on December 13, 2012
After over a year of research and nit-picking over all the important stuff: run time, clean continuous voltage delivery, wattage, ruggedness, and manufacture support, Westinghouse always made it onto the short list. The WH7500E meets all of these requirements in spades. And although my first understanding was that it was made in the USA, which it is not, it is supported by a very robust and helpful service team with centers located across the country. Not a single regret.
UPDATE: And having spent the time running the engine through an adequate break-in period (about 15 hours), luckily just prior to a series of heavy wet snow storms in MA which pulled down trees and power lines, i was simply giddy with excitement when we lost utility power and it was time to fire up the generator and see how well it worked. i was able to provide power to two refrigerators, the furnace, TV, DVD player, lights in the kitchen, bathroom living room and each bedroom, microwave and it never surpassed 50% load. this thing is awesome.
2-year UPDATE: Here we are almost two years since owning my WH7500E and I am still extremely pleased. I've been dedicated to running it for 20-30 minutes every 3 months and siphoning out any gas older than 9 months and only using gas treated with Stab-L whether it's summer or winter; i simply use the siphoned gas for my lawn tractor or car. The engine still runs smooth and I've also conducted a handful of test runs to ensure the generator is still performing as expected. Never any issues, i am very confident heading into this coming winter -- i'm almost looking forward to a power outage or two. And to answer someone's comment about if i had considered the Generac GP7500E -- yes, I had but I have a few neighbors and friends who own Generacs (various models) and they all report developing leaky fuel tanks which was basically enough for me to stop researching them any further. I might also add that I recommended my father purchase a Westinghouse WH7500E himself. He has owned his for just over one year and has had the same good experience with his generator as i have had with mine.
on January 2, 2013
Received it 12/26/12, assembled wheels & lift bars, added oil to engine and connected negative battery terminal. Turned off the main breaker on the generator, added gas and hit the electric start and she fired right off. Let it run for about 5 minutes, shut engine down and plugged it into the exterior 30amp box. Re-started the generator, turned off the house main breaker, moved the interlock over, turned on the generator breaker in the main box and then the main breaker on the generator. Turned on the individual breakers in the main panel one by one and the whole house was up and running! Lights, TV, heat, computer/laser printer, 2 refrigerator/freezers even turned on my 220V 15amp compressor in the garage, ran everything with out a hiccup.
Things I like:
1. Longer run time than most; 12 hours on a 6.6 gallon tank (at 50% load)
2. 3 year warranty.
3. Hour meter to monitor run time and oil changes.
4. Engine is designed to run on up to 10% ethanol gas!!!
5. Low oil auto shut off.
6. Electrical overload protection.
It seems well built and has a very large muffler which makes it much quieter then most generators its size. When the next power outage occurs I will run it for 20 hours, drain the oil and replace it with 0/40 Amsoil small engine 4 Stroke synthetic oil. Hopefully I will receive many years of service from this generator.
I also purchased the Sunforce 50013 1-Watt Motorcycle and Powersports Solar Battery Charger to maintain the battery's charge when not in use. Works great, see my review.
on June 2, 2014
I've had my WH7500E generator for only a few months, and have already needed to use it during a 5 hour power-outage. I'm using it as a manual-transfer whole-house backup generator, and it has done that job very well. The generator starts easily, delivers the power that's expected, and has low enough distortion that everything in my house runs well. The build quality is excellent, and I had no problems getting it running. Despite its 200 pound weight, the wheels and handles allow it to be moved around pretty easily. I'm running 240V into my main circuit panel via a 30A circuit breaker with a mechanical-transfer main-breaker interlock.
The generator is not what I'd call quiet, although it doesn't produce any more noise than my old 3000 Watt unit that it replaced. Most of the noise is mechanical noise and not exhaust noise, so the sound can be reduced pretty easily with simple wooden acoustic barricades. This wouldn't be a unit that would make you any friends at a campground, but during a blackout and with a little care it won't keep you or your neighbors awake either. More quiet than my lawnmower.
