New for 2019, read our Generac GP8000E Review (7676). It has a unique feature called PowerRush Technology — delivers over 30% more starting capacity.
This Generac is a good example of a Portable generators providing 8,000 to 10,000 watts of power, which are quite popular with consumers, for one simple reason —They are powerful enough to supply most of your household electricity during a power outage and, being portable, they can also use be used for outdoor activities. Of course, you need to use a Generac HomeLink transfer switch to connect it to your home, but more on that later. Thankfully, they’ve made it easy to connect.
Intro — Generac GP8000E Review
Good quality generators in this class typically cost around $1,000. If you’re looking at the big guns, like Honda or CAT, they’re going cost considerably more. However, in the ±$1,000 category, you have a lot of great choices. The Generac GP8000E stands out as one of the best options for the price that you’re paying. It’s a Robust machine from a trusted US brand and offers good value for money. Though, to be fair, there is some stiff competition in this popular market segment. To level the playing field, I’ll be reviewing the Westinghouse WPro8500 and the Briggs & Stratton 30664 alongside the Generac GP8000E.
In this comparative review, you get to see three of the best generator options, from top US manufacturers. They are all in a similar price range, these being amongst the more affordable 8,000 – 10,000W generators that you can buy with confidence. These are brands known for giving us good quality in the light to medium duty generator sector. Paying much less for a generator of this size should raise some red flags. Really cheap products, as most of us have come to know, are generally a waste of money. They don’t last and can be extremely unreliable. I know from experience that the Brands in this review may not be the very best heavy-duty names, but they manufacture reliable machines, offering great value for money.
I’ve said affordable, but let’s face it, a grand is not small change. You could pay half the price (or less) for a smaller generator. If you’re not too sure if you need a generator of this caliber, keep reading after the review. I’ll look at the uses for a large, powerful portable generator, like those featured in this review. As I see it, you can never have too much power when you’re looking for a versatile portable generator. The only question is: do you need all that power and is it worth paying extra for this? For those who are undecided, you’ll find the answer here.
Generac GP8000E — 7676
Power Rush Advanced Technology.
- PowerRush Advanced Technology – Delivers up to 30% more starting capacity allowing you to do more with less.*
- Electric start for easy operation (battery included).
- Generac’s OHV engine with splash lubrication provides a long engine life.
- Low-oil level shutdown automatically safeguards engine from damage.
- Large-capacity steel fuel tank with incorporated fuel gauge provides durability and up to an 11 hour run-time at 50% load.
- 1 ¼” steel-tube cradle for added durability and strength.
- Heavy-duty, never-flat wheels allow for easy portability.
- Fold-down handle for sturdy portability and compact storage
- Covered outlets provide added protection from the environment and rugged working conditions
The Generac GP8000E has recently undergone a facelift. The newer version (7676) certainly has a cooler look than the older 6954. The control panel has been improved and now has greater impact resistance, thanks to a recessed design. On the gas tank, the words “PowerRush Technology” are boldly displayed on the 7676 model, leading many to ask: what is PowerRush Technology?
Before I start with the Generac GP8000E review, I think I should explain what they mean by PowerRush Technology. To be frank, it’s nothing exceptional. Basically, PowerRush is a term coined by Generac to advertise a common feature on generators, usually known as peak load capacity. Like most modern generators, the Generac GP8000E has a running or rated load, in the case of the GP8000E, this is 8,000 watts. It also has a maximum output, or peak load capacity (10,000W).
VIDEO | Maintaining Your Generac Generator
This allows the generator to provide an extra boost of power, for a short period, in order to cope with the higher inrush current required for some electric equipment during startup. This is mostly inductive electric motors, like those used in refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, and pumps. The same principle applies to microwave ovens and fluorescent lights. Essentially, PowerRush technology is used to describe the peak load capacity of the Generac GP800E. Though this is no different to the previous generation (6954) Generac GP800E. Both versions of the GP8000E produce 8,000 running watts and 10,000 peak watts. PowerRush Technology is, therefore, nothing more than clever advertising.
