Look no further, above you will see the Westinghouse WGen9500c generator — one of the best 9500 watt generators you can buy. Period! This is not hyperbole. Westinghouse has updated this model with carbon monoxide (CO) monitoring, improving upon an already great generator. It’s still available without the CO sensor and as a dual-fuel (WGen9500DFc), so check the prices to compare the difference. For 2023, this is one of my top recommendations if you’re looking for a high-quality 9500W residential, RV living, gas generator. But don’t worry, we have many more great options from reputable brands.
When you have the option, I recommend buying the generator with CO monitoring. This is becoming a standard feature (ANSI/PGMA G300) on new generators entering the market because it saves lives, maybe yours or someone you love.
Table of Contents...
- 1 Best 9500W Generators for 2023
- 1.1 DuroMax XP12000HX
- 1.2 Westinghouse WGen9500DFc
- 1.3 Best New 9500W Generators / Peak Watts
- 1.4 WEN GN9500X
- 1.5 Champion 100485
- 1.6 Carbon Monoxide Sensor / Latest Trend
- 1.7 Built-In Carbon Monitoring : WGEN9500c
- 1.8 Westinghouse vs DuroMax : Best 9500W Dual-Fuel Generators
- 1.9 Rated Watts vs Peak Watts
- 1.10 Westinghouse WGEN9500 Review
- 1.11 Review : Westinghouse WGen9500DF
- 1.12 DuroMax XP12000EH
- 1.13 Westinghouse WGen12000
- 1.14 Related posts:
Best 9500W Generators for 2023
I’m going to make your life easy for you and show you my choices for the absolute best 9500W gas generators. These are both the newest models from DuroMax and Westinghouse and they both have carbon monoxide monitoring, which has become more common over the past year, but it’s not mandatory by law, and it should be. Far too many people die every year from CO poisoning, and all of those deaths could have been avoided. I’m putting safety and quality above all else. I understand, you might have a budget to consider, which is why we have other great, less expensive, options throughout this article.
Why buy Westinghouse? Because the overall quality, price and reliability is hard to beat, and they’ve been in business since 1886 so you know they’ll be around next year. If you’re a homeowner, this 9500W generator from Westinghouse should be at the top of your list.
Overview : Starting Watts vs Running Watts
Do you want 9500W of starting (peak) power or for running (rated) power? What’s the difference? Well, just to clarify this important point, all electrical devices require more power to get it started, but once it’s running the required power to keep it operating normally is lower. It’s no different than if you were to try and push a large boulder, it would require more energy to get that boulder moving but once it starts rolling, and has momentum, it requires less energy to keep it moving. Well, some devices require a lot more extra starting power than others. For example, a 15,000 BTU air conditioner needs around 3500W to get it started and about 1500W to keep it running. It’s important that you calculate your energy needs before you buy your generator.
More on this topic later.
Best New 9500W Generators / Peak Watts
Here are two excellent generators with 9500W starting power (give or take). The Champion 100485 is the most efficient generator available due to its electronic fuel injection (EFi), which is rare, especially in this price range. It will run just as well at high altitude, or at any temperature. There’s no carburetor issues to ever deal with. All modern cars have EFi for a reason. And the WEN GN9500X is a good affordable generator to consider.
Carbon Monoxide Sensor / Latest Trend
The Westinghouse WGen9500 is, arguably the best 9,500W generator on the market. I say this because it’s truly a reliable machine with high great power output (12,500W) and outstanding fuel economy. It is also one of the more affordable options for anyone considering a 9,500W portable generator ideal for residential backup, RV living, and even jobsite power requirements.
2021 was a turning point for portable generators as there’s been a trend for manufacturers to add carbon monoxide monitoring on new generators. This is a long-overdue feature as far too many people die from carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s such a simple add-on and yet it’s taken decades for manufacturers to integrate this warning system into their generators. Better late than never.
I’m happy to see that Westinghouse, and other brands, are updating their gas generators with carbon monoxide sensors. This will surely save lives. Sadly, generator owners continue to use their generators indoors and in other cases they place their generator too close to an open window or door. It’s tragic when such deaths occur as they are completely avoidable. Hopefully one day it will be illegal to sell a generator without a CO monitoring system.
A closer look at the updated (and much safer) Westinghouse WGEN9500c — Yes, it looks exactly like their previous 9500W models. Why mess with a great design.
