The Westinghouse WGen12000 is a great portable generator for home backup power during an outage. With 15,000 peak watts and 12,000 running watts, you should have no problem keeping all your electrical equipment powered up in an emergency.

Westinghouse is, in my opinion, one of the best value portable generator brands. While not the very cheapest, Westinghouse generators are quite affordable. For an incredibly reasonable price, these generators offer outstanding quality and high-tech specifications.

You really can’t go wrong with a Westinghouse portable generator.

The Westinghouse WGen12000 is one of their most powerful models. It is very similar to the Westinghouse WPro12000 which has the same capacity. It isn’t too easy to tell the difference between the two. Basically, the WPro series is a range of jobsite generators with full-panel OSHA-compliant GFCI protection.

There really isn’t much I don’t like about the Westinghouse WGen12000 except, possibly the plastic wheels. I know this isn’t a big deal, most generators have plastic wheels these days. Call me old-fashioned, but I still prefer to see metal wheels on a portable generator. Even though modern plastics are much more durable, I’m just not a fan of plastic components on any type of machine.

For the rest, I only have good things to say about this generator. I’m especially impressed with the price vs durability and high-tech features.

Westinghouse WGEN12000 ǀ the Full Review

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  • 12,000 running watts, 15,000 peak watts
  • Runs for up to 11 hours on a 10.5 gal. fuel tank with built-in fuel gauge
  • Powered by the ultra-duty 713cc OHV V-Twin Westinghouse Engine constructed with a durable cast iron sleeve
  • Push-Button Electric Start pairs with a key fob for seamless Remote Start
  • Weight: 352 lb.
  • As low as 74 dBA operating volume
  • Safely powers sensitive electronics such as laptop computers, cell phones, and more with less than 5% THD
  • (2) 5-20R household duplex outlets, (1) L5-30R, (1) Transfer Switch Ready L14-30R 120/240-Volt twist-lock, (1) 120/240V 14-50R, and (2) USB ports with rubber outlet covers
  • VFT display gives you real-time updates with the voltage output, frequency, and lifetime hours
  • Smart Idle automatically lowers idle speed with no load to enhance fuel efficiency and extend run times
  • Automatic low oil shutdown, automatic voltage regulation, and overload protection

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The Westinghouse WGen12000 is a true heavyweight at 352-pounds. To my mind, this is a good thing. It indicates that this really is a heavy-duty generator with plenty of metal components to ensure it’s one of the toughest around.

The generator is mounted to a heavy-duty metal frame with strong fold-down handles and a wheel kit – albeit plastic wheels. The tubing frame extends to offer additional protection for the metal gas tank and has a metal bar across the top with a lifting eye that can be attached.

I love the way this generator is constructed.

V-Twin Engine

The 713cc OHV V-twin Westinghouse engine is quite extraordinary. I’m almost inclined to rate as highly as the Honda V-Twin, which is arguably the best power equipment engine ever. I say almost because the Honda engine is made in Japan at the Honda factory which is renowned for excellent quality control. While Westinghouse seems to maintain high QC standards, their engines are made in China. This tends to give one an impression of a lower concern for quality and more about lowering costs.

Despite what many may feel about engines made in China, they are not all bad. You’ll be surprised how many of the items we use are made in China, even amongst recognized US and European brands. It comes down to the standards set by the company. In this regard, I think Westinghouse can be considered one of the best. Their generators (and engines) are known to be reliable and robust. They must be doing something right.

The Engine is certainly designed for long-term durability, with a cast iron sleeve and quality components throughout. I haven’t heard of any complaints regarding this engine. On the contrary, people seem to love it.

One thing Westinghouse engines have going for them is incredible fuel economy. Being a large powerful generator, the Westinghouse WGen12000 is equipped with a 10.5-gallon gas tank. This is enough fuel to keep the generator running for an astounding 11-hours at 50% load. That’s 6,000 watts of power being supplied constantly for 11-hours. Wow! It is also reasonably quiet, for this size generator, at around 74dBA.

To keep the noise and fuel consumption as low as possible, the WGen12000 has a smart idle function. When there is no power demand, the RPM is lowered to reduce both noise and gas consumption.