Many people believe that the harmonic distortion of a generator prevents it from running variable speed furnaces and certain computer UPS devices. I think the bigger problem they're having is with the absolute frequency of the AC produced by the generator. The WH7500E has a speed adjustment screw on its mechanical governor (near the pull-start cord) that allows the generator speed to be adjusted, which also adjusts the line-frequency of the output. Using a reliable frequency meter, adjusting this speed so the output voltage is exactly 60 Hz when under load will help those more finicky devices run properly. My line frequency was adjusted to about 62Hz with a 1500 Watt load when I received the unit, and it was easily adjusted to exactly 60Hz.
Overall, this is exactly what I wanted in a whole-house generator. It's not enough power to run my central air-conditioning, but if I'm careful I can run almost everything else in my house. This includes two refrigerators, a freezer, gas-heater, two sump pumps, lights, phones, a router, a computer, and TV. It ran most of that equipment just a few weeks ago for 4.5 hours without complaining once. (I waited a half-hour before hooking it up to see if the power was coming back quickly... It wasn't.) Fuel economy during that run was excellent, it didn't use enough gas to move the fuel gauge at all. (Probably lightly loaded most of the time.)
1 - Turn on the load circuit breakers one at a time. Big surges will cause the line-frequency to change which can damage some appliances.
2 - NEVER let the generator run out of gas while running. Engine speed and line-frequency become uncontrollable as it runs out of gas. It's not a small engine, and it lurches kind of violently as it starves for fuel.
3 - Let the generator and motor cool-off by running it with no electrical load before turning off the engine.
4 - Close the fuel valve after the motor stops, and use fuel stabilizer in the gas. (This keeps the carburetor clean.)
5 - Start it once a month, and run it with a load. (An electric heater works.)
Also, my hat is off to Amazon for their excellent customer service that I used during this purchase. If you're going to buy something like this there is no better place to buy than Amazon.
While I was shopping for this generator I looked at many others for about 6 months, some of which were much more expensive. Stop looking, this is the right one... I can highly recommend this generator without reservation... I'll also be posting pictures of the unpacking process later.
*** Update 04-Aug-2014 ***
I've had this generator for only about four months and I've already used it during three power outages. I never counted them before, but this year we seem to be having a lot of power outages longer than 3 or 4 hours. The Westinghouse WH7500e is holding up very well, and continues to give us reliable service. One of our outages was about 24 hours, so at the first oil change I switched to Mobile-One 5W-30 synthetic oil. I haven't needed to do my test runs lately because I'm having real outages too often.
I am still very pleased with this purchase, and I don't have even one shred of buyer's remorse. I have run my furnace with this unit but I can't start my central air-conditioning system, the start-up surge is too large. Even with nothing else connected, the A/C start-up throws the breaker on the generator.
I've had a couple of questions for Westpower, and their customer service staff have been superb. They always get me the the answers that I need. Between the reliable start-ups, the trouble-free operation, and the quick responses from customer support, this unit still deserves the 5 stars that I gave it when I bought it.
on March 3, 2013
I got this generator to replace a smaller 3200W generator that had been used with extension cords for power outages. I was having a transfer switch/panel installed and wanted a larger unit to go along with it. After researching several brands, including Generac and Briggs and Stratton, I went with this Westinghouse and I am very happy I did.
First, the shipping from Amazon with free Amazon Prime shipping. It was supposed to arrive in 2 days on a Wed, but when I spoke with the shipping company, it was running a day late. If I did not have power at the time and was awaiting the generator, the extra day might have felt like eternity, but we were fine waiting for an extra day, especially with the free shipping for a 200 lb item. Since we didn't pay for shipping, we didn't qualify for any shipping refund through Prime. The next day (Thu) the shipping company (CEVA) arrived 30 minutes early from the scheduled window and the item was rolled into my garage. No need to pay extra for "liftgate" service, etc that some other online retailers selling generators will charge.
