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Generac Guardian™ 14kW Standby Generator System (100A 14-Circuit Switch)

Generac Guardian Electric Generators and Accessories
Model: 5872
(Based on expert analysis, manufacturer ratings and customer reviews)
4.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
28 Reviews
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  • Features
  • Specs
  • 24
  • 28
  • Articles
  • Accessories
Run Watts
Rated Watts
120/240 Single-Phase

Product Video Disclaimer: "PED is not responsible for any variances from the product in this video and the item you purchase. Please review all product specs prior to purchase."

Fully Automatic Operation

Generac OHVI Air-Cooled Engine
Features plateau honed cylinder walls and plasma-moly rings
Full pressure lubrication system w/ 2 year oil change interval
Aids in cooling the engine for longer life

Operates On Clean Burning, Efficient Natural Gas or LP (Vapor)

Skewed Rotor Design For Smooth Output Waveform "Clean Power"
Automatic voltage regulator equipped for +/- 1% regulation

Nexus™ Digital Controller Monitors & Controls All Functions
Provides system status - compatible with Nexus™ wireless monitors

Sound Attenuated Weather Proof Enclosure
Attractive styling with lockable access doors
Incorporates electrostatically applied epoxy paint technology
Sound dampening enclosure limits sound pressure to a low 66dB(A)

Includes 14 Circuit Load Center Style Auto Transfer Switch (100A)
5' Pre-wired External Connection Box From Wall to Generator
30' Pre-Wired Indoor Conduit From Switch To External Box
2' Pre-Wired Indoor Conduit From Transfer Switch To Main Panel
1' flexible fuel line and DVD manual included

Listed to UL2200 Engine/Generator Standard for Safety
Engine Brand
Generac OHVI
992 CC
Consumer Engine Warranty
3 Years
Commercial Engine Warranty
3 Years
Engine RPM
3600 RPM
Low Oil Alert/Shutdown
Product Specs
120/240 Single-Phase
60 Hertz
Surge Watts
14000 Watts
Rated Watts
14000 Watts
Fuel Type
LP/Natural Gas
NG Power Capacity
13000 Watts
LP Power Capacity
14000 Watts
NG Fuel Consumption @ 50% Load
156 (BTU: 156,000 BTU/HR) ft³/hr
LP Fuel Consumption @ 50% Load
1.56 (BTU: 141,570 BTU/HR) gallons/hr
Rated Amps
58 @ 240 Volts (Single Phase) Amps
Decibel Rating @ 7m
66 dbA
Transfer Switch
Automatic (Included)
Transfer Switch Amperage
Not Included (525 CCA)
A/C Ton Rating
Transfer Switch Style
Pre-Wired (14-Circuit)
ATS Load Prioritizing
Not Compatible
ATS Load Shedding
Not Compatible
ATS Poles
2 Poles
ATS Service Disconnect
Cooling System
Air Cooled
UL Listed
Grade Type
Transfer Switch Circuits
15A 120V
20A 120V
20A 240V
40A 240V
Made in USA
439 Pounds
Product Style
Standby Generator
Product Length
48 Inches
Product Width
25 Inches
Product Height
29 Inches
Consumer Warranty
3 Years
Commercial Warranty
3 Years
  24 Questions
Q: If the distance from the transfer switch to the generator far exceeds the 32 ft. prepackaged configuration, would I order a prepackaged unit then eliminate the 32' shielded cable and replace with my own? What is the gauge of the power wires in the 32' cable?
by Dan Vecchio from New Jersey on December 22, 2012

A: The indoor run from the switch to the wall where you go out to the generator is 30 feet and the run from the switch to your electrical panel is 2 feet. The generator also has an outdoor run of 5 feet connected to the back of the generator along with an outdoor connection box to connect the 30 foot length to where you penetrate the wall.

Per Generac you can add an additional maximum of 15 feet to any of the 3 lengths if needed.

The control wires are 14 gauge, the 2 hots and neutral are #6 and the ground is #8.

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: Where can we get a manual for the Generac Guardian 14kW Standby Generator System (100A 14-Circuit Switch)?
by Richard Santoro from New York on December 21, 2012

A: Manuals are available through the Generac website using your generators serial number.....

Manual Search

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: My 500 gal propane tank has a two stage regulator on it . Do I need another regulator at the the generator?
by Michael Schwartz from New York on October 07, 2012

A: A regulator may be required if the pressure exceeds the generators required 10 to 12 inches of water column (0.36 - 0.43 psi)

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: My electrician tells me to budget for a 400A transfer switch. Is this overkill? I have 2 200 amp panels that I will be choosing essential circuits from.

