We Should Have Bought a Kohler Years Ago

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“Sometimes a power outage can mean family fun -- board games by flashlight. But after one evening, when the kids want TV and you don’t have Internet and your cell phones need charging, it’s not so much fun. And when you’re huddled around a propane heater – one that’s supposedly safe indoors – it’s definitely not fun at all. You walk into a dark bedroom and out of habit flip on the light switch and … nothing. That kind of sums it up. Things don’t work. The kids are getting anxious. You wonder how cold it’s going to get, or how hot in the summer, and how long before you can take a hot shower.” 

That’s George Mikuchonis of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania describing what happens during the first day of a power outage. Unfortunately, he should know. When the Mikuchonis family moved back to their home state from Texas in 1999, their housewarming was a five-day outage. “We roughed it for days on pasta that we soaked in a pot of cold water,” says Mikuchonis. “Luckily, the city water kept working so we could take a cold shower and flush toilets.” 

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The ordeal lasted four more days, and Mikuchonis’ patience was tried knowing that power was restored in some parts of town days before lights came on in his neighborhood. He vowed to be better prepared. He replaced the electric stove with a gas version; at least they’d be able to cook during an outage.  

But frequent outages continued; Mikuchonis can’t remember how many times they’ve lost power. “It’s a mystery to us why we lose power for two days or an hour or why the lights flicker when the weather is fine – and we’re in town, not out in the country,” he says. 

After more outages, Mikuchonis replaced his electric hot water heater with a gas model -- now the family could take hot showers during an outage. But after two more unexplained outages in October 2012, Mikuchonis had had enough. He picked up the phone and called Tom White at Critical Systems in nearby Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania to talk about installing a KOHLER home generator. 

How did he decide on Kohler? “I went online and looked at everything I could find about generators -- portables, whole-house generators, ratings and reviews of different manufacturers, different units. I crossed a portable off the list because a neighbor has a portable, and when he fires it up, the whole neighborhood knows it -- it’s very loud! Besides, I wanted a whole-house solution. I started reading about standby generators and pretty much everything I read about KOHLER generators was outstanding.”

When White visited the Mikuchonis residence to analyze their power needs, White suggested a KOHLER 14RESA unit capable of powering the entire house. Mikuchonis looked up the model online and found that the Kohler 14RESA had been named one of the “Hot 50 Products of 2010” by Green Builder magazine and that Kohler was rated the highest-quality brand of home generators in both 2009 and 2010 in an independent brand study sponsored by Builder Magazine. “That was it for me!” says Mikuchonis. 

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Critical Systems installed the Kohler generator the following Saturday, just in time for Hurricane Sandy to knock out power in Stroudsburg about two days later. More than one million people in Pennsylvania lost power, some for over a week. “But here at the Mikuchonis household the KOHLER kicked in, and in about ten seconds we had full power -- lights, AC, full kitchen and bathroom, laundry … absolutely everything! I was shocked. And it’s clean power for computers, the Internet, we even had satellite TV,” says Mikuchonis. “It’s quiet, too -- we can barely even hear the generator running. It’s like a lawnmower in the back yard, but muffled.” 

“We should have bought a KOHLER years ago,” says Mikuchonis. The only downside? A feeling of guilt that his neighbor was without power. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he installs a Kohler generator next,” says Mikuchonis of his good neighbor. “Maybe in the years to come, we’ll all install KOHLER generators and we’ll be the street in Stroudsburg that always has power!”