Westinghouse has, in less than a decade, developed a reputation for building top-quality portable generators at very reasonable prices. As a result, the brand has become enormously popular. The Westinghouse WGen9500 is the ideal home backup power solution. With 9,500 watts of running power and 12,500W surge power, it is capable of supplying most homes and job sites with the electrical power they need.
Westinghouse was a pioneer in the field of electric power generation, building some of the first commercial and industrial power plants in the US, more than a century ago. The Westinghouse name is synonymous with innovation and some of the finest electrical engineering feats of our time. While the brand is quite commonly known for supplying high-quality household appliances, few realize the extent to which the Westinghouse Company has changed the lives of people around the world.
Westinghouse has led the way in developing new electrical technologies since the late 1800s. Bringing electric power to American cities was only the beginning. Major infrastructure and engineering projects have made Westinghouse an internationally recognized force in the world of electrical engineering. From shipbuilding to home appliances, their reach has been enormous.
It was only around 2012, that Westinghouse decided to enter the domestic portable generator market. I was one of the first to start reviewing these pretty remarkable machines. I was immediately struck by the incredible quality and very reasonable prices. Back then, I predicted that Westinghouse would become one of the top portable generator brands. It seems I was correct.
One of my concerns, when Westinghouse was a newcomer to the portable generator business, was customer service and the availability of spare parts. Until fairly recently, Westinghouse dealerships were few and far between. This meant that if you required any warranty repairs, you had to send your generator to their headquarters in Canonsburg, PA. Obtaining original replacement parts was equally difficult. It meant shipping costs and long waiting times.
Fortunately, Westinghouse now has a dealership network across the US and Canada. Westinghouse service can be compared to any of the big generator brands. New models have been introduced and some of the earlier Westinghouse generators have undergone upgrades.
The current generation Westinghouse WGen9500 was upgraded a while back and now includes some pretty impressive additional features, like a remote control fob and Westinghouse ST switch compatibility. To find out more about this mighty machine, read the full Westinghouse WGen9500 review below.
Westinghouse WGen9500 ǀ The Complete Review
- 9,500 rated watts and 12,500 peak watts
- Runs for up to 12 hours on a 6.6 gal. fuel tank with built-in fuel gauge
- Powered by a heavy-duty 457cc 4-Stroke OHV Westinghouse Engine constructed with a durable cast iron sleeve
- Push-Button Electric Start pairs with remote start key fob and is backed by an emergency recoil start
- Weighing 208 lb. with as low as 74 dBA operating volume
- (2) GFCI 5-20R household duplex outlets, (1) Transfer Switch Ready L14-30R 120/240-Volt twist-lock, (1) 120/240V 14-50R receptacle, and (2) USB ports 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
- Hardened steel frame with foam grip handle and rugged never-flat wheels make portability easy
The Westinghouse WGen9500 is a formidable powerhouse. With a running capacity of 9500W, it is one of the best portable generators to keep your home powered up during an outage. The starting (surge) power output of 12,500W means that appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, and pumps can all start simultaneously without any hassles. This is also an OSHA complaint generator, with GFCI protection, making it a perfect jobsite generator.
I always place a lot of emphasis on the engine powering a generator. This is, after all, the heart of the beast. A robust and reliable engine is essential if you’re going to make good use of the generator for many years.
The Westinghouse WGen9500 is powered by their 457cc OHV, four-stroke engine. It’s been around long enough for us to know that this is a truly reliable engine. With a cast iron sleeve and great engineering throughout, I can say with confidence that this is a heavy-duty engine. It is not known to overheat and starts easily, time and again, year in, year out.
Fuel economy is also important. An economical engine will save you a lot of money over the lifespan of the generator. Since the Westinghouse WGen9500 is probably going to last many years, long-term fuel savings can amount to a tidy sum of cash.
The Westinghouse WGen9500 is fitted with a large 6.6 gallon metal gas tank. With a capacity like this, you should expect conveniently long runtimes. It has a fuel gauge on the tank, helping you keep on top of gas consumption.
With the gas tank filled, the WGen9500 will run for 8-hours at a 50% rated load. This means it will supply 4,500W constantly for 8-hours before you need to refuel the generator. For the average house, 4,500 watts is a lot of electricity to use continuously. Your average power usage over this time period is probably going to be around 2 – 3 kilowatts on average for a reasonably large house. If you’re using a large central air conditioner or high-watt furnace, your electricity consumption may be closer to a 4 KW average. Most folks can expect 12-hours or more from a tank of gas, without any real compromise on how you use the electricity in your home.
The Westinghouse Wgen9500 is CARB compliant.
Starting the WGen9500
With a large engine like the 457cc Variant used for the Westinghouse Wgen9500, most people prefer an electric starter. This generator has this, with a push-button starter and a single switch for the ignition. It has a recoil backup starter.
