Champion 12.5-kW Home Standby Generator Review


In the realm of home standby generators, Champion has set a high benchmark with its 12.5-kW Home Standby Generator with 100-Amp Outdoor Switch. Champion’s reputation for reliability and innovation is exemplified in this model, and I had the opportunity to delve deep into its features, specifications, and overall performance. Here’s a detailed review based on my experience and thorough analysis.

Unboxing and First Impressions

Upon receiving the Champion 12.5-kW Home Standby Generator, the packaging itself spoke volumes about the care and attention Champion gives to its products. The box included not only the generator but also an array of essential accessories such as Battery Jumper Cable, Enclosure Keys, and various metering jets and hoses, ensuring a comprehensive setup right from the start.

Installation and Setup

The all-weather, composite mounting pad and intuitive gull-wing design for engine and control panel access made the installation straightforward. The steel enclosure promises durability and protection against the elements, instilling confidence about its longevity.

Operation and Performance

Once installed, the Champion 12.5-kW generator is seamlessly integrated into the home’s power system. The ATS100 Select Circuit Automatic Transfer Switch is a standout feature, providing a flawless transition during power outages. The generator’s ability to start automatically and return to standby post-power restoration is a testament to its user-friendly nature.

Power Output and Efficiency

Delivering 12,500 watts of continuous power on propane and 11,000 watts on natural gas, this generator stands out in terms of power output and efficiency. The fuel consumption rates are reasonable, and the generator’s ability to operate with less than 5% total harmonic distortion ensures the safety of even the most sensitive electronics.

Noise Level

The residential-friendly 63 dBA noise level is a game-changer. The generator operates no louder than a normal conversation, thanks to the advanced sound-dampening and low-tone muffler. This feature is particularly beneficial for maintaining a peaceful home environment.

Reliability and Maintenance

The 24-volt starting system’s performance in extreme temperatures (-22° F to 104° F) without the need for a warming kit is impressive. Weekly self-diagnostic tests add another layer of reliability, ensuring that any potential issues are identified and addressed promptly.

My Personal Take on the Champion 12.5-kW Home Standby Generator

  • The first thing I noticed was the seamless transition during power outages. It feels great to not worry about losing power, knowing my Champion generator is always ready to kick in automatically.
  • Living in a quiet neighborhood, I was concerned about the noise. However, the 63 dBA noise level is just as quiet as a normal conversation. It’s impressive how it runs so quietly without disturbing the peace.
  • I’ve seen this generator withstand extreme weather, from scorching heat to freezing cold, without any performance hiccups. The all-weather composite mounting pad and steel enclosure give me confidence in its durability.
  • The fuel efficiency, especially on propane, is remarkable. It’s comforting to know that I’m getting maximum power output without excessive fuel consumption.
  • The innovative gull-wing design for easy access to the engine and control panel makes maintenance checks straightforward and hassle-free.
  • The upfront cost is considerable. It’s an investment, and while the value is undeniable, it did require some budget planning.
  • While the installation is straightforward, it does require professional help. This is not a DIY project, and the need for a professional installer added to the initial cost.
  • While the ATS100 is great, it doesn’t have load management for more complex power distribution needs. It’s something to consider if you have specific power management requirements.
  • The generator is not overly bulky, but it does require a dedicated space. Making room for it and ensuring it complies with local codes was something I had to plan for.

Technical Support and Warranty

Champion’s commitment to customer satisfaction is evident through its 10-year limited warranty and the offer of FREE lifetime technical support. It’s reassuring to know that professional help is just a call away, should you need it.

Regular Maintenance Schedule

  • Weekly Checks: Every week, it’s important to conduct a visual inspection of your Champion 12.5-kW Home Standby Generator. Look for any signs of wear, damage, or loose parts and connections. Most models, including this one, are designed to perform self-diagnostic tests automatically, but it’s still beneficial to manually run the generator for a few minutes to ensure everything is operating smoothly. This routine check helps in the early detection of potential issues.
  • Monthly Routine: Once a month, take the time to check the oil levels and top them off if necessary. The proper lubrication of engine components is crucial for performance and longevity. Additionally, inspect the battery to ensure it’s fully charged and that all connections are clean and secure. A well-maintained battery is essential for reliable starts. Also, check the air filter and clean or replace it as needed to ensure your generator breathes easily and runs efficiently.
  • Biannual Maintenance: Every six months or after every 100 hours of operation, a more thorough maintenance routine should be followed. Change the engine oil and oil filter to ensure your generator continues to run smoothly. Inspect and clean the spark plugs, replacing them if you find any signs of wear or damage. It’s also essential to check the fuel system, including the fuel lines and fuel filter, and replace them if they show signs of wear or damage. This preventive maintenance can significantly extend the life of your generator.
  • Annual Check-Up: At least once a year or after every 200 hours of operation, it’s recommended to conduct a comprehensive inspection of your generator. This includes checking the cooling system and cleaning the generator’s exterior to ensure efficient heat dissipation. It’s advisable to hire a professional to perform this annual check-up. They should inspect the entire system, including the transfer switch, tighten all connections, and ensure that your generator operates efficiently and safely.
Additional Maintenance Tips:
  • Cleanliness and Storage: Keeping your generator clean is crucial. Regularly remove any dirt, leaves, or debris from the exterior and interior compartments to prevent overheating and maintain efficient operation. If you’re not using the generator for an extended period, store it in a clean, dry place. Running it periodically during storage helps to keep it in good working order.
  • Monitoring and Record-Keeping: Stay vigilant and attentive to any changes in your generator’s performance, sounds, or appearances, such as unusual noises or leaks. Promptly addressing these issues can prevent more significant problems down the line. Keeping a detailed log of all maintenance activities, including dates, services performed, and parts replaced, can be invaluable for troubleshooting and ensuring your generator receives timely maintenance.

