The Westinghouse WGen7500 portable gas generator has won recognition on every level. As one of the top selling gas generators, the WGen7500 has enduring appeal. Join us in discovering how this powerhouse has won the hearts and minds of countless generator buyers. Top Power Tools investigates.
Since Westinghouse entered the portable generator market, in 2012, I’ve had the great privilege of reviewing just about all their generator models for popular review sites. The Westinghouse WGen7500 has featured prominently as a popular choice. Possibly the most reviewed 7500W gas generator in recent times. The reason for this will become clearly evident in this article. It is with great enthusiasm that I present the Top Power Tools review of the Westinghouse WGen7500. Possibly my all-time favorite portable generator. This opinion is based on the incredible value that Westinghouse generators have to offer. This model shines as one of their best priced portable generators, with an incredible 9500W/7500W output, and fuel economy that is almost impossible to beat.
The Westinghouse WGen7500 ticks every box that the modern generator buyer is looking for. Superb build quality, high durability, exceptional fuel economy, high power output, and a plethora of modern technology, making this generator an absolute pleasure to use. When you compare the Westinghouse WGen7500 to some of the top 7.5KW generators available, the price seems almost too good to be true. Ordinarily, I would be suspicious of this. However, over several years I’ve come to respect this machine like few others.
A dual fuel variant, the Westinghouse WGen7500DF, which runs on gas or propane, is also available. I’ll be providing an overview of this model, following the Westinghouse WGen7500 review.
I’ll make no bones about it, this a rave review of the WGen7500. It can be no other way and public opinion supports this. I’ve always been attracted to the traditional kings of the generator industry, like CAT and Honda. My first choice, when buying a 7000W generator, will probably remain the Honda EU7000i. That would be if money were no object. The Honda generator is the only inverter generator in this class and is superb in every way. It is also insanely expensive. Though worth it, if you can afford it. For most of us, the Westinghouse WGen7500 is more realistic in terms of price. If you’re going to compare the Westinghouse generator to the more affordable alternatives, perhaps a brand like Champion or DuroMax, there can be no contest. The Westinghouse 7500W portable gas generator is an exceptional machine at an amazing price. I think, after reading this Westinghouse WGen7500 review, you’ll probably agree.
Westinghouse WGen7500 ǀ The Full Review
- Perfect as a backup power source at home or a dependable source of portable power
- 7,500 running watts, 9,500 peak watts
- Runs for up to 11 hours on a 6.6 gal. fuel tank with built-in fuel gauge
- Powered by a high performance 420cc 4-Stroke OHV Westinghouse Engine constructed with a durable cast iron sleeve
- Push-Button Electric Start pairs with key fob and is backed by emergency recoil start
- Weighing 192 lb. with as low as 72 dBA operating volume
- (2) GFCI 5-20R household duplex outlets and (1) Transfer Switch Ready L14-30R 120/240-Volt twist-lock receptacle with rubber outlet covers
- VFT display gives you real time updates with the voltage output, frequency, and lifetime hours
- Safe and convenient with automatic low oil shutdown, automatic voltage regulation, and overload protection
I’ve already introduced this as one of the greatest 7500W gas generators around. Now it’s time to provide a comprehensive review of the Westinghouse WGen7500. Many manufacturers would rate this as a 9500W generator. This is because of the peak power output. Westinghouse has been more modest in classifying the WGen7500 as a 7.5KW gas generator. When all is said and done, 7500 running watts, with 9500 peak (or surge) watts, makes for a mighty versatile generator.
Although Westinghouse is primarily marketing this as a domestic generator for home and recreational use, the WGen7500 is a wonderfully economical option for commercial contractors. The Westinghouse WPro8500 and Wpro12000 are designated as their truly industrial-grade jobsite generators. Whether you’re looking for backup power at home, for your business, an RV generator, outdoor power on a ranch, or any other application where a powerful gas generator is essential, the Westinghouse WGen7500 has the power you need. Though I feel this generator really comes into its own as wonderfully convenient option for emergency backup power in the home.
