Are Generac Generators Good? (11 Things You Should Know)

Quality equipment and highly rated products are a top concern for backup generators. Homeowners, business owners, industrial and healthcare industries all rely on dependable backup power. Are Generac generators good? When considering whether to invest the cost of full-home standby generators or commercial power applications, quality counts. 

Generac Holdings, Inc. has been the nation’s top producer of generators since 1959. They offer generators for homeowners and business & industry with currently over 5,600 employees. Generac generators are very well regarded in the industry and are fantastic for most consumers.

Generac products include the following, but are not limited to:

  • Home backup power generators
  • Mobile generators
  • Portable backup generators
  • Pressure washers
  • Industrial generators
  • Light towers
  • Heaters
  • Pumps

The following lists 11 questions and points to consider while detailing what you should know before opening your wallet.

1. What Company Owns Generac Generators?

In 1959, Robert D. Kern founded Generac Holdings in Wales, Wisconsin. Generac became the first company to make home standby generators affordable. 

They made their first automatic home standby generator in 1989, and today, every 8 out of 10 homes featuring a standby generator is a Generac. Generac continues to be a dominant player in the power generator and power equipment industry. 

As the parent company, you can break down Generac’s operations into the following child companies:

  • Generac Industrial Power. Large supplier of power generation products.
  • Generac Mobile. Mobile power solutions for construction, mining, and more.
  • Pramac. Manufacturer of stationary and mobile generators for the commercial and industrial sectors. Generac became the majority shareholder of Pramac in 2016.
  • Selmec. Designer and distributor of diesel generators, acquired by Generac Holdings in 2018. Selmec was in business for 75 years before Generac’s acquisition.
  • Dr. Power. Produces lawn equipment, batteries, chippers, and more. Acquired by Generac in 2015.
  • Motortech. Manufacturer of gas engines and gas engine technologies, Motortech was acquired by Generac in 2017.
  • Captiva. Producer of power and customized generator solutions. Operating in Asia, Captiva was acquired by Generac in 2019.
  • Mean Green Mowers. Producer of electric mowers founded in 2008. Inherited by Generac in 2015 (owned by Dr. Power).
  • Tank Utility, Inc. Propane tank monitoring technology. Acquired by Generac in 2021.

2. How Much Does It Cost to Install a Generac Whole House Generator?

According to the Generac website, whole home backup generators start at $1,949, and installation (labor) costs depend on various factors that include local building codes, system size, and installation charges.

The lower-end cost of a Generac system installation is available when both the electric and gas meters are on the same side of the home. You can request a quote in your area straight from the Generac website through a form.

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Performing an online search for the cost of installation returns mixed results. These results range from $1,000 to $3,000 to $5,000. The true cost solely depends on your unique situation and local professional to determine the most accurate answer. 

Generac does list the current cost of the generators themselves, ranging from $1,949 to over $5,000 (equipment only), depending on the backup type. A home ranging from 2,000 to 2,499 square feet with most major appliances and various extras (sump pump, etc.) shows a high-power need. 

When plugging this information into Generac’s sizing calculator returns a result of $2,000. This number, according to Generac, is subjected to the following factors:

  1. Generator placement. Where the generator is placed will play a role in the overall cost of installation. The natural gas line, distance, leveling requirements and more influences cost.
  1. The number of materials. Some components required for installation will need to be provided by the certified service dealer, and is not included in the price of the unit or involved labor.
  1. The location of gas and electric meters. Hooking up power and natural gas lines on the same side of the house is much easier.
  1. Size of the system based on power requirements. Naturally, as the size of the generator as does the cost.
  1. Taxes and permits. Local permits and taxes fluctuate depending on where you are located. Contact a local service dealer to learn more.

After entering a request for the cost of a whole home generator through Generac’s sizing calculator using a 2,000 to 2,499 square foot home with all major appliances and a sump pump, the best match returned the Generac Guardian 18kW Home Backup Generator (WiFi-Enabled). 

The total, before taxes, totals $6,319. This is a rough estimate for a particular geographical location.

3. How Is the Warranty On Generac Generators?

Generac standby generators are backed by a warranty, featuring a 3 to 5-year or 2,000-hour threshold, whichever occurs first, depending on the model. Generac determines the authenticity of the warranty claim by utilizing authorized/certified service dealers to verify defects in material or craftsmanship. 

Portable generators feature a 2 to 3-year or 1,500-hour warranty, whichever comes first.

You can learn more about Generac’s standby warranty guidelines and information by visiting the PDF link here.

The following is various warranty benefits and information about Generac’s standby and portable generators warranty:

  1. Transferable. Since standby whole home generators are difficult to move from one home to another, ownership of the warranty is transferrable among homeowners. This helps instill confidence in buyers while the home is on the market.
  1. Generac’s discretion. Similar to most manufacturers’ warranty coverage, Generac may choose to replace a piece or repair necessary components at their discretion.
  1. Authorized/Certified service dealers. Generac will only honor a warranty for work performed by an authorized/certified service dealer.  
  1. Wired and mounted units. Generac’s 5-year or 2,000-hour warranty only applies to wired and mounted standby generators.
  1. Required maintenance. Generac requires proof that documented maintenance was performed and must be available. Maintain a log and designated spot for easy access to this information.
  1. Travel coverage. Travel to an authorized Generac service dealer totaling 100 miles round trip is covered. Any travel that exceeds 100 miles to the nearest dealer is not covered. 