Unpacking and installation was easy. It includes the wheel kit, handles, and a bottle of oil and a funnel. There are also some rudimentary wrenches and a spark plug wrench (I just used my own). It may help to have 2 people to unpack the generator and turn it on its side to attach the wheels, but I was able to do it myself in about 30 minutes, including adding the oil and gas.
The generator is solidly built and appears to be very well made. I had called Westinghouse regarding a question prior to purchase (more on that below), as there are mixed comments about where these are built. They said in fact it was assembled in China like most generators of this class out there now. However, the quality appears first class and their 3 year warranty backs that up. Most portable generators only have 1-2 years warranty.
About their customer service, I had called Westinghouse/Westpro Power regarding a question I had about the neutral bonding. A real person picked up, took the initial question and transferred me directly to Dennis, their service manager! (their names/pictures are also listed on the Westpro Power website - very cool to know you're dealing with real people on the other end, not some customer service maze/nightmare!) He was very good at answering the questions: yes, the neutral is bonded to the frame, but yes, you can unbond it to make it "floating neutral" without voiding the warranty. This is technically the proper way to do things if you are hooking it up to your house, but I won't get into that here. He did want this done by an electrician, and was willing to forward the schematics to my electrician. It was so reassuring to know that this company stands behind its generators and that you speak to the people that actually run the company and are knowledgeable about their products. He asked where I live and when I told him Boston area, he said they had a major distribution center in the Boston area and several service/warranty affiliates as well. This information and service is priceless in my book, especially after all the nightmare stories about other brands' sketchy customer service.
Back to the generator, it fired up the first attempt with the electric starter (no dead battery here!) and was easy to connect to my inlet box and transfer switch. Powered all the circuits I needed without any problem during my initial trial.
-Well built construction
-OHV engine, Cast iron cylinders
-Includes Battery/Wheel Kit
-According to the manual, the generator charges the battery while its running (you still may need a maintenance charger depending on your use)
-REAL Customer service - Real knowledgeable people that answer their phones!
-3 year warranty, best in the business
-Service centers in the Boston area
-Consumer generators are a new thing for Westinghouse, so they don't have a super long track record yet, but their service and warranty stand behind them
-It only has a single 30amp outlet, depending on your setup if you're using it in the field, you may want more flexibility with another 30amp outlet
-Wheels are attached with a large pin and hairpin cotter, not a threaded bolt and nut (although I wheeled it by myself surprisingly easily over uneven/muddy ground from my driveway out to the backyard)
All in all, I'm very satisfied with the purchase of this Westinghouse generator!
on April 26, 2013
First off, when I was considering generators, Westinghouse wasn't even a consideration because I did not even realize they made them. When I saw Westinghouse, I thought of old appliances in my grandmother's house.
The 7500E model interested me most (@$929) but I wasn't sure about spending a grand to get something I didn't trust. With more research through reviews on Amazon and a number of other sites, I eventually decided that, due to the lack of negative reviews, Westinghouse was about right for me. Although my sights were set on the 7500E, I lucked up on an Amazon warehouse deal on the 6500E for about $650. I just couldn't pass this up.
Bearing in mind that people are 4 times more likely to write a negative review when something doesn't work right versus writing a positive review when things go well, I feel that I can trust this brand of generators.
Now, getting down to what you probably want to see in a review...
Delivery - Delivered on time by CEVA carriers and carrier called 30 mins ahead to ensure I was home. Came in a box truck with 2 men that put the generator exactly where I wanted it.
Setup - Easy as pie! Seriously! Within 30 minutes I was starting the thing up. Comes with everything needed to setup and start (except for the gas). Battery is included and already securely mounted. Only had to connect 1 battery terminal.
Portability - This thing, at 200 pounds, is a hoss to move around without the handles and wheels. Once handle, wheels, and stand were installed, the thing became very portable. The "no-flat" wheels pivot perfectly when using handles to lift and move the generator. My wife could easily move it around aside from a steep incline.
