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50 Amp Generator – Which One Should You Get?

So you’re searching for a 50 amp generator. The one which can handle the most demanding task and provide enough power even for the most energy demanding electrical tools and appliances.

Those generators do not come cheap. So it’s super important that you know exactly what you’re buying.

In this roundup review article, we’ve listed the top 5 most popular and highest rated 50 amp gens you can find in the American market in 2019.

Below you can also find a quick buyer’s guide which will explain to you some of the most important things you need to know before buying such a generator.

50 Amp Generator Comparison Chart

Generator Wattage (Starting / Running) Price
Wgen9500DF Westinghouse Wgen9500DF 12000 W / 9500 W Check Price on Amazon
A-iPower SUA12000E A-iPower SUA12000E 12000 W / 9500 W Check Price on Amazon
Duromax XP12000EH Duromax XP12000EH 12000 W / 9500 W Check Price on Amazon
Generac GP15000E Generac GP15000E 22500 W / 15000 W Check Price on Amazon
CAT RP12000E CAT RP12000E 15000 W / 12000 W Check Price on Amazon

Reviews

1. Westinghouse Wgen9500DF

Westinghouse Wgen9500DF 50 amp generatorWestinghouse is an American company making some of the best generators out there. All of their generators attract positive feedback from buyers in the US. WGen9500DF is an excellent 50 amp portable generator offering enough power to run most of the important items in an average household.

Plenty of people have recently used it during the hurricanes Irma and Dorian, reporting good results.

Since this is a dual fuel generator, you can run it either on gas or propane.

Switching between fuels is a very simple operation. For example, if you find out that you’re going to run out of propane soon but want to keep the generator running, you simply need to push the button on the control panel to make the generator switch to gas.

The great thing about this 50 amp generator is its long runtime. On gasoline alone, it can work for up to 17 hours. Combine it with propane and, as long as you don’t constantly run it at the near to maximum loads, you’re gonna end up with a generator which can operate for nearly 24 hours continuously!

Its 9500 running watts can handle most of the crucial home devices you would need during emergencies. These are items like an air conditioner, fridge & freezer, portable heater, sump pumps, and lighting.

Another fantastic feature of WGen9500DF is the remote start. You can easily control this 50 amp generator with the remote key fob. You can turn this generator on and off while standing several feet away from it. That can be especially convenient during a really bad weather when probably the last thing to do is to leave the comforts of your home to deal with your generator.

The genset is easy to set up and run. The control panel has got a very user-friendly interface and does not require any professional expertise. Plenty of users have reported that the attached manual is easy to understand and helps a lot in proper running and maintenance of the generator.

To sum up, Westinghouse WGen9500DF is a highly recommended 50 amp generator ideal for homes or demanding jobsites. If you are looking for a strong and reliable dual fuel generator with a remote start – you can’t really go wrong with this unit.

Pros

  • Dual Fuel

  • Long runtime

  • Remote Start

  • Reliable

  • Easy to setup and use

Cons

  • A bit loud at the highest loads

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2. A-iPower SUA12000E (Really Good Value for Money)

A-iPower SUA12000EA-iPower SUA12000E is a living proof that a good quality 50 amp generator doesn’t necessarily need to cost a small fortune. Plenty of people who’ve used it during the hurricanes and other storms found it to work perfectly fine as a household backup supply.

The generator has got a 59cc four-stroke engine which produces 12000 starting watts and 9500 running watts of energy. This would give you enough power to handle a decent variety of household goods including an air conditioner, freezer and many others.

It’s also a very solid generator for construction jobs. Even the most energy-hungry tools like 220V MIG welders will run with it.

The generator’s 7.0-gallon fuel tank is entirely made of steel. This gives it additional protection from bad weather. However, we still recommend getting a quality shelter for the generator to protect it from rain or snow.

At 50%, load you would get around 8 hours of continuous operation. While it may not be the most fuel-efficient generator in the market, it still performs reasonably well on this matter.

To conclude, this is one of the most affordable 50 amp generators. As numerous positive results prove, it offers very solid quality and performance for its price. By getting this generator you can save yourself quite a large sum of money. If you are not entirely convinced though, we suggest the Westinghouse WGEN9500DF as the best option.

