Champion 7000/9000 Watt Costco Generator
I purchased the Champion 7000w/9000w generator from Costco a few months ago. The model number is 41532. I haven't found much information about it, but compiled some information. I'm basically posting this here to help others that may have this generator.
Some people say Champion's copy the Honda engine. I couldn't find a for sure answer, but I *think* it may be close to a Honda GX340. Again, I don't know for sure, but it might be a clone of that one.
For a natural gas conversion, I haven't done anything to it yet. The two sites I've found for this are...
The first one (us-carb) is what a lot of people talk about, but they don't explicitly say it will work for our generator. The other site (propanecarbs) doesn't have our model listed, but there are a few listed with that same engine and says it will work. I'd be interested in doing something like this someday, but I would have to run a gas line over there, and I'm not motivated just yet. I do know that when we had an outage here for two days, the gas lines at the gas station a few miles away were really long. I have two 5 gallon jugs filled right now and the generator tank full, so I figured it will last three-ish days. But converting it is on my mind.
The noise.... I haven't tested it, but they say 71db at 21' is pretty quiet for a generator. I do know that it's LOUD. How loud, I don't know. This is why I was thinking about making a case around it to deaden the sound. I've read that the muffler is one source of noise, but then I also read that portable generator engines are loud, and it's not hte muffler. Some guy said as a test, hold a towel up to the muffler (don't cover it completely, just hang it there), and then you will see if it's the muffler or the engine. I've read somewhere not to mess with the muffler because of backflows, but then others say to replace it with a car muffler. So again, it's one of those things that I don't know what's right.
What I think I'll end up doing is getting a bunch of sandbags and make a little wall around the generator. I've read that does a pretty good job with sound abatement. There's also a thread on rv.net where this guy took a champion generator (not ours, but the model right below it), and swapped the muffler, built a box around it, and mounted it to the back of his rv.
So, this is pretty much as much as I know about this generator. I have about 4 hours on it, and no problems at all. I'm probably going to switch over to synthetic oil at 10 hours, then think about the sand bag thing (maybe extend the air intake outside the bags), and then maybe the natural gas/tri-fuel conversion. Other than that, that's about it. I also hooked my whole house up to it, kind of like what you're doing. It powers pretty much everything but my 5 ton ac unit and my air compressor. My fridge, freezer, tv's, and fans work great. I'm assuming window units would work fine, if things get really bad.
I'd be interested to hear if anybody else has this generator, and what their thoughts are about the above, and anything else.
It's air cooled, it's going to over heat if it's enclosed.
I've seen a video (just one mind you) which supposedly proved that a sound barrier yields only a small decrease in sound level and therefore it's all about the muffler.
Personally, and I have same model as you, I think the machine is loud all the way around, probably no louder than all other neighbors generators I hear, and that a good sound barrier is needed coupled with a better exhaust. Friends have told my wife they now have "silent" generators but I have no knowledge of them whatsoever and if they are gas generators with silencers or what and if our GENS could adapt the silencing technology?
The sandbag thing sounds promising. I've seen one video where the guy stacked cinder blocks which he said was inexpensive but his video panned to quickly with all close ups so couldn't see the overall design easily.
We were w/o power for 7 days during Sandy and I ran the GEN for 4 days and it performed flawelessly. I did fry two cable boxes and almost the TV. But in one case I had no surge suppressor while in the other, the TV went blank when I discconnected the furnace and my wife unplugged it from the surge suppressor. Then as she was plugging it back in, the cable box or S/S sparked and the box never worked again. It was an old S/S so wondering if thats the problem. The 60 inch TV, which is attached to a real good suppressor never flinched. So not sure exactly what the Auto Volt. Regulator does versus a Surge Suppressor. The manual still recomends using S/S's for sensitive equip. I think plugging/unplugging heavy stuff like the furnace results in surges that the AVR is not designed to mitigate. So I guess the caution here is be careful loading/unloading the generator. I want to call Champion and maybe understand from them what happenned and how to avoid. I'll try and post that here.
Other questions, some or all Champions have lined gas tanks which means we can store the GEN with the tank empty and not be concerned about rust, though frankly, the full tank just works to maximise my emergency storage capacity along with my other gas cans. Do u know if it is lined?
Also did you see the Vid about the panel not cutting power immediately when hitting the stop button on remote on a defective GEN, meaning an aplliance would be subject to damage from the low HZ current during shutdown phase? The 15 sec start up delay works fine using the remote but a light bulb did not shut off immediately when I tested the shutdown cutoff with the remote. (this delay/cutoff is designed to only work with the remote and not the panel start button) It faded to dark gradually over about a second to 2 secs though faster then what was demoed on the video. Gonna ask Champion if its working as intended or if it should cut out immediately as when shutting off a light switch.
so I have about 200 hours on maybe and changed oil twice and have synthetic in there now. Want to see what Champion's opinion is about synthethic and oil change intervals. I'd probably still maintain their published intervals since the gen will get occasional use, might as well have max lubrication due to the heavy loads, and store it with all clean oil all the time. My uncle was a mechanic decades ago and said that even with occasionaly running, oils develop acids that can still corrode the engine when its not in use. It's worth the price of a quart of oil to store it with clean oil. Gonna tackle the valve ADj next.
