Table of Contents
- Dual-Fuel Generators – A Synopsis
- Dual Fuel Generator Buying Guide
- Westinghouse iGen4500 – One of the Top Rated Generators Today
- Other Top-Rated Westinghouse Dual Fuel Generators
Technological advancements have made power generation easy for the average person. With so many types of generators on the market, you have the luxury of choosing from an extensive list. The generator menu includes small portable power stations, mid-size generators, inverters, heavy-duty worksite generators, and whole-house standby units.
Every generator has its advantages and limitations. For example, a power bank is suitable for running small sensitive appliances but cannot power large machines. Mid-size portable generators can run small to medium appliances but cannot support big machines or tackle heavy power loads. In contrast, inverters deliver enough power to run small appliances and have a low-level THD (below 5%) ideal for sensitive machines like laptops, phone chargers, and sound systems. They are also fuel-efficient and silent compared to conventional generators.
Big portable generators can manage large power loads and are recommended for worksites and large households, but they are difficult to move around and are costly. Standby units are safe for all appliances and can power almost everything in your home; however, they need a lot of space for installation and are also expensive.
Apart from portable power stations, all other types of generators come in dual-fuel options. A dual fuel generator can run on two fuels. For portable generators, the fuels are mostly propane and gasoline. For standby units, the fuels are natural gas, propane, diesel, and gasoline. One machine supports only two fuel types.
Let’s delve into dual-fuel, portable generators in more detail!
Dual-Fuel Generators – A Synopsis
Disaster-based power outages have increased by as much as 70%; as a result, homeowners have started to buy dual-fuel generators. These generators come in handy when one type of fuel is depleted, as you can switch the generator to run on the other fuel and keep your essential appliances or machinery powered.
What is a Dual Fuel Generator, and How Does It Work?
A dual fuel generator uses gasoline and propane to supply alternate electric power to run your home, worksite, or outdoor appliances. There is no difference in the working of a dual-fuel generator compared to a single fuel generator. However, you do get a fuel selector switch/dial when selecting the fuel type. A dual fuel generator starts the same way, has equal maintenance needs, and is versatile. But in contrast, it is slightly more costly than gasoline generators with the same features and power output.
There are, however, some differences based on the efficiency and output of both fuels. Review the section below to understand these differences.
Propane vs. Gasoline
- Power Output. Gasoline burns better compared to propane; therefore, it can deliver more power output. The difference in output is around 200-1500 watts depending on the size of the generator.
- Runtime. The runtime for small generators is the same or higher when running the machine on propane. However, for larger models, propane offers less runtime as compared to gasoline.
- Exhausts. Propane is more eco-friendly compared to gasoline. Gasoline has more CO2 content than propane. In addition, it also contains other harmful toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, ethylbenzene, and butadiene.
- Safety. Propane is safer than gasoline as there is no spillage risk involved while connecting the propane cylinder to your generator. However, it is flammable, but this risk is not as high as gasoline.
- Availability and Shelf Life. Both fuels are available throughout the year. However, gasoline becomes challenging to find during natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes when travel is difficult, and the supply of fuel is interrupted. Stored propane can come to your rescue in these scenarios because it has an unlimited shelf life, while gasoline has a limited shelf life of 3 months.
Why is It a Good Investment?
- A dual fuel generator is a good investment because it offers you peace of mind knowing that you have access to power in any situation.
- It is a reliable machine. You can use gasoline in normal weather conditions, such as dealing with short-term outages, or camping purposes. For disaster-based emergencies, you can use stored propane.
- Dual fuel generators allow you to choose the fuel according to the weather. Propane becomes dense in winter, and gasoline can catch fire in extreme summers. You can use propane in summers and gasoline in winters.
- Propane is cheaper than gasoline. Therefore, it gives lower running costs than gasoline in the long run.
- You don’t have to rush to restock your fuel as you can run your generator on either fuel.
- The upfront costs are higher than single-fuel generators.
- It is challenging to transport two types of fuel.
- Output on propane is low; it won’t run some of your heavy appliances.
