The Westinghouse WGen9500c may not seem that different from its competitors at first glance. However, this home backup and RV shore power generator is packed with features that make it easy to use, including remote and electric start. What can it do, and why should you choose it over similar models? We’ve taken an in-depth look at this generator to answer all your questions. Want to skip the details? See a summary of the Westinghouse WGen9500c portable generator here.
Westinghouse WGen9500c 9500-Watt Gasoline Portable Generator Review
Description and Specifications
With 12,500 peak watts and 9,500 running watts on tap, this is one of the most powerful consumer portable generators you can buy. Thanks to features like remote and electric start, an easy-to-access fuel drain, and transfer switch compatibility, it’s also simple to set up and use.
Engine and Power Output
This generator uses an in-house built 459cc four stroke single cylinder engine with an automatic choke. It has an electric starter with a recoil starter backup. The WGen9500c makes 12,500 peak watts and 9,500 running watts. This is about the most powerful portable consumer electric generator you’ll find. This engine can be turned on and off using the included key fob. With a clear line of sight, this fob works up to 100 feet away. The battery switch must on and the fuel valve must be open for the starter to work, so you can’t accidentally start the engine.
Like other generators in this class, the WGen9500c is not an inverter generator. Westinghouse says total harmonic distortion is up to 23%, compared to 1-3% for an inverter generator. While heating elements, lights and electric motors will have no problem running off of this generator, these voltage fluctuations will burn out electronics.
The carburetor is jetted for use at altitudes of 2,000 feet or less. If you want to use this generator at high altitudes, you’ll need to install a high altitude carburetor kit.
The engine requires an oil change after the first 25 hours of use. After that, there are maintenance intervals every 50, 100 and 300 hours. Westinghouse recommends having a professional check the valve clearance every 100 hours. Otherwise, all the other maintenance tasks can be handled by the owner. The documentation that comes with this generator is some of the best you’ll find. For example, if you’re comfortable with working with small engines and want to adjust the valves yourself, the owner’s manual includes instructions. Westinghouse packs this generator with an oil funnel and a spark plug wrench, so you won’t need to buy any special tools to work on this machine.
Tank Capacity, Fuel Economy, and Runtime
This generator comes with a top-mounted 10.1 gallon gas tank that has a built-in fuel gauge. This is enough fuel for an estimated 12 hour runtime at 25% load and up to 8 hours of runtime at 50% load.
Breakdown of the Control Panel and Outlets
- 1 14-50R, 120 or 240 volts
- 1 L4-30R, 120 volts only
- 4 5-20R GFCI, 120 volts
- 2 2.1 amp USB Type A
The 14-50R outlet supports both 120 and 240 volt power. 240 volt electricity is single phase, so it won’t run heavy equipment. However, it’s perfect for running large RV air conditioners. The L4-30R outlet only supports 120 volts. It’s compatible with most small RVs. This generator is also transfer switch ready. A transfer switch disconnects your home from the power grid when the generator is on. This prevents electricity from passing into the grid, where it could electrocute a line worker. These switches are required by law for power systems that connect to your home electrical system and must be installed by a licensed electrician. Westinghouse offers transfer switches that are compatible with this generator.
This model also has a socket for Westinghouse’s ST switch. This switch box acts as a small scale transfer switch, but it isn’t wired directly into your home’s electrical system. The 120-volt plug detects power flow. When this power is cut, the system automatically starts the generator, sending power to the ST’s sockets. This is a convenient way to set up backup power for critical appliances, like your refrigerator.
The four household 5-20R sockets are divided into a pair of duplex circuits. That means you can draw full power from the 20 amp circuits using just two extension cords. These sockets are GFCI protected, so they should shut off if there’s a short. Westinghouse also includes a pair of USB Type A sockets. These are handy for charging phones and small electronics. Since these use DC power, they aren’t subject to the same power fluctuations as the other outlets. All outlets have rubber covers to protect them from dirt and water when they’re not in use.
The front panel has a digital VFT meter. This display tracks voltage, frequency, runtime and operating hours. This makes it easy to check the operating condition of your generator, and keep track of maintenance.
Dimensions and Weight
This generator weighs 209 lbs. and measures 27.1” x 26.1” x 26.5”. This measurement includes the wheels. This size and weight is about average for the segment.
Noise and Safety
Westinghouse says this generator makes 65 dBA of noise at 25% load and 74 dBA of noise at 50% load, as measured from 25 feet away. The generator adjusts engine speed automatically based on load, maximizing efficiency and minimizing noise.
The WGen9500c has a built-in carbon monoxide detector. If it’s activated, it shuts off the engine. However, you shouldn’t rely on this feature. All generators should be used at least 20 feet away from buildings to prevent buildup of this lethal exhaust gas. When you buy your generator, be sure to pick up some power cables so that you can get electricity from your generator to the appliances you need to power.
Portability of the Westinghouse WGen9500c
There’s no getting around the weight of generators in this size class. Fill up the fuel tank, and you can expect this generator to weigh around 270 lbs. Westinghouse does include a wheel kit with a folding handle, so you can roll this generator around like a carry-on bag. If you need to lift the WGen9500c, two people can grab the upper rails of the frame. Plan on using ramps if you want to store this generator in your RV, or carry it in the bed of your truck.
Certifications and Warranty
This generator is EPA-Certified and CARB-compliant. It also comes with a spark arrester. That means you can use the Westinghouse WGen9500c pretty much anywhere that doesn’t have fire restrictions. Westinghouse has had trouble with models on Amazon not showing up for sale in California. The company says this is due to a delay in paperwork processing, which makes it look like the generator’s CARB certification has expired.
