The WEN DF1200X DUAL-FUEL was released in 2023 at a price that people can afford. It’s WEN’s biggest portable generator but I must confess, I was a little confused when I saw the specs because it’s very similar to their 11,000W (DF1100DTX) generator but I think they wanted to belong with all the other leading brands that sell 12KW portable generators. This article is packed with a diverse range of the best 12,000 Watt generators for the money. I’m happy to include the new WEN DF1200X to this category.
I think their marketing department was correct when they advocated for an actual 12KW generator. They likely grew tired of being overlooked when people searched for 12,000W home backup generators. People have been conditioned to think of certain wattage ranges when researching generators. Most people don’t search for an 11,000W generator, but 10KW and 12KW are always popular search terms. Yes, humans are creatures of habit.
Question : Do you want 12,000W of running power OR 12,000W of peak power? The first model has 12,000W of peak power; the 2nd generator gives you 12KW running power.
Table of Contents...
- 0.1 Westinghouse Won’t Let you Down
- 0.2 Best Cheap 12,000W Generator /
- 0.3 How Much Power You Need?
- 1 Editors’ Picks : Best 12,000W Generators
- 1.1 DuroMax XP12000HX vs Westinghouse WGen9500c
- 1.2 Best Emergency 12KW Backup: Champion 100485 PRO
- 1.3 DuroMax XP15000EH : 12,000W Rated / 15,000W Peak
- 1.4 FACT : More Power is Better
- 1.5 Prepare for Power Outages Beforehand
- 1.6 WEN DF1100T / Best Value 11,000W Duel-Fuel Generator
- 1.7 Best Last Generation 12KW generators :
- 2 Best 12KW Generators
- 3 Bite-Sized Pieces of Info you can Digest.
- 4 The Value of Owning A Generator
- 5 Emergency Backup
Westinghouse / 12.5KW Peak
Besides the fact that the WGen12000 is more powerful, the primary differences are : The WGen9500 does not have a 30A-120V (L5-30R) RV outlet, and it runs 3 hours less at 50% load.
Westinghouse / 12KW Run
The WGen12000 is a full-featured True 12,000W generator. It has all the outlets you need to connect to your transfer switch, RV, Boat, Construction Site, etc. What else do you need?
Westinghouse Won’t Let you Down
The search for the best 12,000W Generator can be frustrating if you don’t know a lot about generator. My goal is to save you time, and money, by giving you some excellent options. We’re starting this article with two great Westinghouse generators as I’m confident that either will meet your needs. Westinghouse makes some of the very best portable generators you can buy. I believe they provide the best value, pound for pound. Although, neither of these are suited for running any sensitive electronics because of their high total harmonic distortion (under 23%). In that case, you need a generator with less than 5% THD, like the new WGen20000 (20KW Run).
The Westinghouse WGen9500DFc, seen above, has established itself as one of the best 12,000W (Peak) generators you can buy in 2023, whereas the WGen12000 gives you 12KW of steady power and 15KW of peak power. Take your pick, I promise you won’t be disappointed. They are both available in a gas-only model or dual-fuel, providing greater fuel flexibility in times of fuel scarcity, especially in an emergency.
They both have 50A 120/24V outlets, providing all the power you need to power your most demanding devices, 240V appliances and even your central air conditioner. Westinghouse is generous when it comes to the features the engineers integrate into the generator, and this is one of the reasons I love the brand. They both have a 30A outlet, with the WGen12000 having a 120V-30A RV outlet , giving you more flexibility. If I knew exactly what you are intending to do with the generator, I could tell you the exact model that would meet your need, but sadly, I don’t know what your specific situation is. Although, I do my best to anticipate the needs of my readers and give them some great options.
Westinghouse has updated almost all of their generators with carbon monoxide monitoring including the WGen9500c/WGen9500DFc. I personally feel that Westinghouse provides the best value for the price you pay, with excellent build quality. I understand that one brand doesn’t suit everybody, so I’m happy to report on the other 12,000W generators available.
If you’re on a limited budget you won’t find a cheaper dual-fuel 12,000W (Peak) generator than the Pulsar G12KBN. It’s a solid buy, excellent reliability but you only get a year warranty and it’s not as refined as other brands like Westinghouse, Champion, DuroMax, or Generac, but we don’t always need to spend the extra money for the absolute best.
Best Cheap 12,000W Generator /
TIP : I recommend calling Pulsar before you buy this generator and see how responsive and knowledgeable their support department is before you spend your money.
I’m including this Pulsar as a cheaper alternative to the higher quality brands like Westinghouse. I definitely feel it’s worth paying a little more for an established brand but I also know that not everyone can afford the extra cost.
There’s something here for everyone, but sometimes you don’t end up saving money by buying a cheap generator. You might end up paying more in the long-run if you get a defective unit or if the China-based company won’t pay for the return fees, or won’t send you the part you need. If you buy on Amazon you can extend the warranty but then you might as well buy a reputable brand where you get a 2 to 5 year warranty.
How Much Power You Need?
Alright, you’re on a research mission to find the best 12,000 watt generator, but do you know what features you really need? Do you know the maximum power requirements for all of the devices you intend to run? As I asked earlier, Are you looking for 12,000 running watts or 12,000 starting watts? Most people don’t realize there’s a difference between what wattage refers to and manufacturers don’t always make this distinction clear for consumers, making my job a little more challenging. Because of this I’m going to give you a range of 12KW generators to choose from to ensure that you get the amount of power you actually need to run all the devices you expect your portable generator to power.
