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Old 03-31-2022, 10:29 AM   #1
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Champion 2500w generator

Looking for some advice on a new generator I ordered--The Champion 2500 watt starting 1850 watt continuous gas model--#200950. This is a replacement for a couple Westinghouse Igen2500's that failed me during the break in period and I had to return.

I have heard conflicting information as to how to handle the break in period on these generators--even from the Champion call center itself.

One guy said to run it on eco mode with no load for 15 minutes then attach small loads like a box fan or two for the next five hours alternating the speed. Said to leave it on eco mode the whole time. After five hours change the oil.

Second guy said not to put it on eco mode at all during the 5 hour period and to run it on a small load for the entire time.

Neither said anything about changing the oil before the first five hours or putting drops of conditioner in the spark plug hole. In fact, they said it would be overkill.



I did both these things with the Westinghouse and also put a 1500 max watt space heater on it at low heat and that's when those two crapped out on me. They never surged past 50% but just sputtered and died on me less than 3 hours after starting them. I'm not wanting a repeat of this with the Champion.

Short of canceling the order and buying an expensive Honda, does anyone have any suggestions for break in with this champion? I know some will say I'm over thinking this, but my experiences with the Westinghouse tell me differently.
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Old 03-31-2022, 11:09 AM   #2
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Generator Break-in

I broke in my Champion 2500 watt gas generator using both the ECO and full-speed modes. I did vary the load from no load to a 300 watt light bulb, to a 1500 watt space heater, then used both equaling 1800 watts.

Don't know that I followed any particular sequence, but make sure the speed varies over the 5 hr period. Likewise, vary the loads and allow the generator to run for 1/2 hr or so one each one. When about finished, run in the ECO mode with no load to allow things to cool. Then shut the generator off.

YES BY ALL MEANS......change the oil after the 5 hr break-in period. Pay attention to any metal shavings that come out with the oil. There will likely be some. To observe for these, I drain the oil through a cone paint filter to catch any particles. If any is present, then I suggest changing the oil again after another 5 hrs running of normal use.

I use Mobile 1 synthetic oil for all engines. The next oil change should be about 10 to 15 hrs and then every 25 hrs to 50 hrs.......WHATEVER THE MANUAL SAYS! {Oil is cheap, generators are not!}

Proper and careful break-in makes for long-lasting engines.

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Old 03-31-2022, 11:33 AM   #3
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I have 'broken in' every engine exactly like I plan to use them from the start. If I got a dud engine, I want to know early while it is still under warranty. No problems with longevity.
I change oil probably too frequently.
I do have a friend who religiously follows every break in suggestion for however many miles/hours/load. He has had more engine problems across the board than the rest of our group put together.
Don't know if this says I'm just lucky and my friend is not?
But yes, I do agree that you are probably overthinking this and your 2 previous Westinghouse were duds no matter how you broke them in
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Old 03-31-2022, 11:55 AM   #4
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The break in with my 2 Champion inverter gennys was to fire them up and use them as I normally would, no scheduled break in period. They are almost 10 years old now and working just fine.
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Old 03-31-2022, 11:56 AM   #5
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Why not just read the owner's manual?

We have a dual fuel 4500 Champion and it comes with an owners manual that covers how to break in the generator, how to operate it and how to handle the loads.

There is also a maintenance schedule in the manual and ours says to change the oil after the first 5 hours, but your generator may be different.
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Old 03-31-2022, 11:57 AM   #6
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I have 'broken in' every engine exactly like I plan to use them from the start. If I got a dud engine, I want to know early while it is still under warranty. No problems with longevity.
I change oil probably too frequently.
I do have a friend who religiously follows every break in suggestion for however many miles/hours/load. He has had more engine problems across the board than the rest of our group put together.
Don't know if this says I'm just lucky and my friend is not?
But yes, I do agree that you are probably overthinking this and your 2 previous Westinghouse were duds no matter how you broke them in
Same here. The consensus seems to be that varying load/speed initially is a good practice and changing oil initially at half the suggested oil change interval is a good practice.

Both of my Champion Inverter generators (one 3500w dual fuel and one 2500 watt) were filled with oil, started and connected to a small space heater. Just for initial testing rather than break-in I varied the settings on the heater from 250W to 1500W and even switched Eco on and off to force the engine to change speeds.

Both run flawlessly.


As for changing oil too frequently, is that really a problem. Both of mine use less than 1 quart of oil which in my book is darn cheap preventive maintenance.
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Old 03-31-2022, 12:01 PM   #7
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Why not just read the owner's manual?