Pros

  • Very good price to quality ratio

  • Durable steel frame

  • Good run time

Cons

  • Replacement parts can be hard to find

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3. Duromax XP12000EH

Duromax XP12000EH is one of the top-performing ultra-duty hybrid generators. Dual fuel generators generally come highly recommended over the conventional gens since they offer you more freedom and flexibility. In case you run out of one source of fuel you can easily switch to another type.

XP12000EH is among the most powerful portable generators in the market.

Running it on gasoline will give you 12,000 starting watts and 9500 running watts. That’s more than enough to handle major electric appliances. XP12000EH also performs reasonably well on propane with its 11400 surge watts and 9025 running watts.

The total runtime for both fuels combined oscillates around 15 hours at half load.

It can run for more than 7 hours on propane and 8 hours on a single gasoline tank (at 50% load).

Our only complains about this generator are that it’s really heavy (just like many others of this size) and is comparatively loud. Some people have also reported having trouble getting the replacement parts when something broke down. However, these are rather isolated incidents and most of the users generally seem to be happy with this generator.

Overall, as far as the 50 amp generators go this is one of the most popular units.

Pros

  • Dual Fuel

  • Solid construction

  • Long run time

Cons

  • Occasional problems with replacement parts

  • Noisy at higher loads

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4. Generac GP15000E

Ladies & Gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts. You’re about to encounter the real beast – the Generac GP15000E. This is probably the most powerful portable generator available for sale online.

22,500 starting watts and 15,000 running watts – that’s more than many of the standby generators!

If you are looking for a portable to power your entire home without compromises – that is the one for you.

Generac is a huge company with long market presence. It is currently one of the largest suppliers of portable and standby generators in the US. You will find their generators pretty much everywhere – construction sites, outdoor events or even in your neighbor’s garage.

That’s good news since replacement parts are easy to find and you’re never far away from the nearest Generac dealer who can fix things for you if something breaks down in the generator or simply carry the regular maintenance.

The unit comes equipped with an original Generac 992cc OHVI engine.

The motor has got a built-in automatic low-oil level shutdown mechanism which prevents the damage to the engine.

The fuel tank has got a massive capacity of 16 gallons. Depending on your current load, it could last for more than 10 hours on one refueling.

The generator has got multiple outlets suitable for various kinds of appliances. Some of these include a 120-volt 30 Amp twist lock and a 120/240-volt 50 Amp socket.

As you could suspect from such a large generator, it’s certainly not the quietest unit. It’s also very heavy and tiresome to move around. However, if you need a very powerful 50 amp generator which can handle the most demanding tasks – you won’t find many other portable generators which offer as much power as the Generac GP15000E.

Pros

  • Extremely high wattage

  • Large fuel tank

  • Huge choice of outlets (including a 120/240-volt 50 Amp outlet)

  • Durable and strong

Cons

  • Very heavy

  • Noisy

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5. CAT RP12000E

Cat RP12000ECaterpillar is a famous manufacturer of construction equipment. You would clearly expect from a company like this that they would also make the generators suitable for worksites. RP12000E is the largest generator Cat has on offer. This 50 amp generator is not only capable of powering large construction or electric tools (such as 220V MIG welders) but can also be a reasonable household emergency power supply.

This generator is actually one of the largest and most powerful generators you can find online. The 670cc OHV engine provides 15,000 starting watts and 12,000 running watts of power.

This means this generator delivers up to 68 amps. You will struggle to find any other generator with such high amperage.

As you would expect from a generator this large, it features a large variety of receptacles and outlets suitable for various kinds of tools and electric equipment.

CAT RP12000E offers enough power to run multiple home appliances. You could effectively use it during a storm to provide electricity for nearly an entire household. Bear in mind though that if you want to use a portable generator to connect to your house panel and run the hard-wired appliances (like an AC), you are advised to get a transfer switch. to run pretty much everything in your household.

