Frequently Asked Questions for Kohler Generator Owners

Are you an existing Kohler Generator owner, or maybe you’re thinking about buying one for you home or business in Southeastern Massachusetts. We’ve got the answers to your questions:

Q. What size generator do I need for my house?
A. Use the Sizing Tool to get an idea of your power requirements. For a detailed estimate, contact your local KOHLER Generators dealer or distributor. They can analyze your home’s electrical load and specify and install your generator system.
Q. What is the difference between RESAL and RESA generators?
A. RESAL generators come with a transfer switch. RESA generators come with a controller that offers access to advanced settings; a transfer switch is purchased separately.
Q. Can I install my KOHLER generator myself?
A. Kohler recommends that you choose a local KOHLER Generators dealer or distributor to install your generator. Check our Sales and Service Locator for a location near you.
Q. How do I learn about local installation codes?
A. Code requirements for installing standby generator systems vary nationwide. That’s why Kohler recommends having a factory-authorized dealer install your system, since he or she will be familiar with local and national codes, make sure the generator is properly sized, and avoid code issues with local inspectors.
Q. Does my generator purchase include a battery?
A. Generators ship without batteries to ensure that the freshest possible battery is installed at the job site. Your Operation Manual recommends the proper battery for your generator model. Batteries come in sizes that are readily available at any battery or auto-parts store.
Q. What size transfer switch is best for my generator?
A. It’s a good idea to have an authorized KOHLER dealer perform an onsite analysis to determine which generator and transfer switch offer the best solution for your home. Or, use our online ATS selector.
Q. What is the difference between a transfer switch that’s rated for a service entrance and one that’s rated for a non-service entrance?
A. A service-entry-rated switch comes equipped with a main-line disconnect breaker built into the transfer switch. This is a nationwide code requirement when the transfer switch is wired directly into the incoming main power line for whole-house power. A non-service-entry-rated switch requires the addition of a disconnect breaker at the job site. The service-entry-rated switch saves you time and money during the installation process.
Q. How long can my generator run before I need to check the oil?
A. We recommend checking the oil level after every 8-24 hours of operation, depending on the size and model of the generator. Oil change and filter change frequency and other routine maintenance varies per model, especially during periods of extended power outage. Check the Operation Manual included with your generator for a complete list of required maintenance procedures and schedules.
Q. How do I manually “power off” the generator set?
A. Open the generator hood or access door and flip the circuit breaker to the “off” position (you’ll find the breaker near the digital controller). This shuts off power to the house (the load). It’s a good idea to run the generator with no load for 2-5 minutes. Then press the “off” button on the controller.
Q. How do I open the generator unit?
A. A large metal key is included in your owner’s packet. Insert and turn the key 45 degrees to open the top hood or side-access door of the generator.
Q. How do I check the engine oil?
A. (1) Power off the generator and let the engine sit for two minutes to settle the oil. Pull the dipstick from the back of the engine and wipe with a clean rag. Insert the dipstick back into the dipstick tube and pull it out. Note the crosshatching on the end of the dipstick, from “F” (Full) to “L” (Low), and see where the oil level falls. Add oil if the dipstick indicates that the oil level is low. (See FAQ: What type of oil should I use in my generator?)

(2) Locate the yellow oil-access cap on the front of the engine (look for the oil can icon). Add a few ounces of oil, then recheck the oil level by inserting and removing the dipstick. Add oil until the level is near “F.” Do not overfill the engine.

(3) When you’re finished adding oil, make sure the dipstick and oil access cap are securely in place. Push the AUTO button to place the generator back in standby mode. If the utility power is still out, the generator will start within three seconds. After the generator starts, move the circuit breaker to the ON position so the generator is now supplying power to the house.

Q. Where is the oil dipstick?
A. The dipstick has a bright yellow ring attached to the end. The location varies by generator, but it’s typically noticeable as soon as you open the access panel or hood.
Q. What type of oil should I use in my generator?
A. Your generator ships with KOHLER Genuine Oil 5W-30 full-synthetic oil, which is the oil Kohler recommends. Although a synthetic blend may be used, our recommendation is full-synthetic oil. However, if you know that the oil has been changed out to conventional oil, then use only conventional oil from that point on. Do not mix synthetic oil with conventional oil.
Q. How much oil does a generator normally use?
A. The amount varies and depends on engine model, length of time since the last oil change, amount of power the generator is producing and length of the power outage. Check the Operation Manual included with your generator for a complete list of required maintenance procedures and schedules.
Q. What should I do if the generator is submerged in water?
A. Water and electricity are a very dangerous mix. If you can safely access it, power off the generator. (See FAQ: How do I manually “power off” the generator set?) If it continues to run when submerged, internal damage to both engine and generator will be significant. If you can’t safely access the generator or the main-line disconnect, do not make any attempt to turn it off.
Q. How do I register my generator’s warranty protection?
A. To register your warranty, have an authorized Kohler service technician complete a post-installation Warranty Start-Up at your home. Then, instead of your warranty beginning on the day the generator is purchased, it begins on the day your service technician submits your generator system’s details to the Warranty Start-Up program. The technician completes a checklist, makes sure the system is properly installed, and enters all necessary information onto the Kohler Warranty site. This moves the warranty start date to the day your generator is installed, instead of the date it left the factory.
Once you’re ready to take the next step in purchasing a Kohler standby generator for your home, contact the team at Premier Generator in Carver, Massachuetts at 4 Jabez Bridge Rd, Carver, MA, 02330, or call +1 (508) 947-2863, or fill out our contact form at


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