Starting - Once again, smooth and easy. Step by step checks and instructions labeled clearly on the frame make it where anyone with a 3rd grade education should be able to start it. Using the electric start was effortless and using the pull start was much easier than anticipated.
Running - Up and running, I ran it through a tank of gas (which actually ran about 15 hrs under moderate load). I periodically checked outputs and applied different load bearing devices. All well within range. I actually changed the oil (just as precaution for any break-in period metal shavings) and ran it a few hours more. Even at near max load, the engine did not seem to strain very hard. Every stop, I would cut the fuel off so as to clear the carburetor. Battery charging showed a bit high as another review stated but battery never showed any signs of being overcharged.
Noise Level - Not near the noise I expected out of the monster of a motor. Less noisy than most lawnmowers. The noisiest it really got was when I was running it out of fuel and that wasn't, in my opinion, very bad. Vibrations, although present, is really minimal considering that this is a portable generator.
Summary - Yes, this is the brand to buy! Maybe I just got lucky but even buying a supposedly "repackaged" model has impressed me. Although I use Amazon quite a bit, I've never spent such a dollar amount on one item and I felt hesitant. I'm very glad I took the plunge.
If something changes, I will update this review.
UPDATE (02/23/2014) - Going on a year with occasional uses and weekly starting / running. Still holding strong. No issues whatsoever.
on March 9, 2014
Seems like a well designed machine, but quality control is definitely a problem. The first one arrived with a bent frame and a broken choke lever. Not surprising when you look at the packaging, just a generator in a box - with NO packing material at all, period! The second one I received had the wheels and handles mounted on the same end of the frame ..... oops! I
Amazon was awesome to work with, and replaced the first machine with no hassle. I didn't report the issues with the second machine. I just drilled holes in the frame and relocated the handles myself.
On the plus side, the machine jumps to life with the push of a button (love the electric start), produces plenty of power, and is much quieter than my 5kw Generac. If your fortunate enough to get one in one piece and not built while the quality control dude was on vacation, it's a solid unit.
on September 8, 2013
Just recently bought the WH6500E. Package came with a dented cross member on the frame above the generator side of the unit, but does not effect the function of the unit itself. Just when you buy something new, it should be that: NEW, not dented.
Anyway, delivery was on time and brought right into my garage. Assembly was a snap. Oil is included, but doesn't seem to be quite enough. I added about 3 oz. more to bring the oil level up to the fill line max. Added gas, set the choke, turned the fuel valve on, hit the electric start and she started up with no issues. Pretty quiet for the most part.
I've tried all the 120V outlets on it and they work. I have yet to try the 240V outlet as I'm waiting to install a generator receptacle and setup to backfeed my breaker panel. Once I get the backfeed receptacle setup and operable, I"ll update this review to let consumers know just how much of my household this unit is capable of running.
****UPDATE 09/24/2013: Recently had my house equipped with an outdoor 240V receptacle, 30 Amp 10-gauge wire run to my breaker panel and had a 30 Amp backfeed breaker installed on the panel complete with an Interlock Kit for backup power. Upon completion of the installation and startup of the WH6500E, I can say the house was backfed with electricity with no hiccups. 20 CF lights, a TV, cable set-top box, 160W heat light, a full fridge, well pump, hot water heater, radio, computer and a number of other minor electrical draws that happened to be plugged in throughout the house were all running at the same time with no issues what so ever. I'll re-update during an outage where more substantial load/usage demand is needed and report back.
****UPDATE 12/05/2013: Had some time to load test this on my house one morning. Shut the main off, started the generator up and backfed the house with power. Had about 25 CF lights on, an HDTV, cable set top box, 300W stereo system, fridge, well pump, oil fired hot water heater, oil fired furnace, two large element range tops on, two ceiling fans running, and lastly the microwave and finally went outside and closed/opened the garage door opener all at the same time. The lights flickered a little when I closed the garage door at the end. That's when I backed off. This thing can handle pretty much the whole house load where I'm at. I'm happy with it.
