Preparing to Buy a Generator


Have you ever considered getting a standby generator, but never committed because of how far out from the house it had to be installed? Well, you’re in luck.

KOHLER recently expanded its line of home generators with new liquid-cooled units that install as close as 18 inches to a home—compared to the standard 5-foot clearance. This convenient feature now applies to all KOHLER® liquid-cooled RCL generators (24-60 kW). With the reduced clearance already available on KOHLER air-cooled units (10-20 kW), you now have a wide variety of backup power options that can be positioned close to your house. Sleek, discreet, and out of the way.

“Being able to safely install the new generator closer to a structure allows us to bring secure, standby power to homeowners who have smaller lots or want a more discreet installation,” says Jack Zbiegien, senior product manager for KOHLER residential generators. “Locating the generator closer to the house structure gives homeowners the ability to blend the unit with exterior decor, much like we see air-conditioner units within landscaped spaces.”


But proximity isn’t the only benefit. These new generators:

  • Withstand hurricane-force winds — up to 181 mph
  • Restore your power automatically
  • Perform a remarkably quiet weekly exercise at sound levels similar to a normal conversation
  • Feature a corrosion-resistant aluminum enclosure
  • Include a 5-year, 2000-hour limited warranty



Why wait any longer? Experience the peace of mind and reliability only KOHLER generators provide. Contact your local KOHLER dealer today.

July 30, 2021 7:15 PM

All About OnCue Plus

We check our bank accounts, order lunch, and see who’s at our front door all from our smart phone. But did you know you can keep tabs on your KOHLER® standby generator from your phone or tablet? You can!


With the KOHLER OnCue® Plus Generator Management System, you can check the status of your generator, start or stop an exercise, check the oil temperature, contact your dealer, and so much more. Explore all of the capabilities here.

What is OnCue Plus?

The OnCue Plus app, available for download on Android and Apple devices, enables you to remotely monitor your generator’s performance wherever you are. The app is also compatible with Amazon Alexa with the OnCue Plus Skill and Google Home devices with the OnCue Plus Action.


The OnCue Plus app allows you to access everything related to your standby generator in one place. With the app, you can:


  • View real-time power status of your home or business
  • Manage up to six electrical loads remotely, turning circuits on or off from anywhere
  • Receive instant generator updates via text or email
  • Schedule generator maintenance appointments with your KOHLER dealer
  • Check your oil level and temperature
  • Check the engine temperature
  • Start or stop an exercise*
  • Change your next exercise


*An exercise refers to running your generator even when it is not needed to ensure it is working properly. We recommend exercising your generator weekly.

OnCue Plus Voice Commands

Checking in on your generator has never been easier! Simply use OnCue Plus Skill on Amazon Alexa or OnCue Plus Action on Google to control your generator using just your voice. Both are free.


Once you have downloaded and installed them on your devices, try voice commands like:


  • What is the status of my generator?
  • What’s the battery voltage?
  • What’s the oil temperature?
  • When was my last exercise?
  • Does my generator have any active alerts?


Integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Home is just one more way Kohler is innovating what it means to have reliable backup power.

Download OnCue Plus for Your KOHLER Generator Today


Apple App Store

Android App Store

June 15, 2021 1:06 PM

Why Can't I Get a Standby Generator Quote Online?

A standby generator is an investment, so naturally you want to have as much information about the cost as possible. If you’re looking for quotes online and can’t seem to find a total cost estimate, there’s a reason.

Like with other home improvement projects, your Kohler Authorized Dealer can’t give you an accurate quote without an in-person or virtual consultation to learn more about your home. Here, we’ll talk about the variables that impact the price of a generator and why it’s necessary for a Kohler Authorized Dealer to examine your home and property in order to give you a more accurate quote.


Four Variables That Impact the Total Price of a Standby Generator

When it comes to buying a generator, most people believe the model and size are the only variables to consider. However, there are actually several other factors that impact the total cost of your generator, with size being one of the only aspects that's relatively consistent across the board. You can find MSRP information, which is the cost of the unit itself, for our generators on our website. Installation, an automatic transfer switch, and any accessories will add to the total cost.

