On April 30, 2019, Briggs & Stratton announced their innovative addition to their popular PowerSmart series of quiet inverter generators — the exceptional Briggs & Stratton P4500 — engineered to safely power all of your sensitive electrical devices (including laptops and tools). I absolutely love that it has a carbon monoxide monitoring system which could save your life. Don’t overlook this innovative and well-built inverter generator.
- Push button electric start / Automatic choke
- 4500w starting / 3700w running
- Monitors : power usage, fuel level, and run time
- CO Guard : Carbon monoxide monitor & shutdown technology
- Runs up to 16 hours at ¼ load
- 60% quieter than a standard generator
- 4x 120V, 20A outlets, 1x 120V, 1x 30A RV outlet, 2x USB ports
How does it measure up to current top selling inverter generators. You decide…
What Makes the P4500 Special?
Designed for RV owners in mind and suitable for an expansive range of applications, this inverter promises great things for homeowners looking for extra power. The top feature of P4500 is the built-in carbon monoxide monitoring system, which will track CO levels and shut-the generator down automatically if the CO levels are high.
RV and homeowners have specific generator requirements. High on the list of priorities are quiet running and clean power that won’t harm sensitive electronic equipment. This is what prompted Briggs and Stratton to develop their PowerSmart generators a few years ago. Using inverter technology, these generators provide low HD power, even under high loads. A sound insulated enclosure and Quiet Power Technology, that reduces the engine RPM when the load demand is lower, means that these generators are exceptionally quiet, suitable for camping grounds and residential neighborhoods with noise level restrictions.
Compare to ►Westinghouse iGen4500 (No CO monitoring)
The P4500 fills a perfect niche for RV generators, providing enough power for most RV air conditioners with the extra power needed for all your other appliances without tripping the generator. It’s not alone in this category. The Westinghouse iGen4500 is an obvious competitor and I’ll be reviewing it alongside the Briggs & Stratton P4500. This comparative review should enable you to decide which is the best 4,500 watt inverter generator. With this wattage, they are both versatile portable generators for both home backup power and camping.
Review : Briggs & Stratton P4500
Read the original press release for the P4500.
Features / Specs :
- Push button electric start with automatic choke
- Power : 4500w starting / 3700w running
- Multi-function display monitor : power usage, fuel level, and run time
- CO Guard carbon monoxide shutdown : Turns off when CO levels get to unsafe levels
- Runs up to 16 hours at 1/4 load
- 60% quieter than a standard generator
- Outlets : (4) 120V, 20A outlets, (1) 120V, 30A RV outlet, & (2) USB
- Model Number : 30795
- Start Type : Electric/Recoil
- Fuel Gauge : Yes
- Size : Width (in) : 17.6, Height (in) : 20.3, Length (in) 24.5
- Consumer Warranty (Product) : 36 months
- Engine Displacement : 224cc
- Low Oil Shutdown, Hour Meter
- Weight (lbs) 115
- Commercial Warranty (Product) ** 12 months
The updated design gives the Briggs & Stratton P4500 a refreshingly modern look and is fantastically portable. It looks fairly similar to others in the PowerSmart series with a few tweaks and some added technology.
With 3,700 watts running power and 4,500 peak watts, the P4500 fills a much needed gap in the home and camping generators offered by the brand. The extra wattage expands the usable power without becoming too bulky and heavy. Weighing 115 pounds, this generator is suitably sized to be considered a portable generator. Good wheels and a retractable handle make it easy to move about a campsite or the garage.
The 224cc Briggs & Stratton engine has push button electric starting and all the safety features that one would expect, like low oil shutdown. They’ve also added a new safety feature, I think it’s the first of its kind. This is CO Guard technology. Carbon monoxide poising is one of the biggest dangers associated with the use of a gas generator. To protect you from this, the Briggs & Stratton P4500 has carbon monoxide sensors that will shut the generator off when high CO levels are detected. An LED waring light will ignite, alerting you to the situation.
The Briggs & Stratton P4500 has two user panels. On the front panel, you have the starting functions, a dial to operate the fuel supply and a touch button starter, along with a recoil starter for emergency starting. This interface also incorporates an LCD display, giving you instant access to important information, like fuel level, power usage and running hours.