The generator has got a large fuel tank which, depending on the load, can last for up to 11 hours of constant operation. You can hence expect to run this gen for nearly an entire night. However, don’t expect it to run for that long on the highest loads.

Generators of this size have bulky engines which are also quite loud. CAT RP12000E is no exception – the generator’s noise level can become quite a nuisance at higher loads. On the other hand, if you are mainly intending to use it for emergencies or construction jobs – noise is probably not going to be your major concern.

Overall it is pretty solid gen from a well-known company. If you need as big of a portable generator as possible, that’s one of these you should consider.

Pros

  • Very powerful

  • Long runtime

  • 3-year warranty

  • Reasonable price tag

Cons

  • Very heavy

  • Quite loud

  • Non-CARB compliant – not for use in California

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Amps vs Watts

As you will quickly notice when shopping for generators, their total power output is usually rated in watts. How to convert between watts and amps?

Use the following simple formula:

Wattage = Amps * Volts

For example, a large portable generator with a 50 Amp 120V/240V outlet will provide you with a maximum of 50 amp * 240V = 12,000 watts of power.

As a rule of a thumb, if you see a generator with 12,000 starting watts, this usually means that this is broadly speaking a 50 amp generator.

Starting Watts vs Running Watts

These are two other figures you should pay close attention to. Some generators, for example, have 1200 starting watts and 9500 running watts. What do those two numbers mean and how do they differ from each other?

Some appliances, like eg. an air conditioner, have a motor. The motor requires a bit more surge power to start at first. After that its energy consumption returns to a lower steady level. That amount of energy needed just for the startup is called starting (surge) wattage. The energy used afterward is the running wattage AKA surge wattage.

Which number should you pay higher attention to when looking for a generator? The answer is – both.

To makes things easier, you should ideally ensure that the total starting wattage of your generator matches the sum of the starting watts for all the electrical equipment you want to run. Check out our calculator to get a better estimate of big of a generator you actually need.

Why Do You Need a 50 Amp Generator?

It’s always a wise idea to purchase a generator at least slightly larger than your estimated power needs. This especially applies to the generators used as the home backup power supplies. You simply can’t expect a small generator to power most of your electrical equipment in the event of a long blackout. You might be fine with a compact portable unit to run only the most crucial appliances for a few hours at a time. However, if you want some more comfort and run most of the important items in your household – a generator that can deliver at least 50 amps (or 12000 watts) of power is the ideal choice.

An average household comes with either a 100 Amp or 200 Amp circuit breaker. Therefore as you can see, even the larger portable generators can only cover around the 1/4 of the total possible energy need. Obviously you shouldn’t run everything in your house during a hurricane or a snowstorm. But even some of the most important appliances consume enough power to quickly reach the maximum power output of most of the portable generators.

Some of these include:

  • hot water heater (4500 watts required)
  • 10,000 BTU air conditioner (2200 starting & 1500 running watts)
  • range (2100 watts)

and many others.

Even though you should only keep the most vital equipment running during an emergency, getting as big of a generator as possible will save you from the danger of buying one which is too small to run some of the most important items.

50 amp generators are very large and do not sell for cheap. However, since you are investing in a potentially life-saving electrical tool to use for years to come, this is something you shouldn’t skimp on.

That’s unless you are looking for a generator for leisure use. That’s when the smaller inverter generators or some really cheap generators should do their job pretty well.

50 Amp Generators for RV

If your travel trailer is a 50 amp one than you really have no other better choice than investing in a 50 amp generator. The good news is that such a generator should easily handle pretty much all of the appliances and electronic equipment in your RV.

On the other hand, if you have a 30 amp RV (by far the most common type) then there is no point in getting a generator that big. A typical 30 amp generator will be ideal. There are also several portable inverter generators which are fully RV ready. They come with the dedicated NEMA 30 amp RV outlet ready to connect to your travel trailer.

These are some of the most recommended ones:

My name's Craig, I am a general contractor currently living in Dallas, TX. I've worked with different kinds of electric tools throughout my career, including the portable generators. In my spare time, I love going camping and tailgating with my family and friends. I've created this site to provide honest advice for people looking for the right portable generator and other related equipment for work and leisure.

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