Dual Fuel Generator Buying Guide
A portable generator lasts for 8-10 years. However, this is only possible if you buy the right machine. We know that the build quality and durability play an essential part in enhancing the life of your machine, but if it lacks the relevant features, you won’t be able to use it in the long run. Therefore, we have listed all the features you need to consider before buying a Westinghouse dual fuel generator.
Features You Need to Consider Before Buying a Generator
Calculate your power requirements by making a list of all the appliances you plan on running using your generator. Make sure you take into account starting and running wattages. Once you have the final figure, add a 300 watts cushion in starting and running watts. This will be your ideal power consumption during an outage. Compare it with the shortlisted generator’s output on gasoline and propane and decide for yourself.
Tank Capacity and Runtime
Don’t forget to look at the tank capacity and runtime. Make sure you estimate the runtime according to your calculated wattage to know how frequently you will need to refuel gas or how big a propane cylinder you would need. Just a safety tip: never run a portable generator for more than 8 hours in one go.
What’s the point of having a portable generator when you can’t move it easily? All Westinghouse generators on our list have heavy-duty wheels and ergonomic handles to make portability hassle-free.
Noise Level and Safety Features
The bigger the generator, the noisier it is. If you can’t tolerate high running sounds, then go for an inverter. Big machines can be noisy, so you may have your neighbors complaining. However, installing mufflers or building a sound reduction box to hush up your machine should reduce the noise level sufficiently. Lastly, look at the safety features like overload protection, low oil shutdown, and surge arrest.
Safety Tips and Usage Guide
- EPA recommends placing your generator at least 15 feet away from any buildings, windows, doors, RVs, or campsites.
- Never run your machine without a canopy if it is raining or snowing.
- Always operate the machine with dry hands and dry clothes.
- Never refuel or repair/change the oil on a host machine.
- Never overload your machine.
- Always use a transfer switch for connecting your machine to your home, and never connect your generator to a wall outlet.
- Inspect and maintain your generator regularly.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s directions at all times.
Westinghouse iGen4500 – One of the Top Rated Generators Today
Now that we know briefly about dual-fuel generators, it is time we present you with one of the best dual fuel inverter generators, Westinghouse iGen4500. This machine from Westinghouse is a top-rated and most sought-after generator. It comes in single fuel and dual-fuel variants. Moreover, iGen4500 is in the big boys’ league with one of the highest outputs in inverter-style generators.
We did extensive research on Westinghouse’s other dual-fuel inverter generators and selected the best ones with different power outputs. This article will review the iGen4500 inverter in detail and briefly review its other dual-fuel generators. We included only Westinghouse dual-fuel machines because they are technically sound and perform better than other machines. We have also included a brief history of the brand to educate you about Westinghouse, a buying guide, and an FAQ section to help you make an informed purchase decision.
Brief History of Westinghouse Brand
George Westinghouse founded Westinghouse in 1869. At that time, it was known as Westinghouse Air Brake Company which dealt with railroad braking systems. In 1891, Westinghouse built the world’s first industrial AC system and made its first commercial steam turbine-driven engine in 1901. However, it was not until 2011 that Westinghouse marketed its first gasoline portable generator. For the last ten years, Westinghouse has revolutionized the generator industry. Its machines are now rated as top of the line with the best features.
Westinghouse iGen4500 has two variants – single fuel and dual fuel (iGen4500DF). We will review all the features of both variants in detail.
Westinghouse iGen4500 and iGen4500 DF Portable Inverter Generators
Power Output: The iGen4500 delivers 4500 peak watts and 3700 running watts. The dual-fuel variant produces 4050 peak watts and 3330 running watts on propane. You can use it to power your sensitive appliances such as TV, laptops, mobile phones, gaming systems as it has below 3% THD. It can also run household appliances like refrigerator, coffee maker, toaster, microwave oven, bulbs, dishwashers, and washing machines. iGen4500 is powerful enough to even support sump pumps or well pumps. However, you may need to do some load management to get more out of it.
It is also RV-enabled and can power a lot of appliances in your RV. Moreover, it is a silent machine that is fit for outdoor camping and pleasure activities such as pool parties, tailgates, and game events.