Built-In Carbon Monitoring : WGEN9500c
Start = 12.5K / Run = 9.5K : Best value 9500W generator for 2023.
- POWER : 9,500 rated watts and 12,500 peak watts
- Carbon monoxide (CO) sensor with automatic shutdown
- Runs for up to 12 hours on a 6.6 gal. fuel tank / fuel gauge
- ENGINE : 457cc 4-Stroke OHV Westinghouse Engine / cast iron sleeve
- Push-Button Electric Start pairs with remote start key fob / emergency recoil start
- Weight : 209.1 lb. / Relatively Quiet : 74 dBA operating volume
- OUTLETS : (2) GFCI 5-20R household duplex outlets, (1) Transfer Switch Ready L14-30R 120/240-Volt twist-lock, (1) 120/240V 14-50R receptacle, and (2) USB ports with rubber outlet covers
- VFT display gives you real time updates with the voltage output, frequency, and lifetime hours
- Safe and convenient with automatic low oil shutdown, automatic voltage regulation, and overload protection
- Hardened steel frame. Comfortable foam grip handle. Never-flat wheels
- All Westinghouse portable generators are functionally tested in the factory and may contain minimum residual oil and/or fuel odor
I’m going to be reviewing the Westinghouse WGen9500 and the WGen9500DF. The latter being a dual fuel (hybrid) version of the Westinghouse WGen9500. They are basically the same generator, the exception being that the WGen9500DF can run on either gas or propane. This versatility can be of particular value during a natural disaster when gas may be in short supply. Propane has also become a popular fuel for people concerned about environmental issues. Propane is a cleaner burning fuel with lower emissions of harmful greenhouse gasses.
Excellent CHOICE: with CO Monitoring — DuroMax XP12000HX
An interesting comparison can be made between the Westinghouse and the DuroMax 12000EH. These are both dual fuel generators with a similar power output and are priced roughly the same. Personally, I rate the Westinghouse WGen9500 as the better generator for reasons that I’ll point out in the review. Though, putting my personal views aside, the DuroMax alternative is a popular 9,500W generator and deserves recognition as one of the best generators in this class.
Westinghouse vs DuroMax : Best 9500W Dual-Fuel Generators
These are both last generation 9500W generators. Neither has CO monitoring, which means they will be less expensive than newer generators. Both are excellent quality generators. Don’t be confused by the number you see on the generator because every brands markets their generators differently. DuroMax uses the starting power in the model name, whereas Westinghouse uses the running watts as the model name. It might look like the DuroMax XP12000EH has more power in this comparison, but in fact, the WGen9500DF has 12,500W of starting power and the DuroMax has 12,000W. Always look beyond the marketing, and study the actual numbers.
- Gas : 12,500w / 9,500w
- Propane : 11,200w / 8,500w
- Up to 12.5 hr. Run Time at 50% load
- 457cc Westinghouse (cast iron sleeve)
- 2x GFCI 120V Duplex Receptacles
- Transfer Switch Ready : 14-50R 50A/14-30R 30A
- Monitors : Volts, Frequency, and Lifetime Hours)
- Weight : 190 lbs.
- 3-Year Warranty
- EPA, CSA, CARB
- Gas : 12000w / 9500w
- Propane : 11,400w / 9025w
- Up to 8.83 hr. Run Time at 50% load
- DuroMax 457cc, 18hp
- Idle Control : Lowers RPM when not in use
- MX2 Technology : 120V & 240V simultaneously, or at 120 only with full power
- Voltmeter / 12V DC
- 14-50R 50A/14-30R 30A
- EPA / CARB
- Weight : 260 lbs.
- 3-Year Warranty
Looking at the model numbers, one might be a little confused as to which is the more powerful generator. The Westinghouse WGen9500 indicates a power output of 9,500 watts, whereas the DuroMax 12000EH seems to suggest that this is a more powerful 12,000W generator. This creates a false impression, as the Westinghouse actually has slightly more peak watts, with the same running watts as the DuroMax equivalent. For those who are not that clued up on running (or rated) watts and peak watts, I’ll begin by clarifying this topic.
Worth Buying : Westinghouse ST Switch (Instant Transfer Switch)
Read our full review of the Westinghouse ST Switch so you can understand what all of the fuss is about and why this is an innovative product that goes hand in hand with Westinghouse generators it’s compatible with.
