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4 and a Half stars

Review of the Westinghouse WGen9500 Open Frame Portable Generator

12500 Starting Watts, 9500 Running Watts on Gasoline

Electric Start: Yes

Weight: 220lbs

Noise: 74dB


Should You Buy It?

At 220lbs, it's one of the heavier generators. But this is what you get if you want a powerful generator. So the answer is yes, if and when you can get hold of one. Given that power outages are becoming more common, there is a strong demand for this model and its dual fuel equivalent, so it's often out of stock.

Some of the 5-star reviews relate to immediate and positive reactions on unpacking the unit and getting it going for the first time. As usual, there are much fewer long-term reviews. But it is a very capable traditional generator from a household name that delivers a lot of wattage for a fair price. 

Remember, this is not an inverter which you can use out of the box with your sensitive electronics. 

A few customers say their experience of Westinghouse's Customer Service is poor, but this appears to be relatively rare.

Key Points about the Westinghouse WGen9500

Push button electric start
Remote key fob starter
Digital Data Center
Fuel gauge
Works with both 120v/240v
No-flat wheels
Noisy due to open frame
No low oil warning LED
Weak packaging

Overview of the Generator


The Westinghouse WGen9500 is an RV-Ready high power portable generator housed in a hardened-steel open frame. It comes with an electric start and includes a remote key fob. It's a top solution for providing backup power for your home during blackouts and emergencies. In addition to home backup, this model is also a powerful option to support some heavy-duty jobsite work. 

If this looks an interesting option, you may want to also consider the dual fuel variant of this model, the Westinghouse WGen9500DF. It'll cost you more but gives you the choice of using either gasoline or propane.

Controls and Features


The control panel is one of the most complete around. It has Yellow Touch Zones for guided access to its main components. It also has a digital Data Center/LED display that cycles through Volts, Frequency, and Lifetime Run Hours.

The panel doesn't have any LED lights to indicate overload, low oil or output ready. However, a low oil sensor stops the engine when it detects the level is too low for safe operation.

The generator does have automatic voltage regulation and overload protection.

Generators of this size more often than not come equipped with an electric start. This Westinghouse portable generator has an electric starter which is operated using a push button. Westinghouse also supply a key fob, which allows you to easily start the generator remotely. Both means of starting the generator are supplemented with a manual pull recoil cord. This is more than useful when the battery is flat.

The receptacles include 2xGFCI 5-20R 120v 20 Amp household duplex outlets, 1xTransfer Switch Ready L14-30R 120v/240v 30 Amp twist-lock, and 1x120v/240v 50 Amp 14-50R receptacle, with protective rubber outlet covers to protect them from the environment. Unlike the WGen9500DF, this model includes 2xUSB ports.

While the installation of a transfer switch requires the services of a professional electrician, Westinghouse make an optional Smart Transfer Switch which you yourself can use with this model to automatically switch the grid's supply to your portable generator's power. It's easy to set up, is transportable and can be placed just about anywhere it's needed.

A fuel gauge is located next to the fuel cap on the top of the generator allowing you to monitor fuel usage. Operating at 50% load, it can run for up to 12 hours on its 6.6 gallon (25 L) gasoline fuel tank.

With EPA Certification and CARB Compliance the WGen9500 can for the time being be used in all 50 states.

Like all of Westinghouse's generator product line, this is backed by a 3-year limited warranty (residential) and Lifetime Technical Support.

Here is the WGen9500 manual for this Westinghouse model.

Power Output

The WGen9500 runs only on gasoline and produces an impressive 12500 starting watts and 9500 running watts. Generating this output is a 457cc 4-Stroke OHV Westinghouse engine incorporating a cast iron sleeve, designed to ensure long life.

This model uses traditional generator technology so you can't connect it to another generator in parallel, as is possible with inverter technology. The use of this technology means that the power output is unsuitable for connecting sensitive electronics without adding a line conditioner/UPS/surge protector.

