Review of Champion 2000 watt Inverter Generator.

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Bad Wolf

Minister of Fire
Jun 13, 2008
523
Eastern CT
If you can stand one more generator thread.

After the last round of power outages here in the North East I re-evaluated my power generation needs.
I have a 7550 watt Troy-bilt that powers the whole house nicely but I wouldn’t want to run it 8 hours over night just to power the furnace. That would use up about 6 gallons of gas. (6x$3.70= $21.10!!)
But on the other hand I don’t want the house to go cold in between times if this happens in the dead of winter. The last couple of times we were lucky, it wasn't that cold.

I picked up a Champion 2000 watt Inverter Generator from a fellow that bought it just before his power came back on. Only ran one tank of gas though it, and had all of the paperwork, receipts and warranty cards for it. He paid $700 plus tax and I got it for $400.

Anyway I played with it a little then changed out the oil with a synthetic blend and put it to the test.

I wanted to see how it would perform running my TARM Excel 2000 and associated pumps. I can isolate the TARM from everything else so I plugged it in, built a fire and let it run.

So I added a gallon of gas and I fired it up at 8:00 this morning and set it to “economy†mode. After a while the house stopped calling for heat so I added a 250 watt heat lamp to simulate the load from the circulating pumps (they draw about 70 watts each).
Kept it running for the next 6-7 hours charging the tank. After 10 hours it finally ran out of gas!! I have to say I’m impressed.
According to my Kill-o-watt meter it’s putting out 123 volts at 400 watts and dropped to 118 volts when I added another 1000 watts of lighting to it. Frequency is steady at 59.9 Hz. I didn't have any weird buzzing from the furnace like I did with the little 2 cycle unit that I have.

It appears to be well made and is very quite. I have to open a window to see if its still running, and I can barely hear it from the street.
I haven’t maxed it out yet, mostly I wanted it for the furnace and a few lights. In the summer it would be the fridge, still no problem. According to the website its a True Sine Wave.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,038
Sand Lake, NY
Sounds nice. I was looking at that last Friday, but as I recall, best I could find was about 600 shipped.
Nice that it's taking 1400 watts with no problem. Is that on eco mode? I tried a 1200 watt heat gun on the Honda EU2000i, and it started "walking" across the garage floor on eco mode, but not on the high rpm mode. Don't know what to make of that. Need to experiment more tomorrow. I'm going to hook it into the house tomorrow (existing power inlet and interlock) and see how it works in a simulated outage (fridge, oil boiler, insert blower, TV, and maybe a cf light or two. Not sure if that adds up to less than 1600 watts though, lol.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,598
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
With the honda 2000 costing under 1000$ I would be expecting the Champion to be under 500$. You give up a lot when you step away from the honda. My backup genset is a champion 3500 and I like champions but not without a steep discount from the premium brands.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,038
Sand Lake, NY
While I agree with you, I think Greg got a great deal for 400 bucks.
It's currently on Amazon (vendors) for about 660 (that's why I went with the Honda for 899-Black Friday-still crazy money).
Maybe Cyber Monday will yield some deals.

Someone, somewhere, needs to do a scientific review of all the inverter generators out there.
 

Bad Wolf

Minister of Fire
Jun 13, 2008
523
Eastern CT
In econo mode if you increase the load the RPM picks up to adjust, it drops back to low RPM when the load is reduced. If it wasn't on econo it would stay at the higher RPM all the time.

After the storm there are a lot of good deals from people who ran out and bought stuff, and now they don't need it anymore (untill next time).

I also picked up a Mr heater Big Buddy for $75 regularly $125
 

maverick06

Minister of Fire
Sep 27, 2008
827
media, pa
keep us posted, I have heard very good things about that generator (know someone who has 6000 hours on it). That is the generator I would be buying if i was in the market.
Things to look for:
can it handle full load at eco and high
when in eco mode, can it pickup a big load without dropping out (use a heater or lights so you dont have a startup surge).
even on high, when you plug in a big load, does power blink out for a half second then come back on.

be careful to use good stabilized gas in the generator. I have noticed they are more sensitive than regular engines....
 

jebatty

Minister of Fire
Jan 1, 2008
5,783
Northern MN
I ordered one and received it today. Appears to be a well built unit. I added synthetic oil, fueled it up, pulled the cord and it started right away. Put the Kill-o-watt on it and 125 volts at 59.9 cps. I bought it new off of *bay on delayed payment, so this is my birthday present from my wife for my July birthday - she agreed. Primary purpose will be emergency backup generator for my shop gasification boiler system plus misc ♦other light duty. We also have a rental house and it can provide emergency power for the refrigerator and well, but probably not at the same time.
 

jebatty

Minister of Fire
Jan 1, 2008
5,783
Northern MN
Not at the same time. The well pump is on a 120V circuit, and I'll have to give it a try. Start-up current maybe too high for the 2000, but running current probably is within range. But even if not the well, it should be able to run the LP boiler and circulators to keep heat active during a winter power failure. It's meant only to keep things safe, heat, refrig-freezer and possibly water from the well, although we can cover than from another source. Fortunately the septic system is gravity and does not depend on a lift pump.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,038
Sand Lake, NY
I guess I was thinking about my 240 volt submersible.
Is it a separate freezer and fridge? If not, I'm thinking that without the well, you could do all those things, watch TV, run a laptop and have several cf bulbs on. I think I did that with the Honda eu200i, and that's with a oil burner (more juice required than LP).
Don't know what the other source is, but sounds like it doesn't include hot water for showers, which would be nice. I
 

jebatty

Minister of Fire
Jan 1, 2008
5,783
Northern MN
...but sounds like it doesn’t include hot water for showers, which would be nice.
Even my 5000 watt will not handle the hot water heater. Time for a shared sponge bath with microwave heated hot water.
 

Bad Wolf

Minister of Fire
Jun 13, 2008
523
Eastern CT
That's why I like my set up. I have 1200 gallons of unpressurized storage that also heats my DHW. As long as I can keep the furnace going I've got hot water. I can run the big genny from time to time to keep the pressure up. The well tank is about 17 gallons draw down before the pump tries to kick in, but that's plenty for hand washing and such maybe even a quick shower.

I'm almost finished my switching set up. I've isolated the furnace, circ pumps, solar controls and pump and a couple of lights on a single circuit. There is a four plug outlet box that comes from the breaker panel that the furnace plugs into. Next to it is a four outlet box that runs outside to where I will position the Champion in the event of prolonged outage. All I have to do is unplug from the house current and plug into the generator plug and I'm up and running. With the four outlet box I can even run an extention cord to have a light or two elsewhere.
I still have to fire up the big genny for the well, coffee maker, dishwasher, microwave, TV's and all the other nessitites of life, but this way I can run overnight or when I'm away at work and only burn a gallon of gas.
 

maverick06

Minister of Fire
Sep 27, 2008
827
media, pa
FWIW I was looking at some of the heatpump hot water heater add-on units discussed in the green room section of the forum, look great, but dont have one. One of the big pluses, aside from the efficiency is that they are 120v and not many amps, i forget how many... but well within 2000 watts. It would be great for an extended outage.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,038
Sand Lake, NY
maverick06 said:
FWIW I was looking at some of the heatpump hot water heater add-on units discussed in the green room section of the forum, look great, but dont have one. One of the big pluses, aside from the efficiency is that they are 120v and not many amps, i forget how many... but well within 2000 watts. It would be great for an extended outage.
IF you had running water.
 
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