The great generator chase

When we bought our home in Floyd County on December 3, we immediately ordered a generator to provide power during the electrical outages that can hit the area during the winter months.

We chose one of Generac’s new Guardian models — a 15-klilowatt monster that starts automatically when the power fails, will power 12 circuits in the home and can run up to 36 hours off a 100-gallon tank of LP gas. When we placed the order at Lowes, the estimated arrival time was two weeks.

Two weeks came and went with the excuse that the generator was backordered. After four weeks, I went back to Lowes and found the original order was incorrectly placed so they filled out a new order with a promised delivery date of this past Monday.

Last week, we stopped by the Home Depot in Roanoke and found an entire wall of the 15-kilowatt Guardians. We decided if Lowes missed the deadline this week, we would cancel the order and buy one there.

On Tuesday, Lowes called to say our generator would be delayed “because of the weather in the Midwest.” Guardians are made in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

I cancelled the order, picked up the phone and called Home Depot in Roanoke. They still had the generator in stock, took my order over the phone and promised delivery on Saturday. With luck, the electrician can install it early next week.

Why does Home Depot have the unit in stock when Lowes can’t get one in a month-and-a-half? A Home Depot store in North Carolina supplied several of the models to a condo developer and had to order more than needed to get the best price. So the overage was distributed to Home Depots throughout the region.

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