It’s important to know your options and the difference in prices before you can decide which generator is for you.
Editors’ Picks : Best 12,000W Generators
Two excellent new models both with carbon monoxide monitoring built-in. I highly recommend investing in a generator with this safety feature. Both generators are part of a series for each brand, available in a variety of models. Westinghouse provides the best value for the money.
DuroMax XP12000HX vs Westinghouse WGen9500c
DuroMax XP12000HX / 12KW
The XP12000HX is from the new HX series from DuroMax, built to jobsite standards. Include a lifting hook to easily to be moved around on construction sites, but it’s also well suited for home backup power. There are several models available depending on how much power you need. This is an excellent buy as it can handle any situation, equipped with 20A, 30A and 50A outlets.
Westinghouse WGen9500c / Gas
This updated WGen9500c from Westinghouse, is another excellent residential generator, and now has a carbon monoxide sensor. This has been a top selling model for years but now it’s safer to use for homeowners as it will automatically shut down if CO levels are high. Westinghouse makes high quality generators at affordable prices. A great buy for home backup.
Best Emergency 12KW Backup: Champion 100485 PRO
Built to high standards with enough power to keep you comfortable when the power goes out. EFI is a dream to have.
What makes the 100485 PRO worth buying?
The 100485 PRO by Champion represents a new breed of generators built with Electronic Fuel Injection, providing you with a generator that produces far less emissions, including less carbon monoxide. It doesn’t have a carburetor so you don’t have to worry about maintenance. EFI engines have the advantage of not being affected by altitude, so it will always run smooth no matter where you are. This is an 11,500W generator but close enough for me to call this one of the best 12,000 Watt generators you can buy.
Best Unique Small Brand 12,000W Generators — Peak and Running
Although these are from less established brands, these 12KW generators are unique, and stand on their own, able to compete with established brand generators. Say “Hello” to the All Power America G12000EGL (Dual-Fuel) & the Pulsar PG15KVTWB (Dual-Fuel).
All Power America / 12KW Peak
All Power America has been in business since 1985, and their generators are manufactured in China, as most generators are. This attractive generator has all the outlets you need, it’s dependable, well-made, powered by a reliable John Deere engine.
Overall, this is an excellent buy for about $1000. I think this might be the best value 12KW generator. Unfortunately, their warranty works against you and will cost you money if you have any defects that need fixing.
Reasons to Buy —
Reasons Not to Buy —
Read their Warranty closely.
Pulsar / Dual-Fuel / 12KW Run
This is a new kid on the block, recently released, so far its reliability is excellent. Ideal for home emergency backup with all the outlets you need. Power your entire home, including your central AC, and 240V appliances, if you connect to your transfer switch with the 50A outlet.
Also, you can power your large RV. Power anywhere you want it. It’s on the expensive side for a lesser known brand, but it’s well-made and one of the best 12KW – 15KW generator.
Reasons to Buy —
Consider This —
Now this next generator is a true beast of a machine, with 12KW of running power, not start power.
DuroMax XP15000EH : 12,000W Rated / 15,000W Peak
Ultra-Powerful : Best Value Industrial Grade 12KW generator.
The XP15000EH is perfect for complete home backup power, keep all of your power tools running on the jobsite, or it can even power your large RV. Whatever you need, this will handle it. My biggest complaint is that it doesn’t have carbon monoxide monitoring. I’d also recommend the newest HX series from DuroMax, specifically the XP13000HX, with 13KW starting power with gas, and 12KW start power with propane. It has more bells and whistles but a little less power than the XP15000EH. But, for now let’s take a closer look at this generator.
FEATURES : XP15000EH
The Champion 100111 is comparable to the XP15000EH, with the same gas power output, but it’s a gas only model. We’ll be looking at that next. Keep scrolling. Below you can see the current price.
FACT : More Power is Better
When it comes to generators more power is always better — and that’s not a sales pitch. If you’re continually maxing out your generator, you’re putting it under more stress, reducing its lifespan but more importantly, the greater the load on the engine the louder it will be. Always consider the total wattage you are likely to run at any one time, such as during an emergency. I would aim to buy a generator that has at least 25% more power than the maximum wattage you think you’ll need.
You won’t find any junk here. They’re all great. When it comes to buying a portable generator to prepare you for an emergency; the time is now. Preparing ahead is difficult for many people because they don’t want to spend the money unless they have to. Unfortunately, you need to bite the financial bullet before you need the generator. This is why so many people are unprepared when disaster strikes your neighborhood — people wait too long to buy a generator hoping they’ll never need one, hoping that the inevitable will never happen, but it always does.
There are much worse things you can spend your money on. I assure you, energy will never go out of style. Consider a generator money well spent.
This article has been updated as of August 13, 2023 — there are several excellent 12,000W generators from reputable brands in here. All the generators in this article are proven to be reliable and worth the price you pay. I don’t know your budget but my advice is to not spend more than you can afford.
Alright, let’s start with a comparison of two excellent 12000 watt generators that are hopefully in stock. Both 12KW generators are well-priced and dual-fuel, which enable them to run off of propane or gas, making them ideal when fuel is scarce, like in the middle of massive winter snow and ice storm that pummeled 25 states in the US in late February 2021. You have to prepare the unknowable events — but inevitable — before they happen.