It's worth underlining that these outputs have been measured at around sea level. For those who live at higher altitudes the power outputs of any engine reduces considerably. So, in order not to be disappointed they will need to take account of this when calculating their power needs. 


Set in an open frame made of hardened-steel with protective roll bars and a foam grip handle, the WGen9500 weighs in at 220lbs. Westinghouse include a kit of two solid never-flat wheels to make it easier for you to move it around. Because you won't want to move it often, be aware that plastic wheels may deform permanently over time if the generator is left in one place for an extended period. Some owners have replaced the plastic wheels with alternatives, while others have found a way to prop the unit up, thereby taking the considerable weight of the generator off the wheels.

Noise Level

With an open frame body, the noise level is high at 74dB. See out take on noise levels, what they mean, and how they can affect us, and a general discussion of noise in relation to portable generators.

What Most Buyers Like

The WGen9500 gets a lot of 5-star reviews. One buyer, who has "done a ton of research", finds it's the best generator for its size and price hands down. Most praise the quality of its construction and attention to detail. For example, the fuel shutoff is made of metal and not plastic, and Westinghouse uniquely includes a battery charger. Additionally, the convenience and benefits of a remote key fob, an automatic choke, and a great control panel, make it head and shoulders above the competition. It is loud, but there's never a claim that it's designed to be quiet (we have looked into why generators are noisy). 

What Some Buyers Like Less

One buyer laments the lack of a 12v outlet for charging 12v batteries. And several mention inaccuracies in the manual relating to connecting the battery on first use.

Some say things could be improved. For example, Westinghouse could make the fuel gauge easier to read, and add a low oil warning light. And one buyer thinks there is a design flaw where the 50A receptacle is positioned directly over the wheel so that most 50A cords that connect at 90° won't plug in without first removing the wheel.

There are also concerns over the THD rating of up to 23%. Such a high THD is disastrous for sensitive electronics and could be rejected by a battery backups/UPS - Note: this rating is normal for powerful generators using traditional technology. Several also say the supplied amount (one quart) of oil is not enough. It needs 1.3 quarts to get the oil level to the middle of the dipstick.

Although most units arrive intact, there are complaints about damage both in transit, and possibly at the factory, when the box arrives undamaged. This leads to some buyers saying the packaging needs to be stronger to withstand possible mishandling by delivery companies. And there should be better quality control at the factory.

Running Watts9500
Peak Watts12500
Running Amps36A @ 240V 79A @ 120V
Peak Amps52A @ 240V 104A @120V
AC Voltage120/240V
AC Frequency60 Hz
Fuel Tank Capacity6.6 gal. (25 L)
Fuel GaugeYes
Run Time @ 50%12 hrs.
Noise Level74 dBA
Total Harmonic Distortion<23%
Outlets2xDuplex 120V 5-20R
1 120/240V L14-30R
2xUSB Ports
ST Switch
GFCI OutletsYes
Display TypeVFT Meter
Voltage MeterYes
Frequency MeterYes
Lifetime Run HoursYes
Low Oil IndicatorNo
Overload IndicatorNo
Output Ready IndicatorNo
Covered OutletsYes
Overload ProtectionYes
RV ReadyYes
Transfer Switch ReadyYes
ST Switch ReadyYes
Battery IncludedYes
Grounding SystemBonded Neutral
Engine Displacement457cc
Engine TypeOHV 4 Stroke
Starter TypeElectric, Remote, Recoil
Low Oil ShutdownYes
Oil Capacity37.2 oz. (1.1 qt.)
Economy ModeNo
Choke TypeAutomatic
Included AccessoriesOil, Oil Funnel, ,Remote
Spark Plug Wrench
Battery Float Charger
Warranty (Residential)3 Year Limited
Warranty (Commercial)1 Year Limited
Assembled Length27.2 in. (691 mm)
Assembled Width26.1 in. (663 mm)
Assembled Height26 in. (640 mm)
Dry Unit Weight220 lb. (98 kg)