at it, unless I want to review the events and faults logs.
For the bad news. Most residential generators are rated on surge load power, not average power. This generator can handle a surge load of 19,500 Watts for 3 minutes before load shedding. Average power output is 10,000 Watts on Propane, and 8,400 Watts on natural gas. I found this out from the Cummins Distributor, and it's also in the installation/operators manual, which I had to request from the Cummins Distributor. If you're looking at a backup generator make sure to research the average power output based on the fuel source.
The control cables are not included, so don't forget to order those when purchasing this generator. You need one for the ABT to the generator, I got the 25' length. And one for the remote control panel to the generator. I went big with the 100' length, and barely made it.
November 9, 2014