It’s so hard to convince prospective customers that the brands they are most familiar with may not be the best choice. Here’s a Generac liquid-cooled generator. These photos are from 2015, but it shows the ongoing issues we deal with. A better choice is a Cummins or Kohler generator, which have all-aluminum enclosures.
Generac generator with rusting issues.
Generac rusting is NOT limited to the enclosure. Here is the exhaust manifold with chunks missing due to heavy rusting.
Generac frame showing extensive rust and missing chunks of metal. We have seen similar issues on even newer equipment.
You need a true expert to install or service your generator. Unfortunately, many of our competitors don’t have the necessary expertise. But why does it matter? What’s so different about generators that makes expertise so vital? It starts with technology. A generator produces electricity, so a technician should be familiar with electrical equipment. A generator also has an engine, with the same moving parts found on a vehicle. So your generator technician should also be an expert at engines. Read more ›
Tropical Generator has partnered with WFSX, better known as 92.5 FoxNews radio to get our message out to Naples, Estero, and Fort Myers! You’ll hear our ad during the Rush Limbaugh program from 12p-3pm. Did you hear the ad? (Listen to it below.) Let us know how you like it by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you need a Naples generator installation or perhaps installation or service in Fort Myers, Estero, Bonita Springs or Marco Island, we’d love to talk with you at 239-206-4509. You’ll get personal service and commitment to quality.
After almost 10 years, the Cummins Onan 20kW residential air-cooled generator is getting a complete redesign. The new model is called the C20 N6H and uses the Cummins QSJ999 engine. Cummins likes to have multiple names for the same product, so the C20 N6H is also called the RS20A. Lots of changes were implemented during the redesign. Gone is the odd, mushroom-shaped lid from earlier models. Instead, Cummins has taken its styling cues from, well, a brick. But don’t let the basic design fool you…Read more ›
Customers ask a simple question: “What’s the best generator for my situation?”. Of course, you can call us at Tropical Generator and we can usually answer that question for you. But what are some good guidelines? At a bare minimum, all Florida residents should have a small portable generator that can be used to power a few lights, refrigerator, TV and mobile phones. For about $1200 you can buy a quality Winco portable generator that does the job and will last you a long time.
Stay away from cheapo models found at discount and home stores — they aren’t designed to last and can have poor quality power output that may even damage sensitive appliances like cell phones. During Hurricane Katrina, many people purchased cheap generators only to find that cell phones would burn out after just a few minutes connected to the generator! Why? Read more ›
Wildfires can occur in Florida, particularly in the winter months when rainfall is lower and brush is dry. Yesterday, I-75 was closed east/south of exit 105 due to heavy fire and smoke. Naples and Collier County saw the heavy smoke. But can wildfires affect electrical power and cause outages? Wildfires can damage or weaken utility structure such as utility poles, transformers, and supporting equipment. While firefighters do their best to prevent such damage, it can still occur if the fire spreads fast enough. Power outages from wildfires are somewhat less common than outages by other causes such as hurricanes and summer thunderstorms. Read more ›
A common cause of trouble in RV generators is a loose main drive belt. Most larger-capacity generators (5,000 watts and above) will have one of these belts. This belt transfers power from the generator engine to the main alternator. This alternator is what makes 120v AC power for your RV’s vital systems, including air conditioners and battery chargers.
When the belt becomes loose, symptoms start gradually. You may notice a squeaking sound: occasional at first, and becoming more frequent as time goes on. Eventually you’ll see dim lights, low voltage to appliances, and air conditioners that won’t start or won’t cool effectively.
If the belt is not tightened, it can lead to burn-out of the generator’s AVR (automatic voltage regulator). This part can cost up to $800 plus installation, so it pays to prevent damage to the AVR. If your generator has more than 750 hours of runtime or is more than 3 years old, your belt probably needs to be tightened or replaced.
Working on an RV generator is somewhat difficult and requires special tools and training. To tighten the belt, the generator must be removed from the RV in almost all cases. There simply isn’t enough room to access the belt otherwise. But once it’s done, your generator will be much more reliable and will prevent damage to the coach electrical system and the generator itself.
If you’re traveling through Southwest Florida and need service for your RV generator, give Tropical Generator a call at 239-206-4509. We’re your Fort Myers and Naples generator experts. Generator expertise is very specific, and hard to find. You need an expert to correctly diagnose generator trouble. We’re happy to help.
This one is hard to believe. In a previous blog posting we talked about a local surgery center in Cape Coral and how their previous generator company performed inadequate maintenance. As it turns out, it’s worse than we thought. In addition to the previous company, there was in fact a third generator company involved. This company is a huge, regional distributor for a major generator manufacturer. It appears from their own documentation that they faked a load bank test on a medical facility.
We got a call from a local surgery center in Cape Coral, Florida. Their generator was having problems and their existing generator company wasn’t taking care of it. Any location in Florida performing surgery is required to have a backup power source. You can imagine how bad it would be if the power failed during a critical surgery. Lives could be at stake. Despite this, some of our competitors don’t treat medical generators with the respect they deserve.
The existing generator company was under annual contract to handle everything related to the generator. They failed to do so, neglecting even basic maintenance items. When we arrived, the generator barely started and ran poorly. Not what you’re hoping for when power fails during a surgery.
Here’s a picture of the inside of the distributor cap, an important part of the engine which requires regular maintenance:
Generator distributor cap showing severe corrosion and electrical pitting.
You may notice the little silver tabs (there’s 4 of them in this photo). This distributor cap is original to the generator, over 7 years old, and has received no maintenance in that time. It was desperately in need of replacement. You can see the heavy corrosion and roughness on the little tabs. Without a new distributor cap, this generator could have failed at any moment.
It is sad to see customers get burned by unprofessional generator companies that take money every year, but are unwilling or unable to perform the basic maintenance needed to keep a generator working properly.
If you’d like to get a competitive quote on generator maintenance or repair, call Tropical Generator at 239-206-4509 (press option 2 for service). You’ll talk with an expert who can get your generator where it needs to be — ready for power outages.
From time to time we get calls from customers that are unsatisfied with other Southwest Florida generator dealers. But why are they unsatisfied? Every company is going to run into difficulties occasionally. Customers don’t typically mind when something goes wrong. They DO mind when problems are not promptly and professionally solved. They DO mind when the business doesn’t seem to care. Moreover, there is never an excuse for shoddy installation practices and poor quality. That’s not a “difficulty”. It’s unprofessional. Here’s an example from a recent job. Tropical Generator was called in to repair an installation done by another contractor.