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Generac Guardian whole-house standby generator, model #0052420
Home Maintenance and Structures
Electrical Systems
Generators or Power Plants (606)
Generac Guardian
Home Depot
8/1/2007 This date is an estimate
On Sunday Nov. 2, a powerful Nor'Easter knocked power out to customers of [REDACTED]in midcoast Maine. At approximately 3 pm, the power flickered, then went out. I have a 7 year-old Generac Guardian 13K whole-house standby generator, model # 0052420, serial # 4785168, which, as it is designed to do, started and picked up the power load approximately 20 seconds after the power went out. Approximately 30 minutes later, I heard a series of electrical "pops" (I realize now that it was four separate surge protectors blowing out), and then my main audio-video amplifier began smoking copiously. I got it unplugged and then went to the basement, where I smelled an electrical problem near the indoor generator control panel. I immediately ran outside and shut down the generator. The power remained out until late Wednesday, Nov. 5. An authorized repair tech came on Tuesday, Nov. 4, started up the generator, and found it was outputting 400 volts. He diagnosed the problem as a faulty voltage regulator. He said he would have to order a replacement. He also said that this problem would not necessarily been uncovered during a routine service of the unit. When power was restored, I had a master electrician in to go over the house wiring. He found a fried circuit breaker on a bedroom circuit on the indoor generator electrical panel. Meantime, I have discovered several appliances in addition to the A/V receiver that are no longer operable. He also told me that had I not been home and/or had not shut down the generator, a fire would likely have broken out. I have spoken to several people who say they have heard of this problem with this vintage of Generac Generator. That there is not a fail-safe surge protector on this generator that would shut it down automatically if voltage surges, I believe, is a dangerous omission. The company has been unresponsive to my queries. I urge CPSC to compel Generac to issue a recall on these generators, fix the problem safely at its expense, and to reimburse any consumer who has suffered losses and/or suffering (as in being without power for three cold days).
Incident, No Injury
It is an installed whole-house standby generator wired into the home's electrical system.

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