So, the only real difference is the new layout and design of the control panel and some fancy stickers. The gas tank capacity has also been increased from 7.5 gallons to 7,9 gallons and the handle design has changed. The new dual fold down handles are an improvement on the old single handle in the center. The frame is now black but looks to be made of the same 1¼” steel tube.
I’m glad they haven’t messed with this; the rugged frame has always been a strong point on the GP8000E. The minor changes have added some weight, taking it up from 197-pounds to 200-pounds. I doubt that anyone would notice a difference of 3-pounds on a generator this heavy. The improved handle design should make the newer, slightly heavier, model easier to move about. It has the same 9.5” solid wheels, though these have a slightly more modern look than the older model.
Apart from the subtle differences mentioned above, the Generac GP8000E remains the same. It uses the same 420cc OHV engine with both electric and recoil starting. This engine has proven reliability, so there would be no need to change it. It is EPA and CARB certified for all 50 states. Fuel consumption is obviously unchanged. The GP8000E provides 11-hours runtime from a tank of fuel at 50% load. This works out at 5.6 kilowatt-hours per gallon (KWH/G), not at all bad. A fuel gauge on the gas tank helps you to keep an eye on your consumption.
The automatic voltage regulator (AVR) functions well, protecting your equipment from voltage spikes. Though this generator will never have the low HD current of an inverter generator. None of the generators in this review do, though the Westinghouse WPro8500 comes close. Although, with a peak capacity of 10,000W, your electricity consumption will seldom reach peak levels and this reduces the total harmonic distortion (THD), which most prevalent when a generator reaches around 70% of its load capacity.
Although the design has changed slightly, the control panel has the same functions and outlets. There are 2 X duplex 120V household outlets, each protected by 20A push to reset style circuit breakers. It also has a 120V/240V 30A twist lock outlet (L14-30R). Personally, I would have preferred to have seen an additional 50A outlet for a transfer switch. The generator has a maximum 66A output at 120V, twice the capacity of the main 30A 2-pole breaker. All the AC outlets are protected by plastic covers and it has a 12VDC battery charging outlet. A digital hour meter keeps track of service intervals.
As Generac is one of the more affordable US generator brands, many wonder if they are any good. Generac is known for their home backup standby and portable generators. It’s a trusted brand with an outstanding reputation. With that said, I must point out that these are not heavy-duty generators. They are more than capable of supplying reliable power to your home, RV, even a jobsite. Though, for hardworking daily use, you would probably be better off with more industrial grade machines, like those supplied by Honda, Cat, and DeWalt.
For supplying emergency power a few times per year during a power outage, or for your annual vacation, this is a fantastic generator and will cost a lot less than the commercial grade heavy-duty machines. The 3-year residential, and 1-year commercial warranty substantiates what I’ve just said. As a home generator it’s one of the best. As a commercial generator, it doesn’t rate as highly as the high-end brands, most of which have a 3-year warranty (or more) for both commercial and residential use.
Tech Specs (Generac 7676, GP8000E) :
- Product Series : Gp8000e
- Model Number : 7676-1
- Configuration : 50-State
- Ac Rated Output Running Watts : 8000
- Ac Maximum Output Starting Watts : 10000
- Rated Ac Voltage : 120/240 Vac
- Rated Ac Frequency : 60 Hz
- Rated 120/240 Vac Amperage : 66.6/33.3
- Engine Displacement : 420cc
- Engine Type : Ohv
- Engine Rpm : 3600
- Recommended Oil : 10w-30 / Sae 30
- Oil Capacity : Qt (L)1.06 (1.0)
- Lubrication Method : Splash
- Automatic Voltage Regulation (Avr) : Yes
- Choke Location : On Engine
- Fuel Shut Off : On Fuel Tank
- Starting Method : Electric Start / Recoil Pull Star
Excellent 8500 Watt Jobsite generator : read full dedicated review.