Features : ST Switch
- Automatic transfer from utility power to power from your portable generator
- Only compatible with Smart Switch Ready Westinghouse Portable Generators
- Compatible with : WGen5300, WGen5300DF, WGen7500, WGen7500DF, WGen9500, WGen9500DF, WGen12000, WGen12000DF
- Maximum output power : 2400 Watts
- Fast and easy installation. No electrician required. Utility power lines and LED indicator lights communicate power failure to intuitively switch power sources
- Outlet : 1x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
- Weight : 9 lbs.
- Ultra-portable. Place it anywhere. Full-time monitoring system.
- When the power goes out, it switches on automatically so you can keep your essential devices running, such as : security system, sump pump, refrigerator, furnace, or essential household appliance
Rated Watts vs Peak Watts
Generator model numbers usually indicate the peak or surge wattage for that model. However, Westinghouse is the exception to the norm, using the rated wattage as their model number. So, what is the difference between rated watts and peak watts?
Rated Watts —
The terminology used to specify generator output varies, which just adds to the confusion. You may see the term rated watts, which is probably the most technically correct. Though this may also be expressed as running watts or continuous power. Some also use the word current instead of power. In the end, rated watts, running watts, or continuous watts / power / current all mean the same thing.
This is probably the most important power specification as it tells you how many watts the generator can supply uninterrupted, hence the word continuous. Basically a continuous, or rated power output of 9,500W is the maximum power that you can use continuously without the generator tripping because of a current overload.
Peak Watts —
Most generators also have a peak power output, usually around 20% more than the continuous or rated output. This can also be referred to as surge power, or maximum power output. This specification describes the additional surge of power that a generator will provide for a short length of time.
The reason for this peak watt capacity is to allow for the inrush (surge) current that is need for some electrical equipment. The most common source of surge power is the current used to start induction motors, using a capacitor. These electric motors are used for high power equipment, like refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, pumps, and most power tools. When these motors start, they can draw 3 – 4 times the rated power.
For example: an electric motor for a refrigerator will be rated at about 400W. This means that when the motor is running, it will consume 400W of power continuously. However, to get the motor started, it will draw up to 1,400W for a very short period of time, usually less than a second. Induction electric motors are not the only equipment that require surge power to start. Microwave ovens and lights that use a ballast, like fluorescent and mercury vapor lights, also require a greater wattage when starting. As with induction motors, this is only for a very brief period.
By providing surge power, the generator is able to accommodate this brief need for additional power. It is particularly important for appliances that start automatically, because you never know when this extra power will be required. If you’re using the generator close to the full rated wattage, there may not be enough reserve power to allow for this startup current requirement. Your refrigerator or air conditioner will cycle, it will switch on and off using a thermostat. Were it not for the surge capacity, the generator could go into overload and trip when these appliances start unexpectedly.
Westinghouse WGEN9500 Review
Best 9500 Watt Generator on the market.
Features — Westinghouse WGen9500
- Remote Start / Push-Button Start
- 457cc Westinghouse OHV Engine (Cast Iron Sleeve)
- ✓ Runs Up to 14 hrs on a Single Tank (6.6 gal)
- WGen9500 goes further between fill-ups tanks to the generous fuel tank size.
- Outlets : 2x GFCI 120V Duplex Receptacles, 1x L14-30 30A Receptacle, 1 L4-50R 50A Receptacle
- Transfer switch ready 30A and 50A receptacles.
- Circuit protected, Low-Oil Shutoff, and More
- Overload prevention, and low-oil shutoff.
- Includes everything you need : Oil, Funnel, Tool Kit, Manual, and Quick Start Guide.
- 3-Year Warranty / Lifetime Technical Support.
I started the article by saying that the Westinghouse WGen9500 is the best 9,500W generator for 2021. Now it’s time to explain why I’m of this opinion. Having reviewed, in detail, every Westinghouse model since they started manufacturing portable generators in 2011, I’m of the opinion that they are, without exception, better machines than any other in the same price range.
Westinghouse engines and alternators appear to be more in the class of the expensive generators. Perhaps not quite up there with Honda and Cat, the Westinghouse WGen9500 far exceeds any other costing less than $1,000. Not only can this be seen as a heavy-duty generator, at the price of a light to medium duty machine, it also has one of the best spec levels for any generator – regardless of price. It’s hard to beat this kind of value for money, a tough generator, delivering 9,500 watts rated power and a surge capacity of 12,500W for under grand. That’s quite incredible.
