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4 and a Half stars

Review of the Westinghouse WGen9500DF Open Frame Portable Generator

12500 Starting Watts, 9500 Running Watts on Gasoline

11199 Starting Watts, 8500 Running Watts on Propane

Electric Start: Yes

Weight: 220lbs

Noise: 74dB


Should You Buy It?

Yes, there are a lot of 5-star reviews for this powerful and heavy portable generator. It's a popular choice for those seeking power and flexibility and it can go out of stock quickly.

At the end of the day, this is a very capable and versatile traditional generator that delivers a lot of wattage for a fair price. 

Key Points about the Westinghouse WGen9500

Powerful and Dual Fuel
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 WGen9500DF Portable Generator is a conventional open frame unit. It is highly a versatile and powerful source of independent power equipped with some outstanding features that offer you a host of benefits. It’s an excellent choice to back up much of your home equipment as well as being able to provide the kind of power usually needed for heavy work on a job site.

It is housed in a hardened steel frame and incorporates a big 457cc 4-Stroke OHV Westinghouse engine that is fitted with a cast iron sleeve designed to make it more durable and give it a longer life. Additionally, it comes with protective roll bars, a foam grip handle, and a kit of two solid never-flat (plastic) wheels to make it a bit easier for you to move this heavy bit of kit around.

The heavy weight of the generator means that if left standing for some time permanent flat spots can develop. To resolve some of these issues, you can opt to replace the plastic wheels with other variants. Another option is for you to prop the unit up to take the weight off the wheels while it is stored away and not in use.

When you use gasoline, it can provide you with a starting power of 12500 watts and can run equipment up to a maximum of 9500 watts. And as a dual fuel model you have the flexibility to operate the WGen9500DF on either gasoline or propane, always bearing in mind that while propane is more eco-friendly it develops less power outputs, as shown. You should also note that power outputs vary according to ambient conditions and especially altitude.

A 6.6-gallon fuel tank offers up to an impressive12 hours of operation at 50% load, while from a 20lb propane tank you can expect around 7 hours of continuous use.

The generator is equipped with automatic voltage regulation and overload protection. But as it uses conventional generator technology you should be careful to avoid connecting sensitive electronics.


Controls and Features


The control panel is one of the most comprehensive you'll come across, with yellow touch points to guide you to its essential features. It has a digital Data Center LED display giving you information on Volts, Frequency, and Lifetime Run Hours. And a simple dial allows you to easily switch from gasoline to propane.

A push button electric start/stop, which you can pair with the remote key fob, allows you to easily start the generator. The unit also has a manual pull recoil mechanism which you can use, for example, if the battery is discharged.

The receptacles include 2xGFCI 5-20R 120v 20 Amp household duplex outlets, 1xTransfer Switch Ready L14-30R 120v/240v 30 Amp twist-lock, and 1x 120v/240v 50 Amp 14-50R receptacle, with protective rubber outlet covers. Unlike the WGen9500 this model doesn't have any USB ports. To take full advantage of the outlets you'll need appropriate extensions and adapters.

While the installation of a transfer switch requires the services of a professional electrician, Westinghouse offer an optional Smart Transfer Switch which you can connect yourself to automatically switch the grid's supply to your portable generator's power.

There is a fuel gauge next to the fuel cap on the top of the generator.

There is no economy mode, nor are there warning LED indicators for overload, low oil or output ready. However, a low oil level sensor stops the engine when it detects the level is too low for safe operation.

With EPA Certification and CARB Compliance, you can operate the WGen9500DF 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 WGen9500DF manual for this model if you'd like to know more about it.

Noise Level

With an open frame body, the noise level is high at 74dB. If this figure doesn't mean much, be aware that there are no standards for measuring noise and most manufacturers do it their own way. Many owners find published levels to be misleading, so consider them only as general indications. You'll likely have to make up your own mind about how loud your generator is.

What Most Buyers Like

The WGen9500DF gets lots of 5-star reviews, and it's another one of Westinghouse's models that's often sold out. It comes with many recommendations especially from Florida residents who praise the dual fuel capability. With a larger 30lb propane tank one buyer expects to get 15-20 hours of operation, depending on demand, before having to refill. 

Another owner highlights the 50 Amp 240v connection, which not all generators have (many only have 30 Amp plugs, which they say is limiting).

Buyers praise the model for its quality construction and detail. Some examples are: the fuel shutoff is made of metal and not plastic; Westinghouse uniquely includes a battery charger; there is a remote key fob, an automatic choke, and a superb control panel. All of this makes it head and shoulders above the competition. 

The generator is loud, but no one pretends it is competing to be quiet.  

What Some Buyers Like Less

There are, according to one buyer, several inaccuracies in the manual relating to connecting the battery. For example, the instructions are generally good, but for non-electricians there is too much jargon on how to ground the unit to neutral.

Another buyer thinks there should be more clarity over the battery having been disconnected for shipment. New owners need to reconnect the cable between the battery and the generator, which comes in two pieces tied together when first setting it up.

Suggestions for improvements include: the fuel gauge could be made easier to read, and the addition of a low oil warning light would be useful.

One owner pleads for an upgrade to the plastic wheels for this heavy duty-generator. The view is expressed across the spectrum of manufacturers who provide solid never-flat wheels. This is because many of them are allegedly toy-like and can develop flat spots if the generator is stored for extended periods. Some buyers choose to replace these wheels with other types of wheels to resolve the problem or, as mentioned above, take the weight of the wheels by propping the generator up.

Although most units arrive intact, there are complaints about damage both in transit and at the factory where the box arrives intact. So some buyers say (applicable to most manufacturers) the packaging could be made stronger to help withstand mistreatment in the delivery process.

Running Watts9500
Peak Watts12500
Running Watts (Propane)8500
Peak Watts (Propane)11200
Running Amps35.5A @ 240V 79A @120V
Peak Amps52A @ 240V 104A @120V
Running Amps (Propane)71A @ 120V 35A @ 240V
Peak Amps (Propane)93A @ 120V 47A @ 240V
AC Voltage120/240V
AC Frequency60 Hz
Fuel Tank Capacity6.6 gal. (25 L)
Fuel GaugeYes
Run Time @ 50%12 hrs.
Run Time @ 50% (Propane)7 hrs.
Noise Level74 dBA
Total Harmonic Distortion<23%
Outlets2 Duplex 120V 5-20R
1 120/240V L14-30R
1 120/240V 14-50R
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 AccessoriesSpark Plug Wrench
Propane Regulator/Hose
Oil, Funnel, Remote
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 Height26.5 in. (673 mm)
Dry Unit Weight220 lb. (98 kg)