Millions of people were without power in Texas as the frigid air washed over the state. People were freezing in their own homes. A 12000 watt generator can keep your entire home running in times like these. Unfortunately most people don’t prepare for the worst case scenario. Don’t wait for a disaster to buy a generator. It’s too late when you need it the most.
Two More Great 12KW Generators
The Champion 10011 is a built-tough, making it one of the best jobsite generators with 12,000W of running power. It also has a lift hook, which tells you what they designed it for. And on the opposite side, the Pulsar G12KBN has become a favorite dual-fuel generator with customers. Pulsar is a small brand and yet they create reliable generators at a fair price and that’s always a winning combination..
Prepare for Power Outages Beforehand
As I write this article update a massive winter snow and ice storm is pummeling around 25 states in the US. Yes, that’s correct. And on top of all of that, millions of people (over 4 million) are without power in Texas as the frigid air washes over the state. A 12,000 watt generator can keep your entire home running in times like these but in truth, even a small generator is better than nothing. Unfortunately most people don’t prepare for the worst case scenario. Don’t wait for a disaster to force you to consider buying a generator. It’s too late when you need it the most. They’ll be sold out everywhere locally and buying online, like from Amazon or Home Depot, usually takes at least 2-3 days.
It might be a good idea to have a small portable power station to keep your personal gadgets and laptops running during a power outage. These battery generators are ideal for a lot of applications, but I love that you can safely use them indoors and the newer models have become powerful enough to power your entire home, like the ECOFLOW Delta PRO.
VIDEO | Released in 2021 : HX SERIES —- DuroMax XP12000HX
Have you heard of WEN? It’s actually an excellent consumer brand that stands up to the best of more reputable retail brands but it’s not a household name like Honda, Westinghouse or Yamaha. WEN is more akin to a YouTube star but unknown on TV or in films. It’s the same thing here. WEN generators are well worth your money, and in fact, all of their products are good quality.
WEN DF1100T / Best Value 11,000W Duel-Fuel Generator
This WEN DF1100T dual-fuel has 11,000 starting watts and 8300W for running power. It’s another example of an excellent value generator from a reputable brand. It’s been on the market for a couple of years and it has an excellent track record of being reliable and well-built. This is an excellent buy if it meets your power needs.
- Switch between gasoline (11,000 surge watts, 8,300 running watt) and propane (9,500 surge, 7,500 running) with the simple turn of the selection dial
- Voltage easily goes from 120-Volt to 240-Volt, perfect for transfer switches and emergency backup
- Electric start powers the 457cc 4-stroke OHV engine with the turn of a key
- 6.6 Gal. tank provides up to 8.5 hours of half load run time
- Includes four 120V GFCI outlets (5-20R), a 120V 30A twist lock outlet (L5-30R), a 120V/240V 50A outlet (NEMA 14-50R), a 12V DC cigarette-lighter-style plug, a bottle of oil, a 47-inch LPG connection hose, and a two-year warranty
Let’s begin with two of the best 12,000 watt generators on the market (see below) — Westinghouse WGen9500 and the DuroMax XP12000EH. I must confess, I’m a big fan of the Westinghouse brand. Westinghouse has dramatically ramped up their quality and engineering over the past couple years, introducing models that are stellar for the price you pay.
Best Last Generation 12KW generators :
At the time of this writing you can still buy these generators, but they are older models and you’re likely to find them on sale. During these challenging economic times you can save money by buying older generators especially on sale. I’ve seen big discounts, just be patient.
These generators don’t have carbon monoxide monitoring, which each updated newer series now has. But that also means these are fairly inexpensive 12KW generators, and the quality remains high. I am an advocate for the value that CO monitoring provides, but I also understand that most people have a budget to stick to but still need the back-up power. These are two excellent 12,000W generators for the price.
Either of these 12KW generators throughout will provide reliable back-up power that you can depend on when you need it the most. Because this is an older model you’ll find it cheaper than the latest models, and it often goes on sale. Here are the features.
DuroMax XP12000EH / Dual-Fuel
The XP12000EH has been a top selling 12KW generator for the past several years. It’s held up extremely well over the years. This will get you through power outages for an reason. Duel fuel generators are ideal when fuel is scarce. Make sure you keep propane tanks ready for any emergency event.
Either of these can power your entire house and get you through any disaster, or power your tools in your DIY workshop.
Call the Customer Support Department Before Buying Your Generator
My honest advice to you is, before you buy a generator, call the brand support department and test them. By doing this you’ll find out how long it takes for them to answer the phone, and you can ask the questions to evaluate the competence of the employee. Is their ‘Help Department’ contracted out overseas or are they in the US? Generators are not cheap, so, do your due diligence before you buy. Which brings me back to Westinghouse — they’ve been in business since 1886. Think about it. They will be there if something goes wrong. Trust and support matter when buying a product, in relationships of any kind.
Shhh, listen. Hear the noise level of the WGen9500.
VIDEO | Noise Level Test / Westinghouse WGen9500
Truth is, traditional gas generators are notoriously loud. Sorry, but that’s the nature of the technology. If you want quiet model then you need to choose an inverter generator. For example, if you want 12,000W of quiet power, then buy two powerful inverter generators and run them in parallel, like the Briggs & Stratton Q6500. Yes, it’s more expensive this way but inverter generators have a lot of advantages over conventional gas models.
The WGen9500 also comes in a dual-fuel model (propane & gas) (read review). I personally think it’s worthwhile to spend the extra money to have the option to run on propane as well as gas. It’s worth the option. These Westinghouse generators are well-suited for homeowners.