- 11,500 Peak Watts / 8,500 Running Watts
- Low Noise : 74 dB operational volume
- 17.5 hr. Run Time at 25% Load / 12 hr. Run Time at 50% Load
- Electric Start and Remote Start (Key Fob Included)
- 457cc Westinghouse OHV Engine with Cast Iron Sleeve
- Fuel tank allows for 17.5-hours of run time at 25% load
- OSHA, EPA, and CARB compliant with full panel GFCI equips this generator with industry standard safety features
- 3-way ignition start including electric start, remote start with key fob, and recoil start allows accessibility based on which is best for you
- 13.5 HP 457cc OHV 4-stroke Westinghouse engine is constructed for professional applications
- Hassle-free 1-touch electric start push button with remote start key fob lets you start you generator up from up to 109 yds. Away
- Transfer switch ready
- Water-resistant outlets with durable rubber covers
- Automatic voltage regulator, automatic low oil shut-down, and overload protection provides peace of mind
- VFT Data Center display gives you real time updates for : voltage output, frequency, and lifetime hours
- Rugged steel frame with supplementary lift bracket and 10 in. heavy-duty never-flat wheels with foam-grip handle offers easy worksite portability
- Clean Power – Safe for electronics (<5% THD)
- OUTLETS :
- (1) 120-Volt 20 Amp 5-20R standard home outlets,
- (1) 120-Volt 30 Amp L5-30R receptacle,
- (1) 120-Volt/240-Volt 30 Amp L14-30R receptacle
- (2) 5-Volt USB ports
- Smart Idle – Automatic Efficiency Idling
- OSHA compliant with a GFCI protected control panel, delivering power and safety to your job site.
- Includes Lift Hook : Easy to move with a robust lift hook.
- Low THD Provides Clean Power : Produces <5% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) giving you clean power for electronics.
- Electric Start and Remote Start with Key Fob
- Circuit protected and Low-Oil Shutoff
- Includes : Battery, Battery Charger, Key Fob, Oil, Funnel, Tool Kit, Manual, and Quick Start Guide.
- 3-Year Residential Warranty, and 1-Year Commercial Warranty and Lifetime Technical Support. (This is true for all Westinghouse generators)
Documents for the Westinghouse WPro8500 :
Although the Generac GP8000E is the headline act in this review, I feel that the Westinghouse WPro8500 is the real star of the show. It is the most powerful of the three generators selected for this review and has the best features. While it’s not that easy to distinguish which generator is the best in terms of quality, I’d say the Westinghouse has the edge over the others. It has a fantastic engine with a cast iron sleeve, which indicates a high level of durability
The Westinghouse probably has a far superior alternator when compared to either the Generac GP8000E or the Briggs & Stratton 30664. If fact, I believe that the Westinghouse is the best generator, by far, in this price range. I believe this generator would be much more expensive, had Westinghouse not been a relative newcomer to the portable generator game. Generac and Briggs & Stratton are well-established in this market, whereas Westinghouse has only been doing it since 2011. They may be new to consumer generators, but Westinghouse has been a world leader in large scale power generation and electronics for well over a century. Realistically, Westinghouse has the most experience when it comes to groundbreaking electrical engineering experience.
I mentioned that the Westinghouse has the best alternator. I say this because it produces less than 5% THD. While this isn’t quite as good as an inverter generator, it still makes the grade as a safe power source for sensitive electronics. Neither of the other two generators in this review provide THD specs. This means that there is no way of comparing them. Though, the absence of these specifications says a lot.
Most portable generators can reach THD levels of up to 25% at peak load. Any generator that can brag about a THD level of less than 5% would certainly do so. Very few can and these tend to be the most expensive brands. This makes the Westinghouse an exceptional generator in this class that cost around $1000.