Also. Plumber asking how many BTU's for this unit? What about for the 10kw model?

by Peter Shay from Maryland on October 06, 2012

A: A 400A transfer switch is only required if you are planning on powering your entire service.

An essential circuit generator allows you to utilize the 100A switch that comes with it and allows you to power critical circuits during the outage which allows you to keep the generator cost down. A 14kW generator is not large enough to power 400A service application and the essential circuit model is the best option.

The 14kW requires 220,000 BTU/HR and the 10kW requires 156,000 BTU/HR.

Note for your Plumber (Per Generac):

Natural Gas pipe sizing:


3/4" Max 10 Ft.
1" Max 50 Ft.
1-1/4" Max 245 Ft.


3/4" Max 20 Ft.
1" Max 85 Ft.
1-1/4" Max 370 Ft.

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: Are mounting bolts for concrete install included in unit packaging?
by Walter from South Carolina on October 06, 2012

A: Generac does not provide the concrete mounting bolts with the generator because it is optional to permanently mount it to concrete.
by Mike, Product Expert

Q: Does the 5870 construction (enclosure make up) meet NFPA 37 condition 2 requirement?
by Bob from New Jersey on October 02, 2012

A: Subsection 4.1.4 of NFPA 37 reads as follows:

“4.1.4 Engines Located Outdoors. Engines, and their weatherproof housings if provided, that are installed outdoors shall be located at least 1.5 m (5 ft) from openings in walls and at least 1.5 m (5 ft) from structures having combustible walls.
A minimum separation shall not be required where the following conditions exist:

(1) The adjacent wall of the structure has a fire resistance rating of at least 1 hour.
(2)* The weatherproof enclosure is constructed of noncombustible materials and it has been demonstrated that a fire within the enclosure will not ignite combustible materials outside the enclosure.”

A4.1.4 (2) Means of demonstrating compliance are by means of full scale fire test or by calculation procedures.
Because of the limited spaces that are frequently available for installation, it has become apparent that exception (2) would be beneficial for many residential and commercial installations. With that in mind, the manufacturer contracted with an independent testing laboratory to run full scale fire tests to assure that the
enclosure would not ignite combustible materials outside the enclosure.

Per Generac Owner's Manual (All 8, 10, 14, 17 & 20kW Air Cooled Automatic Standby Generator):

The criteria was to determine the worst case fire scenario within the generator and to determine the ignitability of items outside the engine enclosure at various distances. The enclosure is constructed of non-combustible materials and the results and conclusions from the independent testing lab indicated that any fire within the generator enclosure would not pose any ignition risk to nearby
combustibles or structures, with or without fire service personnel response.

Based on this testing and the requirements of NFPA 37, Sec 4.1.4, the guidelines for installation of the generators listed above are changed to 18 inches (457mm) from the back side of the generator to a stationary wall or building. For adequate maintenance and airflow clearance, the area above the generator should be at least 4 feet with a minimum of 3 feet at the front and ends of the enclosure.
This would include trees, shrubs and vegetation that could obstruct airflow. See the diagram on the installation drawing within the owner’s manual on under the specs link for details.

Generator exhaust contains DEADLY carbon monoxide gas. This dangerous gas can cause unconsciousness or death. Do not place the unit near windows, doors, fresh air intakes (furnaces, etc.) or any openings in the building or structure, including windows and doors of an attached garage.

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: I have received my 20Kw Generac 5875. Was it shipped with oil or do I need to add oil before i start it up? Or is it just a break in oil (the oil on the dip stickis very light) that needs to be removed and filled with what I will be using in this area? Shipment was timely and arrived n excellent condition.
by Larry from Washington on September 30, 2012

A: These units have been run and tested at the factory prior to being shipped and do not require any type of break-in.

This unit comes filled with oil from the factory. Check the oil level and add the appropriate amount if necessary.

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: Where do you connect the 12VDC battery charger?
by Darrell from Texas on July 15, 2012

A: The Generac Guardian home standby generators have a built in battery charger in the controller inside the generator called the battery sentinel.

This charger will only charge the battery when needed so it will not overload the battery and the controller in the generator monitors the battery and will notify you when there is a battery issue.
by Mike, Product Expert

Q: What size breaker do I need for the main panel for a Generac model 5870?
by Terry from Ohio on May 31, 2012

A: You will need a 40A double pole breaker for the 8kW Essential Circuit model and all other Essential Circuit models (10-17kW) require a 70A double pole breaker.