With remote control and Westinghouse ST Switch compatibility, the WGen7500 is one of the most convenient gas generators to use at home. During a storm, or late at night, there is no need to go outside to start or stop the generator. A remote control fob allows you to do this effortlessly from as far away as 100-yards. Of course, the generator can be started manually, using a push-button, single action, electric starter, or a recoil starter if the battery fails. They have even made it super easy to avoid a flat battery, by installing a quick connection for the battery circuit. No tools are required when disconnecting the battery for storage or reconnecting it for use.
As a certified gearhead, I’m super impressed with the Westinghouse 420cc, OHV engine which lies at the heart of the WGen7500 generator. When I first reviewed this engine, a few years back, I speculated that this was a magnificent and durable piece of machinery. However, at that time, the Westinghouse WGen7500 had not been around long enough to confirm this with any certainty. Ever the skeptic, I waited for time to decern the truth. Now that this generator has been tried and tested over several years, I can say that my initial impressions have proven to be quite accurate. This is, without a doubt, a superbly tough engine. When taking the Westinghouse WGen7500 price into consideration, the underlying quality of this generator becomes so much more impressive. I’d expect this type of durability from the really expensive brands, not a relatively cheap generator.
What I find even more praiseworthy is the fantastic fuel economy. This aspect to value, when buying a portable generator, is often overlooked. You may be able to save 50 or 100 bucks when you first purchase your generator. However, over the years, those savings can become eroded by your gas spend. Generally, cheap generators tend to be more thirsty. Honda, one of the most expensive generator brands, is often the most economical when it comes to gas consumption. I’ve done numerous fuel efficiency comparisons among the generator brands and models. Westinghouse generators, on the whole, match the very best in this regard. The Westinghouse WGen7500 is one of the best at providing more kilowatts of electricity per gallon of gas.
You can fill the 6.6-gallon gas tank and run the generator for a whopping 11-hours at 50% load (3750 watts). The Westinghouse WGen7500 could easily supply an average home with enough electricity for an entire day, without the need refill the gas tank. Keeping an eye on the gas level is made easy with a large fuel gauge on the tank. Along with fantastic fuel consumption, the Westinghouse WGen7500 is a winner in the emissions department too, and is EPA, as well as CARB certified.
The alternator is just as important as the engine, if we’re to accurately assess generator performance and reliability. Again, the Westinghouse WGen7500 tops the charts among the more affordable machines. I know the high-end WPro generator series has fantastic THD specs (<5%). The Cheaper WGen models are more in line with the standard for non-inverter generators. However, the 120V/240V alternator fitted to this model can rival any of the best in terms of reliability, with a relatively stable current – thanks to the highly effective automatic voltage regulator (AVR).
You won’t find Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) specifications for the WGen7500. This is an indication that it is not exceptional. In the absence of any substantial data, I would assume that the WGen7500 probably produces in the region of 20% THD at the peak output, which is 39A at 240V and 79A at 120V. This may be alarming to some, when you consider that “clean” power, supplied by an inverter, is normally around 3% THD or less. Though, I would think that at about 50% – 75% load (up to 5,600W), the Westinghouse WGen7500 is most likely not going to exceed 5% THD. At least, not by much. At 5% THD, a generator is perfectly safe for sensitive electronics. I should make it clear that my assumptions regarding the WGen7500 THD level is not verified fact. It is an educated guess, by someone with decades of experience in the generator industry.
Typically, portable generators experience a sharp increase in THD when the power demand increases rapidly. This is usually upwards of 75% rated load. Average peak power consumption for a regular family home is seldom higher than 4000W. The 7500W running capacity of this generator may only be required for very brief periods, and not that often. As for the peak surge demand (9500W), this should only be required in exceptional circumstances, when multiple high-current appliances (like refrigerators and air conditioners) start simultaneously. Therefore, the WGen7500 should not present much danger of electronic component damage, in equipment like TVs and computers.