It’s not just the remarkable THD spec that makes the Westinghouse WPro8500 the winner. It has the highest output of the three generators chosen for this review. With 8,500 running watts and 11,500 peak watts, you can do a lot more, whether at home, camping, or on a jobsite. Looking at the engine, it’s hard to beat the Westinghouse, even when compared to much more expensive generators. Like the others, it is CARB and EPA certified. It’s more powerful than the Generac, 457cc vs 420cc. — Though, despite the extra engine power and output wattage, the Westinghouse WPro8500 is astonishingly fuel efficient. The smaller 6.6-gallon tank will keep the Westinghouse running for an incredible 12-hours at 50% load.
More watts for longer, from a smaller gas tank. The best comparison is to look at the KWH/G figures. This tells you how many kilowatts of electricity you get per hour from a gallon of gas. The Generac GP8000E has a very acceptable 5.6 KWH/G consumption, though this pales in comparison to the almost unbelievable 7.7 KWH/G that you’ll get from the Westinghouse. You’re paying roughly the same for both generators but, over the years, the Westinghouse is going to save you a small fortune in running costs. The Smart Idle function does a lot to reduce fuel consumption and noise levels. The highly effective Pulse Flo muffler makes it even quieter, as low as 74dBA, which is quite exceptional for an open frame generator of this size.
A comprehensive user interface is a big plus for any generator, it affects how easily we operate the machine, and what we can do with it. Here, the Westinghouse outshines most others once again. Although, like the others, I feel the absence of a 50A outlet is a little disappointing. A generator of this size really needs a 50A outlet if you’re going to make full use of all that power, especially when supplying your house by means of a transfer switch. You can use a “Y-connector” which allows you to use two outlets as one, thereby increasing its output capabilities to that of both outlets, but this gets complicated.
Nonetheless, this generator still has a lot of useful extra features and functions. Not only does the Westinghouse WPro8500 offer the convenience of an electric and recoil starter, it also has a wireless remote control fob. It has a fantastic array of outlets: 2 X 120V 5-20R (duplex) outlets with independent circuit breakers, a 120V 30A L5-30R outlet, as well as a 120V/240V L14-30R. The fact that the Westinghouse has two 30A outlets, means that you can almost make full use of the 71A maximum 120V output by using both these outlets.
It also has a 5V USB and 12VDC battery charging outlet. All these are protected from harm, by means of plastic covers. The digital display does more than just provide total running hours, it also allows you to toggle through and check the voltage and frequency. OSHA compliance should appeal to contractors, it has full panel GFCI protection. All the AC outlets are protected by a GFCI 2-pole breaker.
With it’s larger, more robust engine, and sophisticated alternator, the Westinghouse is a fairly heavy machine at 216 LBS. The tough frame that extends to protect the fuel tank is another additional weight factor. Fortunately, this generator has a heavy-duty wheel kit, fold down loop handle (with padded grips), and a lifting eye. All of which make it as portable as it gets for heavy, high-wattage generator.
I think it’s quite clear why I’m so impressed with the Westinghouse WPro8500. Point for point, it exceeds all expectations for any generator in this price range. It has loads of power and exceptional fuel consumption, along with all sorts of extras, like a remote control. Over the last few years, I’ve been observing Westinghouse generators very closely. They’ve impressed me from the outset. Quality seems to be of the highest standard and, like the Generac GP8000E, this model also has a 3-year residential and 1-year commercial warranty.
Since Westinghouse hasn’t been in the retail generator game for as long as the others, I’ve always been a little concerned about service and support. Initially, this was a weak point and you would have most likely had to ship your generator halfway across the country for repairs or warranty support. I’m pleased to see that this has improved drastically over the last few years. After checking the Westinghouse website, I see that they now have over 600 certified service centers across the US.
