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The Westinghouse WGen12000DF is one of the most affordable 12,000W industrial-grade generators. In addition to this, there aren’t too many options for a dual-fuel generator in this class. This review is going to unpack the Westinghouse WGen12000DF to see what lies behind this success story.
Over the years, I’ve analyzed and reviewed just about every generator on the market. From small, light-duty home generators through to high-end industrial machines, I’ve seen them all. So, when I say that Westinghouse generators are about the best value for money there is, it’s coming from an informed perspective.
Reviewing the Westinghouse WGen1200DF, therefore, comes as a great pleasure. I’m excited to share my findings with you. There are three variants of this 12,000/15,000W generator: The WPro12000 (GFCI protected jobsite generator); WGen12000 (without GFCI) and the WGen12000DF which has the option to run on gasoline or propane. For the purpose of this review, I’ll be focusing on the dual fuel WGen12000DF model. Though they are all basically the same generator, apart from the minor differences that I pointed out.
As a comparison to the Westinghouse WGen12000DF, I’ll also be reviewing the Cat RP12000E and the DuroMax XP15000E. Unlike the Westinghouse WGen12000DF, the DuroMax and Cat generators don’t offer dual fuel capabilities. They can only run on gas. The Westinghouse WGen12000DF is the cheapest of the three and is, in my opinion, the best value for money.
A general comparison of the three generators featured in this review, places them on a pretty equal footing. They all have similar V-twin engines and produce 12000W running power and 15000W peak power. As a brand, Cat probably has the best reputation. Cat is renowned as a high-end manufacturer of industrial grade power equipment. Though Westinghouse, is fast gaining recognition for outstanding quality and incredibly reasonable prices. DuroMax is, to my mind, more of a medium-duty domestic generator brand. However, the XP15000E stands out as a more heavy-duty machine. It is, therefore, a close call when comparing the Westinghouse WGen12000DF to the other industrial-grade generators in this review.
Table of Contents...
Review | Westinghouse WGen12000DF
- Gas : 15,000W Start / 12,000W Running
- Propane : 13.500W Start / 10,800W Running
- 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
- Transfer Switch Ready: 14-50R 50A Receptacle, L14-30R 30A Receptacle
- VFT Data Center (Volts, Frequency, and Lifetime Hours)
- 3-Year Warranty and Lifetime Technical Support
- EPA, CARB Compliant
- Outlets :
(1x) GFCI Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
(1) 120/240V 50A (L4-50R)
(1) 120V 30A (L5-30R)
(1) 120/240V 30A (L14-30R)
When one looks at the spec level for the Westinghouse WGen12000DF, it may leave you wondering why this generator is so cheap. Having come to know (and highly respect) Westinghouse portable generators, I’m not at all surprised. Every Westinghouse generator that I’ve reviewed has one thing in common; an unusually high level of quality and features for the price. Based purely on value for money, I have to consider the Westinghouse WGen12000DF as the best deal in this review.
The Westinghouse WGen12000DF has, at its heart, a superb 713cc V-Twin engine with pressurized lubrication. This means that it utilizes an oil pump in contrast to most portable generator engines that rely on old-fashioned splash lubrication. The main benefit to using the V-twin setup with pressurized lubrication is improved performance which results in better fuel economy and durability. This engine starts easily and runs beautifully. It has an electric starter and recoil backup starter. It also has a wireless remote (factory paired fob included), which enables you to start or stop the generator from a distance of up to 109 yards. To ensure that it starts easily in cold weather, even when doing so remotely, the Westinghouse WGen12000DF has an automatic choke. This engine is fully compliant with emission regulations throughout the US (CARB and EPA). However, the Westinghouse WGen12000DF is not CSA compliant. Bad news for Canadians.