It’s a long and winding road to figure out what to do, what generator to buy, how much money is worth spending on something, and more importantly — do I really need this thing, in this case, a generator. What do you need? Want? I think there’s a high probability that something here will catch your attention. The goal is to present a diverse range of products to spark your interest.
I try to provide variety as it’s impossible to know exactly what someone is looking for. On that note. I’m only interested in sharing generators that are worth your money and are well-regarded by historical data. Quality truly matters. Don’t decide based on price alone. I recommend you spend the time to know your options before making a decision.
History Matters. Brand Matters. Support and Service Matters. Price is relative to the total cost of all of these factors. It takes time for a company to develop the expertise to create well engineered products. That’s a fact. Look at history for reference.
Westinghouse, the company, has been in business since 1886 — and they should be at the top of your list when deciding on which generator to buy. You’ll see several Westinghouse generators in this article as well as other brands. You can decide based on the facts.
Alright, let’s get to the reason you’re here — to find the best 12,000 Watt generator on the market. There’s more than one. Let’s start with a Westinghouse.
Best 12KW Generators
1886 : Founded Westinghouse Electric Co. / 361 patents
1891 : Built the world’s first industrial AC system.
Today : A leader in power equipment.
Top Pick : Westinghouse WGen9500DF / Dual-Fuel / Gas : 12.5KW / 9.5KW
Read our indepth review of the Westinghouse WGen9500DF Dual Fuel and the gas-only model (WGen9500DF). We cover every aspect of it in our separate review. There’s too many details to get into here.
Empires of Light : If you love a good historical story, read about the history of electricity and how it all began, involving George Westinghouse, Nikola Tesla, and Thomas Edison — Three titans of electricity and how they fought to get their inventions made and dominate the industry.
This article will provide you with a wide range of options to choose from in the category of — Best 12,000 Watt Generators — I understand that people have their preferences, as I have mine (see the Westinghouse above), but ultimately, my job is to provide you with accurate information and reliable options for you to consider — depending on what your needs are and how much you want to spend. We get a diverse range of shoppers and researchers, making it impossible to guess what an individual wants. By painting a wide landscape, my hope is that you will find something that satisfies your needs.
What’s the Best 12000 Watt Generator in 2023? It depends on two factors — What do you need it for and what’s your budget? We take a deep dive and review several excellent 12Kw gas generators on the market. Do you need 12000 running watts? or can get away with a little less?
Most shoppers get confused between running and starting watts, but it’s quite straightforward — Starting watts is the maximum power produced for a short period of time to get your devices started. Whereas running watts is the power consistently (and reliably) produced as long as the generator is running.
Best Industrial-Grade 12KW — Westinghouse WGen12000
- 12,000 running watts, 15,000 peak watts
- Runs for up to 11 hours on a 10.5 gal. fuel tank with built-in fuel gauge
- Powered by the ultra duty 713cc OHV V-Twin Westinghouse Engine constructed with a durable cast iron sleeve
- Push-Button Electric Start pairs with a key fob for seamless Remote Start
- Weighing 352 lb. with as low as 74 dBA operating volume
- Safely powers sensitive electronics such as laptop computers, cell phones, and more with less than 5% THD
- (2) 5-20R household duplex outlets, (1) L5-30R, (1) Transfer Switch Ready L14-30R 120/240-Volt twist-lock, (1) 120/240V 14-50R, and (2) USB ports with rubber outlet covers
- VFT display gives you real time updates with the voltage output, frequency, and lifetime hours
- Smart Idle automatically lowers idle speed with no load to enhance fuel efficiency and extend run times
- Safe and convenient with automatic low oil shutdown, automatic voltage regulation and overload protection
- All Westinghouse portable generators are functionally tested in the factory and may contain minimum residual oil and/or fuel odor
In this case, Westinghouse is selling the generator as a 9500W generator, but it has 12500 starting watts. I think it needs to be in the conversation. Who cares what the marketers say. All that matters is : How much running power do you need? CAT has the best wattage calculator that I’ve seen online. Use it to calculate the right size generator for your needs (our guide).
A-iPower SUA13000EFI : 13KW / 10KW
Various Types of Electrical Generator Outlets
Power of 12000 Watts
These are powerful workhorses that are designed to get you through emergencies, power outages, natural disasters or worksite situations where you need reliable power to get you through the day, night and even weeks or months. Life happens and when the power goes out you’ll wish you spent more money on a bigger generator. Nobody appreciates a portable generator until their life depends on it.
Whatever your reason for wanting to buy a 12000 watt portable generator, they will surely provide you with plenty of reliable power.
Excellent Value / Duel-Fuel : 12KW Generator — A-iPower SUA12000ED
Fast Facts — A-iPower SUA12000E
- 12,000 starting watts/ 9,000 running watts with electric start
- 2″ (32mm) rigid tubular steel frame
- up to 9 hours of run time at 50% load
- 5″ never-flat wheels
- GFCI Protected Outlets
- Built-in DC Adapter Plug. Charge your battery or use with your USB adapter to charge your cellphone. DC charging cables included.
- Neutral bonded to frame for added safety
- 12V-14AH maintenance free battery included
- Keyless one-touch push button provides an effortless start
The Value of Owning A Generator
The incredible power of nature is both awesome and frightening at the same time. If you’re caught in the midst of a hurricane (read about hurricane generators) or an earthquake, fear is likely your first reaction. While hurricanes and earthquakes are the most destructive and terrifying of natural disasters, other natural phenomenon (like snow storms) also disrupt the lives of many people all over the world. Volcanic eruptions are much less common but can be the most destructive all.