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: Where do I get the installation instructions for the Generac Home Standby Generators?
by T Wanamaker from New York on March 12, 2012

A: The unit comes with the installation instructions or you can find them on the Generac website. The instructions you get without the serial number will be basic.

Generac Manual Search

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: If I need more wire than the 30 feet supplied, can I splice what ever i need onto it? Also, are the circuit breakers standard ones if i ever need to replace one, or do i have to buy them from Generac?
by Stanley Zydel from New York on February 10, 2012

A: The maximum length you can add is 15 feet as long as local code permits adding length (some do not). If you need to go beyond this length then the entire run of wiring needs to be changed because of the wire sizes/gauge.

Generac typically uses Siemens breakers in their switches which allows for replacement to be easy.

Please keep in mind that you cannot put larger amperage breakers in to replace smaller amperage breakers.

Please always consult with a certified electrician for proper installation and wiring.

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: Hi Jim,is there any codes to how far from a window the standby generator must be.

Thank You

by Frank Gelsomino from Connecticut on January 24, 2012

A: NFPA 37 - 4.1.4 Engines Located Outdoors. Engines, and their weatherproof housings if provided, that are installed outdoors shall be located at least 1.5 m (5 ft) from openings in walls and at least 1.5 m (5 ft) from structures having combustible walls. A minimum separation shall not be required where either of the following conditions exist:

(1) The adjacent wall of the structure has a fire resistance rating of at least 1 hour.
(2)*The weatherproof enclosure is constructed of noncombustible materials and has been demonstrated that a fire within the enclosure will not ignite combustible materials outside the enclosure.

The above code is referenced in NFPA 70 - Article 445 Generator Locations.

You do need to reference with your local inspector what the requirements are for your local city codes along with the requirements in your area for noncombustible materials.

Always consult with a certified electrician on all installation procedures and processes.

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: What is the percentage of THD for the 5871 Standby Generator? Is this figure somewhere in the specs pages or owners manual?
by Ray Lacourse from Massachusetts on January 04, 2012

A: The THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) for the Generac Guardian Series Home Standby Generators is less then 5% which can be found in the Generac spec sheet. The link for the spec sheet is under our specs tab on the product page.

Generac True Power Technology

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: Please suggest a 12 to 16 circuit manual Xfer switch for a 14KW standby generator?
by Jerry Zappa from New Jersey on September 01, 2011

A: This 14kW generator already comes equipped with a 14-circuit transfer switch.

You do not need to purchase one separately.

If you want more or less circuits, you simply buy a larger or smaller essential circuit generator.

Here's an article to explain in more detail:

How to Pick the Perfect Essential Circuit Standby Generator
by Mike, Product Expert

Q: My electrical panel is in my garage, and I would like to locate the generator on the opposite side of my house. I have a crawl space that would allow the wire run, are there run limits?
by John Hall from Virginia on August 26, 2011

A: The transfer switch needs to be mounted within 2 feet of the circuit panel and the included indoor whip is 30 ft long. The unit also comes with an outdoor connection box and a 5 ft outdoor whip that connects to the generator. Generac does say that you can add a maximum of 15 ft to the total run if necessary otherwise you will have to change the entire length of wire due to overheating the wire and voltage drop.

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: Do I have to configure the generator to run on LP or NG?

by Brian from California on May 09, 2011

A: These units come set up from the manufacturer to operate on Natural Gas and are converted to LP in the field. Everything included to do the conversion and the process is in the installation guide. Very easy for your installer to do.

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: What is a composite pad ?
by CHARLES BLYTHE from North Carolina on April 08, 2011

A: The composite pad is a strong, lightweight mounting pad provided to simplify the installation. By including the pad with the generator, installation time and cost is reduced since a concrete base is no longer a requirement.
by Mike, Product Expert

Q: I have a model 04390 running on propane. It has started boiling the acid from the battery, is this a internal battery charger failure?
by Allen Ackley from West Virginia on March 07, 2011

A: This could be a battery charger issue or possibly a bad battery. It is best to contact a local Generac service dealer for assistance as they can inspect the unit.

