20KW Briggs & Stratton Whole House Standby Generator – Part 1



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20KW Whole House Briggs & Stratton Standby Generator – Part 1
Showing an Installed Generator. This is the Same Generator as the:
1. GE 20KW Whole House Standby Generator
2. Rheem 20KW Whole House Standby Generator
Very Good Generator. Very Good Value. I recently installed this Generator myself with an Electrician. Much of the installation is DIY, but You Need an Electrician to Run the Service Entrance Cable to the Transfer Switch First and then to the Fusebox Second. You definitely need an expert for that, because 240V at the service entrance can kill you.
The rest of the wiring is easy. I Bundled together Romex 4/3 with Ground, 12/2 with ground, and 18/5 sprinkler wire.T his generator has the well regarded approximately 1L, Vanguard Engine with 35HP. This is a Commercial Engine used in commercial tools and small tractors and is an Excellent Value in a Residential generator. Engine is Loud but very Powerful, and insulation could be thicker and is not applied on the back wall inside. This engine Runs Best on a heavy Load. Transfer switch with Load shedding is good, but instructions on setting Dip Switches could be clearer.

I recommend setting the Jumper switch to allow generator to warm up for 50 seconds prior to Load Transfer, not the default 10 seconds. Dip Switches Must be set Carefully or you will get the Transfer Switch Error. on a 20KW Gen Running on Natural Gas, you set the Dip Switches to 18KW by Pushing the #1 Switch on the Ten Thousand Dip switch Bank, and the #8 Switch on the One Thousand Dip switch Bank. Then You Must Reset the Transfer Switch by Turning Off and Removing the Fuse on the Generator, and then Shutting Off the Line Power Switch on the Transfer Switch for ten seconds, and then Turn it back on. This will allow the Transfer Switch to read the new Dip Switch settings. Double Check Switches after Mounting the Transfer Switch as mine moved from the force of mounting.

The case is Galvaneal which like your car Rusts when Scratched, aluminum is preferable. Buy the Maintenance Kit. Its a bargain because it has oil and filter and oil filter and plugs, though I put in Platinum spark plugs. I also put Insulation around the Battery to keep it warm.

You Must get the Heater Kit because I saw even the light 5w30 synthetic oil Congeal in freezing Temps, and the oil warmer (and battery warmer) keeps it liquid. I had a problem in that generator kept shutting down. The Briggs telephone customer service guy is very Nice and Helpful.

I had a problem with the generator starting and then shutting down without putting out any power.The problem is that when I called the Local Distributors to do a warranty repair as per Briggs Headquarters, No Distributor was Willing to come to my house to do the Repair unless I signed up with a contract with them. I don’t need a $400 contract to change the oil and filters. Although Briggs says that this is not required, they do need to better Monitor compliance by Local Distributors, who are only interested in coming if they either installed it or have a contract with you.

I therefore opened the Computer compartment and I saw a Connector disconnected. Connecting it fixed the Problem. Be sure to double check the settings on the transfer switch and double check the generator advanced settings on the generator screen, as mine was factory set incorrectly to 16KW. I Recently Called Briggs and he told me to set it to the correct 20KW, even though it runs on NG.

I also Noticed that the Air Filter Did Not Come from the Factory with the Pre-Filter, (a green wrap around foam) that is included in the Tune Up kit purchased separately. There appear to be some Quality Control issues at the factory. A nice feature is the ability to program the exercise Date & time in the computer instead of Generacs requirement that you actually start it at the exact weekly time you want it to exercise.

There is an electronic Gas valve that is outside for fire protection reasons, and I recommend that you shelter it from the rain with a leaning a piece of metal or stone against the back of the generator.

Overall a Very Good Value for the price. Very Powerful engine, Clean power with No Flickering and a Nice Transfer Switch.
I recommend that you download the GE and Rheem Generator Manuals, since those Generators are Rebadged Briggs generators and the Manuals have additional information, regarding the undocumented menu that I show in the Video

I do Recommend this Generator. If you have Multiple Air Conditioner Units, then Get the Version from GE because that Transfer Switch allows for Remote management without running wiring (like insteon) of Multiple Remote AC compressors to prevent overloading the generator. Also Always Install a 5-2-1 Hard Start Capacitor Kit, as I show in my other video, so that the AC Compressors start up easily without overloading the generator.

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20 thoughts on “20KW Briggs & Stratton Whole House Standby Generator – Part 1

  1. Update: Clock on the Machine does not update for Daylight Savings Time. I therefore changed the Exercise Cycle to start one hour earlier, so that it starts at 11:00 or 10:00am depending upon DST. I left the incorrect hour on the time. I just felt that 12:00pm could be an issue with my family or a Neighbor eating lunch with that noise running. It's best to set exercising when people are generally at work. Of course we have had no blackouts since we installed this generator.

  2. Sorry to see so many "experts" comment in a nasty way…anyway, I am a propane service technician and I can confirm for you that your 1" gas line is more that adequate for the Btu load your unit demands. The only change I would make in your plumbing is a drip leg/sediment trap prior to the point at which the hard piping transitions into the flex line. This can be achieved with a tee, a 6" nipple and a cap. Also, periodically have the regulator at the tank checked for proper flow, as the spring inside the diaphragm weakens over time reducing the volume of fuel downstream. Thanks for sharing on "the Tube"!

  3. Your info on the Generac isn't correct (maybe you had an old version?). 

    I have a 17kW Generac set to run on NG (2014 model).  The LCD menu has a easy setting process for picking the time and day of week to do weekly tests, as well as the option to do the 15 min tests as only 5 minutes, and to do it weekly, bi weekly, or monthly.  Some even have a "quiet test" mode that runs at 1800 rpms instead of 3600 rpms, though its not a big deal.

  4. Your tip on downloading the manuals for the generator and panel is a real good point.  My generac came with mine, but the website has them in color.  You should always have the documentation for your whole power system both at the panel, but also inside somewhere you can find in a power outage.

    Another good tip is to have an emergency light wired in above your panel, so it turns on during an outage and makes trouble shooting at the panel much easier. These are LED fixtures with internal battery that flip on when the grid power is missing.  It might be good to have a switchable one outside over the generator as well though that may be overkill if you have a magnetic flashlight you're good to go. 😉

  5. Just for comparison, the Generac (and the Honeywell branded ones available at Costco, but made by Generac) come with 200 amp transfer switches that look very similar to your B&S panel, but they come with an Overload shedding board in the ATS that will control/kick off 4 circuits… 2 of which are AC capable, and #3 and #4 that are just normal 120v controllers. Sounds like the GE panel may be similar.

  6. Aside from all the comments you've already received from electricians regarding NEC, the National Fire Protection Assn code NFPA 37, section 4.1.4 requires that generators be installed at a distance of at least 5 feet from structures.  It looks like your generator may be much too close to your house.

  7. R J N. All cities have different codes and if my city said it had to be five feet away I would move!
    What decibel is that gen? Could I build a shed and keep the air cooler out but put acoustic tiling around it to quite it down some? (prepper survivalist reasons. Don't want to draw attention. Lol)
    And if you don't mind what was the total cost including install cost.

  8. called b.s. tech to find info on wiring a.c. to b terminals of the power management system(symphony2 transfer switch) and they have no clue how or what im talking about help someone please

  9. I'd have to go with the larger four cylinder, liquid cooled engine. The engine shown here is the equivalent to what I have on my riding mower…it's loud.

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