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Thread: Do you have a service agreement for your whole house generator?

  1. #1
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    Do you have a service agreement for your whole house generator?

    I have a service agreement for my whole house generator. It cost $415/ year. Once a year they change the oil and filter and test the system . A second time they just test the system. Iím thinking about doing it myself, I would imagine changing the oil and filter is pretty easy. Do you have a service agreement for your whole house generator?
    Thanks
    Dennis

  2. #2
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    My generator is new, so no contract at the moment, but I will say that $415 seems a little high for this as a typical annual service (oil, spark plug, etc) runs in the $250-350 range a la cartť in my experience.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    My self installed three yr old Generac has a couple hundred hours on it. I did not buy the extended warranty. I have done the service on it myself, but recently I did have a dealer come up for a valve adjustment. I can do that but thought I’d check his method out. I set it up for him to do any repairs in the future, but do not have a service plan with him. I bird dogged him pretty close and will do the valve adjustments myself in the future. the oil, filter & plug change is pretty simple. I also did not buy the extended warranty. Given parts costs that is a gamble, but if I make it for a few years without a major failure the savings are well on the way to a new generators cost. Time will tell

  4. #4
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    I was offered such a plan, but it was, as you describe, just a maintenance agreement, not a service contract. If something broke I'd still be on the hook for parts and labor for the entire repair cost without even any guarantee of priority service. Seemed like a stupid amount of money for 20 minutes work every other year. If they offered an actual service contract at that price where they would fix it when it breaks (covering labor, at least) in addition to the PM items I might have gone for it. As it is, it's just "added dealer profit".

  5. #5
    Dennis, we don’t have a service agreement on our Genera, the contractor that installed the generator charges $250 for the yearly service. No need for a service agreement, the electrical contractor calls every year like clock work to schedule the service.
    Last edited by Robert LaPlaca; 06-04-2022 at 2:38 PM.

  6. #6
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    It is not a generator but I just wrote a check for a service agreement on my air conditioner and it went up $60 from last year. Now what could have made it climb that high? They do so little. Thought about letting it lapse and when it breaks just pay repair bill. By the time I paid for all these years of this contract I could have replaced many parts already. One of those tough questions.
    John T.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Terefenko View Post
    It is not a generator but I just wrote a check for a service agreement on my air conditioner and it went up $60 from last year. Now what could have made it climb that high? They do so little. Thought about letting it lapse and when it breaks just pay repair bill. By the time I paid for all these years of this contract I could have replaced many parts already. One of those tough questions.
    Cost of Freon (R410) has increased considerably the past year. R22 is even higher as it's being phased out. I think R410 will start going away in a few years. I imagine parts costs have also risen, so the HVAC company is CIA.
    BillL

  8. #8
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    I forgot to mention that the contract our Generac dealer sent me specified that they had zero liability for any damage caused by their service or lack thereof, specifically including damage resulting from negligence. So if their guy forgot to put the oil back in after draining the crankcase, for example, their contract said they had no responsibility for the resulting damage to the generator.

    I thought that was particularly egregious for such an overpriced service. Read the fine print!

  9. #9
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    no....
    For 8 years now his thing has run a self test for 5 minutes every monday morning. In that time I doubt the motor has accumulated more than 100 hrs....

    A139650A-7892-4931-AAB1-E99D0D29D525_1_201_a.jpg

  10. #10
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    I had a Generac generator at my last house for 11 years and have one in my current house going on 8 years now. I installed both myself and never had a service agreement. I was astounded at the cost of these agreements for what they offer. Even if you have never worked on or did maintenance on a car you can perform the simple tasks of changing the oil, filter and spark plugs on these generators as they are easy to do and get at. My first generator would run for 10 minutes every week along with probably a hundred or so hours during power outages. The current one runs for 12 minutes every two weeks and, right now, probably has at least a hundred hours on it from outages. I have never adjusted the valves although out of curiosity have checked them and found no adjustment needed. I do use synthetic oil and change it every two years. The oil still looks clean but it's lubricity properties are decreased. So my thought is that if you are handy enough to do woodworking you can perform the generator maintenance yourself and save a lot of money.

  11. #11
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    i think companies like Generac count on people saying to themselves that they know they will forget to change the oil while at the same time will want it to start when the power goes out so they pay for the coverage. I'm sure it's more profit that just selling the generator. In fact I wouldn't be surprised to find out that parts and service is where they make their money and discount the actual price of the generator to just above break even.

  12. #12
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    I would add some kind of extended pipe from the oil drain so I do not have to crawl under to get to it. On my cars I add a spring loaded valve that replaces the drain plug. On them a oil change is tool free unless I change filters. I shoved a right angle pre-bent rubber hose on to the drain valves so it drains straight down into the pan.,
    For a genset I might drill a hole to get a wrench onto the spark plug if there is too much cover in the way.
    A lawn mower engine probably runs 25-50 hours between yearly oil changes.
    Bill D

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Lessenberry View Post
    Cost of Freon (R410) has increased considerably the past year. R22 is even higher as it's being phased out. I think R410 will start going away in a few years. I imagine parts costs have also risen, so the HVAC company is CIA.
    BillL
    They never had to add freon. They never replaced parts in 5 years. They do not even change filter. I have to do that. They come out check drain line, check voltage, and check freon level and done in 15 minutes. If there were parts to replace I have to pay. If freon needed I pay for it. It is just a Maintenace agreement that coincides with manufacturer parts agreement. I will get into this with service tech when he comes out.
    John T.

  14. #14
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    Service it yourself, I replace my battery every couple years and change the oil yearly. Mine is a generac and super easy to remove the covers and service.
    A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.

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