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Cummins vs Generac Generators – Which Brand Triumphs

Cummins vs Generac Generators
Written by Jamie Masterson

Both Cummins and Generac are reputed generator brands that produces generators for home and industrial uses. Cummins generators charm their users with advance functionalities and robust control whereas Generac generators provide durability and reliability.

Today we’ll explore what actually sets these two generator brands apart, and which one will better fit your needs. Let’s jump right in.

Who is Cummins?

Cummins is a multinational conglomerate based in the US that supplies diesel engines and essential parts for generators, heavy equipment, and automobiles.

The brand offers components for diesel generators of different sizes and shapes but they are mostly known for diesel engine parts.

Advantages of Cummins generators

Performance in cold weather

Cummins generators can work when it’s 0° Fahrenheit in the default condition with no issues.

You can equip them with a kit for extreme cold weather to run at -40° Fahrenheit temperature.

The cold weather performance is necessary for the north east where brutal winters are often present.

Exercise mode

A unique thing about these generators is that in the exercise mode, they diagnose themselves automatically to make sure everything is running fine.

Diagnostics are run in the exercise mode to make sure the generators perform right.

The “Crank only” exercise mode doesn’t require starting the generator to run diagnostics. The feature helps enhance the life of the equipment and keeps it quiet.

Learning capability

Cummins generators have the technology to recognize power consumption and limit power output based on demand.

This allows the unit to run economically and lets you manage the utilities you want to power.

Intelligent load management

Each generator from Cummins has an integrated load management system that calculates the power requirement of different appliances.

The system only powers appliances that the generator can run successfully and switches off others to enhance the lifespan of the equipment.

The technology lets you invest in a smaller unit to save money and automatically turns on the generator based on the power demand. The feature also helps prevent any overload of the gen-set.

Remote monitoring

The smartphone application allows you to monitor the generator status remotely and check power availability when you are away from home.

Close installation

The generators are compact in size with a quiet design so you can install them only 18-inch away from home.

Sound insulation

The Quite Connect series from Cummins introduces much quieter standby generators compared to others in the market.

They are equipped with sound-insulated enclosures so the sound level doesn’t go over 65 dB.

What is Generac?

Generac is a Wisconsin-based company that offers high quality generators both for home and commercial needs in all sizes.

The brand offers standby generators with high capacity for commercial use while their portable units power up essential items at home.

Advantages

Self-test mode

The self-test feature runs the generator for 5 or 12 minutes at a slow pace to make it quiet and efficient.

Enhanced lifespan

Generac generators have a powder coated finish that helps reduce corrosion and keeps protected.

The coating enhances the lifespan even if you use the generator in an area with adverse weather condition.

Harmonic distortion

The total harmonic distortion of these generators is less than 5%.

The certified assurance means your home electronics or other appliances won’t have overheating or overloading issues.

Monitoring display

Each generator from the brand features an Evolution Controller.

The controller has a multilingual LCD display that shows the battery level and maintenance intervals.

Reliability and maintenance

The generators have G-force engines that are pressure lubricated for durability and reliability.

They require less routine maintenance compared to similar products from other brands.

Cummins vs Generac Generators: How Do They Differ?

Variety

Generac has more types of generators than Cummins.

The option to choose from a wide variety may not appeal to you but it helps when you have to select a unit that serves well for years with no issues.

Fuel type

Cummins mostly offers diesel and gasoline units but Generac has diesel, gasoline, and natural gas generators.

Diesel and gasoline give off harmful fumes so you may want to run a propane or natural gas type.

Evaporation is another reason to avoid gasoline. The highly volatile nature makes it decreased in quantity over time when stored in a large container.

Gasoline burns quickly followed by diesel so you have to buy them all the time to keep the equipment running.

Choose a generator from the wider options of Generac that runs on liquified propane or natural gas.

Noise level

Generacs aren’t so noisy but Cummins is superior in the segment.

The low noise of Cummins units lets you do the installation close to your home so the installation cost goes down.

Mobile app monitoring

Cummins doesn’t offer a mobile app to monitor generator status like Generac does.

You may want to go for Generac if you need to check the performance when you are away from home.

Parts availability

Generac ensures better availability of their parts with more distributors than Cummins in the United States.

There are possibilities that you won’t find available parts for Cummins generators so you may have to wait for weeks or months before the parts are shipped to your home or to the store where you ordered.

Fuel consumption

Generac is known for fuel-efficient generators. Whether you’re planning about getting a diesel, gasoline, or propane unit, Generac has something great to offer.

Cummins generators are also good at conserving fuel but they are no match for Generac units. The minimal difference adds up to a substantial amount over the years.

Maintenance

Both brands offer easy and cheap maintenance but the parts from Generac are more available and cheaper to buy.

Prices

Cummins costs more compared to Generac. A 13 kW Generac costs around $3,200 whereas the same size from Cummins sets you back to $3,600.

You need to check the size of your house and the power consumption level of home appliances to find the actual total cost.

Installation cost is another factor that varies based on the generator size, unique installation considerations, and your local building codes.

Warranty

Generac offers a 10-year limited warranty so you don’t have to spend a dime to fix issues in a long time.

A few Cummins generators come with a one to three years warranty so buying Generac has a greater advantage in the long term.

Limited warranties don’t cover all aspects so you need to check the warranty terms and conditions before you buy.

Which one should you get?

Generac gets seven points while Cummins gets only two in our direct comparison. This means getting a Generac makes complete sense.

Cummins is the best choice if the noise level is your top priority.

Look through all the ups and downs before you pick a brand.

Portable vs Standby Generator

Portable generator advantages

  • Great for rural areas, smart homes, cabins, and RVs
  • Good to run a portion of the home or the surrounding lights when the electricity is gone
  • Ideal source to power off-site power tools

Portable generator disadvantages

  • Undersized to power your whole house
  • Need to run outside and start manually
  • Requires manual plugin and refueling
  • Requires constant monitoring every 2-3 hours when running
  • Not ideal to run refrigerators or other large appliances
  • Power fluctuation can damage electrical boards and fry the whole system

Standby generator advantages

  • Can power a house or a business facility
  • Most of the models run by natural gas or liquified propane
  • The most commonly used size (22 kW) is enough to run the electricity for a whole house
  • Controlled from a load fed panel that runs the generator automatically
  • The control system does all the programming, exercise settings, and small diagnosis

Standby generator disadvantages

  • Can’t run if natural gas isn’t locally available
  • High installation cost (Between $9200 and $9500)
  • Needs a licensed professional to install the generator
  • Can’t do the maintenance work by yourself

About the author

Jamie Masterson

With decade-long experience as a generator technician, Jamie has worked with USA’s top generator manufacturers and suppliers as an independent contractor.

The long years of service to the industry has taught Jamie the ins and outs of troubleshooting, repairing, and maintaining all kinds of generators in home, industrial and outdoor settings.

Jamie thinks this platform is a great opportunity to share his tips and tricks with you so you can make the most of such power equipment for better living.

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