We have a dual fuel 4500 Champion and it comes with an owners manual that covers how to break in the generator, how to operate it and how to handle the loads.
The owner's manual on both just say not to go over 50% load within the first 5 hours, use the provided starter bottle of oil and don't overfill, and use gas that is no more than 10% ethanol. I did all those things and two of the Westinghouse still stopped running in less than 3 hours. I'm just trying to avoid that happening with the Champion. But yes, I do read the manual--in fact I have already printed off the PDF and done so. The manual instructions failed me on the Westinghouse and I don't want it to repeat itself with the Champion. And when call center reps give me two totally different sets of instructions it gets me confused.
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Old 03-31-2022, 12:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Reverse_snowbird View Post
Why not just read the owner's manual?

We have a dual fuel 4500 Champion and it comes with an owners manual that covers how to break in the generator, how to operate it and how to handle the loads.
Unfortunately the instructions for break in were written in a long past decade when oil technology was nowhere near what it is today. Someone just keeps using the old text.

One area where the instructions have joined the current century is that they now recommend use of synthetic oil in a mult-grade (5W-30 for mine). At least they dumped the old "30W Non-Detergent" recommendation.
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Old 03-31-2022, 12:16 PM   #9
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Unfortunately the instructions for break in were written in a long past decade when oil technology was nowhere near what it is today. Someone just keeps using the old text.
So are you saying not to follow the manufacturer's instructions? It's not like you're using lot of oil in these generators. After the first 5 hours, the instructions on our model for oil are every 50, 100 hours or annually (unless operated in extreme conditions)

Just because he followed the break-in instructions for one manufacturer and the generators failed, doesn't mean the same thing will happen with another manufacturer. He was able to return them precisely because he followed the instructions in the manual. It's an expensive gamble to ignore manufacturer's instructions.
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Old 03-31-2022, 12:43 PM   #10
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Which is why I won't put a space heater on during the break in period. A lot of people say to do that, but the one I have is 1500 watts at max, not sure on low. Either way 1500 or even 1000 is past the 1850 watts at 50% load.
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Old 03-31-2022, 12:57 PM   #11
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He was able to return them precisely because he followed the instructions in the manual. It's an expensive gamble to ignore manufacturer's instructions.
This makes me ask the question, 'And how do they verify that all the break in suggestions were followed? '
If any engine fails in 3 hours (and it has oil in it, I can see no reason the manufacturer would deny a replacement/reimbursement.
There is no way anyone could tell if you followed all break in instructions or not.
I suppose the manufacturer could deny if you purposefully told them you didn't follow any instructions or forgot to add oil....
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Old 03-31-2022, 01:01 PM   #12
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This makes me ask the question, 'And how do they verify that all the break in suggestions were followed? '
If any engine fails in 3 hours (and it has oil in it) it, I can see no reason the manufacturer would deny a replacement/reimbursement.
There is no way anyone could tell if you followed all break in instructions or not.
I suppose the manufacturer could deny if you purposefully told them you didn't follow any instructions or forgot to add oil....
Which is why I only buy at Wal-Mart, Sam's Club (and maybe TSC). They're the only ones who will take back a gas generator. Most places say once purchased and you've put gas in that you have to deal with the manufacturer's warranty. If it fails as fast as my last two Westinghouse's I want my money back.
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Old 03-31-2022, 01:09 PM   #13
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So are you saying not to follow the manufacturer's instructions? It's not like you're using lot of oil in these generators. After the first 5 hours, the instructions on our model for oil are every 50, 100 hours or annually (unless operated in extreme conditions)

Just because he followed the break-in instructions for one manufacturer and the generators failed, doesn't mean the same thing will happen with another manufacturer. He was able to return them precisely because he followed the instructions in the manual. It's an expensive gamble to ignore manufacturer's instructions.
Frankly I've purchased so many small engine powered devices over my adult life I stopped reading the manufacturer's "break in" instructions somewhere back in the 70's. I prefer to just use common sense. Good oil, reasonable operation, and frequent oil checks. I let the dipstick tell me if the oil needs to be changed more often.

After uncounted engines on lawnmowers, chain saws, weed whackers, generators, chippers, etc, I haven't had a single engine fail. Clean fuel, oil changing, and protection from weather, seem to have been all that was needed. Every couple of years a new spark plug.

I know of several generators that were purchased due to extended power emergencies, filled with oil, gasoline, and after started had far more than 50% load applied. They then ran for weeks, stopping only for fuel and oil changes after 4-5 days. Not a one failed and some are still in working order waiting for another power emergency.

Things have changed over the years both in engine manufacturing and oil technology.

A new engine block usually undergoes a lot better cleaning process than it did in decades past, both after casting and machining processes. Combine that with even better machining processes and the need for break-in is no where near what it was for engines built in the 50's, 60's, and even 70's.

I'm pretty much with NMWildcat where if I get a bad engine, I'd just as soon know about it early on. So far hasn't happened.

