When the power goes out, a generator can come to your rescue. It’ll keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It’ll give you light and keep your refrigerator running, so no food goes to waste. Not to mention, it’ll keep your electronic devices going so you never have to be without entertainment.
Most people only purchase generators when a threatening storm is approaching, making it a desperate decision. It’s better to know what’s out there, what to look for, and how they work. In this article, we’re going to discuss all you need to know and review the top three 50 amp generators on the market.
50 Amp Generator Reviews
1. WEN DF1100T With 50A Outlet
The WEN DF1100T is one of the best generators by WEN. It’s equipped with dual-fuel technology powered by a 457 cc 4-stroke OHV engine. It produces 11,000 surge (startup) watts and 8,300 running watts on gasoline, and 9,300 surge watts and 7,500 running watts on propane. Its dual-fuel support is enabled by a simple switch that allows for seamless shifting between the two.
The WEN DF1100T has a 6.6-gallon gasoline fuel tank that provides 8.5 hours of runtime on a 50 percent load. If you use a 20 gallon LPG (liquid petroleum gas) tank, you’ll get 3 hours of run time on a 50 percent load.
Its power panel has a multimeter, electric start button, an engine switch, and the dual-fuel switch. There are also four GFCI-protected 120V AC outlets, one 12V DC cigarette lighter style plug, a 120V 30A twist-lock outlet, as well as a 120/240V 50 A outlet.
More Specs and Features:
- It weighs 214 pounds
- It’s equipped with an overload protection switch and an automatic voltage regulator as part of its safety features
- It’s EPA III, and CARB approved
- It comes with a 47-inch LPG hose
- It comes with fold-down handles that make it easier to transport and store as well as a wheel assembly with tires that never go flat
- It comes with a 2-year warranty
2. Champion 7500-Watt 50 Amp Generator For RV
The Champion 7500-Watt RV Ready portable generator is an out-of-the-box ready generator and one of the better generators produced by the company. It’s equipped with an electric start button and also comes with a remote starter that works from up to 80 feet away. Its Champion engine powers up to 439 cc’s with a battery included.
It’s also a dual-fuel generator that puts out 9,375 watts of surge power and 7,500 watts of running electricity on gasoline and 8,400 watts of surge power and 6,750 watts of running power on propane. Its user-friendly design includes a control panel that sports an intelliguage displaying hertz, run time, voltage, and has a maintenance indicator. It also comes with multiple 120V and 240V AC outlets that are GFCI-protected.
It can run for up to 8 hours on a full tank of propane gas and up to 10.25 hours on a 50 percent load of regular gas. It’s perfect to power your home, job site, and your RV.
More Specs and Features:
- It has a 4-stroke single-cylinder engine
- It has a 6-gallon fuel tank
- It automatically shuts off when the oil is low
- It has a cast iron sleeve for durability
- It has U-shape folding handles for easy portability and storage
- It has a wheel assembly with tires that never go flat
- It has a noise level of 74 dBA from 23 feet
3. Pulsar 10,000 Watt 50 Amp Non-Carb Generator
The Pulsar Non-CARB 10,000W Dual Fuel Switch & Go PG10000B16 portable generator is a heavy-duty generator that’s ready to power your entire home during the next black-out. It has a patented dual-fuel switch technology that allows you to shift between liquid propane gas and gasoline while running. It has a strong, powder coat steel frame for maximum durability.
This portable generator produces 10,000 surge watts and 8,000 running watts on regular gasoline and 9,000 surge watts and 7,000 running watts on liquid propane. It’s packed with multiple 120V and 240V AC twist-lock outlets to power all of your appliances in addition to your home. It also includes a 120V/240V 50A RV port. These outlets are also GFCI-protected.
With a 6.6-gallon fuel tank, it’ll provide up to 12 hours of run time on a 50 percent load on regular gasoline. As far as portable generators go, the Pulsar Non-CARB 10,000W Dual Fuel is one of the most powerful generators of its size.
More Specs and Features:
- It has a 420 cc single-cylinder 4-stroke OHV air-cooled engine that packs 15 HP
- It has an electric startup with recoil backup
- It weighs around 209 pounds
- It’s equipped with drop-down handles for easy and convenient storage
- It has a wheel assembly with tires that never go flat
What is a 50 Amp Generator?
A 50 Amp generator refers to a receptacle that allows you to draw 50 amps of current. A 50 Amp hookup will have two independent hotlines that provide 50 Amps per line, totaling 100 Amps. Those hotlines are 120 Volts each.
In total, a 50 Amp generator provides 1,200 watts of power because each hotline allows you to draw 50 Amps at 120 Volts. (50 Amps) X (120 Volts)= 6,000 watts. With two hotlines, you get 1,200 watts.
So, a 50 Amp generator is a generator that produces at least 1,200 watts of power.
Choosing the Right Size 50 Amp Generator
Choosing the right size 50 Amp generator depends entirely on your needs. If you own an RV that requires 50 Amps of current, the minimum wattage recommended is around 4,000. Of course, if you’re running multiple appliances, i.e., a microwave, a TV, a refrigerator, and AC, you’ll need a bit more wattage.
Here’s how to figure out the correct size portable generator for your needs:
Determine the Size You Need
Generators produce running watts and surge (or, starting) watts. Surge watts are the maximum that your generator can produce at once, and running watts are what your generator can produce continuously.