Service Dealer List
by Mike, Product Expert

Q: Hello Jim, do you have, or can you recommend stand-by generator installers for the Houston, Texas area? We are in the N.W. Houston area.
by David Reece from Texas on February 13, 2011

A: Since we do not get involved in the installation process and since we ship all over the continental US we do not have a list of installers to provide. You can contact a local Generac dealer who may do installations at a reasonable price and will provide you with the best installation knowledge. You do not necessarily have to purchase a Generac generator from them to utilize their installation and they would be your resource for maintenance and warranty repairs.

Service Dealers

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: How far does a generator has to be from my house?
by Jim from Massachusetts on February 04, 2011

A: The manufacturer recommends the back side of the unit to be set no less then 18 inches from any non-combustible surface and the sides of the unit need at least 36 inches for proper intake and exhaust.

Note: It is recommended to check with your city, county and state codes as they may differ from the manufacturers recommendations.

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: What size battery do I need?
by James Fritch from Pennsylvania on January 25, 2011

A: The battery is a Group 26R with 525 cold cranking amps - which is often difficult to find locally.

However, don't get too caught up in the specs. We already sized the battery for this model.

Click on the "Add 12V Start Battery" box when ordering.

The current battery price is listed below the generator pricing by the check box.

We don't sell the batteries individually because they are hazardous materials that must ship via freight. If you bought one individually, it would cost more to ship than the battery is worth.

Since this generator is already shipping via semi-truck, we shrink wrap them together, and the battery tags along for the ride.

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: What kind of oil comes in the generator, and when it is time to change it? Can I run Mobile 1 Synthetic 5W30 year round in central Oklahoma?
by Ron Hopper from Oklahoma on January 24, 2011

A: The Generac standby generators are shipped with 5W30 oil in them and Generac does give the option to use 5W30 Synthetic in needed. The owner's manual covers all oil options and temperature ranges. Oil changes are determined by use and maintenance is also covered in the manual.

Owners Manual

by Mike, Product Expert

Q: Can this generator be anchored to the slab? If so, can you provide an anchor bolt layout
by Gregg Deemer from Texas on January 21, 2011

A: Generac's model 5885, as with all of their standby generators, are anchored to the pallet at all 4 corners with special anchors which can be used to anchor the unit directly to your concrete base using concrete bolts.
by Mike, Product Expert

Q: i have a 1/2 ton central air and we have 2 salt water aquarium that have to run all the time. one is a 75 gal. and the other is a 30gal. both have heaters and pumps. The 75 has 2-250 watt halides and the 30 gal has 1-50watt halide. We have a 25cub. refrigerator. a 18cub. refrigerator and a small chest freezer. Also a 750 watt microwave and a electric stove. besides lighting and hair dryer what type of standby generator would i be looking at to purchase.
by Sherry Huff from Virginia on January 20, 2011

A: To properly size a generator you will need to know the stating amperage load of the equipment you are trying to power. The formula to calculate the wattage is starting amps x volts = watts. Since a certified electrician needs to install the generator, we recommend that you have them calculate your starting loads to make sure the generator is sized accordingly.

Proper sizing of the generator is crucial to the success of any installation and requires a good working knowledge of electricity and its characteristics, as well as the varying requirements of the electrical equipment comprising the load. When analyzing the electrical load, consult the manufacturer’s nameplate on each major appliance or piece of equipment to determine its starting and running requirements in terms of watts, amps and voltage. When choosing the generator output, select a rating that is approximately 20 to 25% higher than the peak load (for example, if the load is about 10 kilowatts, select a 15 kW generator). A higher rated generator will operate comfortably at approximately 80% of its full capacity and will provide a margin of flexibility if the load increases in the future.
by Mike, Product Expert

Generac Guardian 5872 Reviews & Ratings
Overall Rating
4.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
High Quality (1)
I'd Buy It Again (1)
Reliable (1)
Price (1)
Easy To Use (1)
Bad Instructions (1)
100% of respondents would recommend this product to a friend
28 Reviews  Sort by 
Tom S.
Rutherford, NJ
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 10/31/12
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
14kw Generac
I live in a suburb (Rutherford NJ). We don't have very large lots. The town took forever to issue the permit. Several issues they had were, having it to close to the house, to close to the AC unit, to close to the property line.