To each their own however


BTW, unless one has a means of video recording all the steps followed while following a break-in procedure, the manufacturer has no way of knowing if it was followed or not.
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Old 03-31-2022, 01:22 PM   #14
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Looking for some advice on a new generator I ordered--The Champion 2500 watt starting 1850 watt continuous gas model--#200950. This is a replacement for a couple Westinghouse Igen2500's that failed me during the break in period and I had to return.

I have heard conflicting information as to how to handle the break in period on these generators--even from the Champion call center itself.

One guy said to run it on eco mode with no load for 15 minutes then attach small loads like a box fan or two for the next five hours alternating the speed. Said to leave it on eco mode the whole time. After five hours change the oil.

Second guy said not to put it on eco mode at all during the 5 hour period and to run it on a small load for the entire time.

Neither said anything about changing the oil before the first five hours or putting drops of conditioner in the spark plug hole. In fact, they said it would be overkill.



I did both these things with the Westinghouse and also put a 1500 max watt space heater on it at low heat and that's when those two crapped out on me. They never surged past 50% but just sputtered and died on me less than 3 hours after starting them. I'm not wanting a repeat of this with the Champion.

Short of canceling the order and buying an expensive Honda, does anyone have any suggestions for break in with this champion? I know some will say I'm over thinking this, but my experiences with the Westinghouse tell me differently.
You are overthinking this.

If BOTH generators crapped out on you at the same time frame within 3 hours of use then no amount of babying them with a break-in period would have helped. Obviously they were nothing more than junk to begin with.

As Scott first said and others have chimed in, during my lifetime I've had hundreds (yes, not an exaggeration) of small gas engines. I fill them with oil and fuel according to the manufacturer and use them from the get-go just as I would once they have 100 hours on them.

If they are going to break, they'll break whether you "broke them in" or whether you simply started to use them.

The break-in nomenclature in the manual is nothing more than a CTA (cover their ***) statement. No one ever said "Look how smoothly this engine is running and it's all because I followed the break-in procedure in the manual."
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Old 03-31-2022, 02:10 PM   #15
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Failures

I worked some 15 years in a "big box hardware store". You might be surprised at the number of small engine items returned because they failed. Most were under warranty. Very few out-of-the-box failures. In all cases, these were sent to the repair facility for evaluation and repair. They were refurbished and repaired and sold then at a discount. Nothing like a 50% discount on a $4,000 zero turn mower because the original owner put diesel in the gas tank and it wouldn't start. Imagine that! Oh yes, they do walk among us!

In most cases, it was determined the user did not follow the manufactures instructions or abused the equipment. Three very common failure results were found; (a) no oil in the crankcase or (b) gasoline in the crankcase, or (c) diesel fuel in the gas tank.

The manufacturer writes and produces a manual for a reason. To assist the user in learning and having success with the product.

I just loved working with folks that knew everything about everything. They were referred to as WTI's or "walking talking idiots". Don't be one of those.

RTFM.......Read The Fantastic Manual........or something like that. You will be a LOT more knowledgeable if you choose to do so.
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Old 03-31-2022, 02:31 PM   #16
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Thanks for everyone's replies. Think I'll just break it in using the manual's simplistic method and if it dies I'll realize having a generator isn't going to work for me.
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Old 03-31-2022, 02:38 PM   #17
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Champion 200950 vs 200951

I prefer the 200951 because it has a function on the control that allows the generator to consume the gas in the carburetor and then shut down. This greatly prevents carburetor gum-up issues. The 200950 does not have this feature.

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Old 03-31-2022, 02:52 PM   #18
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Unfortunately that's not available at Walmart and they are the only retailer I can find that will accept a return on one of these once you put gas in it. According to Champion's website it is only available at Acme Tools and Amazon which won't accept returns after you try them out. I'm sure it's considered hazardous as well as too many people buying them right before hurricanes, using them and then returning them once power was restored.
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Old 03-31-2022, 03:00 PM   #19
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Different experience

I purchased my first Champion 2500 watt generator from Amazon. Free shipping. After the break-in and a few hours of running, it did not meet the electrical purity specified <3% THD. I contacted Champion Generator. I had a very good discussion and dialog with them.

The bottom line. They sent me a NEW generator. They paid the shipping charges and instructed me to put the defective generator in the box. Instructed me to call UPS, they picked it up and the shipping was paid by Champion.

In summary, they exchanged the defective one for a new one, at no cost to me. The new one is great and does meet <3%THD specs.

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Old 03-31-2022, 03:03 PM   #20
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Unfortunately that's not available at Walmart and they are the only retailer I can find that will accept a return on one of these once you put gas in it. According to Champion's website it is only available at Acme Tools and Amazon which won't accept returns after you try them out. I'm sure it's considered hazardous as well as too many people buying them right before hurricanes, using them and then returning them once power was restored.
Costco will take it back, if you've put gas in it.
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