Think of it like building a house. The materials cost a certain amount, but you still need to pay builders, electricians, and plumbers to construct the house.

While installing a standby generator isn’t as complicated as building a house, it is a complex process involving your home’s electrical and gas systems. For that reason, it’s imperative that a professional installs it.

With that said, let’s explore installation and the factors that make up the total cost of your standby generator.


1. Your Home’s Electrical System

In order to have a standby generator installed, your home’s electrical system must be up to date. While this is usually not a problem for most newer homes, older homes may need to have some electrical work done in order for their generator to be installed.

Since this varies from home to home, it’s critical for your Kohler Authorized Dealer to perform an in-person or virtual evaluation before giving you a quote.


2. Automatic Transfer Switch

The automatic transfer switch (ATS) is the component that allows the generator to turn on automatically when the power goes out. There are different kinds of ATS, and the option that is right for you will depend on your existing electrical system and the size of the generator you choose. You can find the MSRP of our automatic transfer switches on our website and your Kohler Authorized Dealer will provide guidance on the one that would be best for your home.


3. Your Current Natural Gas or Liquid Propane Supply

KOHLER® standby generators connect to your home’s natural gas system or liquid propane tank. If you currently use a natural gas service or a liquid propane tank, you’re ahead of the game! However, you will still want a professional to evaluate whether the existing gas service will meet the needs of your new standby generator or if an upgrade is in order.

If you don’t have an existing gas supply to the home, you will need to have natural gas service routed to your home or have a liquid propane tank installed. The size of the liquid propane tank you will need depends on the size of your home, the size of the generator, and the desired duration between tank refills. You may also decide whether you would like to have the tank buried or located above ground.

This is a common step in the process for many homeowners. Natural gas service or liquid propane tanks are professionally installed by the natural gas or liquid propane supplier of your choice, so the extra work is minimal for you. This expense varies greatly depending on your location and the size of the liquid propane tank you purchase. Your Kohler Authorized Dealer cannot provide a quote for this, but they may be able to refer you to local gas and propane companies.


4. Permits

Permits are typically required to install a standby generator, and prices vary based on location. There’s good news, though: your Kohler Authorized Dealer will take care of securing all necessary permits and the cost will be rolled into the cost of installation.


How to Get a KOHLER Standby Generator Quote

As you can see, there are quite a few factors unique to your home that impact the cost of your generator, from accessories to installation. The professional consultation process allows us to give you the most accurate quote possible, so you avoid costly surprises. When you’re ready to explore our backup power options, request your quote from a local Kohler Authorized Dealer.

May 17, 2021 7:43 PM

What Will My Kohler Standby Generator Run During a Power Outage?


The number of appliances a Kohler standby generator can power at one time depends on the generator's output capacity and the amount of power each appliance uses. During a power outage, your first priorities are most likely personal safety and protecting your home. It may be less important for your electric stove to work than it is for your sump pump to keep the basement from flooding. As time passes and the outage continues, you may want to choose different appliances to supply with power. Knowing how much power your generator can produce will help you determine which appliances can run at the same time and which ones can wait.


Understanding Electrical Power


Electricity is measured in amps (A) and volts (V). Amperage, also known as a current, measures the amount of electrons moving within an electric circuit. Voltage measures the amount of potential energy or force those electrons are under, which creates a current. Electrical power, which expresses the amount of electricity being used by appliances, is measured in watts. Wattage equals your volts x the amperage. For example, an appliance plugged into a 120-volt outlet and drawing 10 amperes of current is using 1200 watts (120V x 10A). Sometimes watt is converted to kilowatt (1kW = 1,000W).


Appliances that are powered by motors are measured in volt-amps (volts x amps) instead of watts. Sometimes volt-amps is converted to kVA (1kVA = 1,000volt-amps). When calculating power for appliances that have motors, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, you have to consider the motor's running and startup current. An appliance with a motor will typically use more power for a few seconds to turn on before dropping to a lower, steady running current. To estimate a startup current, simply multiply the running watts by three for most motors or by six for heavy duty motors.