The side panel has all your power outlets and circuit breakers. These include a 30A RV outlet, 2 X duplex 120V 20A outlets, and 2 X USB ports. These all have plastic covers, protecting them from dust and moisture. The entire generator has an impact resistant plastic housing that reduces noise emitted by the engine and protects the generator from dust and knocks. Although there’s no specific mention of parallel connection for this generator, it’s a standard feature listed for the PoewrSmart generator series. I, therefore, assume that you can connect two Briggs & Stratton P4500 generators in parallel using the optional parallel connection kit. This will double your power output to 9,000W peak and 7,400W running power.
As we’ve come to expect from inverter generators, the P4500 provides safe power that won’t harm electronic devices. It also has a Quiet Mode, which is the same as the Eco mode on other inverter generators. A switch on the user panel engages an electronic control that regulates the engine revs. When power demand is less than 25% of the rated output, the engine runs at a lower RPM, reducing noise levels and fuel consumption.
Briggs & Stratton claim that this generator is one of the best when it comes to fuel economy. Though I beg to differ, it is below average when compared to other inverter generators. The P4500 has a generous 3.5 gallon gas tank that will keep the generator supplied with enough fuel to run for 16-hours at 25% load. If we convert these stats to kilowatt-hours per gallon (the best way to compare generator fuel consumption), the Briggs and Stratton P4500 doesn’t fare too well.
It has a fuel consumption rate of 4.2 KWH/G. I consider this to be average, at best. A generator, especially an inverter model with an economy mode, should give you at least 5KWH/G if you’re going to rate it as being economical on fuel.
The Briggs & Stratton P4500 ticks most of the boxes for a quiet camping generator. As with any Briggs & Stratton generator, it is very reasonably priced when compared to any similar offerings from known generator brands. The new CO Guard technology is definitely a great leap forward in generator safety and I’m sure many will value this. I think most will agree, that Briggs & Stratton after sales service can compare with the best and this model has a 3-year residential warranty (1-year for commercial use).
VIDEO — Portable Generator Safety (Take your generator Outside)
Visit the Briggs and Stratton site to learn more about the P4500 generator and see their wide range of products they sell.
Review : Westinghouse iGen4500
Another winner from Westinghouse. This is an excellent competitor to the P4500.
► Read our dedicated article and review of the wonderful and iconic Westinghouse iGen4500
- 4,500 Peak Watts, 3,700 Running Watts
- RV and Camper Ready with 120V 30A Outlet (TT-30R)
- LED Display – Remaining Run Time, Output, Fuel Level, Volts, Lifetime Hours
- Fuel efficient – Up to 18 Hour Run Time (3.4 gal)
- Remote Start and Push Button Start
- Mounted Wheels and Telescoping Handle
- Super Quiet – Less Noise than Normal Conversation Volume
- Safe for Electronics – Inverter Technology
- EPA and CARB Compliant
Since its launch, I’ve been of the opinion that the Westinghouse iGen4500 is probably the best value for money 4,500 watt inverter generator. Westinghouse has not been in the domestic generator game all that long. Though, over the last eight years, they have proven to be amongst the best. So, if you’re considering an inverter generator in this category, comparing the Briggs & Stratton P4500 vs Westinghouse iGen4500 should be a logical step. Both are worthy generators and, reviewing them side by side, it’s clear that their functions and features are very much the same.
Powered by the 224cc, 4-stroke OHV Westinghouse engine, this generator delivers 4,500 starting watts and 3,700 running watts of low HD (<3%) inverter supplied electricity. This is a perfect match to the Briggs & Stratton P4500. Both the engine size and power output are identical. The Westinghouse also has electric and recoil starting, another aspect shared by the Briggs & Stratton equivalent. Though the Westinghouse has an additional advantage of remote control, enabling you start the generator from a distance. Being an inverter generator, the iGen4500 has the ability to connect to another iGen4500 in parallel, doubling the power output.
