Read our indepth review of the Westinghouse WGen7500DF, a wonderful dual fuel generator packed with features you’ll appreciate. We delve into a range of details to help you decide if this is the right generator for you, and, we also compare it to another highly regarded dual fuel generator — Champion 100165.
Intro | Westinghouse Wgen7500DF
The list of dual fuel generators that are available is growing almost daily and recently Westinghouse added the Westinghouse Wgen7500DF to their range of generators. Dual fuel generators offer the choice of using gas or propane as fuel. Propane has some advantages over gas because it’s stored in a sealed container. It’s therefore considered by some to be a safer and a more convenient fuel than gasoline. In this review, we cover two dual-fuel generators, the Westinghouse WGen7500DF and the Champion 100165. These generators have very similar performance and specifications, so they compare very well.
Using a dual fuel generator on propane results in a slight loss of power. This is probably the only disadvantage relating to this technology. When comparing the power generated by the Westinghouse WGen7500DF using gas compared to propane, the difference is clear:
- Gas – 9,500 peak watts and 7,500 running watts.
- Propane – 8,550 peak watts and 6,750 running watts.
Looking at these figures, you can see that about 10% power is lost. What this means in practice is that we may have to remove an 800-Watt microwave from our list of items when using propane. However, one can always compromise. For instance, you can run fewer appliances or you may choose to switch off the refrigerator before using the microwave. Considering the advantages of propane, this is not a big compromise to make. After reviewing the two dual-fuel generators, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of this technology in more detail for those who’d like to know more.
The Westinghouse WGen7500DF and the Champion 100165 are both 7500-watt generators that can power most of your essential appliances during an emergency. For a quick overview of what you can run on the Westinghouse WGen7500DF, see the diagram below.
Now, let’s take a close look at the Westinghouse WGen7500DF and the Champion 100165.
Dual Fuel generator
- Dual Fuel – gasoline or propane
- Gasoline: 9,500 peak watts and 7,500 running watts
- Propane: 8,550 peak watts and 6,750 running watts
- Push Button and Remote Start
- Up to 10 Hours of Run Time at 50% Load
- 420cc, OHV Engine with Cast Iron Sleeve
- 3-Year Warranty and Lifetime Technical Support
- EPA, CSA, CARB Compliant
- 6.6 Gallon Gas Fuel Tank w/ Gauge (Propane Tank NOT Included); Electric Push Button Start with Remote Key Fob
- Intuitive Control Panel Features Two GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) 5-20R 120V Household
- Duplex Outlets and One L14-30 120/240V 30A Twist-Lock Outlet (Common for Transfer Switch Hookup)
- Plug-and-Play! Includes Remote Start Key Fob, 12V Battery Charger, Oil, Funnel, Tool Kit, and User’s
- Manual – Everything You Need to Get Started Right Out of the Box
- 420cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine Featuring Automatic Low Oil Shutdown and Digital Hour Meter
- EPA, CARB, and CSA Compliant; Backed By a 3-Year Warranty
Documents for for the Westinghouse WGen7500DF.
- ✓ View or download the MANUAL
- ✓ View or download the SPEC SHEET
- ✓ View or download the QUICK START GUIDE
In October 2017, we did a thorough review of a range of Westinghouse WGen generators including the WGen 7500, which is not a dual fuel model. The Westinghouse WGen7500DF dual fuel generator uses the same engine but has been adapted to use propane as well. The Westinghouse WGen7500DF generator looks the same as the WGen7500. The only difference being the addition of a gas/propane transfer switch and regulator. The dual fuel model is slightly more expensive but it’s certainly worth considering.
As I mentioned, the Westinghouse WGen7500DF is rated at 7500 Watts. Rated power is the same as running power and it means a generator can maintain this output over a long period. It’s typically 90% of the maximum power of the generator. In practice, this means that the Westinghouse WGen7500DF will power a load of 7500 Watts all day long and will absorb surges of up to 9500 Watts (this is the peak or surge watt rating).
It’s possible to buy a 7000 Watt generator with a noise level of around 60dBA – this is lower than an average speaking voice. Unfortunately, the Westinghouse WGen7500DF is not in this class. With a noise level of 74dBA at its rated load of 7500 Watts, the WGen7500 can be a bit noisy. If a quieter generator is what you’re after, you’ll need to pay substantially more for a silent model with the same wattage rating.