This is not a job for a do it yourselfer. You need a licensed electrician, as well as a plumber. The directions included with the unit, as well as directions on Generac's website, leave quite a bit to be desired. Overall it's quieter than I had thought it would be.... more
View Image
Pros: Durable, Easy To Use, Quiet
Cons: Bad Instructions
Tom Recommends This Generac Guardian Product
Tom Would Recommend Electric Generators Direct To A Friend
Web Site


"First and foremost, the guys answering the phone over there know their stuff! They guided me through the order with ease. It's big, and ships to the curb. Very good customer service."
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Oak Lawn, IL
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
No Inconvenience
Installed this generator in December of 2011. First saw action August 5, 2012 for 6 hours. Then on June 24, 2013 we lost power at about 5:59 PM. My neighbors across the street from me got their power back about midnight, but not the block where I'm at. This generator started right away when power went out, supplying electricity within 15 seconds. It ran for almost 49 hours non-stop until utility power was restored on June 26, 2013 at about 7:00 PM. It ran a 4 ton a/c, sump pump , lights and... more
Gerry Recommends This Generac Guardian Product
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Allen W.
Louisville, KY
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 9/5/12
Total Reviews
2 Reviews
Total Helpful Votes
10 Helpful Votes
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Self Install Of Wirelss Monitor
I purchased a 16KW Generator from a local retail store and had them install it. I found the only way I knew what was going on with my new generator was to go outside to the unit. Then the only thing I could see without opening the unit was a little green light: green light= unit ready to run; red light= there is a problem.

I wanted a little more control than that and didn't want to go out side in bad weather to check the unit. I ask my local retailer to order and install the Advanced... more
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Hilliard, OH
1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5
Generac 14kw
I had my Generac 14kw installed in March 2012 and we have had two power failures since then. The generator started both times within 10 seconds of losing electrical power. During the first outage the generator ran for 4 hours then quit running, showing a reading on the panel of "Under Speed". During the second outage the generator ran for 10 minutes and then failed, showing the same reading. The electrical who did the install said, "we can't fix it until we can figure out why... more
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Surfside Electric Corp.
Moriches, NY
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5
Great Deal
This Generator Package is a great deal for the money. The cord that comes out of the back end is a little short unless you are putting it right against a house.

It is very simple to install. The only negative is that it will let your whole neighborhood know that you have power. I would say it is on the noisy side. Just a little less noise then my contractor 8000kw generator.

I had some issues with the battery indicator coming on continuously, but I checked the new battery and it... more
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Watertown, CT
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 11/5/12
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Generator Review
I received my 14kw generator as scheduled, the trucking company was very helpful, I ordered lift gate and I had a heavy duty roller to set the generator on. The driver helped me to load onto the roller then helped push it into my garage.

I obtained a permit from planning and zoning and the building department with no problem. Since I already had propane supply to the house I just needed the gas company to run a line to the generator location which cost me $300.00. I had my neighbor come... more
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Coraopolis, PA
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 11/27/12
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Tops On My List
It is a very nice piece and works well.
They were very helpful and this is the kind of service I want when ordering. I placed my order for my generator and it arrived in two days.
This is a rather large piece of equipment and to get it that quick is very professional.
This company is extremely honest and helpful.
To buy anywhere else would be a mistake.
You can trust them to do whats best for your needs and not their needs.
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Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 9/14/12
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
My Perfect Generator
The Generac Guardian 5872 14KW was a very good investment. Installing it was very easy and it operates perfectly.
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Joel D.
Cottonwood, MN
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 6/19/12
Total Reviews
2 Reviews
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Up And Running
Finally got the Gas man and Electrician together to get the install done.

Everything went as planned on the initial startup and test. Looking forward now to the planned power outage by the utility company this Saturday; in fact they can stay off all day and I don't care.
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5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Nice System
Very good quality equipment. It was not that hard to install but I do have a general knowledge of electrical circuit set up. Also the gas hook-up was a little more difficult but I have a friend that's a master gas fitter so I pulled a favor on that one although I think he got the better end of the deal cause I had to fix his Air conditioning system. Its All working great so now I am ready for the storms. Thanks.
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Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 11/12/12
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Home Generator
Finally got it hooked up and it works and runs great. I havent had a power outage as of this date, just waiting for it to happen. There is one think I might suggest is that the main neutral wire should be about a foot longer. We had to splice another piece of wire to connect to the main panel.
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Shop for the Generac Guardian™ 14kW Standby Generator System (100A 14-Circuit Switch) at Electric Generators Direct. Research Generac Guardian 696471058727 standby generators air-cooled generator online. Find Generac Guardian 5872 standby generators air-cooled generator & Guardian 14KW liquid propane and natural gas operated generator system features and specifications.