The Westinghouse WGen7500 control panel exemplifies high quality and outstanding modern technology. The pressed steel panel is designed to protect all the outlets, breakers, and digital functions from those inevitable bumps and scratches that occur when using and transporting a portable generator. Additional protection for the outlets comes in the form of plastic covers. Some folks may not see much value in this. I know how the long term effects of dust and moisture on electrical outlets can be detrimental. Trust me, a simple addition of these covers will extend generator reliability and safety.
The guys at Westinghouse have gone the extra mile in ensuring this is a completely safe generator. A 2-pole main circuit breaker provides general overload and short circuit protection, with 2 X 20A breakers for each of the standard 120V 20A outlets, which also have GFCI protection. Naturally, the engine has low oil shutdown too.
Electrical outlets are fairly spartan. There’s the obvious 120V 20A receptacles: 2 X 120V 20A 5-20R household electrical outlets, a 120V/240V 30A L14-30R (transfer switch ready) outlet, and a battery charging port. I don’t really mind the absence of USB ports. How many people are going to leave there cell phone or tablet outside, at the generator, when charging it? I do, however, think they should have included a 120V/240V 50A outlet. This would be more practical when using a transfer switch to supply a home. The Westinghouse WGen7500 is capable of supplying 62A running load at 120V and 79A peak power at the same voltage. Using a 30A transfer switch, you cannot make full use of all the power this generator has to offer.
There is an easy way to circumvent the low amp transfer switch issue though. The WGen7500 has a port for the Westinghouse ST switch. This means you can have a dual transfer setup, without any extra hassles, providing a full 50A supply to your home. In a sense, two transfer switches can be better than one. If one trips, because of an overload or short circuit, you still have the second circuit supplying power. You’re able to use the ST switch transfer box as a sort of backup power for your router, a few lights, computer, TV, even your refrigerator. This equipment will remain powered up if the main 30A generator supply to your home, were to trip the breaker. I’ll provide a more detailed look at the Westinghouse ST switch, after the generator review.
Starting the Westinghouse WGen7500 is blissfully easy, even in the coldest of weather. I’ve already mentioned the wireless remote control, which is an awesome luxury. Even starting the Westinghouse in the conventional way is so much easier than most. For one thing, the generator has an automatic choke. This is a necessity when you’re using a remote control, as you can’t engage the choke manually when starting it remotely. It also helps when starting the generator locally. There’s no guessing when the choke is needed, or how far to pull the choke lever. You won’t end up with a flooded engine that refuses to start. Simply switch the generator to run and press the starter button. The eager engine springs to life instantly, purring like a contented kitten. A VFT digital display allows you to check on output voltage and frequency, as well as total runtime.
Although Westinghouse see this as a light to medium duty, domestic generator, it is a remarkably robust machine. Surrounded by a heavy-duty frame that extends to offer additional protection to the metal gas tank, the working machinery is totally protected. A 4-point rubber mounting system ensures that the engine and alternator are perfectly secured to the frame, whilst eliminating any vibration which could cause unwanted maintenance issues. This old-fashioned approach to quality build, with plenty of high-grade metals, does take its toll when looking at the weight of this generator. Lifting this 192-pound beast is no joke. Though I’m willing to accept this extra weight over lightweight plastics that aren’t going hold up to the harsh conditions that a portable generator has to endure. The full loop, fold down handle, and large wheel kit, make the Westinghouse WGen7500 as portable as a generator of this size can be. Because the strong metal frame has two bars running across the top of the gas tank, you can use straps and lifting equipment to heave this massive brute onto a truck, if need be.
Having provided a detailed review of the Westinghouse WGen7500, I think it’s perfectly clear that this is no ordinary 7500W gas generator. At such a modest price, it is exceptional. A perfectly reliable generator, that’s going to last for years, with all sorts of mod cons thrown in. This is a wonderful deal.