The Westinghouse WGen7500DF has two 120V duplex outlets (standard household receptacles). Tools and appliances can be plugged into these receptacles directly. Surprisingly, the Westinghouse WGen7500DF does not have a receptacle for an RV. To connect it to an RV, a TT30 RV 30 amp to L14-30R adapter cord will have to be purchased. The power output is limited to 23 amps but this should be enough for most RV electrical needs. The 30A twist lock AC receptacle (L14-30R) on the control panel is used to connect to your house transfer switch. Though you will have to buy a patch cord because it’s not sold with the generator. This is usually the case when connecting a generator to your home in this way.
The best way to connect a generator to a house is by using a transfer switch and an outdoor receptacle. We discussed this in another article: How to Connect a Portable Generator to a House. It’s worth reading if this is something you are considering. It’s an indepth guide to a safe and convenient installation.
On the control panel of the Westinghouse WGen7500DF, you will find a handy dual USB outlet. The two ports can be used to power USB devices like a cell phone. It’s a handy feature, but when your device is plugged in for a charge, it will have to be left outside at the generator.
The dual fuel selector switch on the WGen7500DF is a convenient quick way to transfer the fuel supply from gas to propane and back again. The advantage to this switchover method is that you’re able to switch over from one fuel source to another with the engine running. Many dual fuel generators (like the Champion 100165 that we’ll be reviewing next), require that you switch the generator off before changing between gas and propane. This can be a hassle if you’re using the generator and want to change from one fuel source to another when it runs out.
A nice feature on the current Westinghouse models is that a trickle charger is supplied with the generator. It’s used to keep the battery healthy during storage and conveniently plugs into a receptacle on the control panel. You won’t end up with a flat battery when the generator stands unused for long periods of time.
The reason the generators are fitted with a battery is to enable the push-button start. It’s very convenient (when the battery is okay), compared to the alternative of manually starting the engine with a recoil starter. Westinghouse even makes it possible to start the generator remotely with a key fob. The fob can be convenient on a construction site when the generator is not running all the time. You can walk up to the tool you wish to use, start the generator with the remote and do your work.
On the control panel, you will find a digital display that indicates the engine run time, voltage and hertz. You can use it with a logbook to determine when to service the generator, thereby extending engine life. The Westinghouse WGen7500DF has one switch to turn the generator on and off and another “start” push-button switch to start it. A socket is provided for fitting a remote start or you can choose to use the key fob which is supplied with the generator.
VIDEO | Learn more about Westinghouse generators
The Westinghouse WGen7500DF is fitted with GFCI protection, so there’s no risk of electrocution. However, it’s never a good idea to leave any generator exposed in wet weather. Sure, you’re protected, but the generator is going to trip and you’ll only be able to reset it when it’s dry. You should always keep the generator in a protected area that’s well ventilated. After reviewing the generators, I’ll suggest a fantastic solution for protecting your generator when outdoors. Since the Westinghouse WGen7500DF is probably going to be left unattended, it’s good to know it’s protected against overload. In addition to this, all the outlets have rubber covers, which not only protect little fingers from shocks but also keeps the dirt out. To prevent engine damage, it will automatically shut down when low oil levels are detected. The bottom line is that the Westinghouse WGen7500DF has all the protection that modern technology has to offer.
The engine is a 420cc, OHV unit with a cast iron sleeve. It’s a solid engine that’s precision engineered, so it will last longer than most others and will remain trouble-free for years. A useful tip when using this type of oil splash engine is to start and run the engine regularly – never let it stand too long. This prevents rust from collecting inside the engine and the Westinghouse instruction manual explains this perfectly.
The fuel tank of the Westinghouse WGen7500DF is a 6.6-gallon steel tank with a fuel gauge. The fuel gauge not only makes it easy to see the fuel level while the machine is running, it is also an important safety feature. On a generator without a fuel gauge, you have to open the fuel cap to see the fuel level. If the fuel level is still high the vibrations of the generator may cause a fuel spillage. It is a dangerous situation on a hot, running engine. On a full tank of gas, the generator has a runtime of 11 hours at 50% of rated power. This generator is as fuel efficient as the best generators in the 7500 Watt range.