Consumers are covered with warranty on labor and parts for the first year of ownership, while parts are covered for three years. Commercial users are covered by a one-year parts and labor warranty.
Common Problems and Parts
The owner’s manual includes exploded parts diagrams and part numbers for every part on this generator. This makes it easy to order replacements for everything on this machine. Problems are rare out-of-the-box, and are mostly caused by poor shipping.
Owners report two issues:
- The wheel brackets may need to be bent back into place.
- Some nuts and bolts may work loose during shipping.
Stale fuel is an issue for all gas-powered generators. Most generator manufacturers, including Westinghouse, recommend using fuel within one month of purchase or within three months of purchase if it’s treated with a stabilizer. This can make storage a headache, especially for backup generators that are used at irregular intervals. Fortunately, draining the fuel system is easy. By removing the drain bolt on the carburetor float bowl, you can remove all of the gas in the fuel tank, lines and carburetor.
Westinghouse includes an electric start with a remote fob that works up to 100 feet away. That means you can set up your generator before a storm, then turn it on when you need it without having to go outside.
As mentioned before, the Westinghouse ST acts as a self-contained transfer switch, making it easy to set up backup power in your home. Once connected to your appliances and generator, the switch will automatically start the generator’s engine and provide power during blackouts. Here are the other notable features of this generator:
|Amperage||79A @ 120V|
|Tank Capacity||6.6 gal.|
|Max. Runtime||12 hours|
|Dimensions||27.2″ x 26.1″ x 26.5″|
|Noise Level||74 dBA|
|Certifications||CARB Compliant, EPA Approved|
Retailing between $1,200 and $1,300, the price of the Westinghouse WGen9500c is in line with most of its competitors. However, those competitors don’t have the ease-of-use features that Westinghouse includes with this generator. The excellent documentation, ease of maintenance, and easy setup with its remote start and accessory options make this model stand out in this market segment.
What are Consumers Saying About the Westinghouse WGen9500c?
Westinghouse WGen9500c portable generator reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Once you set it up, it just works. A few owners have reported problems caused by shipping. Wheel brackets may need to be bent back into place, and bolts should be checked for tightness before the first start. However, these problems aren’t unusual in this segment. Likewise, once the generator is in use, it has the same problems as any other generator, mostly related to stale fuel.
Phone support hours are limited, and there’s up to a 24 hour turnaround on messages. The company also tends to push consumers toward bringing their generators into a dealer for inspection before they’ll cover warranty repairs or replacement. However, Westinghouse has a massive dealer network, so you’re never far from a repair center, no matter where you are in the country. Owners report once warranty work is approved, problems are fixed quickly.
Is the Westinghouse WGen9500c for You?
If you need a lot of portable power, the WGen9500c is a great choice for every use case.
Looking for a home backup solution? Westinghouse makes it easy to set up this generator, thanks to its built-in transfer switch compatibility. Adding an ST switch makes it easy to set up an emergency power solution that isn’t permanently attached to your home. Once the generator is set up, you can power it on remotely. You won’t want to use this generator with electronics, but it’s more than capable of powering your most demanding appliances.
Need a source for RV shore power? Thanks to its support for 240 volt connections and its outlet selection, it has no problem powering the biggest RVs and travel trailers. Noise may be an issue in some parks, but that’s a given for generators this size. A large dealer network also means you’ll never be far from a repair center when you’re on the road. There’s no L14-30 socket, so you’ll need an adapter for this connection.
Need a work generator? While the Westinghouse WGen9500c is marketed towards consumer use, its one-year commercial warranty is longer than most competitors. GFCI outlets and outlet covers make it a good choice for outdoor use
Why Choose Westinghouse?
Westinghouse’s history in the generator industry goes back to the beginning of electricity. They invented many of the technologies used to generate and deliver the alternating current we use in our homes today. However, this is not that company. After acquiring CBS, the company sold off its industrial assets and started licensing its name to outside businesses. That means Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment has nothing to do with the manufacturing juggernaut that built everything from stoves to nuclear weapons.
Westinghouse Electric Corporation
Normally, this should be a red flag for potential buyers, since most of these licensing agreements are used to sell subpar products. However, this company has bucked the trend by building reliable generators aimed at ease of use. It’s this focus on the customer experience that has helped them become a major player in the generator market.
FAQs about the Westinghouse WGen9500c 9500-Watt Portable Generator
Rated watts measures the maximum sustained load. Peak watts measure the maximum temporary load. Peak watts are needed for electric motors, which need more power to start than they need to run.
Peak power can only be maintained for about 30 seconds before the generator overloads. Keeping output 10% below the maximum rated sustained load greatly reduces engine wear.
At 50% load, this generator makes 74 dB of noise, which is a little quieter than a vacuum cleaner. At 25% load, it makes 65 dB of noise, which is about the same as a shower.
No. Central air conditioning, electric central heating and electric stoves require far more power than you can get from a portable generator. It should have no problem with smaller appliances, including refrigerators and window A/C units.
The engine in standard generators like the WGen9500c cause electrical interference. These power fluctuations are hard on electronics. An inverter generator uses a device to eliminate this interference.
You can find power requirements for most appliances in their user manuals, or on model stickers placed on the appliance itself. You can also use an electricity usage monitor to measure power draw directly.
To estimate sustained load, add together the power requirements for all of the appliances you will use simultaneously. To estimate peak load, add the starting power from your highest demand appliance to your sustained load estimate.