The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Generac products are garbage – UPDATED!

Posted by iusbvision on June 21, 2010

We got a Generac 4000EXL Extended Life 4000 watt generator with what it called is great OHV engine designed to last many years….

It cost $729.00

It has electric start and a high peak voltage. Sounds so good right?

The power goes out and even though the battery for the electric start was plugged in, the electric start would not even turn the engine on the getgo first time use.

But no worries it has a pull cord right? Well if you follow the instructions and put the choke on full for the start what you end up with is a gas soaked air filter. So I took the air filter out and let it sit. After a while I put the choke on half and pulled the cord and it started. Great.

It worked for 5 hours and we used it to keep our food cold and a couple of fans and a small TV going in the house. After 5 hours we shut it down and went to bed. We went out the next morning to fire it up. No go.

After a great deal (hours) of trouble shooting I concluded that the engine was not aspirating, I took the valve cover off and there was the rocker arm in two pieces. It broke in half. It was a slim piece of stamped pot metal. It should have been a hard carbon steel or aluminum alloy thicker part that is machined… not stamped like a Tonka kids toy like they used to make them in the 1970’s.

The food in both of my freezers is now history.

Rocker arms take a tremendous beating in an engine. There is no excuse for this.

After talking to two shops about this product neither had something good to say about this products reliability or quality. They all but told me to buy Japanese if you dont want junk.

What is this world coming to?

 

So I went to the Generac web site and this is what it says on the front page:  

Power. Our lives depend on it. From everyday necessities like heating, cooling, refrigeration and lights, to daily essentials like cooking, laundry or kids’ bath times. Power outages are occurring more frequently than ever and lasting longer with devastating effects. Stand up to unpredictable weather and unforeseen outages with the most trusted name in residential standby power.

Our lives depend on it……  I would like to take the CEO and drop him here in the middle of a power outage and see if he would bet his life on a cheap, stamped piece of pot metal.

UPDATE – Generac responds! See the comments section for this post for an important update!!!

Editor’s note – I am glad that someone from Generac commented as that has caused me to reflect on this situation and I have concluded that it may be an over-reach to say that “Generac Products Are Garbage” because it implies a superlative that all of them are garbage. I have not tested all Generac products and cannot imply that all of them are “garbage”, but in my view this engine design on the XL4000 certainly is. I am concerned that the new parts Generac shipped are the same cheap stuff. In my view coming out with some higher quality machined parts to replace them would have been prudent. I am posting this update under no pressure from Generac at all, but I wanted to take this opportunity to be more precise in my narrative.  As you all can imagine, I was a bit frustrated and displeased with this entire situation.

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4 Responses to “Generac products are garbage – UPDATED!”

  1. Paul Geer said

    Sorry to hear about your power, I ended up buying a McCullock generator, 11 hp engine 7000 Watt gen. I paid seven bills for it too. Hope I got a deal on it!

  2. Angi said

    Hi. My name is Angi and i’m with Generac Power Systems. I’d like the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you. Please contact me at 888.436.3722 X2560 or angi.miller@generac.com

    [IUSB Vision Editor Responds –

    Hi Angi, thanks for commenting. I want to be very clear. I am not interested in having an off the record conversation with you. You may converse with me here if you are on the up and up.

    We got the generator under rather unusual circumstances. We had a perfectly functioning generator but our dad wanted us to have one with an electric start and he insisted. So to keep peace in the family I let dad take our old generator and sell it and later he brought over the xl4000. So we ran it for a short time, changed the oil and we kept the generator in the house (not in the garage – I mean in the house) so it was not exposed to the weather/condensation during storage.

    I want you to know that this is not a case of stupid user syndrome. When I was in the military the first time I repaired small piston engines (Wisconsin Engines) and gas turbine powered generators (-60 main generator). During my second tour in the military I did aircraft and munitions service and repair. I also have automotive experience. I can assure you that the engine was not ran without oil and did not have any oil leaks and such.

    Where I live the grid is very sensative and we have a great number of power outages, most of them are short. We were fortrunate to have a stint of about 8 months where our home did not have any extended power outages requiring the use of the generator. This brings us to the situation I wrote about above.

    Our dad, who is very bright but is a bit along in years, no longer had the purchase reciept so I had no way of proving the exact date of purchase so asking for a warranty repair seemed useless.

    A large local small engine equipment dealer referred us to another repair service because they are not allowed to order parts because they are not a Generac dealer. I showed our local small engine dealer and the serviceman they referred me to the rocker arm and both were rather surprised that it was a cheap stamped piece of pot metal. Our service man had to find a dealer who both could order parts from you and was willing to sell the parts to him. Appearently only certain authorized places are even allowed to order parts from you, which is quite inconvenient. The parts were ordered but we had to wait many weeks because some of the parts were on back order (so it would seem that I am far from the only person inconvenienced by this engine design).

    The new rocker arm is the same, cheap, thin, stamped piece of pot metal /sigh. So now I have a great deal of money into the repair of this generator and when the repair is done I still have a generator that I feel I cannot trust. We had no choice but to get a new generator of a different brand and we are not sure what we should do with the xl4000.

    With the exception of the proper names of the people involved I think you now know everything I do about this rather expensive and unhappy experience.

    I am glad that you commented and that has caused me to reflect on this situation and I have concluded that it may be an an over-reach to say that “Generac Products Are Garbage” because it implies a superlative. I have not tested all of your products and cannot imply that all of them are “garbage”, but in my view this engine design on the XL4000 certainly is. I am concerned that the new parts your company shipped are the same cheap stuff. In my view coming out with some higher quality machined parts to replace them would have been prudent. I will update my post with the correction.

    Again thanks for stopping by to comment.]

  3. jim said

    i also own a generac wheelhose5550, it ran good for a while, now it gives out no power, it looks great, runs great but gives no power, that sucks, considering the old generator that is small and really old works terrific, what will this new stuff do when we need it, and will generac take up the cost to repair the problem with their products

  4. I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This piece of writing posted at this site is
    genuinely nice.

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