I’m hugely impressed with the Westinghouse 457cc (13.5HP), OHV engine. This is a solid workhorse with a cast iron sleeve. Not only is this a reliable and robust engine, it starts and runs like a dream, even in cold weather. This engine is both EPA and CARB certified and is one of the most economical to run. The large steel gas tank holds 6.6 gallons, and this will provide an astonishing runtime of 12-hours at 50% load. This means 8.6 kilowatt hours per gallon (KWH/G), I can’t think of many generators that can match this fuel economy.
When it comes to convenience and ease of use, I’d say the Westinghouse WGen9500 is the full package. Starting is made simple with an electric and recoil starter and an automatic choke. It also has a remote control fob, allowing you to start or stop the generator from a distance of up to 109 yards. It has a wonderfully comprehensive metal user panel, which is recessed to prevent damage and all the outlets are protected by plastic covers. All these factors are signs of the heavy-duty design that makes this such a robust machine.
Make your neighbors jealous when the power goes out
Some customers have complained about this being a heavy generator. I suppose no one can call it a lightweight machine, it weighs a pretty hefty 192-pounds. Though, in the context of a large powerful generator with a sturdy (1.25”) metal frame that extends all the way up to the gas tank, this weight is to be expected. Extra weight is the downside of robust build quality. Portability is made easier by the single foam grip handle and large (10” X 2.5”) wheel kit.
Another issue some have mentioned is noise. Though I feel this is one of the quieter open frame generators with a high-watt output. Any generator of this size is going roar quite loudly. The Pulse-Flo muffler fitted to the Westinghouse WGen9500 does a lot to mitigate the engine noise. Westinghouse claim a noise level “as low as 73dBA”. You can be pretty sure that this noise level reading was taken at low output, probably around 25% of the rated load. At high output, you should expect quite a bit more noise.
I’ve made my opinion abundantly clear; I believe this is a fantastic 9,500W / 12.500W generator. Despite being one of the cheaper options in this class, the Westinghouse WGen9500 can hold its own when compared to the expensive heavy-duty generators. It has unbeatable fuel economy, which is something you’ll appreciate over the many years that you’ll be using the WGen9500. I’ve weighed my opinion against the many customer reviews that I’ve read, and the majority of customers agree that this is an outstanding generator. With a 3-year residential, and 1-year commercial warranty, it is clearly a cut above most cheap generators. Westinghouse now has over 600 service centers across the US. This is great news. When they started out in the consumer generator sector, finding a certified Westinghouse service agent was my only real concern about buying one of their generators. Fortunately, this is no longer the case.
Review : Westinghouse WGen9500DF
- Gasoline : 12,500 Peak Watts, 9,500 Running Watts
- Propane : 11,200 Peak Watts, 8,500 Running Watts
- Push-Button Start and Remote Start (Key Fob Included
- Up to 17.5 Hour Run Time (6.6 gal)
- 457cc Westinghouse OHV Engine with Cast Iron Sleeve
- Two GFCI 120V Duplex Receptacles
- Transfer Switch Ready 14-50R 50A Receptacle / L14-30R 30A Receptacle
- Monitors : Volts, Frequency, and Lifetime Hours
- 3-Year Warranty / Lifetime Technical Support
- EPA, CSA, CARB Compliant
The dual fuel variant of the 9,500W Westinghouse generator (WGen9500DF) is only distinguished by the large dial on the front panel that allows you to change the fuel type, either gas or propane. In all other respects it looks identical and is basically the same generator.
One always needs to keep in mind that a generator is less efficient when using propane. So you may be doing your bit for the environment, but you don’t get quite as much power from your generator. When using propane you have a peak capacity of 11,200W and a rated load of 8500W. You may be wondering how this lower efficiency affects your running costs when using propane.
If you’ve wondered how cost-effective it is to use propane instead of gas for your generator, you’re not alone. I was recently asked this question by one of our readers. It was not something that concerned me before, so I had to do some calculations to come up with a good answer to this question.
I compared a few generator models in terms of consumption vs running hours for both types of fuel. Based on the average consumption, I then compared gas prices to propane prices in various parts of the US. These prices vary quite a bit, so you’d need to check what your local gas and propane prices are and decide accordingly. However, my calculations revealed that it will always cost more to use propane. In some areas, the cost difference is minimal, but using propane can end up costing twice as compared to gas in terms of Dollars per Kilowatt-Hour ($/KWH).
