Exhaust Pipe Replacement Program
In an effort to provide maximum boating safety, Kohler Co. is conducting a voluntary replacement campaign pertaining to specified Kohler gasoline generator sets manufactured from 1950 to 1989. Specific details are found in the Q&A section below and in the Service Bulletin detailing the part replacement campaign.
For more information, call 1-920-453-6309.
Questions & Answers
Why is Kohler conducting a replacement campaign?
Carbon monoxide poisoning may result from failure of the black iron wet exhaust pipe assembly used on Kohler gasoline generator sets manufactured from 1950 to 1989. The specified pipe, like any other marine part, requires regular maintenance and replacement. Failure to maintain or replace this pipe could result in corrosion, which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning dangers.
In an effort to provide maximum boater safety, Kohler Co. and its national distributors will replace, at no charge to the customer, the existing black iron wet exhaust pipe assembly with a stainless steel exhaust tube. A complete description of this replacement campaign is listed in a Distributor Service Bulletin.
Does this replacement campaign affect Kohler diesel generators?
Does this replacement campaign affect engines from Kawasaki, Honda, Yanmar, Perkins, John Deere, or Ford?
No. This replacement campaign affects only gasoline engines manufactured by Kohler, specifically the L600 and L654 gasoline engines.
What Kohler generator set models are affected by this replacement campaign?
Kohler gasoline marine generator sets models 2-7.5 kW - manufactured between 1950 and 1989. The gasoline generator sets affected by this replacement campaign are older models and have not been in production for 14 years.
- 2R, 2A, 2.5R, 2.5A
- 3.5R, 3.5A
- 4R, 4A
- 5R, 5A
- 6.5R, 6.5A
- 7.5R and 7.5A
Is the whole generator being replaced or just a part?
Only the black iron exhaust pipe of these gasoline marine generators. In an effort to provide maximum boater safety against carbon monoxide build up and/or leakage within the boat cabin or other contained environment, Kohler is replacing the existing black iron wet exhaust pipe with a new stainless steel exhaust tube. Kohler is conducting this replacement campaign voluntarily and at no cost to owners of these marine generators.
If my boat contains this older gasoline marine generator, what should I do with it?
If your gasoline marine generator is among the models listed above, you must obtain service from your nearest Kohler dealer or distributor. For the location nearest you, please check your local Yellow Pages, or use our Sales & Service Locator at the top of this page.
If there's not a dealer or distributor near me, what do you recommend?
Please call the toll-free phone number established to address customer concerns and questions. From the U.S. and Canada, call (866) 866-4933. Outside of the U.S. please call 1-920-803-4986.
How are customers being notified of this replacement campaign?
Kohler has issued more than 600 letters and a service bulletin detailing the part to be replaced, via its national distributor network. These distributors and dealers are assisting Kohler in locating customers who may potentially still have this generator, and, replacing the affected part. Notices are also being sent to consumer boating publications and marine associations.
What's the danger with carbon monoxide and boats?
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is the number-one cause of accidental poisoning in the U.S. Deaths from CO poisoning on boats are rare, though no less tragic and they are preventable. Often referred to as the "silent killer," CO is odorless, colorless and tasteless. It is a by-product of incomplete fuel combustion and can easily build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed areas - including homes, garages and boats.
What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?
Since CO poisoning can mimic the flu, it can be confused with seasickness, intoxication or heat stress. Symptoms of CO poisoning can include: headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and eye irritation. If such symptoms exist, move to fresh air immediately and seek medical attention if symptoms persist.
So marine generators can produce CO?
Yes - any fuel-burning application produces CO. Marine generators are often used on larger recreational boats, cabin cruisers and houseboats. As with any other marine part or accessory, these generators require regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure proper and safe operation. Regular engine and exhaust system maintenance inspections by an experienced and trained technician are also highly recommended, to help reduce the risk of injury from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Other sources on the boat that can produce dangerous levels of CO include gasoline engines, cooking ranges, and space and water heaters.
Isn't one protected from CO poisoning by being on a boat in the open air?
That's a common misperception. But if there is any fuel-burning appliance, like a marine generator, CO poisoning can occur, and builds up even faster in enclosed spaces. Slow speeds or idling in the water can cause CO to accumulate in the cabin, cockpit, bridge and aft deck, even in an open area.
What else can I do to reduce the risk of CO poisoning while on my boat?
Annual inspections and proper maintenance of the generator can help delete any rust or corrosion that may occur, which can cause an improper venting of the exhaust, and cause carbon monoxide to back up into the boat cabin. Look for exhaust leaking from exhaust system components, indicated by rust, soot, black streaking, water leaks, or corroded or cracked fittings.
- Inspect rubber exhaust hoses for sections that are burned or cracked. All rubber hoses should be pliable and free of kinks.
- Confirm that water flows from the exhaust outlet when the engines and generators are operating.
- Clean, inspect and confirm proper operation of the generator cooling water anti-siphon valve (if equipped).
- Don't allow anyone to swim near the boat or occupy the rear swim platform if an engine is running, or within 15 minutes after shutdown. Even when engines shut off, high CO concentrations remain in the confined airspace for a long time.
- Never enter the airspace beneath the swim deck of any boat that has a rear-exhausting generator running.
- Don't tie together two houseboats with side-exhausting generators, as it can create a potentially deadly situation both indoors and outdoors.
- Install marine-approved CO alarms in each accommodation space on your boat. Check the alarms before each trip to ensure proper functioning.
Sources: U.S. Coast Guard, National Marine Manufacturers Association,
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.