Pretty good job Westinghouse. Hopefully this unit stands up during the rigors of a real power outage without any hiccups.
on July 21, 2014
I bought this unit to act as my main backup generator for our house and hired a professional electrician to install the transfer box I plug this into.
The electrician commented that this generator was one of the best portable units he's seen and that it produces enough clean power for everything I wanted to run with some room to spare. We have this generator powering the following:
Water treatment equipment
Oil Burner and hot water baseboard heat
2 full size refrigerator/freezers.
Verizon Fios "pizza" box
Verizon Fios Router
47" LCD TV with Verizon Cable box, DVD player and XBOX
I desktop PC with 23" LCD monitor
Kitchen Microwave and GFCI outlet
1 In-wall 10000BTU Air Conditioner
3 additional outlets that are on the same breaker as the TV
The Genny started right up after installing the wheels/handles, oil and gas. Operation is VERY simple and it is quieter than I thought. Westinghouse's manual is well written and illustrated. Also, their YouTube videos available for it's units are informative, well produced and frankly, kinda humorous!
My only real complaints, (if you can call them complaints) are that the packaging is very thin and the unit itself is very heavy (210 lbs without gas). Mine came undamaged with no issues, but I can see how it would be easily damaged if the shipping went wrong. Getting it out my back door onto our patio for operation takes quite a bit of effort and it JUST clears the width of the door.
CEVA Shipping went without issue. The unit was delivered at the beginning of the 3 hour window that I chose at checkout. The guy was friendly, called 30 minutes ahead to let us know he was coming and brought it right into our garage. With all of the things that COULD have gone wrong, it went perfectly.
on November 1, 2013
Received the generator in slightly damaged packaging. Generator suffered no damage. Easy to put together. Put oil in crankcase and added fuel. When I turned on fuel valve fuel poured out of a split in the fuel line. Had to replace fuel line immediately. Generator started right up and powered my entire house(2000 sq. ft) including lights ,refrig, heat, baseboard heater, without problem. The frame is somewhat flimsier than I expected. All in all it looks like an ok generator for the money.
Fortunately I have only needed the generator once since I purchased it. I have started it about five times since new. Today I went to use it in my garage and realized that the forged housing that holds the starter had snapped. Seems like a very cheap housing. Should last more than five starts! I was able to start using the pull system .It seems to run ok , very loud.
on December 29, 2014
If you are reading my review I guess you are doing your homework just like myself. I’m sure like most others who get a generator. I have this as a "just in case" item. So far it’s not been needed as a home power source but I expect it to handle my needs. I had a transfer switch installed to connect this for my homes back up; so I’m ready to put it through its paces. I’m going to rate it 4/5 start at his time.
The unit is just as described by Amazon and the video. The assembly and set up were straight forward. Just a handful of parts to bolt onto the frame, add your fluids, connect the battery, and it started right up. Maybe 20 minutes from opening the box to running. I would have preferred a upgrade from the plastic wheels but they server the purpose. Handles have a solid feel so it rolls easy enough on cement. You certainly can feel the weight of the unit, it’s like moving a loaded cart. Soft ground might be a challenge.
The unit is exactly as described; each control is color coded, clearly marked, and labeled. Electric start fired right up with the choke on. The engine leveled out and warmed up quickly. I'm still in the break-in phase of my usage and will be doing the recommended oil change after a couple more runs.
General impressions so far; This unit seems solid and well built. The overall assembly is tight and compact. Everything works exactly as described on my unit. The gas tank is solid metal and has a very tight cap. Fuel shut off has a metal ball valve like I prefer. The engine runs more quite than I expected after reading other reviews. It’s no louder than my 2-stage air compressor. I can run the unit at the door of my attached garage and with the house door closed you need to listen to hear the engine running. I have used generators that were much louder and one more quiet. I don’t think this model operates at an obnoxious decibel level. Granted I am not evaluating the generator under load conditions. However, this unit running has smooth engine operation. No surge, or erratic throttle. No sputter at shut down. Muffler is not overly hot.