Learn more by visiting the Westinghouse website.
💬 Note from editor :
I love the Westinghouse brand, and you should as well if you care about how you spend your money. Why buy Westinghouse? Well, for starters, they’ve been around since 1886! How’s that for reputation. Beyond that, their attention to satisfying consumer needs is high as demonstrated by their feature list in their products, and overall industrial design. It’s excellent. As a background in design myself, I appreciate the way they layout their control panels for usability and engagement. I know from experience that most people don’t think about the machines and tools they use, but the work and ingenuity required to create a generator isn’t trivial — it’s significant and overlooked by consumers. Good products don’t happen by accident.
The design of our everyday things requires an enormous amount of thought and evolution, which only comes with time and experience. There is no other way. A company like Westinghouse has streamlined their design and manufacturing process for a very long time — Well, since 1886.
The way parts are integrated and the quality of the components is the difference between a reliable generator, which will last you for years — and on the opposite side — the cheap generator fails when you need it the most leaving you stranded, abandoned and angry. Many fly-by-night manufacturers fail because they take shortcuts, making cheaper components, reducing durability. What may appear to be a good price ends up costing you more in the long-run. In business and in life, shortcuts will inevitably take its toll, and generators are no different.
Quality is always worth spending money on — Always. What’s the price of having your generator fail when you need it the most? After a hurricane? When your life depends on it? Will you regret spending an extra $100? $200? $800? Plan for the unexpected.
In life, there are things that you can skimp on and save money with, but for some things of greater importance and things we depend on (IE. Car brakes, baby crib, chainsaw) — spend the money. I doubt you’ll regret it. Power is at the heart of our society, without it, we are literally in the dark. Generators are not cheap, but if you’re shopping for one it means you have a need for one, whether for work or for your home. You may not need it today, but you will in the future, so you really need to think about the cost of not having a quality source of power when the lights go out at 3AM and all the food in your fridge will spoil in about 4 hours if the power doesn’t come back on. Price is relative. I always take the long-view.
I put generators in the category of “things you should spend the extra money on.” If you’re buying a blender, who cares. Get the cheap one. If it breaks you don’t die. If a generator doesn’t start after an earthquake, the stakes are much higher. Although, there’s no guarantee your generator won’t be crushed by the roof of your garage, but that’s life. It’s not predictable, but we can plan ahead. Prepare for the inevitable. I think it’s a wise investment, but that’s just me.
Westinghouse is an excellent brand, with a long history behind it. Many companies come and go, but the good ones stay — not by accident, but because their products are reliable, over time. Time is the ‘X’ factor you’re paying for. Reliability + Over Time = Value.
Price should not be the only thing you consider when buying a generator.
Brand reputation can only be built over time. There are no shortcuts. Again, Westinghouse has been around since 1886. The company is 134 years old! They know what they’re doing.
I’m pretty sure that most people aren’t aware of the long history of innovation from Westinghouse. Back in 1888, George Westinghouse, the founder of Westinghouse (the corporation) worked closely with Nicola Tesla, incorporating Tesla’s AC motor patents and related power delivery systems to develop a power grid for streetcars in Pittsburgh.
In July 1888, Brown and Peck negotiated a licensing deal with George Westinghouse for Tesla’s polyphase induction motor and transformer designs for $60,000 in cash and stock and a royalty of $2.50 per AC horsepower produced by each motor. Westinghouse also hired Tesla for one year for the large fee of $2,000 ($55,800 in today’s dollars) per month to be a consultant at the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company’s Pittsburgh labs. (learn more)Wikipedia
The history of Westinghouse is long and storied, written about in depth in the book : Empires of light. It’s a fascinating read if you have any interest in history and a tinge of curiosity in where we are heading. Electrical power will always be at the heart of our society.
Features — DuroMax XP12000EH
- Plenty of Power – 12,000 starting watts / 9,500 running watts
- Handle heavy loads : Lights, fridge, home air conditioner and high amperage power tools.
- Gasoline or propane
- 18HP Engine – DuroMax 457cc OHV
- Idle Control – Lowers the RPMs of the generator when not in use saving fuel and reducing noise. Ideal in situations like on job sites where power is used intermittently.