To determine your wattage requirements, here’s what you need to do:
- Make a list of the items you need to power at the same time
- Write down their running watts and additional starting watt requirements. This information will be in the operating manual for each appliance or on their data plates
- Add all of the running watts together. Your generator will have to provide a minimum of this many running watts
- Figure out which item requires the highest number of starting watts. Add it to your total of running watts. This new number is the number of starting watts your generator needs to provide
You want a generator that provides a long run time on a half load of fuel. The longer it can run, the less often you have to refuel. It also means that you’ll have uninterrupted power for longer. It’s recommended to purchase a generator that provides at least 10 hours of run time on a half load.
Outlets and Cord Set
Make sure to select a generator that provides enough outlets for all your appliance needs. If you plan to run a window AC unit, you’ll want the generator to have a 30 Amp locking-type outlet.
You also want a generator that includes a heavy-duty cord set. These cords sets provide four household outlets on one end, eliminating the need for an extension cord.
Portable generators are heavy. You want to make sure they come with foldable handles and a decent wheel assembly to make your life easier.
How Do Portable Generators Work?
Portable generators produce electricity through gasoline-powered engines. Similar to how vehicles work, they have alternators that get a kick-start from the gas-powered engine to generate electrical power.
Portable generators, as the name implies, are ready for transport. Therefore, they can easily be transported from place to place and manually started. They also have multiple power outlets that allow you to plug in your extension cords, appliances, power tools, radios, and so on.
Of course, the more powerful the generator, the more outlet combination types they offer. A portable generator’s power labeled as watts, so the more wattage, the more items it can power.
Why You Need a Portable Generator
Generators, in general, may seem like a luxury item if you don’t live in a natural disaster-prone area, but they’re essential to your home’s emergency kit. As mentioned above, they provide electricity in the event of a power outage, but that won’t be the only time you get usage out of them. Especially portable generators.
A portable generator can serve a multitude of purposes, thanks to its portability. Aside from keeping the lights on, it’ll come in handy more often than you think. Here are a few examples:
- If you drive an electric car, a portable generator can serve as a mini-charging station
- They eliminate the need for extension cords and batteries during DIY projects that involve power tools
- They can power electric pumps if there’s a power outage and you need water
- They can power sump pumps to help you avoid flooding during a bad storm
- They allow you to enjoy all your modern conveniences while camping
You’ll get as much or as little usage out of a portable generator as you want. You’ll also rest easy knowing you’ve got a backup plan right in your garage if something goes wrong and you need to power your utilities and other items.
What to Look For in a Portable Generator
Whether you’re prepping for an emergency, running a job site, or have purely recreational needs, there’s a lot to consider when purchasing a portable generator. Here are the most important things you want to look into:
Power and Outlets
First thing’s first: you need to figure out how much power you’ll require for whichever activity—especially for your home appliances. Portable generators have both starting watts and running watts. The running watts let you know what the generator can consistently deliver, and the startup watts are what’s available for the brief time of ignition.
You’ll also want to address the type of outlets you need. Most smaller generators come with 120V AC outlets and one or two USB ports. Larger generators up to 4,000 watts come with 240V and 120 V AC outlets and USB ports.
On a side note, since your generator will be outside during its time of use (we’ll talk more about that later), it’s essential to look for one that has GFCI protected outlets.
Frequency of Use
Most portable generators come with a warranty that lasts several years. If you’re only planning to use your portable generator for emergencies or recreationally, any reputable brand should suffice. If your needs involve a job site and a crew, you’re going to want to look for more commercial portable generators with more extended warranties.
Fuel Type and Tank
Gasoline-powered portable generators are the most common, but solar-powered generators do exist. They’re also more expensive and don’t usually provide more than 1800 watts of power.
In terms of fuel, you’ll get the most efficiency out of diesel, especially if your goal is to power your entire house. Diesel is a bit more expensive and harder to come by, but it cancels out the need for a carburetor—which clogs often. Propane generators or gas generators that can also convert to propane are also great options.
You also want to take a look at the size of the fuel tank. The bigger the fuel tank, the longer your generator can run between fuelings. Most portable generators can give you from seven to nine hours of run time on a 50 percent load. When in doubt, go with the larger fuel tank.
One minor detail is the material used for the fuel tank. Some are plastic and others of metal. Considering that gasoline is corrosive, plastic is the better option in the long run.
Start-Up and Noise Level
You’ll find portable generators that come with a traditional ripcord are just a switch for an electric startup. Convenience is king here, especially in an emergency situation. Go for the portable generator that has a nice, smooth, electrical startup switch.
The noise level of your generator comes down to two factors: size and fuel type. There are a lot of options out there for smaller portable generators with a quiet design. Some are quieter than others, but whether you’re camping or powering appliances, your neighbors in range will appreciate the peace.
Once you start going larger, think 4,000 watts and higher, quiet becomes a much more subjective term. The fuel you use will also contribute to the noise level. Specifically, diesel fuel is much louder than regular gasoline because diesel engines have a much higher compression ratio.
The Best Backup Money Can Buy
Choosing the right portable generator can take a while, but it’s worth the time and money invested. It’s something that every homeowner should have in case of emergencies because you never know when you’ll need one the most. Don’t wait until disaster strikes to get yourself a portable generator. Invest now, and you’ll be grateful later.
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