A heavy snowstorm can make roads impassable, leaving people stranded for days, sometimes weeks. They also disrupt essential services, like power supply and landline telephones. In the case of hurricanes and earthquakes, people experience this and so much more.
Hurricanes hit the Caribbean islands and the east coast of the United States every year. During the hurricane season, the news is always filled with scenes of disaster and mayhem. Every so often, these hurricanes are of astronomical proportions, affecting the lives of millions.
Earthquakes, most common on the west coast, may not be as frequent – at least earthquakes that cause major destruction. Though, when they strike, their power can be catastrophic.
The fact is, that despite all our technology and early warning systems, countless people are affected by natural disasters in some way or another. One of the common and universal problems with all forms of natural disaster is the disruption of electrical supply. Going without electricity for a few hours, or even a day, is inconvenient but, if it doesn’t happen too frequently, we can deal with it. When we have to go without normal electrical supply for days on end, this is a different story.
Let’s take a look at a few more recommendations before we continue. Think of it as a commercial break.
Underrated : All Power America APGG12000
Consider This : Reliable 12000 watt generator for the money.
Features : All Power America 12000W Generator
- Power : 12000W peak / 9000W running
- 18HP 459cc OHV air cooled Engine
- Running time: 10 hrs @ 1/2 load; electric start button & recoil start
- Quiet (relatively) at 76 dB
- Outlets : 4x 120V AC outlets / 1x 120V twist-lock outlet / 1x 120/240V twist-lock outlet; 1x 12V DC;
- Has Hour Meter, and it includes a Maintenance-Free Battery
- EPA certified. NOT CARB Compliant (Sorry, California)
All Power America, the company
Have you heard of All Power America? They’ve been in business since 2005, so they’re a relative newcomer to the world of generators. In comparison, Westinghouse has been in business since 1886, just to give you a frame of reference. It seems like they’ve built a good reputation thus far. If you want to learn more about the brand, visit their website.
My advice to anyone buying an expensive product, like a generator — call the manufacturers support number before making the purchase and find out how quickly they answer the phone and how they respond to your questions. Rather than wait until you need support due a defect or concern, find out before you spend your money and evaluate the company based on how they treat you.
This is something I’ve learned from experience. Some companies have horrible support and I’d rather find out before I give them my money. Perhaps more companies will learn that customers genuinely care about how they are treated and responded to after the sale is made — when something goes wrong, will they help you? Are they professional? Proactive? Try it.
All Power America contact : firstname.lastname@example.org or call — 1-888-896-6881
Dual-Fuel : — DuroMax XP12000EH
Recommended : 12000 Watt dual-fuel generator, with a long history of reliability.
📄 Read our full dedicated review on this 12KW DuroMax powerhouse.
Not only does a break in the electrical supply seriously disrupt our lives, it can be outright dangerous. People with chronic conditions often rely on medical equipment that needs a constant power supply. When landlines are down, your cell phone might be your only connection to the outside world and you’ll need to keep it charged. You also need to rely on the media to update you on weather conditions. Less hazardous, but equally disruptive are the essential appliances in our homes that no longer function without electricity.
If your refrigerator or deep freeze stand for too long without electricity, your food will spoil. This can be quite distressing when you’re not able to get a store because the roads are blocked. Not to mention that the store may not even be there if it’s caught in the worst of a hurricane or earthquake.
What all this boils down to is that it’s a very good idea to have a backup emergency power supply if you live in an area that’s prone to some form of natural disaster that will leave you without a grid power supply. Portable generators are very common and are used for many purposes. From vacationers who simply want some of the home luxuries when they’re out in the wilderness to contractors and emergency workers who rely on portable generators all the time.
When it comes to backing up your home in an emergency, a small portable generator will keep essential electrical equipment like lights, TVs and perhaps light medical equipment functioning. When it comes to larger essential appliances like refrigerators and sump pumps, you’re going to need a larger generator. Then, of course, it could be nice to have less essential equipment (like an air conditioner) working as well.
Full-size standby generators for your home are very expensive and use large quantities of gas or diesel, they are priced too high for many homeowners. Besides, a portable generator is more versatile and can be used for many other purposes. You are going to get a lot of power from a large standby generator – anything from 15KW up to 40KW or more, though few homes need more than 20KW.
If you look at a 3-4 bedroom family home, your normal electricity consumption will be about 4-5KW at any given time. This can peak at about 10KW when the demand is heavy – though this will always be for a short period of time. Some homes can reach a peak of around 20KW, this would be a larger house with many high-powered devices like pool pumps, spas and very large central AC units. The fact is, most family homes can function normally or, at least, very close to normal with a generator that supplies around 10-12KW.
The good news is that you can get portable generators that deliver this kind of power. Though the word portable, in this case, doesn’t mean that it’s too easy to move. They’re large and heavy but do have handles and (usually) wheels which means that you can move them around. This is unlike a standby generator that is built into an enclosure and is a permanent fixture of your house. Large, powerful portable generators are much more affordable and versatile than standby generators and also much cheaper. For most people, a large portable generator is an ideal solution. Farmers and building contractors who need extra power for high-power equipment also benefit from these machines.
