KOHLER battery warranty review

We read Kohler’s battery warranty so you don’t have to 

Let’s face it – warranties aren’t the easiest (or most gripping) documents to read. There are often a lot of details and fine print included that can be hard to digest, leaving many to wonder: what does the warranty actually cover? Am I vulnerable? Anything I might be missing?

To make it as easy as possible, we’ve read warranty documents for the top solar battery manufacturers, talked to them to confirm what is and isn’t included, and plan to point out the most important aspects of each in a series of articles. In this article, we review the battery warranty of a household name in American manufacturing: Kohler.

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Highlights of Kohler’s warranty


  • Is based on a battery lifetime of 10 years.
  • Is an all-encompassing warranty (i.e. includes every component of your system).
  • Is backed by a highly bankable, household name company.
  • Includes labor for uninstalling and reinstalling equipment.

Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar-plus-storage options from local installers.

Quick overview: Kohler’s history and warranty

If you’ve ever remodeled your bathroom or had to replace your kitchen sink, you’re probably familiar with Kohler. Founded in 1873, this Wisconsin-based company is known for their plumbing products, and has expanded over the years to produce other products such as furniture, engines, and generators. While Kohler may be best known by most consumers for their plumbing products, they have been producing generators since 1920. And, 100 years later in May 2021, they released KOHLER Power Reserve, officially expanding into the residential energy storage market with this energy storage system product line.

The KOHLER Power Reserve is available in both AC- and DC-coupling models and comes in a range of sizes to suit your home’s electricity needs. The Kohler battery warranty is a 10-year limited warranty with a throughput clause of 3 MWh per kWh.

Kohler’s battery warranty at a glance 

CATEGORYKOHLER’S COVERAGEINDUSTRY STANDARD
Product and performance10 years, plus a throughput (3 MWh per kWh) clause10 years, plus a cycles or throughput clause
End of warranty capacity70% at year 1060% at year 10
Labor for repairs/ replacementsYesNo
Shipping of partsYesNo
TransferabilityYes, no feeYes, no fee

Kohler’s product and performance warranty

A battery manufacturer’s product and performance warranty covers the integrity and output of the equipment itself – if your battery system has a defect or experiences unreasonable degradation, that should be covered by your product warranty. If there’s a defect with your battery, you or your installer should be able to tell that something is amiss and fix the problem immediately–often before the battery is ever installed. Regardless, it’s good to consider products with longer warranties for the peace of mind it provides.

Kohler includes a 10-year product warranty for all of their batteries. You can review and compare Kohler’s batteries in the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide.

You’ll also notice that many battery warranties will include a clause suggesting that your term may be cut short depending on your use of the battery – this is where cycles and throughput come into play.

Cycles

Every time you drain and charge your battery, it’s called a “cycle”. Like the battery inside your cell phone, your solar battery will gradually lose its ability to hold a full charge the more you use it. Because of this, some manufacturers guarantee a minimum number of cycles as part of their warranty agreement. But read this line carefully: oftentimes, manufacturers will guarantee a fixed product term OR a minimum number of cycles, whichever comes first. This means if you hit the warrantied number of cycles before your battery hits the end of its warranty period, it could end your warranty term. The confusing part here is that manufacturers will sometimes define a “cycle” differently–i.e., how much your battery needs to be drained and charged for it to be considered a “cycle”?

Kohler does not include a cycles clause for their batteries.

Throughput

Another clause that some manufacturers will put on their warranty pertains to throughput: the total energy a manufacturer expects the battery to deliver throughout its lifetime. Companies state these warranties in terms of megawatt-hours (MWh). For example, if your battery company provides a throughput warranty of 30 MWh, this means that the warranty is valid until the battery stores and delivers 30 MWh–or 30,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh)–of energy. Similar to a cycle life warranty, throughput warranties typically only apply if your battery delivers a set amount of energy before its warranty period is up. 

Throughput numbers will vary quite a bit depending on the overall storage capacity of your system. Additionally, if your battery system contains several different battery cells–or modules–within it, your warranty may state a throughput by cell (which you can multiply by number of cells to get total throughput).

Kohler includes a throughput warranty of 3 MWh per kWh for all of their batteries. You can check the throughput warranty for each residential model in the table below.

KOHLER Power Reserve throughput warranty

 Power Reserve 10Power Reserve 15Power Reserve 20
MWh30 MWh45 MWh60 MWh
kWh30,000 kWh45,000 kWh60,000 kWh

Kohler’s end of warranty capacity rating

In addition to providing cycle or throughput warranties, most manufacturers also promise a certain level of performance by the time your warranty is up. This often presents itself as an end of warranty capacity rating. 

As you’re comparing the end of warranty capacity ratings across various batteries, higher percentages are better than lower percentage guarantees.

Kohler includes an end of capacity rating of 70% for all of their batteries. You can check the end of warranty capacity ratings and throughput warranties for each residential model in the table below.