The pulse-Flo muffler (with spark arrestor) is top grade. Noise levels can be as low as 74dBA at low loads. Okay, this isn’t exactly quiet. But, for one of the most powerful open frame portable generators, the Westinghouse WGen12000DF is less noisy than most. Fuel economy is off the charts (6.3 kilowatt-hours per gallon). With a 10.5 gallon gas tank, and just about the best fuel economy for a generator of this size, the Westinghouse WGen12000DF will run for up to 11-hours at 50% load on a tank of gas.
Power output, when using gas, is 12000W continuous or running power and 15000 peak (surge) watts. Propane is a clean green fuel but is not as efficient. So, when using propane, the WGen12000DF will only provide 10800 running watts and 13500 peak watts. The generator produces 120V/240V power with remarkably low Total Harmonic Distortion (THD). With a rating of <5% THD, the Westinghouse WGen12000DF is a safe power supply for electronic equipment. This claim is usually reserved for inverter generators, as conventional generators are generally rated at more than 20% THD at high loads. This is one of the big plus points in favor of the WGen12000DF and it also indicates a superior alternator that can handle high loads for extended periods.
The Westinghouse WGen12000DF control panel is nothing short of incredible. Designed for ultimate durability, the metal panel is recessed, protected by the strong metal frame, and has plastic covers for the outlets – protecting them from dust and moisture. It has just about every type of AC and DC outlet one could look for and these are logically organized with corresponding circuit breakers. You get 2 X 5-20R 20A 120V duplex household outlets, an L5-30R 120V 30A outlet, L14-30R 120V/240V 30A outlet, and a 14-50R 120V/240V 50A outlet. It also has 2 X 5V USB ports and a 12V battery charging port. The Westinghouse WGen12000DF includes a battery charger. You can keep the battery charged when the generator is stored for long periods. A main 2-pole breaker protects the generator from an overload, and it will shut down if the oil pressure drops too low. A comprehensive digital VFT data center displays voltage, frequency, and running hours. A fuel gauge is fitted to the gas tank.
Note that the Westinghouse WGen12000DF does not have GFCI protection, which can be problematic for contractors requiring OSHA compliance. The good news is that Westinghouse do offer an OSHA compliant model in the 12/15KW series: the Westinghouse WPro12000 is basically the same as the WGen12000DF. The exception being that the WPro12000 has GFCI protection on the 20A 120V outlets but does not have dual fuel capabilities.
The Westinghouse WGen12000DF is every bit a tough industrial-grade generator. It’s a heavyweight, at 352-pounds (420 LBS shipping weight). Though in this class of heavy-duty generator, I consider a high weight spec to be a good thing. It shows us that though high-grade metals are used, an obvious advantage when looking for durability. To enable better portability, the WGen12000DF has dual, padded lifting handles that lock onto the frame when transporting the generator. It also has a reasonable wheel kit, though the wheels don’t have the same heavy-duty all-terrain appeal as the Cat RP12000E that I’ll be reviewing next. The Westinghouse WGen12000DF has a lifting bracket to make loading and off-loading easier.
Coming in at just under $2400 (depending where you buy), the Westinghouse WGen12000DF is one of the best deals for a heavy-duty 12000W generator. Not only does it have the rugged qualities to rival any of the top industrial-grade generators, the WGen12000DF also has dual fuel connections which should make it one of the more expensive options. Making the low price tag even better value. I’ve come to respect Westinghouse as one of the best US portable generator manufacturers and they have a great network of certified Westinghouse service agents. The Warranty is also a reason to be confident: 3-years for residential use and 1-year for commercial use.