- MX2 Technology – Get the maximum power from each of the 120 Volt Receptacle. Choose between operating the generator at both 120V and 240V simultaneously, or at 120 only with full power.
- Low Oil Shutoff –
- Outlets : 2x 120V household GFCI outlets, 1x 120V 30A twist lock outlet, 1x 240V 30A outlet, and 1 240V 50A outlet.
- Voltmeter and 12V DC charging posts for charging external batteries.
- EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CARB (California Air Resources Board)
Expressing my belief that the Westinghouse WGen9500 is the best 9,500W generator may be a little unfair to the highly accomplished DuroMax XP12000EH. In fact, before Westinghouse introduced the WGen9500, the DuroMax 12000EH was my first choice for a reliable and affordable 9,500W generator with a good peak capacity of 12,000W.
First appearances can be quite revealing as to what to expect from a generator. In this regard, the DuroMax XP12000EH scores top marks. The really solid metal frame extends to protect the large (8.3-gallon) steel gas tank. Additional metal panels curve around the sides of the tank, offering even more protection from knocks and scratches. I’m also hugely impressed with the large wheels with great all-terrain tread. These wheels have metal rims, whereas most modern generators have plastic wheels.
This generator definitely displays a level of robust build quality that exceeds what I’ve come to expect these days. Of course, all these tough metal components are going to add up to some weight. The DuroMax XP12000EH weighs a back-breaking 236-pounds, 44-pounds more than the Westinghouse WGen9500. Along with the really great wheel kit, two padded fold down handles make for a good level of portability.
To provide the generous 9,500W rated capacity and 12,000 W peak power, the XP1200EH is fitted with a mighty 457cc (18HP) 4-stroke engine with dual fuel capabilities. Of course, power output is reduced to 9,025 running watts and 11,400W surge capacity when using propane. Though is a good deal better than the 6,750W/8,550W of the Westinghouse dual fuel equivalent (WGen9500DF). Like the Westinghouse, this engine is CARB and EPA certified.
Video | A Closer Look —
Though fuel efficiency is not as good, yet still reasonable for a generator of this size. The gas tank is quite a bit larger at 8.3 gallons and this provides 7.2-hours runtime at 50% of the rated load, 4.1 KWH/G. The DuroMax XP12000EH will use, on average, about twice as much fuel as the Westinghouse 9,500W generator. That’s going to be a significant increase in your running costs. Though, the DuroMax is not particularly thirsty when compared to most generators, it’s just that the Westinghouse is super fuel efficient.
The control panel is nicely protected by the metal tubing frame and has a slightly old-fashioned industrial appearance. The analog voltmeter and the absence of any digital readout for runtime and other useful information is more the kind of thing I’d expect to see on an older generator. It uses a key to for the electric starter, whereas most others use a press button. It also has a recoil starter incase the battery fails. A large switch to select 120V or 120V/240V is another more industrial-looking feature.
Power receptacles include 1 X 20A duplex outlet with OSHA complaint GFCI, 1 X 120V 30A outlet, 1 X 120V/240V 30A outlet, and a 120V/240V 50A outlet, making this a transfer switch and RV ready generator. It also has a 12VDC outlet, which is handy for charging deep cycle and car batteries. All the outlets have individual press-button type circuit breakers and a main, 2-pole breaker protects the generator. Unlike many other heavy-duty generators, the AC outlets are not protected by plastic covers which would help to keep dust and moisture out.
An idle control switch allows the generator to lower the RPM when no electricity is being used, thereby lowering noise levels and fuel consumption. Though this is always going to be a fairly noisy generator, similar to the Westinghouse WGen9500, 74dBA at low revs.
The DuroMax XP12000EH may not be as impressive as the Westinghouse WGen9500. However, when compared to others in this price range, the DuroMax should rate amongst the best. It has many heavy-duty traits yet is amongst the lower priced domestic generators. Certainly good value for money. The 3-year warranty is also more indicative of a high-end generator as apposed to a budget model.
How Much power do you need from a portable generator?
If you look at the average power consumption for a standard home, it probably seldom exceeds 4,500W. So why do you need a 9,500W generator? You could actually get away with 4,000 – 5,000 watts without sacrificing too much.
The real convenience of using a generator providing 9,500W (or more) is for those times when you’re using more power. It may not happen that often, but in the normal course of events, your household power consumption can peak to 10,000W or more. If you have a refrigerator, an air conditioner, and a sump starting simultaneously, you’ll probably reach a peak in excess of 10,000W, albeit for less than a second. The convenience of using a 9,5000/12,000W generator, like those featured in this review, means that there is little to no chance of the generator tripping under normal conditions.