Tank Capacity and Runtime: It comes with a 3.4-gallon gasoline tank. The gas tank is big and spacious compared to other inverters in this category. It provides a whopping runtime of 18 hours at 25% load and 9 hours at 50% load. It means that if you apply 1850 watts to this generator, it will run for 9 hours on a full tank. The runtime is impressive compared to other inverters. Some smaller inverters don’t have such a decent runtime. The runtime is the same on a 20-pound propane tank as well.
Engine Specifications: The machine uses a 224cc OHV 4-stroke Westinghouse engine. The engine has a variable speed feature that maximizes fuel efficiency and gives you maximum savings in terms of operational cost. It becomes even cheaper to run when you are using propane. You can start the engine by remote, electric, and recoil methods.
Control Panel: Westinghouse is known for making extremely user-friendly machines. iGen4500’s control panel is one of the most detailed and technologically advanced and still simple to use. It features a start/stop button, push start button, efficiency mode button, breakers, parallel connectivity port, grounding port, indicator lights for output, overload, and low oil. The digital data center includes a fuel gauge (not for propane tanks), an output gauge, runtime (according to the load applied and fuel in the tank), power output, fuel level in liters, voltage, and lifetime hours. The data center is way more detailed than other inverters. The lifetime hours feature helps keep track of maintenance intervals.
The iGen4500DF model features a fuel selector knob and propane cylinder connectivity port. It also comes with a propane hose.
Outlets: The outlets are the same on both models and offer one 120V 30A AC outlet, one 120V 5-20R duplex outlet, and 2 USB outlets. Please note that there is no type C USB outlet option. All the outlets are rubber protected but are not GFCI. GFCI outlets are safer to use than traditional outlets. The outlets are enough to run 3-4 appliances at one time. You may need to use power extensions to connect multiple appliances with the generator. The AC voltage is 120V.
Dimensions and Weight: The generator measures 24.5L x 17.5W x 20H inches, and it weighs 104.7 pounds. The dimensions are in line with other inverters in the same range, but the unit is slightly heavier than other machines.
Portability: Despite being heavy, the design is highly portable. It comes with two wheels and a telescoping handle. The design of the machine makes it easier to move around with it. You will just feel like dragging a heavy suitcase. However, it is so easy to move that you can even navigate uphill terrain with it.
Warranty and Certifications: You get a 3-year warranty for residential use and a 1-year warranty for commercial purposes. This is the highest industry standard for portable generators. In addition, all Westinghouse generators are EPA and CARB certified.
Noise Level: The inverter runs at 52 dB (A). It comes with a double-insulated acoustic enclosure, asymmetrical cooling fans, and low-tone mufflers. This helps reduce the running sound so you and your neighbors won’t get disturbed.
- Parallel capable (50A cord sold separately)
- Rubber-protected outlets
- Overload and low oil indicator
- Low oil shutdown
- Overload protection
- Economy mode
- Comes with battery, oil bottle and funnel, spark plug, wrench, remote, battery float charger, user manual, and propane hose
- Automatic choke type
User Feedback: The overall rating iGen4500 is 4.3/5. More than 80% of buyers are satisfied with its performance and rate the machine with 4-5 stars. However, it also has 11% 1-star ratings, which is a big dent in its reputation. The positive reviews mention the ease of use, included accessories, and excellent portability. The major pain points are poor shipping and defective parts on new generators.
- Westinghouse iGen 4500 User Manual
- Westinghouse iGen 4500 Quick Start Guide
- Westinghouse iGen Dual Fuel User Manual
- Westinghouse iGen Dual Fuel Quick Start Guide
Other Top-Rated Westinghouse Dual Fuel Generators
The Wgen9500DF is another top-of-the-line dual fuel machine for high-end buyers. It delivers 12500 peak watts and 9500 running watts on gasoline. The starting watts on propane are 11200, and running watts are 8500. The generator’s power output is ideal for running heavy machines such as well pumps, sump pumps, air conditioners, and water heaters. You can also use it to power medium to big RVs as it supports a 50amp RV outlet.