You can either visit a local Generac service dealer or call their warranty service line to make a claim. The Generac warranty page mentions that the warranty does not cover the following for both standby or portable generators:

  • Normal wear and tear
  • Cost of normal maintenance
  • Failures caused by acts of God (earthquakes, hurricanes, water, fire, lightning, windstorms, hail, tornados, or freezing)
  • Altered wiring following installation
  • Improper installation or maintenance
  • Shipping costs for expedited shipping

4. How Many Hours Does a Generac Generator Last?

One question revolving around the investment of a Generac whole home generator is how many hours does a Generac generator last? Whole-home generators feature a typical lifespan of 25 to 30 years. Portable generators last around 2,000 hours.

Various factors affect the life of a Generac standby and portable generator product. Maintenance upkeeping, quality of installation (standby units), degree of usage, and other factors influence the overall performance of a Generac generator.

5. How Long Does a Generac Generator Battery Last?

Generac whole home standby generators require a wet-cell battery to start the system. The 26R wet-cell battery is for the 8-22kW air-cooled Generac standby generators, lasting around 2-3 years before a change. 

Generac standby generators have built-in diagnostics to be informed of the battery’s condition. Waiting until the battery fails before changing it will reduce the effectiveness of your whole home generator. Routinely changing the battery every 2-3 years should be a part of your maintenance schedule.

6. What Maintenance Is Required for a Generac Generator?

Standby and portable generators require maintenance to keep them running at high efficiency and honor warranty terms and conditions. There are many models to choose from – each lists a specific list of maintenance parts.

Maintenance kits include:

  • SAE 30 engine oil
  • Oil filter
  • Air filter
  • Spark plug
  • Oil filter
  • Shop towels

The following is an example maintenance kit for both a standby and portable generator. What is not listed is the battery mentioned above. There are no kits that include the battery, which is a separate part. 

DescriptionGenerac 7677-0 Portable (Quantity)Generac Guardian 14kW Standby (Quantity)
SAE 30 Engine Oil12
Oil Filter11
Air Filter11
Spark Plug12
Oil Funnel11
Cost/Link$35.34 7677-0 Kit$98.71 14kW Kit
Generac Generator Maintenance Kits

7. Are Generac Generators Made in the USA?

Generac portable generator engines are split between production in the USA and offshore. Generac’s G-FORCE and OHVI engines are made (and designed) in Wisconsin, but the OHV engines are not engineered or designed in the USA.

The company uses G-FORCE engines inside of their whole home standby generators. OHVI and OHV engines run the Generac portable units.

8. Which Portable Generac Generator Is the Best?

There are many portable generators by Generac. I’ve compared some of the available models in the table below.

Description7677-0GP7686-1GP5734-1
Cost (Starting)$459.00$999.00$3,249.00
Running Wattage3,600w8,000w15,000w
Weight105lbs198lbs363lbs
Dimensions (L” xW” xH”)24×22.5×21.327.2x27x26.548.5x31x39.5
Run Time (50% Capacity)9.3 Hours10 Hours10 Hours
Warranty (Residential/Commercial)3 Year/1 Year3 Year/1 Year2 Year/1 Year
Generac Standby Generator Comparison

9. Which Whole House Generac Generator Is the Best?

Generac offers various whole-home standby generators. I’ve compared some of the available models in the table below. Many other features and specifications are available for reference.

DescriptionGuardian 14kWEcoGen 15kW (Energy Efficient)Guardian 18kW
Cost (Starting)$3,699.00$4,459.00$4,319.00
Gas TypeNatural or LPNatural or LPNatural or LP
Weight385lbs460lbs420lbs
Dimensions (L” xW” xH”)48x25x2948x25x2948x25x29
Smart Phone CompatibleYesYesYes
Alexa® Smart Home CompatibleYesNoYes
Warranty5 Year3 Year5 Year
Generac Portable Generator Comparison

10. How Long Can a Generac Generator Run Continuously?

Any generator will run as long as the engine can handle. Generac’s family of G-FORCE engines (400, 500, 1000 series) run for hours, days, and even weeks if it is needed.

According to Generac, the G-FORCE engines can withstand extended run times while maintaining high performance. The ability to run for extended periods allows homeowners to acquire peace of mind when bad weather is present.

11. Are Generac Generators Quiet?

Natural gas standby Generac generators have less-loud overall mechanical noise, but other noise factors are dependent on components such as the radiator and exhaust. Generac offers quiet portable generators that are no louder than a conversation BY QUIETLY converting DC power to AC through the alternator.

Generac carries a smaller, portable generator offered as their quietist unit. The iQ2000 features an LED dashboard, three modes (Turbo, Standard, or Economy), and is excellent for camping and other events that benefit from a quiet generator.

Final Thoughts 

Since 1959, Generac Holdings has been a dominant player in the mobile and stand-alone power industry. Generac’s brand has continued to carry the highest level of quality and reputation over an impressive 62-year span. Generac features a warranty covering the quality of the parts, equipment, and craftsmanship. 

Generac offers an array of products for the residential, commercial construction industries in North America. As Generac continues to grow as a business by acquiring new assets such as Pramac, Selmec, and Dr. Power, innovation plays a significant role in the company’s state. 

Customers continue to provide stellar reviews for Generac across the internet and promote the quality Generac has to offer.

Sources

Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections since 2002. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and an FHA 203k Consultant. I started PickGenerators.com to help people better understand whole-house and portable generators.

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