Though, as I mentioned in the introduction, a generator can never be too powerful. In fact, more power than you need is beneficial for several reasons. Most importantly, this will apply to the lifespan of the generator. Any generator runs optimally at around 50% of its rated capacity. If we look at an average household power consumption of around 4,500W, a 9,500W generator will usually be running within this optimal range. Occasionally exceeding this for short periods, will not have any great effect on the generator’s wear. When a generator runs close to peak capacity for hours on end, it will run hotter and experience increased wear. This is going to increase your maintenance costs and shorten the life expectancy of your generator.
A major concern with modern electrical equipment is the issue of Harmonic Distortion (HD). Because of this, inverter generators are becoming popular, generally producing less than 1 – 3% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD). A conventional generator, that does not use an inverter, will typically produce 20 – 25% THD when close to the maximum rated power output. Since the recommended safe operating THD for most of the appliances in your home is 5%, this is a dangerous situation. However, this excessively high THD occurs when you start reaching around 70% of the rated load for the generator that you’re using. Generally, running a generator with a good alternator at 50% of the rated load or less, won’t produce more than 5% THD. So, if your generator only exceeds 70% of the rated capacity occasionally, the chance of any kind of damage is greatly reduced. Electronic circuitry is fairly resilient, and needs to be exposed to high THD regularly, and for extended periods of time, before any significant damage is done. So, for the most part, using a larger generator is reasonably safe for modern electronic appliances.
A less obvious advantage would that of noise. When a generator is running at low RPM, the noise isn’t too distracting. It’s a low level drone. As the RPM increases the generator starts to scream with a high-pitched, very noticeable noise. Because a larger generator will running at lower RPM to generate the same amount of power than a smaller one, it will generally be quieter.
More Powerful Generators
Given that it is beneficial to use a generator that is rated well above your average electricity needs, here are two more powerful options to consider. The first in this section, the Rockpals 12,000W dual fuel generator is basically the same as the two reviewed this far. It has the same power output and costs roughly the same. However, the Westinghouse WGen12000 is a good deal more powerful, allowing you to run more equipment and still have the advantages that I listed above.
★ Pro-Grade : 12000 Rated Watts / 15000 Peak Watts
- 15,000 Peak Watts, 12,000 Running Watts
- Push-Button Start and Remote Start (Key Fob Included)
- Up to 16 Hour Run Time (10.5 gal)
- 713cc Westinghouse V-Twin Engine with Cast Iron Sleeve
- Two GFCI 120V Duplex Receptacles
- Transfer Switch Ready 14-50R 50A Receptacle
- Transfer Switch Ready L14-30R 30A Receptacle
- VFT Data Center (Volts, Frequency, and Lifetime Hours)
- 3-Year Warranty and Lifetime Technical Support
- EPA, CSA, CARB Compliant
Overview — Westinghouse WGen12000
The Westinghouse WGen12000 could be seen as the king of portable generators with an incredible 15,000 watts of peak power and a rated capacity of 12,000W constant power. It shares many of the same features as the Westinghouse WGen9500 featured in this review, like the remote control for starting the generator, and a comprehensive user panel.
The 713cc V-Twin engine is one of the best designs and is CARB and EPA compliant. It comes as no surprise that this engine is also remarkably fuel efficient – 6.3KWH/G. It has an enormous 10.5-gallon gas tank that will keep supplying power at 50% load (6KW) for an incredible 11-hours. It has the same array of outlets as the smaller model: 2 X duplex 120V 20A; 1 X 120V 30A; 1 X 120V/240V 30A and 1 X 120V/240V 50A, along with 2 X 5V USB ports. It also has the same VFT data center, plastic covers for all power outlets, and a main 2-pole breaker.
Because this is such a big generator, and is much heavier at 352-pounds, a lifting eye is provided to assist in portability. Naturally, it has super strong wheels and a heavy-duty handle. One of the best advantages to this generator is a THD rating of less than 5%. It is one of the few non-inverter generators to provide clean power at all loads.
This is one of the most powerful portable generators that you can get, able to compete with standby generators for whole house power. Like other Westinghouse generators, this model has a 3-year residential warranty (1-year for commercial use).