After reviewing the Westinghouse WGen7500DF, I can say that this is a great machine. For an open frame generator, noise levels are fairly standard, though it’s certainly not a silent generator. It has all the power you’ll need for most of your household and worksite needs at a price that’s hard to beat. All the safety features are there and the only real downside is the absence of an RV outlet. Though this easily rectified by using an adapter. The combination of robust design and superb functionality has made the WGen7500DF one of the most sought-after dual fuel generators in its class.
7500 Watt Dual Fuel generator
- Dual Fuel – Operate your 7500-watt portable generator right out of the box on either gasoline or propane, plus the unit holds 1.2-quarts of oil (included) and has a low oil shut-off sensor
- Electric start – Power up the 439cc Champion engine with the handy toggle switch, battery included
- Will run for 8 hours at 50% load on a full tank of gas.
- Will run for 5.5 hours at 50% load when using a 20-pound propane tank
- Noise level of 74 dBA from 23 feet
- Intelligauge – Keep track of voltage, hertz and run-time hours to easily monitor power output and track maintenance intervals
- EPA certified and CARB compliant
- Outlets : 120V 30A locking outlet (L5-30R), a 120/240V 30A locking outlet (L14-30R) as well as four 120V 20A GFCI protected household outlets (5-20R).
- Powerful – At 9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts on gasoline and 8400 starting watts and 6750 running watts on propane, trust Volt Guard built-in surge protector to prevent overloads
- Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
The Champion 100165 has the same power output as the Westinghouse WGen7500DF. It also produces 7500 Watt running power on gasoline. Its startup current is 9375 Watts, 375 watts more than the Westinghouse. Interestingly, when using propane the running Watts are the same as the Westinghouse but the startup is 150 Watts less.
The Champion 100165 weighs 202.4 LB, a lot more than me. So, with the wheel kit, it’s portable but not light. Unfortunately, the more powerful a generator is, the more it weighs and the noisier it becomes. On the plus side though, you have enough power to supply a house during a power outage. You can comfortably power a construction site or use it on a farm to run most (if not all) of your electrical equipment. These generators are even more versatile because you can use them for tailgating, camping and to power the RV.
Unlike the Westinghouse, which uses a single selector to switch between gas and propane, the Champion 100165 use two separate valves. One for gasoline and one for propane mounted side by side with a sliding cover over the selector valves. Its purpose is to prevent you selecting both fuel sources simultaneously. The slide will not move to either side while a specific fuel has been selected and the valve is in the “ON” position. Only when both fuel valves are in the “OFF” position, will be able to slide the cover. It also means that the carburetor needs to be empty and the generator cannot be switched from propane to gasoline whilst running.
When stopping the generator, the Champion user’s manual recommends shutting off the fuel supply while running, to run the carburetor dry. When the machine stops, you drain the tank and store the gas in a sealed container. I recommend that all generator owners read and follow the instructions in the user manual. It’s important because proper usage and maintenance extends the generator’s life. The Champion 100165 user manual is well written and informative.
The Champion matches the Westinghouse in all features and even surpasses it in some, but not when it comes to fuel consumption. The Champion has a smaller tank and a larger engine than the Westinghouse. To compare the fuel consumption of the two, we need to look at the kilowatt-hours per gallon. For generators, kilowatt-hours per gallon can be interpreted in the same way as you would miles per gallon with a car. It turns out the Westinghouse WGen7500DF gives you 6.25 kilowatt-hours per gallon compared to 4.92 kilowatt-hours per gallon for the Champion. The Westinghouse is a lot more fuel efficient than the Champion – surprising and disappointing, I did not expect that.
A low oil shut-off valve protects the Champion 100165 engine so you don’t have to worry about the engine running out of oil. The champion generator has overload protection so you can rest assured that it will not be damaged when overloaded. The generator has an automatic choke, making it really easy to start in cold weather. It also has a digital display for the running hours, voltage and hertz. This is useful for maintaining a service record.
The Champion also has a battery switch, which enables and disables the electric starting. It seems to be a sort of isolation switch for the battery which will protect the battery when not in use. To start and stop the generator another switch is used, the ignition switch, both need to be switched on when running the generator. A charger is not provided with the Champion dual fuel 100165 generator. You have to undo a battery clamp and use a trickle charger if you’re going to charge the battery. Included with the generator is a wheel kit, which you have to assemble. When you buy the Champion, you get enough oil for the engine, as well as a hose and regulator for propane.