Standby generators are rated in kilowatts to disclose the amount of power the unit is capable of producing. Kohler standby generators can produce their rated power continuously and also supply additional power to support starting motors for a short period of time. Kohler's 14kW generators can supply 35kVA, and the 20 kW models can provide 40.5kVA to support startup currents of motors as mentioned above.


Power Requirements of Appliances


The amount of power required by an appliance varies by manufacturer. Most appliances have their electrical needs posted on product tags or in an owner's manual. The list below estimates the running watts and starting watts of some typical home appliances. This list is intended to service as a basic guide; however, we recommend you consult with a professional electrician to measure the electrical requirements of your appliances.


Appliance Run Watts Start Watts
Refrigerator 700 2100
Freezer 700 2100
Coffee Maker 1200 n/a
Crockpot 200 n/a
Toaster Oven 1550 n/a
Electric Lights 13-300 n/a
1000 Watt Microwave 1200 n/a
1 Ton Central AC 2000 4000
3 Ton Central AC 4500 9000
12,000 BTU Window AC 1700 5100
Furnace Blower 875 2625
Sump Pump 800 2400
Well Pump 2000 6000


Standby Generator Power Management


Work with your local Kohler Generator authorized dealer to choose a transfer switch for your system. During a power outage, your Kohler transfer switch will automatically transfer power from the utility grid to your generator.


Kohler's generator sizing calculator is a great tool to help suggest a generator for your home, based on the amount of electricity your appliances need. Use the calculator and work with your local Kohler Generator authorized dealer to determine which generator best suits your needs.


Norwall Power Systems was established in 1997. The company specializes in selling emergency backup power generators and associated equipment.

Norwall Power Systems sells and supports many different types of power systems. They have thousands of standby generators, portable generators, marine generators, automatic transfer switches and replacement parts in stock in multiple warehouses throughout the US.

December 16, 2020 6:18 AM

What you Need to Know Before Buying a Standby Generator

Q&A with Chris Stiles, President of Total Energy Systems, LLC, An Authorized Kohler Distributor

Although he certainly looks the part, Chris is not your typical company president. He's a laid back, family man with a laugh that's larger than life. With Chris' straight-to-the-point approach, he's the perfect person to explain exactly what you need to know before buying a standby generator.


Q: How do I know if a standby generator is right for me?

A: If you're at risk of losing your personal property if the power fails, you'll want to consider standby power. We've had people tell us about terrible losses they've gone through. One family came to us after their pipes froze during a winter outage. They had water dripping from the second floor down to the basement. The best time to have a standby generator installed is before something like this happens to you.


Q: How much should I budget for a standby generator?

A: A standby generator is permanently installed outside your home, like a central air conditioning unit. It's not a portable or temporary device; it's an investment that can protect your loved ones and your home in the event of a power outage. Equipment cost depends on the amount of backup power you need. Installation cost varies depending on your situation. A generator, transfer switch, and installation by one of our licensed and certified dealers could likely cost between $5,000 - $10,000 total.


Q: What size generator do I need?

A: Ask yourself how many things you'd like to operate during a power outage. Sizing can vary depending on if you're looking to back up critical power needs (like your sump pump, fridge, basic lighting, and garage door) or your entire home so that it would function as if there were no power outage. Kohler offers solutions for both scenarios and provides a very useful generator sizing calculator.


Q: What does the installation involve?

A: You'll want to contact a certified Kohler dealer to have your generator installed. Your local dealer will go through a site survey and you'll discuss scenarios for generator placement on your property that are in accordance with your local codes and ordinances. Ideally, you'll select a spot that's close to your home's incoming gas and electric supply. Then, your dealer will level the surface where your generator will be placed. Often, crushed gravel and a pre-fabbed concrete pad, or a concrete slab will be laid prior to installation. Finally, your dealer will install the automatic transfer switch and will connect it to your generator.

Your local Kohler Generators dealer is a great resource to help you find a standby generator that suits your needs, respond to any questions that you might have, and provide you with a quote and further information customized to your situation.

Chris Stiles is president of Total Energy Systems, LLC. Total Energy Systems has been a proven provider of critical power in the Midwest for more than half a century.

December 15, 2020 6:18 AM