Adhering to this detailed maintenance guide will ensure that your Champion 12.5-kW Home Standby Generator remains a dependable and efficient power source for your home for many years. While routine checks and minor maintenance can often be handled by the owner, remember that more complex services, especially those involving electrical components, should be carried out by a qualified service technician.


The Champion 12.5-kW Home Standby Generator is a robust, reliable, and efficient solution for uninterrupted power supply. Its quiet operation, powerful performance, and user-friendly features make it an excellent investment for those seeking peace of mind and convenience during power outages. Champion’s reputation for quality and customer service is well-reflected in this model, making it a top choice in its category. Whether it’s extreme weather or an unexpected blackout, this generator stands ready to ensure your home remains powered and comfortable.


  1. Can the Champion 12.5-kW Generator power my entire home during an outage
    Absolutely! The generator is equipped with an ATS100 Select Circuit Automatic Transfer Switch, allowing you to prioritize and power essential circuits in your home. Its robust 12,500 watts on propane and 11,000 watts on natural gas ensure that your critical appliances stay running without a hitch.
  2. What makes the Champion 12.5-kW the quietest in its class?
    The generator features a unique combination of advanced sound-dampening technology and a specially designed low-tone muffler. This innovative design effectively reduces noise, maintaining a peaceful environment at a mere 63 dBA – about the same as a normal conversation.
  3. How does the generator perform in extreme weather conditions?
    The Champion 12.5-kW generator is built to withstand extreme conditions. Its 24-volt starting system operates flawlessly in temperatures ranging from -22° F to 104° F, eliminating the need for a warming kit. This resilience ensures that you have reliable power regardless of weather extremes.
  4. Is the installation process complicated?
    Not at all! The generator comes with an all-weather composite mounting pad for easy installation. The innovative gull-wing design provides straightforward access to the engine and control panel, making setup and maintenance hassle-free.
  5. How often do I need to perform maintenance checks?
    The generator is designed to be low maintenance, performing weekly self-diagnostic tests to ensure it’s always in peak condition. However, regular checks on oil levels and a periodic review of the system’s performance are recommended to ensure longevity and reliability.
  6. Can I use this generator to power sensitive electronics?
    Yes, you can. The generator produces less than 5% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD), making it safe to use with sensitive electronics. This means you can keep your computers, smartphones, and other sensitive devices charged and protected during a power outage.
  7. Is the Champion 12.5-kW Home Standby Generator environmentally friendly?
    Champion is committed to environmental stewardship. The generator is EPA certified, ensuring it meets the emissions regulations, making it an environmentally conscious choice for home backup power.
  8. What kind of technical support can I expect after purchasing this generator?
    Champion offers FREE lifetime technical support backed by a dedicated team of experts. This means you’ll have access to professional assistance for any queries or issues, ensuring your generator operates smoothly for years to come.
  9. Does the generator come with everything I need for installation and operation?
    The generator comes with a comprehensive kit including a Battery Jumper Cable, Gas Inlet Flex Hose, Jet Removal Tool, and more, ensuring you have all the essentials for installation and operation. However, it’s recommended to consult with a professional installer to ensure a safe and compliant setup.
  10. Can I adjust the response time of the Automatic Transfer Switch?
    Yes, the ATS100 Select Circuit Automatic Transfer Switch offers adjustable response times ranging from 0.5 to 30 seconds, allowing you to customize how quickly the generator responds to a power outage based on your specific needs.

Join the conversation and share your insights about the Champion 12.5-kW Home Standby Generator! Whether you’ve experienced its robust performance firsthand or are considering it as a future addition to your home, your stories and tips are invaluable. Dive into the discussion below to help others make informed decisions. Your knowledge and reviews can significantly guide and inspire our community of homeowners. Let’s connect and contribute to a wealth of shared experiences and advice!

David Murray
David Murray
Forestry Author

I'm David Murry, a forestry equipment specialist with a focus on chainsaw operation. With over 13 years of experience, I've honed my skills in operating and maintaining a wide range of machinery, from chainsaws to log splitters. My passion for the outdoors and commitment to sustainable forestry drive my work, which emphasizes safety, efficiency, and staying updated with industry advancements. Additionally, I'm dedicated to sharing my expertise and promoting environmental awareness within the forestry community.


Bought this unit 2020. The transfer switch was trouble from the beginning. It has totally failed at this point. Their tech rep said "it was a bad design" to bad for me though. I need to replace it at significant cost. Champion told me transfer switch was something they bought and didn't manufacture it. So their not responsible. Kohler or Generac seem to be more streamlined systems which I have owned in the past. Another note. You can't jump the 24v system. Part of the problem was the system has fuses. But to reach the fuses an electrician needs to disassemble the transfer switch to access them. It's totally crazy. Hope this helps. Larry Duane Craftsbury Vt

Daniel Adams
Larry Duane
March 3, 2024 12:35 pm

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