Generac Generator Experience?

Anyone here have experience with Generac generators in terms of reliability, problems, etc? Most interested in the Guardian whole house standby type that run on nat gas.
A friend has a 12KW one that is about 5 years old. It apparently has a bad rotor, possibly more wrong with it. Trying to figure out if it's worth fixing or if they are inherently cheap crap.
TIA
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On 11/7/2012 9:57 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I installed and have a 6 year old Generac natural gas 7KW model, and have been directly involved in selecting and assisting in the installation of quite a few other Generac units up to 16KW size. They were all installed directly as a result of a freak October ice storm which took nearly 2 weeks to restore power.
All of the Generacs I follow are all working properly and each does a weekly exercise of approx 12 minutes to confirm that the unit is working properly. There have been no outages in the ensuing 6 years since they were installed, so I cannot confidently claim that they will do the job when actually called upon. Any simulated outages I have deliberately created have immediately switched the generator on and transferred power correctly so I do have some confidence that the Generac will do the job when actually needed.
Sort of ironic that in the 3 years preceding my installation, there were 4 outages including the extremely long one I mentioned above of nearly 2 weeks duration.
Since the Generac was installed, I have never had an outage and thus feel like somebody who has purchased insurance but never had a claim.
Smarty
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On a yearly basis, what is that "insurance" costing?
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On 11/7/2012 10:46 AM, hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

This is a very good question and one which I had not previously considered. The depreciation of the equipment per year I would guess is roughly $200 per year based on my installation cost of $2000 and a guesstimate of 10 years life expectancy.
Add to that the maintenance cost of $30 per year for the recommended oil change (synthetic), oil and air filters, spark plug, etc. Add another $10 per year to allow for a battery replacement once every 5 years. Finally add maybe $60 per year fir the natural gas used in the weekly exercise program.
Totals up to $300 per year for my do-it-all-yourself approach.
If I had to pay for professional maintenance, and had to pay originally for a professional installation, my initial cost would have been $1800 higher and my annual maintenance cost would increase to $150 per year. Thus my total annual cost would rise from $300 per year to $590 per year. The additional annual cost of $290 would come from $180 additional of depreciation and $110 of additional maintenance cost.
Bottom line is that this "insurance" costs me $300 per year but would be as high as $590 if I had it all done by others.
Is it worth it to me? Absolutely!
Smarty
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On 11/7/2012 8:57 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Do you know which engine it has? I think Generac has been using their own V twin air cooled in that size in that time period but the older gensets in that size had liquid cooled 4cyl engines. O_o
TDD
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On Nov 7, 11:22am, The Daring Dufas <the-daring-du...@stinky- finger.net> wrote:

It's air cooled. Here is what concerns me. I did a bit of googling on reviews of Generac Guardian whole house units and there sure are one hell of a lot of people with major complaints about the high failure rates and the way that Guardian has responded to them. This includes some from places like Amazon as well as some I've seen from pros that say they are junk and they won't have anything to do with them. Some of the stories appear similar to what's gone wrong with this one, ie, it's relatively new, well maintained, worked fine for weekly scheduled test runs, then died in the middle of a power outage after a few hours. Others are reporting new unit with major problems upon installation and Generac refusing to do a replacement of a new unit, only fix it, etc.
Here are the Amazon revies.. Of 20, 8 are big negatives. I know you can't necessarily rely on these, but if you read them, there is a lot of detail and specifics, not just "They suck..."
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
The other aspect of this is that these 12KW go for about $3K. You could spend more than that on a top of the line portable, eg Honda?, that's only 4KW. It leaves you wondering....
Position we're in is it looks like at least the rotor is shot. Would do the work ourselves, but the parts are still min $350. And I can't fully test the stator either. If that is shot, it's another $450. Voltage regulator module is $100, etc.
Another data point is that the company that sold it, installed and maintained it diagnosed it as a bad generator section and with that told them that it was not worth fixing, just buy a new one, despite the fact that it's not that old. Neighbor then gave it to my friend, and here we are. So, deciding whether to fix it and use it or part it out. Leaning toward the latter....
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On 11/8/2012 7:08 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)
I installed a lot of Generac units back in the 90,s when the 8kw units used the Brigs & Stratton Vanguard engine and the larger units used a Turkish manufactured Fiat 4cyl liquid cooled engine and I believe a 4cyl liquid cooled from Nissan. I've seen other liquid cooled engines in Generac gensets but I don't recall the OEM manufacturer. I've only installed one Generac genset with the Generac manufactured air cooled V twin engine but only serviced it a few times before the owner passed away and his brother removed it and I lost track of it so I have no long term experience with the Generac manufactured engine. I'm suspicious of the air cooled Generac units in the sizes larger than around 8kw because it seems to me they have to push the limits on that engine for that kind of power output. My experience with properly maintained Generac 4cyl liquid cooled 1800rpm gensets was that they were very reliable. The only air cooled 15kw gensets I found tank like in reliability were the Onan flat four natural gas gensets. They reminded me of a light aircraft engine. I don't know what to tell you about the 12kw Generac air cooled V twin since I prefer a liquid cooled 4cyl genset in that size. I'd love to have one of the old Onan flat 4 air cooled NG gensets for my home. ^_^
TDD
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On 11/8/2012 8:08 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)
This is really very disturbing. I have never needed toi actually rely on my Generac since it was installed 6 years ago, so my only basis for recommending it has been the fact that it starts reliably each week. Apparently the use of the generator to actually provide long term power is another story based on the horror stories reported on Amazon.
*Based on thesese comments from other users, I would be extremely reluctant to recommend Generac, and would, in fact, consider replacing mine with a more dependable brand. I am going to research other vendors.
Consumer Reports did recommend Generac not too long ago for stand-by generators, but that endorsement isn't neccesarily based in any way on actual reliability data. *
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