Briggs & Stratton has taken a hard look at their warranty and how it compares to the warranties offered by other manufacturers, and for a good reason.
The purchase and installation of a home standby generator for emergency power represents an investment of thousands of dollars and many hours of time. Navigating the path that begins with exploring brands and models all the way to the test run and operating the house on generator power for the first time isn’t quite as trivial as some make it sound. While individual features can make all the difference if you really need them, one could argue that the most important feature isn’t found on the generator at all, but in the paperwork that accompanies it.
Glance at the warranty for four or five major brands and at first they all seem the same. For an air-cooled standby generator—the most common type installed for a residence—it is probably listed as a five-year consumer warranty. Most people won’t bother to read the fine print which explains what is actually covered. Something else often listed in the fine print, but not found in the feature list is a start-up cost that isn’t included in the price of the unit.
Briggs & Stratton doesn’t charge a start-up fee.
At the start of the warranty period on most brands, just about everything is covered including travel up to a certain distance or time, a limitation not found on the Briggs & Stratton warranty.
As the unit ages a few years, expect to see coverage for some important items drop off the covered list.
For the first two years, most warranties are almost the same. They cover parts and labor and the cost of travel by a technician to service the generator if it’s not working. Not all travel coverage is the same however, and some brands only pay for a limited amount of mileage. It’s important to know how far the technician will travel and how much you’ll have to pay to get them to your house to provide your warranty service.
After three years, travel costs drop off the warranty offered by some brands. Not Briggs & Stratton. They cover travel under the full five years of the warranty and neither distance or time coverage are limited within the scope of the warranty.
Starting in years four and five, some brands limit warranty coverage to the engine and alternator. Covering these two components is important, but what about the rest of the unit? By the time you’re paid for travel time and mileage, the parts to fix a defective circuit breaker or state of the art controller, and the labor associated with replacing that part, you’ll begin to wonder why it was called a 5-year warranty in the first place.
The Briggs & Stratton warranty doesn’t place limits after two years, or three years. No questions asked, it’s covered for a full five* years. Travel time and mileage, parts and labor.
Maintenance costs, as with any other machine, are the owner’s responsibility, but the Briggs & Stratton 5-year warranty covers any defects or malfunctions just as you would expect and for the full five years.
*Note: The warranty on the 8kW Essential Power model is four years.