The tank size is 6.6 gallons and can run up to 12 hours on a 50% load. It has one of the most impressive runtimes in the market. The runtime on propane depends on the load applied and the size of the cylinder. The machine draws its power from a heavy-duty 457cc engine with a cast iron sleeve for added durability. The outlets include two 120V 20A 5-20R GFCI AC outlets, one 120/240V AC 50A outlet, one 120/240V 30A outlet, and an ST switch outlet with rubber protection.
The machine features a remote, electric, and recoil start. In addition, it comes with all the safety features like an overload indicator and low oil shutdown. Everything needed to assemble and start the unit is included in the box.
The control panel is detailed and keeps you aware of the running condition of the machine. In addition, the generator features heavy-duty never-flat wheels and push handles for easy portability.
It is a very famous unit with buyers. Out of the 5K reviews, more than 92% are above 4 stars. The overall rating is 4.6/5. People like its ability to handle multiple big appliances simultaneously and offer excellent runtime under maximum load. Many people use this beast to power large RVs and big homes. The common problem reported by people is the generator failing to start in cold weather. Portable generators don’t start readily in cold weather unless you use recoil start.
It is another dual fuel machine for mid-size homes, RVs, and worksites. The generator delivers 9500 peak and 7500 rated watts on gasoline. It produces 8550 starting watts and 6750 running watts on propane. You can run a wide variety of appliances on it. This machine is an ideal balance between portability and power as it weighs 192 pounds.
The unit is powered with a 420cc 4-stroke OHV Westinghouse engine with a cast-iron sleeve and automatic low oil shutdown. You can start the engine with remote, electric push-button, and recoil starter. The outlets include two GFCI 120V household outlets, one 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, and one 5V USB outlet. The 30A outlet makes the machine RV ready. All the outlets are cover-protected.
The control panel features a fuel selector knob, a push start button, a data center with volts, frequency, and hour options. The portability feature is enhanced with two never-flat heavy-duty wheels and a foldable handle. The tank size is 6.6 gallons with a runtime of 11 hours on a 50% load. The runtime for propane is 8 hours on a 20-pound tank at the same load. The noise rating is 72 dB (A), slightly higher than other models with the same power output.
The overall rating for this generator is 4.5/5. 89% of buyers rate the machine with 4-5 stars. People term this machine as affordable and powerful. Some buyers rate it as best in its class with outstanding features. The common pain points are wheel problems, battery issues, and shipping problems.
Not everyone can afford a high-end dual fuel inverter generator. This machine is best for people on a tight budget looking for a reliable and durable dual fuel generator with mid-range power output. The WGen3600DF delivers 4650 starting and 3600 running watts on gasoline and 4180 starting, and 3240 running watts on propane. It is ideal for running small and medium appliances during an outage. You can also use this to power a few essential appliances in your RV.
The generator takes its power from a 212cc OHV 4-stroke Westinghouse engine, ensuring that you get uninterrupted supply even at higher loads. The outlets consist of one 120V 30A AC L5-30R outlet, one 120V 30A AC TT-30R and one 120V 20A AC 5-20R outlet. Thus, you can connect 4 appliances directly to the generator.
The 4-gallon tank provides an impressive runtime of 13.5 hours at 50% load on gasoline and 10.5 hours on propane (20-pound tank). Unfortunately, the control panel lacks a data meter like other generators reviewed above, so you will have to take care of maintenance intervals yourself. It has overload protection and a low oil shutdown feature, but it doesn’t have indicators for these functions.
Like other Westinghouse models, it is EPA and CARB certified and comes with all the needed things to get started. In addition, it has a one year commercial and 3-year residential warranty.
The generator gets some good praise from buyers. 89% percent of buyers rate the machine with 4-5 stars, and the overall rating is 4.5/5. Buyers say this generator is value for money. Many people admire the remote start feature at an affordable price. Some buyers say it would have been better if the machine had a data center instead of a remote start because it provides additional value and helps with maintenance. However, a few buyers are livid about their new generators dying after running for 15-20 seconds.
Yes. It makes one of the finest dual fuel generators.
All generators reviewed above are the best in their class. You can buy one according to your power needs.
Westinghouse generators are included in the top 5 brands, alongside DuroMax, Champion, Generac, and Honda.
Westinghouse iGen4500 is the quietest 4500-watt inverter generator.