The couple of times I spoke to Westinghouse CS prior to my purchase; I did talk to Americans (refreshing) who were knowledgeable and courteous. The Westpro website is easy to navigate and you can download a PDF of the manual, always nice to have. Warrantee registration online was simple.
So I don’t sound like a Westinghouse shill I will Nit-Pick at the generator. I would have suggested some user friendly upgrades, such as:
• Wider, solid rubber or pneumatic tires would be a better choice.
• Give more ground clearance from the frame to the ground for movement and oil changes.
• A plastic fuel tank with a see through lower section would be a better choice; no need then for a gauge, or the inevitable corrosion.
• Fuel fill hole would be better if it was off set toward one side of the tank.
• A single wide U-shape handle that locks into position might be a better choice than two posts.
• A primer bladder for a manual start if the battery is dead.
• A separate switch for the on/off run and electric starter would be my preference.
• Maybe a lift point like on contractor models if you want to use a hoist. This thing is every bit of the listed 200+lbs.
• Packaging! Mine was fine but with just a single walled cardboard box and no padding, I can see how others had shipping damage.
Even with these personal short comings. In my opinion this unit at $820.00 delivered, was a very good value. Relative to what’s on the market, you need to spend hundreds more for similar features and output. Shopping around I saw many other brands/models with a lower wattage output rating, fewer features, or shorter warrantee, for more. To get features like an engine idle down for low load, or low oil shut off, you need to spend much more; and get into the contractor grade class units. From an initial purchase angle, I am extremely satisfied.
If the world of home stand by generators were to adopt a “Prosumer” category like the electronic gadget world has; I think this WH7500EC model would fall into that arena. This model is not a cheap low end, run one line into the house unit. Nor a scaled down commercial/tow behind version to run arc welders and tools. This is a good size home owner model, with get a great deal of power output and features for an attractive price. The target buyer seems to be someone who wants to run their whole house short of the AC unit. That is exactly what I wanted.
I expect this unit will last me years with proper PM and care. The 3 year MFG warranty is nice to have. Most of the criticism I read about any of the brands; were pointed at the various MFG's building off shore. While it might be nice to have the guys in the machine shop, or welders live in your neighborhood; that is not today’s global economy. I also looked for a similar model that 100% built state side. There is just not one out there; regardless of the brand. If you are like myself; I have had good and bad products made both here and abroad. Manufacturing mostly depends on good design, competent labor, and outstanding quality control. This Westinghouse model looks to have all three. I did a good deal of research prior to my purchase and this model kept popping up on the radar with happy buyers. So far I am in the happy category. Only time will tell if it is great value. As of this posting I am overall pleased with the generator.
It would sound strange to state I look forward to using this unit; since it would be in a situation nobody wants. However, today I am better prepared for a power outage. Running the unit under usage conditions and for extended times will show any flaws. I plan to provide more feedback on fuel consumption, performance, and concerns at a later date. If the pattern of initial quality carries over to the usage like I expect; and if I get the 11 hour run time described in a real usage situation. I will be pleased to update my review and give this WH7500EC the 5th star!
Not to be overlooked was the delivery. Just outstanding service from ABF Freight. Dispatch called as soon as they took possession to schedule a day and time for drop off. Shipment delivered during the scheduled time window. ABF came equipped with a Lift-gate trailer for delivery. The driver wheeled the unit directly into my garage. Then patiently waited while I opened the box to inspect the unit, before signing his BOL. The ABF driver was such a good guy I think he would have put the wheels and handles on if needed. The driver even took the small pallet away afterwards. 5 Stars to ABF for the delivery!