You should not need the recoil starter unless the battery runs out of juice. This is not very likely, since the battery has quick connectors. This allows you to easily disconnect the battery for storage and just as quickly reconnect the battery when you want to start it. A battery indicator light on the user panel will ignite when the ignition is switched on. It informs you that the battery is connected and ready for the electric starter to be used.
Almost without fail, the engine starts in an instant. Even using the recoil starter, it only takes a single tug in any type of weather. The Westinghouse WGen9500 has an automatic choke, so you don’t have to concern yourself with how far to engage the choke. There’s no chance of flooding the engine.
The automatic choke is actually a necessity because the WGen9500 can be started remotely. If you’re not at the generator when starting it, you obviously won’t be able to engage the choke. A factory paired remote control fob is supplied with the Westinghouse WGen9500. This allows you to start or stop the generator from a distance of up to 99 Ft.
Using the WGen9500
The Westinghouse WGen9500 user panel has a logical and easy-to-use layout. The main 2-pole 120V/240V circuit breaker is centrally located to the left of the numerous AC outlets. Below this breaker, a digital screen can toggle to provide useful information, like the voltage, frequency, and total running hours.
It pleases me to see that all the outlets are perfectly sealed by plastic covers. By keeping water and dust out, the outlets are safer and more durable. You have all the AC outlets needed for extension cords and connecting the generator to your home via a transfer switch: 4 X 120V 20A receptacles with GFCI, a 120V/240V 30A outlet, and a 120V/240V 50A outlet. It also has a 12VDC battery charging outlet and 2 X 5V USB ports. Individual push to reset circuit breakers protect all the AC circuits from an overload or short circuit.
The Run/Stop switch is located next to the engine on/off button. When the generator is running, the start switch illuminates so you can clearly see that the engine is running, and is ready to supply power. The WGen9500 also has an outlet to connect a Westinghouse ST switch. If you haven’t yet heard about this nifty portable device, it’s explained below.
Westinghouse ST Switch
The Westinghouse ST Switch is a unique optional extra for a portable generator. It’s an automatic transfer switch that that easy to connect. You don’t need an electrician to install the switch. It’s pretty much plug-and-play.
The ST switch is supplied with a power cord that connects to the L-14-30R (30A) outlet on the user interface. An electronic control cable plugs into the ST switch port on the same panel. Once connected to the generator, the ST transfer switch provides a fully automated transition between utility and generator power.
When the electric supply to your home fails, the generator will start automatically. When the engine is running the running, the electric supply is switched from utility to generator power. This is all done without you lifting a finger.
The electricity is distributed to the home through a box that can be placed in a convenient location. It has 2 X 120V 20A AC outlets with a local circuit breaker. Any devices connected to these outlets will have constant power.
This is more than a convenience; it can be critical for some users. When you’re not home, you obviously can’t start the generator and connect it to the house. If you have essential devices, like security and CCTV systems, you’ll want them to stay powered up 24/7. By supplying equipment like this with electricity from the ST switch, you’re assured that they will always have the electrical supply needed to function.
The Westinghouse ST switch is sold separately and can be used with all compatible Westinghouse generators.
Calling a heavy-duty 9,500W/12,500W generator portable can be a stretch of the imagination for some. When you consider that the Westinghouse WGen9500 is mounted to an ultra-robust hardened steel frame that provides a secure roll cage protecting the machinery and gas tank, you should expect quite a few extra pounds. As a result, the WGen9500 weighs a hefty 280 LBS. You’re not going to lift and carry this behemoth like a small portable generator. The frame has two bars across the top that makes using a winch easy. If you have this luxury.
To afford the Westinghouse WGen9500 good mobility, it has a wheel kit and a fold down loop handle with foam padding for a bit of extra comfort. I’m slightly disappointed by the plastic wheels. I prefer metal wheel rims on a heavy-duty machine like this. Even the DuroMax XP10000E, which I don’t consider to be as robust as the WGen9500, is equipped with heavy-duty, all-terrain metal wheels.
My bias toward plastic wheels may be a little overly critical. There are some high-quality, very tough plastics available. The wheel kit supplied with the Westinghouse WGen9500 does seem to be quite good quality. I guess using plastic has its benefits, these wheels won’t rust and require no maintenance.
I’ve developed immense respect for Westinghouse as a portable generator manufacturer. In my opinion, the Westinghouse Wgen9500 can proudly hold its own when pitted against some of the very best gas generators. While it has all the heavy-duty traits and high-end features that you’ll find in the most expensive generators, the WGen9500 is a mid-priced offering. Bottom line – incredible value for money.
Westinghouse has an extensive dealership network and offer a very competitive warranty: 3-year domestic and 1-year commercial.
This is probably the best deal for a powerful, high-quality portable generator to supply the whole house or an industrious jobsite.