Updated: December 22, 2020

Briggs and Stratton 40394 2000-Watt Home Standby Generator Review

by Charles Jasper

Product Overview

Always having access to electricity in your home is important, and the Briggs and Stratton 40394 2000-Watt Home Standby Generator is one of the top options to consider when looking for a home generator. The generator runs on propane, so it can outlast many other models that depend on other sources.

Generators that depend on battery, for example, can sometimes last no longer than 24 hours without the battery recharging between (for which you would need access to external power). For the Briggs and Stratton 40394, on the other hand, that is not an issue.

Briggs & Stratton 40394 Home Standby Generator

Briggs & Stratton 40394 Home Standby Generator
  • 100 amp Transfer Switch
  • Symphony II Power Management
  • Commercial-grade Vanguard engine
  • 20kW system
  • 580 pounds weight

Running on propane, this generator can last up to two weeks or even more. Although this amount of time is not advertised in the product descriptions, users have testified to these extended periods, saying that living without electricity for that long would have been incredibly difficult.

The item is about 500 pounds and 120.24 volts, and the dimensions are 48 x 34 x 31 inches. This is slightly larger than most generators, but not so significantly that it should cause an issue. The generator by itself generally costs about $4,500, but it is important to factor in that there will be installation and maintenance costs as well, which are not cheap.

Main Features

One of the features of the Briggs and Stratton 40394 is the Symphony II Power Management, which works to pair high-energy appliances with low-energy ones to send power to the whole house in a compact and affordable way. This system works well because it allows for the generator to run many appliances, even large ones, at the same time.

The product also offers a 5-year warrantee. While this is generally less than many other competitors, most of the big issues with large appliances such as a generator happen within the first couple years. The warrantee allows you to try out the product stress-free. If you don’t experience any big issues after the first few years, it’s likely that your generator will continue to run smoothly for a few years more.

Additionally, the product has an easy installation process. Unlike many competitors, the Briggs and Stratton 40394 2000-Watt Home Standby Generator is specifically designed so that it will be an easy installation for its users. This leads to lower installation prices and less of a chance of error. Less errors mean less maintenance costs down the road.

Is it Reliable?

After considering all the product costs and start up fees as well as the maintenance fees that will undoubtedly crop up, it’s easy to see that buying a home generator is a huge investment. That being said, you need to make sure that the investment is going to be worth it in the end. Many have chosen to get a generator to save them a headache when their power goes out. However, if the generator isn’t of good quality, it may just create more of a headache than it’s worth.

Based on most of its reviews, it seems as though this generator is mediocre in term of reliability. Many of its users claim that the product immediately fails when put to the test. Others, however, state that the generator works beautifully, and for days on end.

What Issues Have People Had With This Generator?

Although many of the reviews for this generator were a solid 5-stars, many people had different opinions. Many people said that they had issues almost immediately after installation. Others said that they had issues immediately after the generator ran for the first time. Luckily both of these accounts fall within the warrantee.

Other accounts report recurring issues that do not tend to go away after maintenance. These lead to large bills that add up over time and are not factored into the initial cost of the generator. You should mentally factor in these costs when searching for an affordable generator so that you are not caught of guard when/if they happen later on.

However, there have also been many accounts of people who had a difficult time contacting Briggs and Stratton’s customer service. You may experience some difficulty getting in touch to have your generator serviced. Be prepared to be on the phone for an hour or two.

Although this isn’t ideal, it is not inevitable, and isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Remember, though, it’s important to keep in mind that a generator is there to relieve stress and uncomfortable situations, not to cause them.

Customer Service

According to Briggs and Stratton, there is customer support ready 24/7. However, according to many customer reviews, this support is not as easily accessed as would be preferable. People report having been on the phone for hours at a time to fix a small problem that should have only been a brief issue.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Customer Service available
  • Low maintenance over long-term usage
  • Runs on propane for days on end

Cons:

  • Only a 5-year warrantee (less than many of its competitors)
  • Louder than most competitors
  • Slow customer service
  • Maintenance issues

Conclusion

The Briggs and Stratton 40394 2000-Watt Home Standby Generator is a solid option when considering a generator. It has a lot of services and features that could be an asset if the power were to go out in your home. However, it also has a few drawbacks and some unhappy customers that may warn you against the purchase of this generator. Be sure to fully research each option before deciding, but the Briggs and Stratton would certainly not be a poor choice overall.

About the author

Charles Jasper is the owner and main author of Generator Guider. He has a degree Engineering and 20 years experience on using generators on various projects, around the house, and while traveling and camping. He has a passion for everything related to home improvemen and loves to travel on his RV. When he is not working, you might find Jasper working on projects around the house or organizing a camping trip.