KOHLER Power Reserve end of warranty capacity

 Power Reserve 10Power Reserve 15Power Reserve 20
Initial usable capacity (kWh)10 kWh15 kWh20 kWh
End of warranty capacity (kWh)7 kWh10.5 kWh14 kWh

Kohler’s workmanship warranty

Battery companies should cover a replacement battery if you need it during their warrantied term–but, while the manufacturer may cover your replacement part, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll cover the labor costs to re-install that equipment. In fact, many manufacturers do not reimburse for labor associated with diagnostics, replacements, or repairs of their products.

More often than not, installers are the sole party responsible for providing workmanship–or labor–warranties for your battery installation. However, some manufacturers offer additional protection by tacking on their own workmanship warranty for a limited number of certified installers in their network. Kohler does not offer a workmanship warranty for their batteries.

You can learn more about manufacturer endorsements and how they impact installer warranty offerings in this article

How to make a warranty claim with Kohler: shipping & labor costs

Ideally, your storage system will continue operating smoothly for 10+ years, and you never have to worry about Kohler’s warranty. However, if you experience any defects or performance issues with your equipment, Kohler will be there to help.

If you notice an issue with your battery, your first phone call should be to your original installer: having designed and installed your system, they are the most equipped to diagnose (and fix!) any potential issue. If you can’t get in touch with your installer, or if they’ve gone out of business, you can reach out to Kohler directly for assistance.

Importantly, if there’s an issue with your KOHLER Power Reserve, you won’t have to send the entire unit back to Kohler for repair. The Power Reserve is field serviceable, meaning a Kohler certified dealer can go to your home and make the necessary repairs on-site. 

When it comes time for any repairs or replacements, there are two additional warranty considerations you’ll want to keep in mind: labor and shipping costs.

Labor costs for diagnostics, repairs or replacements

Many manufacturers cover replacement parts at no extra cost, but don’t pay for the labor costs necessary to re-install that equipment – but Kohler isn’t one of them! They’ll cover any necessary labor and travel (within 200 miles roundtrip) required to uninstall and reinstall their equipment covered under warranty. 

Shipping of parts

Similarly, not all equipment manufacturers will pay the costs to get equipment to you. Fortunately, Kohler will cover any shipping costs associated with getting you repaired or replaced equipment covered under warranty.

Limitations and exceptions to Kohler’s warranty

Every warranty has its exceptions – Kohler is no different. Warranty limitations aren’t meant to make it harder for you to take advantage of the offering; companies simply try to protect themselves from unjust or unreasonable claims. 

Here are a few things that aren’t covered in your Kohler warranty:

  • Acts of nature – this is a common one – most battery system manufacturers will not cover any damage caused by extreme weather events outside of their control, such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc. Fortunately, the hardware is pretty durable, and can withstand most storms without the added protection. Even better, should damage happen to occur during a storm, many homeowner insurance policies cover damage to solar-plus-storage systems.
  • Installation in conditions that are in violation of the Kohler installation manual.
  • Technical or cosmetic defects that do not interfere with the performance of the battery or actively degrade the system.

Other warranty considerations, and how Kohler stacks up

  • Transferability: Kohler’s warranty is transferable to new system owners at no additional cost. 
  • Bankability: Kohler is an American company that has been producing plumbing products, engines, generators, and more since 1873. The company is privately owned and family-run, and can be considered bankable based on historical performance. 
  • Escrows/insurance policies: Kohler does not have insurance policies, or an escrow that ensures their warranty will be upheld in the (very unlikely) event they go out of business.
  • Eligibility: some manufacturers require customers to permanently connect to their monitoring system in order for their warranty to be valid. Kohler’s warranty requires that the battery remain connected to the Internet aside from instances that are outside of the owner’s control.
  • Customer reviews:  it is always helpful to hear from other customers when you are trying to get the full picture of a company and how reliable they will be in honoring their warranty. If you’re interested in what other EnergySage customers think about Kohler, you can check out their reviews here.

What about inverters?


We use “battery” and “battery system” pretty interchangeably in this article, but there’s one important difference between the two: an inverter. Energy storage systems typically include both batteries and inverters, while certain batteries can be sold independently. Inverters are key to the functionality of a battery, so it’s important to make sure yours is covered! If your product includes a built-in storage-only or hybrid inverter, it’ll likely be covered in your battery’s warranty terms. On the other hand, if you pair your battery with an external, third-party inverter, expect it to come with a different warranty agreement than your battery.

Kohler’s batteries are all hybrid – thus, their warranty covers the inverters. 

Finding the right battery for you

Finding the right storage system for your home means comparing multiple quotes from solar installers. Using the EnergySage Marketplace, you can find local solar installers near you, and make easy side-by-side comparisons of all your solar-plus-storage options, including equipment. By shopping around first, you can find the right option at the right price – warranties and all. If you have a preference for one type of equipment over another – Kohler or otherwise – simply note it in your account when you sign up so installers can quote you accordingly.

Find out what solar + storage costs in your area in 2022

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