Cat RP12000E Review
15,000W Running/ 12,000W Starting
- 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%)
- EPA Compliant
- Steel frame with low vibration engine mounts to minimize movement and noise
- Class-leading number of power outlets for maximum usability
- Premium Class-H insulation for better performance in tough conditions
- Durable, anticorrosion-treated steel fuel tank with fuel gauge for 11 to 15 hours of run time, depending on model
- Fuel-efficient overhead valve (OHV) engine engineered with heavy-duty liners for reliable power when you need it
- Custom muffler heat shielding for safety
- All operation controls are convenientlylocated in one place for easy access
- Manual fuel shutoff prevents leaks and keeps fuel from getting trapped and spoiling in the generator
- Automatic voltage regulator (AVR) controls voltage output to protect your valuable tools and appliances
As much as I see the Westinghouse WGen12000DF as the best value of the generators reviewed here, I have to concede that the Cat RP12000E may have the edge when it comes to the toughest industrial-grade generator. The brand certainly has a solid reputation. Having said this, the Cat isn’t that different to the Westinghouse in terms of rugged design and build. A quick look at the weight specs, might even suggest that the Westinghouse could be constructed of higher grade materials. That’s if we’re going with the assumption that heavier is better. The Cat RP12000E weighs 350-pounds vs Westinghouse WGen12000DF at 352-pounds. That extra 2 pounds can account for the inclusion of the propane regulator and extra pipes. In the end, these two generators appear to basically be on the same level in every aspect. As the Westinghouse WGen12000DF is the cheaper option, and has a few additional advantages (like dual fuel and a remote control), it seems like the better deal. As much as I’m an avid fan of Cat equipment, I’m not entirely sure it’s worth paying extra for, when compared to the Westinghouse WGen12000DF.
Where it really counts, the engine and alternator, the Cat RP12000E and Westinghouse WGen12000DF are almost identical. The real exception being that the WGen12000DF is a hybrid generator. The Cat is fitted with a similar V-Twin engine, with pressurized lubrication. This is a 670cc engine, whereas the Westinghouse has a 713cc engine. I prefer a larger engine. It doesn’t have to work as hard to do the same job. The Cat RP12000E has the same output though: 12000W running power and 15000W peak power. It also ahs the same clean power attributes, less than 5% THD. Despite the smaller engine size, the Cat RP12000E is not as fuel efficient as the Westinghouse WGen12000DF. The Cat provides 5.3 Kilowatt-hours per gallon, whereas Westinghouse works out at 6.3 KWH/G. If you’re getting more kilowatts per hour from a gallon of gas, you’re obviously going to save in long run. The Cat has a larger gas tank, 13.2 gallons. So, even though you’re burning through more fuel, the Cat offers slightly longer runtimes, thanks to the larger fuel tank capacity. The RP12000E will run for 11.7 hours at 50% load (vs 11 hours for the Westinghouse WGen12000DF).
The Cat RP12000E has separate variations to meet all North American emission regulations. The EPA certified Cat RP12000E is designated by the additional 502-3699 model number, the CARB certified model number is 502-3700. The CSA (Canadian) variant, designated by the number 502-3701, has a lower output than the EPA and CARB models. If you’re using this generator in Canada, you’ll have to deal with 1KW less rated power. The CSA model is rated for 11000W continuous power.
Like the Westinghouse WGen12000DF, the Cat RP12000E is contained in a heavy metal frame with a recessed metal control panel. It has a lifting eye to help load the Cat onto a truck and a super strong, dual hinge, loop handle with padding. The ultra-durable, all-terrain wheels are huge and are the best I’ve seen on any portable generator. I really like it when engineers pay attention to these seemingly insignificant details.
When specifying power outlets, Cat definitely understands the needs of contractors. It has more high-amp outlets than most and the duplex 20A 120V outlets have GFCI protection. It has 2 X 120V 20A (5-20R) outlets and 2 X 120V 30A (L5-30R) outlets. Most portable generators only have one 30A 120V outlet, which can be a limitation on a jobsite where several high-power tools are being used. It also has 1 X 120V/240V 30A (L14-30R) outlet, and a 120V/240V 50A (14-50R) outlet. A 12VDC 8.3A outlet allows you to charge 12V batteries. The digital display is similar to that of the Westinghouse WGen12000DF, displaying voltage, frequency, running hours, and total running hours. A cool addition is the panel backlight, which is great when using the generator in the dark. A manual choke and switch for the electric starter are mounted on the front panel. It also has a recoil starter. The metal gas tank has fuel gauge.
