If you own a small business or commercial property, investing in a backup power system can provide peace of mind and prevent losses to your revenue stream during power outages. Choosing the right industrial standby generator is important, but can also be overwhelming. Two of the most widely recognized brands of standby generators on the market today are Generac and Cummins. Both companies make excellent products, but this article will help you learn more about a Cummins vs. Generac generator and help you decide which is the best option for you.
Choosing between Generac, Kohler, and Cummins generators involves considering factors such as reliability, performance, and features. Generac generators are known for their affordability and widespread availability, making them a popular choice for residential and small commercial applications. Kohler generators are recognized for their premium quality and advanced technology, appealing to those seeking top-notch performance and durability, while Cummins generators are often favored in industrial and heavy-duty settings (like construction sites), renowned for their robust construction and reliable power output. The decision between Generac, Kohler, and Cummins ultimately depends on specific needs and preferences, whether for commercial use, or industrial applications.
Generac: A Brand Name You Can Trust
Generac has a long history as the top-selling brand of backup generators for small businesses and commercial properties. Founded in 1959, the company has a 60-year track record of manufacturing affordable, quality generators. Generac generators are renowned for their simplicity and have some of the most user-friendly features available on the market. Understanding the pros and cons of Generac generators is essential for making an informed decision about investing in a backup power solution. Are Generac generators reliable? Here is how a Generac generator stacks up against a Cummins generator.
- Less expensive than comparative generators on the market today.
- An easy-to-use self-diagnostic system for troubleshooting.
- Automatic voltage regulation guarantees a constant power output.
- A multilingual LCD display for monitoring battery and maintenance intervals.
- Less than 5 percent harmonic distortion, meaning sensitive electronics will be protected from overheating and overloading.
- Features a pressure-lubricated engine, which is durable and built to produce reliable backup power for any application.
- The unit’s powder-coated finish reduces corrosion and protects your generator during adverse weather conditions.
- 24/7/365 customer service is available from Generac headquarters.
While Generac units may be cheaper, over time they may experience more problems and degrade in quality faster than other brands. As they age, maintenance issues become more frequent and difficult to handle for customers. Here are three issues to be aware of when considering a Cummins vs. Generac generator.
- Cranky carburetors – Many users have noted that Generac carburetors can be touchy. In order to keep your generator in top condition, it is important to regularly clean and maintain the carburetor.
- Faulty wiring – Reports of faulty wiring causing a Generac generator to cut out during critical usage have been noted. Some models have wiring that is not properly sized, meaning that they cannot handle a typical power load. Make sure that the wiring in your generator is properly sized and installed to prevent this.
- Battery woes – Unlike some brands, Generac batteries need to be replaced every two to three years or they may not be in working order during a critical outage.
Cummins: Takes a Licking And Keeps On Ticking
Cummins generators have a reputation for high performance and longevity. They can survive even the roughest conditions and provide years of reliable power during emergency situations. The generators have a wide range of output voltage and frequency, making them perfect for many applications. The benefits of a Cummins standby generator include:
- Quiet operation – Cummins generators are quieter than the competition. This feature makes them ideal for use in residential and other sensitive environments.
- Low fuel usage – This feature allows for a longer period of operation between fill-ups.
- Compact and safe design – This feature allows Cummins generators to be installed as close as 18 inches to your facility.
- Cold-weather performance – Cummins generators perform well under low-temperature conditions to 0°F and can be equipped with an additional cold weather kit to bring that temperature range down to -40°F.
- Advanced technology – Cummins has equipped their generators with sensors that allow each unit to limit power output based on power demand. This increases the efficiency of Cummins generators and saves on fuel.
- Remote monitoring – Users can monitor the generator status remotely with a smartphone application.
When considering a Cummins vs. Generac generator, it is important to note that Cummins generators are typically more expensive than other similar units. The up-front cost of this purchase can be off-putting, but it is worth noting that with yearly maintenance a Cummins unit can last between 20-25 years! That means over time you may actually save money by purchasing a Cummins standby generator. Having a reliable unit that works on demand over the span of two decades may prove to be more economical than purchasing a new generator every 5-10 years.
Which Generator Should I Buy?
There is no easy answer to this question, and the answer will change based on your needs and budget. Just remember that Cummins generators are typically very simple to operate and maintain and that with regular maintenance can operate for 20 years. The downside to this is that Cummins generators can be very expensive. If you consider them as an investment, however, the initial cost should pay you back over time.
Generac generators are generally less expensive upfront, but they are known to need maintenance quite often and are more susceptible to maintenance problems. Over time, they could prove to be more expensive than a Cummins generator when you factor in the maintenance costs and other inconveniences. Generac’s price tag, however, often makes it a more attractive option for those on a tight budget.
Choosing The Generator That Fits Your Needs
Both Cummins and Generac are reputable brands; even if you are buying used generators. Buyers can feel comfortable purchasing a generator from either company to provide reliable backup power as necessary. Of course, there are some pros and cons for each that you should keep in mind before making your final purchase. Be sure you know how much power you need, have a good handle on your budget, and do your research before choosing a generator to keep the lights on during an emergency situation.