Briggs & Stratton 30664
I can’t help feeling like the Briggs & Stratton 30664 is a bit of an underdog in this race. It may just be me, but I’ve had some quality control issues with Briggs & Stratton generators in the past. Customer reviews seem to suggest that it isn’t just me. Though, I have to say their customer care has always been great and, after sorting out some initial problems, these generators have all gone on to work superbly. That’s not to say that you should expect any issues from a new Briggs & Stratton, though it seems to happen more than with other recognized brands. Other than this, it can compete quite favorably with the other two models under review here. Albeit that the Briggs & Stratton is a little heavier and thirstier than the other two.
Powered by the 2100 series 420cc OHV engine, the Briggs & Stratton 30664 delivers 8,000 running watts and 10,000 peak watts. I know that I said some people have experienced some initial problems, this isn’t always the case. Generally, this is a reliable engine and is easy to start. It is, however, not the best when it comes to economy. The 7.5 gallon fuel tank is fairly standard for a generator in this class, but this only provides 9-hours runtime at 50% load. This is a mere 4.8 KWH/G, making this one of thirstiest 8,000/10,000W generators around. On the plus side, the Super Lo-Tone muffler does reduce much of the noise. While I don’t have noise level specs for the Briggs & Stratton 30664, it is quieter than most of its competitors.
Like the others, this generator has both electric and recoil starters, as well as an automatic voltage regulator (AVR), which is all pretty standard equipment for this class of generator. The control panel is fairly basic, providing you with 4 X 120V 20 A household outlets and a 30A 120V/240V outlet. These all have plastic protection covers and circuit breakers. It has a digital hour meter and a fuel gauge on the gas tank.
At 248-pounds, the Briggs & Stratton is the heaviest generator in this review. That’s not always a bad thing. More pounds usually mean a heavier grade of metal, which could make it a tougher machine. The steel tubing frame certainly seems to be as good as any I’ve seen, and the metal control panel also looks to be tough enough. This generator has better wheels than the others, these being 12” never flat wheels with good tread, vs the more normal 9” – 10” fitted to most others in this class. This gives it an advantage when moving across uneven terrain. It also has a very comfortable loop handle that folds down.
While I feel the Briggs & Stratton doesn’t quite match up to the Generac GP8000E, or the Westinghouse WPro8500, there will be those who disagree. I know that Briggs & Stratton is a respected power equipment brand and are known for good service. When all is said and done, this is a good quality generator and is sound value for money. Briggs & Stratton offer a 3-year warranty on this model, so you can buy with the same confidence as the other two. The commercial warranty is a bit of joke though, only 90-days. Since this generator is primarily aimed at the home and recreational user, I don’t see much need for a commercial warranty.
Should you buy the Generac GP8000E?
This question can be asked about any of the generators in this review, they are all large machines with above average power output. Though, being large generators, they are also heavy machines. They are not as easy to lift or transport when compared to smaller generators with a lower output wattage. Portability is, therefore, not the best. The price may also be a factor. Larger generators cost more and use more fuel because of their larger engines.
So, why would you want such a large generator? All you need do is ask yourself if you need all those watts. If you’re looking full backup for your home or business, a portable generator will always be a bit of a compromise. Even a larger portable generator, like the Generac GP8000E, cannot compare to the generating capacity of a large standby generator. But a standby generator is not portable, so you lose that versatility of using your generator for other purposes, like your RV.
If you’re looking for the benefit of portability and enough power to live comfortably, the generators featured in this review are an excellent choice. There are bigger portable generators, but these will be even heavier, bulkier, and use more fuel. Chances are, a running capacity of 8,000 watts, with a surge power rating of 10,000 watts, could keep all household equipment powered up for as long as you need. I wouldn’t recommend using these generators for a heat pump, or any form of water heating. While they have the capacity to start and run most heat pumps, they won’t be able to do much more than this.
Generally, you can expect to supply power to all your lights, computers and TVs, as well as chargers, satellite receivers and any number of low watt appliances. With an 8,000/10,000W running and starting capacity, you are not that limited when using high watt equipment with a high startup current requirement. If you have two refrigerators, room air conditioners, a washing machine, microwave oven, vacuum cleaner and a sump pump. These will all be able to run off of the Generac GP8000E, or a similar size generator.