Westinghouse have a massive dealership and service network across the US and Canada. A few years ago, I was one of many who expressed concerns regarding a lack of local Westinghouse service centers. However, this has changed, Westinghouse is now one of the best generator brands as far as reliable and easy approved dealership service goes. You also have great peace of mind in the form of a 3-year residential (1-year commercial) warranty.
Westinghouse WGen7500 Downloads
Westinghouse WGen7500 Owner’s Manual [PDF]
Westinghouse WGen7500 Quick Start Guide [PDF]
The Westinghouse WGen7500 and WGen7500DF are basically the same generator. The WGen7500DF is a little more expensive than the standard WGen7500. Dual fuel generators always cost a little more. They have a few extra components.
The obvious difference between these two models is the fuel they’re able to use. The Westinghouse WGen7500DF is fitted with a carburetor that can operate using either gas or propane. This versatility has numerous advantages.
Using propane as a fuel to supply a generator is considered a more environmentally friendly option. You could call this a green generator, even though it’s blue in color. CO₂ and other harmful emissions are reduced when using propane instead of conventional gasoline. This is a cleaner burning engine, which may save a few polar bears from extinction. In addition to this, carbon deposits within the carburetor, engine, and exhaust system are also reduced, improving service costs, and extending the lifespan of the generator.
There are a few practical advantages to using propane. It is safer and easier to store. Propane can be stored for long periods, whereas gas has a limited shelf life. There’s no need to drain the carburetor for storage, when using propane as a source of fuel. The option to use two types of fuel can be of great value during a natural disaster where one fuel-type may be easier to obtain than another.
The only disadvantage to using propane, would be a lower power output. Running on gas, output wattage matches the Westinghouse WGen7500: 7500W running power and 9500W peak watts. When you switch over to propane, this capacity is reduced to 6750W running power and 8550W peak output.
There is a minor difference in the control panel fitted to the WGen7500 vs WGen7500DF. The latter has the obvious inclusion of a dial to select gas or propane. At the bottom of the machine is a propane input nozzle and regulator. The WGen7500DF also has a 5VDC outlet that can be used in conjunction with a USB adapter.
Westinghouse ST Switch
The Westinghouse ST (Smart Transfer) Switch is a fully automatic 20A transfer switch compatible with selected generator models, including the Westinghouse WGen7500 and WGen7500DF.
This is one of those ingenious ideas that is unique to Westinghouse. There are many stand-alone transfer switch kits designed to make it easier to connect your power distribution panel to a portable generator, but the Westinghouse ST switch is unlike any other.
One of the great features is the automatic transfer of power from utility to generator when the main power supply goes down. Few transfer switches supplied for a portable generator are automatic. This means you usually have to start the generator manually and then engage the transfer switch. When the mains power is restored, you have to switch back to utility power and then shut the generator down. The Westinghouse ST switch does all this automatically.
Another advantage is portability and easy setup. The ST switch kit has all you need for a plug and play automatic transfer switch installation. There is no need to use a qualified electrician, saving you cash and hassle.
The Westinghouse ST Switch kit comprises a durable box that can placed anywhere in the home. It is equipped with 2 X 20A household power outlets, a power cord that plugs into the generator, an inlet for mains power, and an electronic control cable. With an easy to follow instruction manual, anyone can install the ST switch in minutes. Indicator lights inform as to power status and the outlets are protected by a designated 20A circuit breaker at the outlet.
The Westinghouse ST switch does not connect to your main fuse box, you use extension cords to supply power from the box to the appliances. This can be permanently installed, although the unit is portable. Once installed, all the appliances connected to the ST switch outlets will be supplied with generator power during an outage.
When reviewing the Westinghouse WGen7500, I mentioned the advantages of using this switch in parallel with a conventional 30A manual transfer switch to increase the power that you have available from 30A to 50A. You have the extra advantage of automatic startup. The ST switch will start the generator as soon as the mains power fails. Power will be automatically transferred to the 20A ST Switch outlets. If you’re using a manual transfer switch for the main power panel, this will still have to switched manually, but you won’t need to start or stop the generator, the ST switch does this for you.