Sunday, November 18, 2012

Champion Generator Follow Up

I received my Champion generator about a week after I ordered it.

The generator came well packed in a heavy duty cardboard box. Luckily, I was able to work from home the day it was scheduled for delivery. I met the UPS driver and he wheeled it back to my shed and helped me lift it in. The generator weighs about 140 pounds, so this made my life a lot easier.

Champion packs them without the wheels, handle, and support leg attached. Installing them takes maybe 10 or 15 minutes, it’s just a matter of bolting them to the frame.

Most generators ship with no fluids (i.e., motor oil) in them. Champion did include a 0.6L bottle of 10W30 and a long funnel with the generator.

I had my first opportunity to test it yesterday. After connecting the battery cables and putting in the oil I moved it outside, then added about a half gallon of gas.

Before trying to start it I turned over the engine a few times using the starter cord to get some oil circulated through the system. (The unit has a recoil starter, but as long as the electric start works that’s what I plan to use. Why make life difficult?)

Next I switched the battery to On and the ignition to On, took a step back and per the instructions, briefly pressed the start button on the included remote start key fob. It clicked and started right up. I waited a bit, then tested the key fob’s off button, and finally did the same with the onboard ignition switch.

After I was done with testing the starting buttons I let it run for about a half hour. When I decided it had run enough I changed the fuel shutoff valve to off. About a minute later it conked out.

I don’t have any kind of sound meter but the noise isn’t too bad. The muffler is pretty large in relation to the 196cc engine. It makes less noise than my snow blower, and a hell of a lot less noise than the monster generator my neighbors were using after Hurricane Sandy.

Overall, I am pretty pleased with it so far. It seems well designed, came with clear instructions, and starts easily.

I have a long, heavy duty extension cord on order to use with it; one end has a twist-lock to connect to the generator, while the other has three standard three-prong outlets.

At some point I plan to build a “dog house” to cover the generator while it’s running to protect it from the elements, and hopefully muffle the noise even more.


Joseph said...

One thing for safety reasons you should mention in any article that mentions plugging a generator into a wall outlet using a standard 3 prong cord...

PLEASE make sure the house is isolated from the Grid before you DO THIS. Otherwise, your generator is goign to try and power the neighborhood, or worse, some utility guy trying to fix the downed lines.

(The first will just make your generator stall. The 2nd is a safety problem). Whats more if your generator *doesnt* stall and the utility power comes back on, it will fight a brief battle with the utility for who owns the power line , which it will lose. Probably in a spectacular fashion.

Generators must be connected through a power disconnect switch by code for exactly this reason.

I mention this to *everyone I know who buys a generator*, just to be redundently safe...

Dave Markowitz said...

Agree 100%, Joseph. Frying linemen is a real danger if you don't disconnect your house from the grid.