All sound barriers I've seen built incorporate a cooling fan because of that. Some measured the temperature at under 90 degrees and installed $2 temp sensors with alarms in case the temps rose. It is a concern.
By the way, there is a recall on this model for serial numbers manufactured around the end of 2011. Google it or go to the Champions website for details. This may be their very first recall from what I've read so they have a pretty good track record.
They tout first class customer service and I've read a few (handful) accolades in the forums about first hand experience with Cust Svc
Business opened in 2003, have had only 9 complaints per Better Bus Bureau and only one unresolved. They have 7 employees?? (per BBB) and manufacturing is in China. Implies they own their factories and are not just slapping their name on fly by night OEM's.
Thanks for the info. Yes, I did see that recall. I was surprised that Costco sent me a letter in the mail about it, and I never even registered the thing. The more I shop at Costco, the more I like it.
In any case, yes, their customer support is awesome. I sent in a question about something online. It wasn't anything big, just asking about the 'clean' power aspect to it and something else. I really forget what it was. Nonetheless, it was on a Friday afternoon, and at Friday night around 6 or 7-ish, I get a call from their customer service about it. I was totally shocked. It made me happy to know that they were there on a friday at night, and instead of emailing me back, actually calling.
As for the surge protections, that's probably an excellent idea. I have a decent one for my TV and everything else that's of value (electronically), but I've been toying with a UPS for awhile. They're cheap, and might save the electronics better than a surge protector. I bought an outlet that's a surge protector for my wall-mounted TV, but if they have a slim ups or something like that, I might invest in one of those too.
As for the sandbags and heat, yes, you at 100% correct about making sure it won't overheat. I would plan on putting a fan and/or air intake outside the bags. Since heat rises, it should stay somewhat cool, but I would need to put an air intake in there. So, it would take a little engineering instead of just slapping some sandbags around it.
I'd be curious about the muffler and if a replacement would make it quieter, and which one to get. As for the ultra quiet generators, just look at the price tag. Yes, you can find an 'inverter' type generator, but you are talking a *LOT* more than the 600 to 700 bucks you paid for the Champion one. I think they are at least a thousand and only 3000 watts max.
My Bud suggested a UPS. didn't know how cheap or expensive they are. If I connect the Gen to the panel where/how does the UPS get connected.
Or is the UPS just another device you plug in to a wall outlet and then run the sensitive electronics like PC and TV by extension cord to the UPS. What about the frig and the like? I suppose if you can plug in the UPS at the GEN and plug the Gen cord to the UPS that would be great but then the UPS would need to be able to run outdoors?
Yeah, although they didn't say, I assumed maybe they might be talking about inverters and your right, it would be multiple of the price we paid for the Champion at half the wattage.
Know anything about the gas tank lining?
Oh, the gas lining. I don't know for sure, but I want to say that I read about the gas tank being lined/painted somewhere. In any case, I *always* make sure I put a double dose of sta-bil in there.
You can use a UPS for sensitive electronics, but a UPS for the generator to plug into would cost a LOT of money. It's another one of those things where it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense for me to do it. I want to say that a whole-house UPS would be at least a few thousand, and then you have to change the batteries every couple of years. I figured I could buy a few new TV's if I do blow it for the cost it would be to keep a UPS up and running.
I guess I'm just applying a "risk based approach" to power. Considering the cost of the generator and most of my electronics, I'm OK with it. The generator was cheap, works well, and powers lots of stuff. I did splurge on a power surge protector, but I might try to find a small UPS for my receiver and cable boxes.
If you have any other questions about it, please feel free to post them!
So you're suggesting a portable UPS like I first described that you would selectively plug in those sensitive electronics on an as needed basis? Kind of a rotational use.
My friend burned out a mother board in his frig. I think though a surge suppressor may have been all he needed.
I agree, you can get carried away here and costs can get out of hand for the 1 to 7 days that we lose power once every year or so these days.
I'll be into it for about a grand between the GEN and the house connections and wiring. If I run the GEN for sixteen hours, +/-, thats another 50 bucks in gas money per day of use. Thats enough investment already.
BTW I read somewhere that propane doesn't go as far as gasoline, maybe half as long. Did anyone catch any stats or info on that?
Gas Tank - painted inside seems to ring a bell.
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