You can keep adding to the list, a coffee machine, hair dryer, basically any electric equipment that you would normally use around the home. You won’t be able to use all these appliances at the same time. But this seldom happens. When using a portable generator to supply your home, you need to be aware of your power consumption. You also need to take into account startup current. If your washing machine, vacuum cleaner, microwave, refrigerator, and air conditioner all start at exactly the same time, you are going to reach an overload situation for a split second.
It’s quite simple to manage your power usage, as the 10,000 starting watts generated by the GP8000E can accommodate quite a few appliances starting simultaneously, but not everything in your home. You shouldn’t, for example, use the vacuum cleaner whilst the washing machine is running. Since air conditioners and refrigerators cycle on and off, you also need to be aware that they may cause a high power demand at any time. It’s quite easy to grow accustomed to the limitations of a portable generator and adjust your power usage accordingly.
The best thing about using a larger portable generator to power your home is that you can connect it directly to house wiring by using a transfer switch. You don’t need to run extension cords all over the place and hardwired circuits, like your lights, will function normally. You won’t notice too much change in your lifestyle during an outage. If you want to use the generator elsewhere, it’s easy enough to disconnect the supply to your home and take the generator anywhere.
Transfer Switches for a 10,000W Generator
Transfer switches are the safest and most convenient way to connect a generator to your home. The switch allows you to switch from mains power to generator power, without any chance of one power sources interfering with the other. There are many options available and these can be bought over the counter, even ordered from Amazon. Though I would advise using a certified electrical contractor to install a transfer switch. An incorrect connection can be dangerous and there are local regulations that need to be adhered to.
Of your many transfer switch options, Generac probably has the best selection. They have many kits of various sizes to meet just about any household or business requirements. They also have an amperage range for a wide range of generators. If you’re using a portable generator, you need to look at single load transfer switches. Typically, your home could have a main supply rated for up to 200A, this is far more than your generator can supply. Even the most powerful generator in this the review (Westinghouse Pro8500) will only supply a maximum current of 96A @ 120V.
Furthermore, this rating is for the peak current which only lasts a few seconds. Single load transfer switches allow you to connect only the required circuits for generator power and switch only these circuits during an outage. The generator won’t supply every circuit in your home, only those that are essential and won’t result in a generator overload.
Of all the Generac Transfer switch products, the Home Link kits are the easiest to install and offer the best ease of use. These kits include a manual transfer switch, prewired circuit breaker box, and a cord with 30A (L14-30) male and female connectors with a cord to plug directly into the generator, as well as a wiring harness and conduit. There are a few options providing different types of single pole 120V single pole breakers and 240V 2-pole breakers. There are also 50A kits available, but these are not recommended for the Generac GP8000E as it only has a 30A outlet fitted to the generator. The Westinghouse WPro8500 could be adapted to use one of the 50A kits. Though you’d need to contact an electrician who is suitably qualified to do this.
There are 3 different configurations of the 30A kits recommended for the Generac GP8000E. These will also be compatible with any generator fitted with a 30A L14-30R outlet.
- 6852 – Includes 8 circuits up to a maximum of 10; 1 X 30A 2-pole; 1 X 20A 1-pole; 5 X 15A 1-pole. This kit does not include a L14-30R connectors and 30A power inlet box.
- 6853 – Includes 8 circuits up to a maximum of 10; 1 X 30A 2-pole; 1 X 20A 1-pole; 5 X 15A 1-pole. Also included are L14-30R male and female connectors, 30A NEMA 3R power box, and 10’ power cord.
- 6854 – Includes 8 circuits up to a maximum of 10; 1 X 30A 2-pole; 1 X 20A 1-pole; 5 X 15A 1-pole. Also included are L14-30R male and female connectors, 30A NEMA 3R power box, and 10’ power cord.