As one would expect with a large engine like this, it has an electric starter. You have another great advantage, a remote control fob that allows you to start the generator from about 100 yards. Because of the remote staring capability, the Westinghouse WGen12000 has an automatic choke. Not having to use a choke is awesome, even when you’re not starting it remotely. There is no chance of flooding the engine.

Top Grade Alternator

The ultra-durable alternator is even more evidence that the Westinghouse WGen12000 is not a run-of-the-mill domestic grade portable generator. This is a heavy-duty item, with extra copper.

When one compares THD specs to other conventional generators, it becomes plain to see that the 12,000W Westinghouse generator uses a far superior alternator to the rest.

For some context, a good quality inverter supplies an AC current with less than 3% THD. Most conventional portable generators (without an inverter) have a THD spec of up to 25%. The difference is quite notable and this is why portable generators have a nasty reputation for ruining sensitive electronic equipment. Resulting in a move to inverter generators.

Well, the Westinghouse WGen12000 isn’t far off the inverter standard. At 5% THD, it is one of the very few gas generators that can compete with inverter models as an equal. A THD level of 5% is perfectly safe for all types of electronic devices. In many areas, the utility power is not this clean, exceeding 5% THD at times.

Not only is this one of the most powerful portable generators, with a peak capacity of 15,000W (12,000 rated load), it is one of the best for clean low-THD electricity. Another star onto the rating, I reckon.

Comprehensive Control Panel

The control panel is pretty cool, with some great stuff that you won’t readily find on many portable generators.

I’m guessing many users will want to connect the Westinghouse WGen12000 directly to the electrical panel in their homes. With a running capacity of 50A (240V) and 100A at 120V, it makes for a perfectly convenient generator for complete home backup power. This makes the 50A 120V/240V (14-50R) and locking 30A 120V/240V (L14-30R) a great convenience. To take full advantage of all the power this generator has to offer, I’d recommend a 50A transfer switch to the main electrical supply.

It obviously has the standard outlets that you’ll find on any portable generator. To this end, the WGen12000 has 4 X 120V 20A household outlets (5-20R). Once reserved only for the WPro12000, this model now has GFCI protection for the 20A outlets. A 30A 120V (L5-30R) receptacle can supply heavy-duty 120V equipment. DC outlets are plentiful. There are 2 X 5V USB ports and a 12VDC battery charging port.

Overload protection to the 120V circuits comes in the form of a push to reset circuit breakers. The 120V/240V 30A circuit has a toggle-style breaker and the 50A outlet is protected by the main 2-pole circuit breaker which also protects the alternator from overload or a short circuit.

Starting the engine is pretty simple. It has a run/stop switch which you will leave on if you’re using the remote control to start or stop the generator. To start the engine locally, it has a large starter switch. Essential system information is displayed on the VFT digital screen. This allows you to view the voltage, frequency, and runtime.

An extra function, unique to Westinghouse, is a port to connect the Westinghouse ST Switch. This is a portable automatic transfer switch that will switch the generator on and transfer power to the ST Switch outlets automatically as soon as the utility power fails. This can be of particular value for critical power to your security system and refrigerator. Even if you’re not at home to start the generator, these devices will remain powered up during an outage as the generator will do all of this automatically.

Final Thoughts

There’s no hiding the fact that I really love this generator. My admiration for Westinghouse portable generators extends back to when they first entered this market in 2012. Over the past decade, they have proven to be excellent value for money.

The Westinghouse WGen12000 exemplifies all that is great about the brand. Engineering that few can compete with and quality that is equally impressive. This is a wonderfully powerful generator, second only to the WGen20000 which is an enormous beast.

As for excellent value for money, I think the Westinghouse WGen12000 is, like all their models, outstanding. With a quality standard that can rival brands like Honda, CAT, and the top Generac models, the mid-priced WGen12000 is quite a bargain.

With an excellent dealership network and a 3-year residential (1-year commercial) warranty, the Westinghouse WGen12000 offers great peace of mind. It is probably the best deal for a portable generator capable of supplying the whole house with electricity and is equally competent on a jobsite.

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