There’s a lot of talk about inverter generators, these days. If you’re going for a smaller generator, say 3500W or less, an inverter is important to supply clean power that won’t harm sensitive electronics. When you have a generator that delivers a peak power output of around 12000 watts, the need for an inverter falls away. A large generator delivers much more stable power, this is because they have much larger engines and alternators that won’t strain as easily under load. Harmonic Distortion (HD) only really occurs when a generator is running at close to its maximum power output. It becomes more difficult for the automatic voltage regulator (AVR) and engine to adjust to changing load demands when the generator is working too hard.
Large generators seldom reach their maximum power output under normal use and this is usually for a very short period of time. In order for a 12KW generator to reach its maximum peak load (if we use the example of an average 4 bedroom home), you’d need to have a refrigerator, air conditioner, and a large swimming pool pump switching on at exactly the same time, this would have to be when all your other regular appliances are running as well.
Not only is this going to happen very seldom, but the period for which this equipment is going to need a peak starting load is less than a second. This really means that a generator of this size doesn’t need an inverter. I don’t know of any large generator that uses an inverter, it’s just a waste of money – otherwise, they would be available.
So a portable 12000W generator is a much more affordable option for backing up your home than a standby generator. They’re still way more expensive than a small 1000W generator. This is obvious and, besides, they can’t really be compared. A 1000W generator won’t even run a single refrigerator, never mind your entire home.
It’s possible to connect a large enough portable generator directly to your home’s wiring. It would require a transfer switch and you need to get an electrician who’s familiar with this type of installation to do this for you. You can connect a portable generator directly to home and still be able to disconnect it if you need to use it elsewhere – again, you need to make sure that you’re using a professional who understands this if you want this versatility. If you’re using a transfer switch, your portable generator is almost as convenient as a standby generator.
The only difference being that a standby generator will start and switch from grid to generator power automatically. It will also switch off automatically when the grid power is restored to normal. If you’re using a portable generator, you’ll need to start it yourself and engage the transfer switch manually. You’ll also have to stop the generator and switch back to the mains power when it’s back to normal. Given the massive price difference between a large portable generator and a standby generator, this is a small sacrifice.
With so many hurricanes hitting the country every year and the severity of these, it’s reassuring to know that there’s a relatively inexpensive way to back your home up when it comes to electricity. It’s always a good idea to be prepared.
I think that you can see quite clearly that a 12KW generator can be a really great investment. With prices reaching (and in some cases exceeding) the $4000 mark, it’s quite an investment. You’ll want to do some homework before paying this kind of money for any type of equipment. Fortunately, we have (once again) done all that hard work for you. By narrowing your search down to five of the best generators that deliver around 12000W peak power, your decision is going to be much easier. You don’t need to stress about what you’re paying for – these are all really fantastic generators. I would say that some are better than others, but none of them will be a waste of money. You will get many years of reliable service from any of these generators.
Review : DuroMax XP12000EH — DuroMax XP12000E
- Dual Fuel Generator : Propane or Gas.
- Heavy duty frame has four point fully isolated motor mounts. Low vibration. Quiet.
- Full Control panel with oil warning light, volt meter, circuit breaker and power outlets.
- Run-Time : Gasoline — 8 hrs @ 50% Maximum Output
- Run-Time : Propane — 8 hrs@ 50% Maximum Output (40 lb. tank)
- Low oil shut-off protects engine.
- Quiet Muffler reduces engine noise.
- Cannot ship to California – Non-CARB unit.
- Max AC Output (Watts) : 12000
- Rated AC Output (Watts) : 9500
- Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallons) : 8.3
- 18Hp DuroMax Air Cooled OHV Engine
- Low Oil lamp/Shutoff
- Electric/Recoil start
- Spark Arrestor. EPA approved. Can be safely used in US national parks.
- DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start Generator.
- 12V Generator Battery.
- Generator Wheel Kit.
- Generator Tool Kit.
- DuroMax Operating Manual.
Choosing between the DuroMax XP12000EH and the XP12000E is simply a matter of deciding if you want dual fuel (hybrid) capabilities. The Duromax XP12000E is a standard gas generator like any other. Whereas the XP12000EH includes the letter “H” in its model number, this stands for hybrid and means that it can run on regular gas or natural gas (propane). The specs for both models are identical. The obvious exception is that the DuroMax XP12000EH has a connection for an LP gas pipe and the carburetor has been modified to allow for dual-fuel operation.
Many prefer the option of using natural gas for its lower carbon emission levels, making it a more environmentally friendly fuel. Another advantage of using a propane tank is that it’s easier and safer to store and transport. The fuel can’t be spilled and there are no fumes – like you’d get from a regular gas can. Another advantage of propane is that you get more fuel from the same volume container. This means that you don’t need to store as much fuel for the same amount of running time. Though your power output is slightly lower when using natural gas.
The engine used to power the Duromax XP12000E and XP12000EH isn’t CARB compliant – so it doesn’t meet California’s emission regulations. It does have an EPA approved spark arrestor, making it safe for use in all national parks and forested areas.
DuroMax XP12000E | Gas-only Generator
Powered by a reliable and highly durable 457cc 18 HP OHV engine, the DuroMax XP12000E/H pumps out 9500 running watts with a peak power of 12000W. This is enough current for some heavy duty household work and demanding site conditions. The generator is housed in a solid steel frame with four-point (fully isolated) engine mounts. A rugged wheel kit is provided for easier transportation and the front standing feet have a strong rubber base for low vibration.