Unlike the Westinghouse WGen7500DF, the Champion doesn’t have a remote control for starting the generator and switching it off. This means going to the generator to start it and it’s no fun on a cold and stormy night.
The Champion 100165 is an imported machine, distributed by Champion Power Equipment and is widely available. Champion power equipment has earned a good reputation as a generator supplier in the Americas. This is a great generator and really compares well to the Westinghouse WGen7500DF.
Do you have a safe covered area for running your generator?
CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CO (Carbon monoxide) are some of the by-products of fuel combustion. CO2 is heavier than air and unless trapped in a confined space where it can accumulate and replace the air, it cannot harm you. Carbon monoxide is very dangerous and replaces the oxygen in your blood. Carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air and diffuses evenly throughout the room. I strongly recommend using a Carbon Monoxide warning device in the room closest to the generator and possibly other living areas. Also fit one inside the RV, these CO warning devices are cheap and freely available and need no special installation.
Be cautious and monitor the situation, it may mean the difference between being without power or not. In either case, it’s important that the generator is well ventilated and not too close to a window or door where the toxic gasses can enter your home or RV. At the same time, you need to keep the generator covered, protecting it from harsh weather.
I highly recommend investing in protection for your generator when being kept outside, such as this generic portable storm shield cover by GenTent that can withstand severe weather. They manufacture a huge variety of products for 3000 to 10,000-watt generators, for specific brand names and a generic one. They are available for the Westinghouse and for the Champion 7500-Watt generators from Amazon as a choice product. I think it’s an absolute must with any generator purchase.
The alternative is to sprint to the generator when the rain starts, stop it and unplug the cords. Then you struggle with the hot, heavy machine across possibly rough terrain to put it away and sit out the storm with no power.
Champion Storm Shield Cover : Made by GenTent
Why buy a dual fuel generator?
One clear advantage of propane is that the engine is running cleaner, emitting less CO2, which is good for the environment. To my mind though, the greatest advantage to a user may be that the generator can be stored for a year without any special precautions. When running only on propane, the gas fuel line of the generators will not gum up during storage, unlike gasoline.
Gas is highly flammable and produces flammable vapors that can ignite and cause an explosion. When decanting the gas from its container to the generator it sometimes happens that some gas is spilled. An open flame or nearby spark can then ignite the fuel. Propane is purchased in a sealed tank and used straight from the tank. It’s therefore safer to handle than gas.
Some sites claim that compared to gas, savings to the order of 40% can be achieved on propane. To my mind, this claim is exaggerated. The dual fuel engines have to run on gas as well, so it’s not optimized for propane like engines that are designed exclusively for propane. It’s less effective on propane than gasoline as shown by the consumption figures given in the generator specifications.
At 50% load, the Champion dual fuel generator runs for 8-hours using 6.10 gallons gas and 4.5 hours on 20 lb. propane. One gallon of propane weighs 4.2 pounds. A “full” 20 lb. cylinder should have 4.7 gallons propane in it. To compare the two, we use the same runtime of 8 hours. The propane used in 8 hours will then be 36 LB or 8.57 gallons. Using the figures provided by the Alternative Fuels Data Center report for October 2017, the average price for propane was $2.78/gallon and $2.49/gallon for gas. It turns out that on average, the Champion 100165 generator will run cheaper on gas than propane. ($15.189 vs $23.5188 for 8 hours run-time).
The effect of altitude on the generator
When buying a generator for use at higher altitudes, the Champion user manual provides guidelines to obtain and install a high altitude main jet. Generator engines lose power as the altitude increases, approximately 3½% for every 1000 feet of elevation above sea level. This is because the air density is lower at a high altitude than at sea level. You end up with a lower air to fuel ratio and this results in a lower power output. Because the engine power drops, the generator output is also reduced. This is normal for all generator engines and only more advanced engines can eliminate the problem. Other high altitude issues can include hard starting, increased fuel consumption and increased exhaust emissions.
For this reason, it’s always important to check with your generator manufacturer before using the generator at high altitudes. Installing a high-altitude carburetor jet is not expensive and it’s not a very complicated procedure.