Comparing their portability, the Westinghouse generator has the advantage, weighing only 98-pounds, vs the heavier 115-pound P4500. The iGen4500 has the same type of telescopic handle and similar wheels, making it just as easy to move about. The Westinghouse has a similar enclosure to the Briggs & Stratton. With the amazing pulse Flo muffler, it’s really quiet, with noise level readings as low as 52dBA.
Handle + Wheels = Human Evolution. Easy to move.
The Westinghouse also performs much better when comparing fuel economy. Like the Briggs & Stratton P4500, the iGen4500 has a switch to lower the engine RPM when the power demand is less than 25% of the rated output. Westinghouse call it Efficiency Mode, Briggs and Stratton call it Quiet Mode. Though it’s the same thing for both generators. Here the similarity ends, as the Westinghouse engine is one of the very best in terms of fuel efficiency.
It has a slightly smaller gas tank than the Briggs and Stratton (3.4 gallons vs 3.5 gallons). Even though the iGen4500 has a smaller tank, the runtime at 25% rated load is higher, 18-hours vs 16-hours. Comparing the kilowatt-hours you get per gallon of gas, the Westinghouse iGen4500 comes in at 4.9 KWH/G, marginally better than the P4500 (4.2 KWH/G). You’ll be saving a bit year on year in running costs, using the iGen4500.
While the Westinghouse iGen4500 has a more conventional, single panel user interface layout, the functions and features are very similar to those found on the P4500. It has the same convenient dial for the fuel shutoff, making it just as easy to start. The iGen4500 has the expected array of electrical outlets: A duplex 20A 120V outlet, 120V 30A TT-30R RV outlet, and 2 X USB outlets. All these have plastic covers and overload circuit breaker protection. Comparing the available power outlets, the Briggs & Stratton P4500 is a little more versatile, as it has 2 X duplex 20A outlets, allowing you to connect up to 4 regular 120V household extension cords, whereas the Westinghouse only allows for two.
The Westinghouse iGen4500 is equipped with a digital data center that is one of the most comprehensive you’ll find. It has an LCD screen, flanked by a digital fuel gauge and power output meter on either side. For more accurate readings, you can toggle the screen to display the fuel in liters up to one decimal point and the same for wattage output. You can observe remaining runtime, estimated on output watts relative to the amount of fuel remaining. It also displays lifetime running hours and voltage.
This is a truly amazing portable inverter generator. The Westinghouse iGen4500 has really great fuel consumption. It’s lightweight and blissfully quiet. Westinghouse generators have proven themselves to be reliable and tougher than most in the light to medium domestic generator category. The warranty on this generator is the same as that for the Briggs & Stratton P4500; 3-years for residential use and 1-year for commercial use.
Visit the Westinghouse site to learn more about their line of generators and other power equipment.
Conclusion : How to choose?
Briggs & Stratton P4500 vs Westinghouse iGen4500
Briggs & Stratton Power Series generators are immensely popular and there are good reasons for this. The Brand has a loyal following and service centers for Briggs & Stratton generators are everywhere. Though the comparative review, pitting the Briggs & Stratton P4500 against the Westinghouse iGen4500, reveals some minor differences between these two highly competent inverter generators.
Both these generators cost roughly the same, they perform pretty much the same function and have identical power output. Though, when it comes to long term economy, no one can ignore the better fuel efficiency of the Westinghouse model when compared to the Briggs & Stratton P4500.
Generator safety is important to any user. Both these models have the usual safety features that are common to most modern generators – overload circuit breaker protection and low oil shut down. Though Briggs & Stratton have to be commended for the CO Guard technology used on the P4500. This certainly places Briggs & Stratton at the top of the list when looking for the safest generator on the market, something that cannot be overlooked.
While Westinghouse service was less than desirable when they first entered the retail generator market, this has improved. A few years ago, you would have had to ship your generator long distances for any type of repair. They now have over 600 service centers across the US. This places them on an equal footing with Briggs & Stratton when it comes to easy, trustworthy service. Another important factor to consider when buying a new generator. All too often, buying an unknown brand means that it is near impossible to get any kind of service and spare parts may not be available, or difficult to come by.