An 8.3-gallon gas tank gives you good fuel storage and you’ll get about 10-hours run-time from a tank of gas at 50% load. I estimate that a normal family home will be running at about 50% of the 9500W running load of this generator. This means that during your normal to peak load times, you’ll be getting about this kind of time. If you leave it running overnight (when your power demand is lower), you should easily get 12-hours or more. Using a standard 20 LBS propane tank, you’ll get about 20-hours at 50% load, if you have the DuroMax 12000EH hybrid generator.
Flexible Generator can run with either Gas or Propane
Using the DuroMax XP12000E/H is a real pleasure, it has both electric and recoil starters. This means that you have the easy starting of an electric starter motor but if for some reason, your battery runs flat you can still get it started the old-fashioned way – pulling on the recoil starter. It has a very convenient control panel with everything you need and it’s simple to use and understand. You get 2 X 120V 20A standard household power outlets, a 30A 120V twist-lock outlet for RV’s and a high output 120V/240V outlet as well as a 12V outlet for charging batteries. All the circuits are protected for overload by circuit breakers. You also get an analog voltmeter and a low oil level warning light with automatic engine shut-off to protect the engine when the oil runs low.
The DuroMax XP12000E/H is not a very quiet machine, though the noise level of 72dB is better than most generators of this size. It’s not too light either, who can expect a robust 12KW generator to be anything but heavy? It weighs 265 LBS, although this seems like a lot, it’s actually the lightest of all the generators in this review – making it quite exceptional in this regard. This weight is made easier to deal with, thanks to a really strong fold down handles with rubber grips and the big rubber wheels with steel rims.
Powerful dual-fuel generator | Gas or Propane
The DuroMax XP12000E and its hybrid brother, the XP12000EH offer really great value for money. A generator of this size is never going to be cheap, but for its price, the XP12000E offers outstanding quality. The dual-fuel DuroMax XP12000EH will cost a little more, but you’re paying extra for the benefit of its hybrid capabilities. This is a seriously tough generator with no frills, bells or whistles and comes with a 1-year warranty.
CAT RP12000E / Discontinued
Best 12000 Watt Generator.
- Powerful 670cc V-Twin OHV motor with pressurized oil system
- Removable lifting eye and ergonomic design for easy maneuverability
- Large fuel tank and idle control for extra-long run times
- Class leading number of outlets powers more tools at one time
- All copper generator produces clean power (total harmonic distortion (<5%)
- CARB Compliant
When you’re looking at industrial grade machinery, the name CAT says it all. The CAT RP12000E will be equally fitting on a hardworking building site as easily as it will in any home. It’s very likely that you’ll never have to replace this generator, it’s built to last and will take on even the most challenging environments with ease.
Just looking at the CAT RP12000E, tells you that this is a robust machine. From the durable frame with fold-out handle and large 11” rubber wheels with steel rims, the industrial quality of this ultra-powerful generator cannot be disputed.
When it comes to the engine, it’s in a league of its own. The 670cc V-Twin engine is as powerful as it is indestructible. With the correct service, this engine should last for decades. When we look at the alternator, it must be one of the best, producing exceptionally low Harmonic Distortion (HD) – less than 5%. The best inverter generators have an HD of less than 3%, so for a standard generator (without an inverter), this as good as you’ll get. At >5% HD, it’s safe enough for your TV and other sensitive electronics. At a normal running load of about 50%, you HD should be less than 3%. It also has an automatic voltage regulator (AVR) for extra protection against power surges.
The power output of 12KW running power and 15KW peak (starting) power exceeds all the others in this class. It has the ability to deliver both 240V and 120V AC current and has a 12V output. If you’re using 120V, you’ll get an incredible 100A of constant power (50A at 240V) with a peak of 125A at 120V. Take a look at the main circuit breaker on your home and you’ll see that the CAT RP12000E should match or come very close to this. It will almost certainly provide all the electrical current needed to run most average-sized homes, with power to spare. With this much power at your disposal, the CAT RP12000E should never take much strain, improving its engine life.
Now with all this power, you’d expect this to be a very thirsty beast. While the fuel consumption is much higher than a small portable generator, it’s really good for a machine of this size. It has a really large 13.2-gallon (50-liter) gas tank that will give you close to 12-hours run time on a tank of gas at 50% load. At 50% of the maximum running load, you’re looking at 50A of power at 120V. I doubt many homes will reach this average, so you can easily expect 14-hours or more for an average home.
You’d expect a generator this large to be very noisy. I don’t have official noise level readings for the CAT RP1200E, but I can say that the premium muffler makes it a lot quieter than most other generators of this size. The muffler also includes a spark arrestor for added safety. With EPA and CARB compliance, you have no need to worry emission level regulations in all 50-states. A CSA model is also available, but this has a slightly lower output of 11000 running watts.
The control panel has LED backlighting, which is a pretty cool feature. It offers you everything you need neatly clustered together and easily accessible. Outlets include a 14-50R 120V/240V 50A socket, 2 X 50L-30R 120V 30A sockets; an L14-30R 120V/240V 30A socket and 2 X 5-20R 120V 20A GFCI outlets. All the power sockets have rubber covers and are protected by individual circuit breakers. You get a USB smart charger with the generator, along with all the tools that you’ll need, which include an 8/10mm wrench, 12/14mm wrench, spark plug wrench, screwdriver, oil, and a funnel. The control panel also has a digital display for voltage, power output, and runtime. You’re able to control the idle revs from the control panel which helps to save fuel and reduce noise levels. It has an electric starter and manual choke. The fuel gauge is fitted on top of the tank and not on the control panel.