I really like the Cat RP12000E. Yes, it’s a bit on the expensive side. But this is a Cat generator and that counts for something. It’s also geared toward contractors, which I think would be the target market for any of these three generators. It has GFCI protection, making the Cat OSHA compliant. The additional 30A 120V outlet may not seem like much. But if you’re using large tools like angle grinders and saws, it has its advantages. The Westinghouse WGen12000DF has the upper hand with its remote control and dual fuel capabilities, not to mention price. But I know many professionals will rate the Cat12000E higher, if only for the brand reputation. Cat offer a standard 2-year warranty on this generator which can be extended to 3-years, simply by registering your generator on the Cat website.
DuroMax XP15000E Review
- Duromax engine : 23hp, 713cc v-twin
- Gas powered technology: run your generator with gasoline for long lasting power.
- 15,000 starting watts and 12,000 running watts
- Can handle heavy duty power needs, from lights, refrigerators, home conditioners and high amperage power tools for any jobsite.
- OUTLETS : 4x 120v household gfci outlets, 1x 120v 30a twist lock outlet, 1x 240v 30a outlet, and 1x 240v 50a outlet.
- Digital voltmeter and maintenance hours.
- EPA and CARB approved
I can’t help feeling some sympathy for the DuroMax XP15000E. It is a bit of an underdog when compared to the other two. The Westinghouse WGen12000DF is cheaper and offers a few extras and the Cat has the weight of a prestigious brand behind it. Make no mistake, the DuroMax is a good heavy-duty generator, probably the best product in the DuroMax range. But there’s nothing that makes it exceptional. Cat has the winning reputation and the Westinghouse WGen12000DF stands out for being cheap and economical to run.
This generator is fitted with a V-Twin engine, like the other two. It is also EPA and CARB certified. While the XP15000E has the same 713cc capacity as the Westinghouse WGen12000DF, it is much thirstier. The DuroMax XP15000E only gets 4.9 KWH/G, making it the least fuel efficient of the three. It has a 10.8 gallon gas tank, and this offers 8.83 hours runtime at 50% load. It also doesn’t have the high-grade alternator to match the Cat and Westinghouse generators. So you can’t expect the same low THD output current and this probably means that it isn’t as durable either. This just a personal speculation though. For the most part, all evidence suggests that the DuroMax is as rugged and dependable as the other two. It weighs a similar 349 pounds.
The heavy metal frame offers wonderful protection with metal plates to add a little extra resistance to knocks and bumps. The fold down handles are the same as those on the Westinghouse WGen12000DF. It has a lifting bar that is also similar to that on the Westinghouse. The large plastic wheels look fairly standard and this generator is as portable as any other.
The control panel is up there with any of the best generators in this class, with one exception. The DuroMax XP15000E doesn’t have protective covers for the outlets. I feel that this is a little disappointing, as a generator like this is expected to work in tough conditions where dust and moisture can be a problem. For the rest, it’s got all the goods: 4 X 120V 20A household receptacles (with GFCI protection), 1 X 120V 30A outlet, 1 X 120V/240V 30A outlet, and 1 X 120V/240V outlet. No DC outlets are provided. The digital display monitors voltage and running hours.
The DuroMax provides the same power as the Cat and Westinghouse generators – 12000W rated power and 15000W peak power. Basically, it does the same job as the other two but doesn’t have the wow factor that the Westinghouse and Cat generators do. It’s not the best performer in terms of fuel economy and has fairly standard features.
Compared to most other 12000W generators, the DuroMax is a great deal. It’s tough and dependable. It’s also one of the more affordable options. I guess the Westinghouse WGen12000DF and Cat RP12000E are exceptional in their different attributes, which is why the DuroMax seems a little lacking by comparison. I can’t really fault it and, if you’re a loyal DuroMax supporter, you’ll find this model to be their best. It has a great 3-year warranty.