You’ve probably guessed that this is a heavy generator and this, it certainly is. At 353 LBS, you’re not going be lifting this machine easily – even with two people. The guys at CAT have thought of this when designing the generator and it has a lifting hook placed dead top center – so you can lift it with a winch and it won’t tilt in any direction. The handle also gives you a very convenient position to pull the generator and it even has a soft-grip to make it more comfortable. The smooth-running engine, rubber feet on the frame and thick rubber wheels also mean that you won’t get much vibration from the CAT as it purrs away.
I’m convinced that you won’t find a better 12KW generator than this one. Its durability far exceeds expectations, as does its power output. In every aspect of its design and construction, the mighty CAT RP12000 will impress even the harshest of critics (myself included). You get a 3-year warranty on the CAT RP12000E, but you’ll need to register your generator with the manufacturers within 30-days of your purchase. If you don’t register it, your warranty will be, by default, 2 years.
The CAT RP12000E has been engineered for demanding applications. It’s the perfect jobsite generator for any industry, but can also be used as an emergency backup generator.
Top rated 12,000 watt portable generator. Very affordable and reliable.
- 12,000 Starting Watts/9,000 Running Watts
- Warranty: 2-Year Residential/1-Year Commercial
- 459cc/16hp OHV Engine
- 12V Multifunction Port; 1 – 12VDC 8.3A Adaptor Plug / USB Ready – new for 2017
- Full GFCI Outlets; 2 – NEMA 120VAC 20A, GFCI protected – new for 2017
- Electric Start
- Runs for 9 Hours at 50% Load
- 459cc single cylinder, 4 stroke air cooled OHV engine with a low tone muffler
- Factory installed fold-down handle
- 9 in. heavy duty never flat maintenance free wheels
- 4 – NEMA 120VAC 20 Amp, GFCI protected,
- 1 – NEMA 120/240VAC 30 Amp L14-30R, locking mobility,
- 1 – NEMA 120/240VAC 50 Amp, 14-50R,
- 1 – 12VDC 8.3 Amp adapter plug
How to Prepare for a Hurricane
Of all the natural disasters that affect the US, hurricanes are probably the most frequent and can be extremely dangerous. Even with all the best technology in the world, the weather guys are still limited when it comes to predicting the path and force of hurricanes. This is because hurricanes can change direction and intensity at very short notice.
So if you live in an area where hurricanes are an annual occurrence, it’s best to be prepared in advance. Good planning ahead of the hurricane season can be crucial to your survival. It’s a case of planning for the worst and hoping for the best.
Need a hurricane generator, read our buying guide specifically on that topic.
Here’s a checklist of things to do when preparing for the hurricane season.
Ensure that you have enough food and water. Non-perishable foods like canned goods and dry foods can make all the difference when a hurricane strikes. Canned food is actually better than food that requires water because water is very likely going to be in short supply. You can’t be too sure how long you may need to survive on emergency supplies. At least three days’ supply of food and water should be provided for – longer will be better. Buy enough bottled water and fill the bathtub and other containers with tap water in advance. Remember to buy your emergency supplies well before a hurricane is imminent. Once the hurricane warning comes, the stores will be inundated with desperate people who haven’t planned in advance.
Prepare for a power outage. The likelihood of the power grid being affected by a hurricane is very high. It’s best to have a gas generator or, at least an emergency inverter that can supply basic electricity from a 12V battery. If you don’t have a backup power supply, you’ll need to take into account that the food in your refrigerator will probably go bad and you should plan to use the most perishable foodstuff first. Make sure that you have several flashlights and enough batteries for these.
If you don’t have a backup generator, a windup radio is an essential item – it will at least give you access to weather and news broadcasts. If you’re wise and have a generator, make sure that it has been serviced before the hurricane season and ensure that you have spare oil and plenty of gas. Like food and water, it’s better to have too much gas than too little. Depending on the size of your generator, you’ll need to have several 5-gallon gas cans filled and ready for an emergency.
Have your disaster kit checked and You should have a disaster kit which must include a first-aid kit, spare batteries, flares, extra blankets, a physical map, jumper cables, extra gas cans and emergency flashlights. Your kit should be packed and ready for evacuation if the need arises. Your emergency food and water supply should also be ready for evacuation. Before the hurricane season sets in, make sure that none of your medical or food supplies have reached their expiry date. Also make sure that your prescriptions for chronic medication have been filled, along with other items specific to certain medical conditions, like asthma pumps.
Prepare your home. Make sure that your insurance policy is up to date and that you’re appropriately covered. As the hurricane approaches you should close the shutters or board up your windows and doors. Turn off the main electrical and gas supply to your home. Cut back trees and branches that could pose a threat to your house or vehicles. It’s a good idea to designate a room in your home as a “safe room”. If the storm is particularly severe, your house may be at risk and a room without windows or exterior doors can save your life. Make sure that you have emergency supplies in the safe room – water, food, flashlights and your first aid kit.
Stay informed. During the hurricane season watch the weather reports regularly or listen to the radio. Internet sites and phone apps that give regular weather updates can also be a lifesaver. In the worst case scenario, you’ll receive an evacuation warning and you need to know about this in a timely manner and be prepared to leave your home and venture out to a safe area. Remember that food and other supplies may be in short supply at the shelter, so take whatever you can with you.