In this article, we have given a solid review on the best 15000-watt generator based on our noise and load tests, runtime and fuel economy, portability and weight, durability, and reliability.
Due to rising hurricanes, storms, and other natural weather factors, we are facing severe power outages more than ever. That is why people are either opting for large portable generators or standby generators.
Due to such reasons, the growth of portable generators has increased from 3% to 12% since 2013.
If you are living in the areas mentioned above and looking for the best 15000 watt generator for residential, commercial, or even Jobsite usage, you are at the right place.
Best For Residential and Commercial – Champion 100111 12000 Watt Generator
Best For Worksite – DuroMax XP15000E 15000 Watt Generator
Best Fuel-Economy– Generac 5734 GP15000E Portable 15K Watt Generator
Best for backup power source – A-iPower SUA15000EC 15000 Watt Portable Generator
Best for emergency and Farming – Ford 11050W Dual-Fuel Portable Generator
Best 15k watt Generator overall – Westinghouse WGen12000 Generator
Best 15000 Watt Generator
We have tested over 21 15000 watt generators and interviewed 17 employees who are either selling generators or working in the generator manufacturing company.
Other than that we have also talked to locals who are using portable generators for commercial, work, and residential purposes in areas where power outages are frequent and prolonged.
We gathered all that data and finally compiled it into this article. Our list of top 6 15000 watt portable generators.
This list is based on running and starting watts, design and weight, fuel economy, noise and load, and budget of the 15000 portable generators.
The best 15000 watt generator should be less noisy and less heavy with decent running and starting watts, a right number of outlets to power an appliance or device, a decent control panel, and a wheel kit and handle to easily carry it around.
Following are the best 15KW generators that will run anything.
- Champion 100111 12000 Watt Generator
Champion 12000-watt generator is an absolute beast with a whopping 12000 running watts and 15000 starting watts. It is made for worksites but can be used for both commercial and residential as well.
This machine is equipped with the latest 717cc V-twin engine that is not only quiet, reliable, and durable, but also capable of giving 9 hours of power on a full tank at 50% load. Of course, we will test that theory in our load test.
Oftentimes, we see large generators with high power output lacking in providing the right outlets, but the Champion 12000 watt generator is loaded with 8 outlets including 4 household outlets.
It means we can power small or large machines in our home or at a worksite.
The control is neatly designed with a 3-mode digital meter which tells the total runtime on the engine, power output, frequency, and volts. It also has a volt guard to protect power-sensitive appliances from power surges.
The feature I like the most is the cold start technology. We know how hard it is to smoothly start a generator in cold temps. Champion 1000111 ensures a quick start in the cold weather.
In addition to the electric start, I would have loved a remote as well. A lot of generators are equipped with a remote starter nowadays, it is a bummer for the price we are paying.
Though Champion 12000 watt is a pretty heavy-ass machine, the design is compact and portable. The dimensions are 33.9 x 31.1 x 33.1 inches and with the help of wheels and handle, it is not that difficult to wheel it around.
One of my buddies is living in the hurricane zone, he bought this generator back in 2020.
He told me that he run his whole house, including the AC without a hick-up. The only complaint he had was the slow starting. In my review, I will test that too. But for now, let’s do the noise test.
So I knew it will not be a super silent emergency backup power source like a whole house generator, but I conducted the noise test anyway from a distance of 20 feet, and 30 feet.
- From 20 feet away under 50% load, the noise is between 83 to 85dB.
- From 30 feet away under 50% load, the noise was between 80 to 83dB.
Load Test and Runtime:
So for the load test and runtime test, I gave it a load of my dryer, AC unit, electric heater, and some other appliances. The total power output was 9959 running watts.
Then, I pulled back some load and drop it down to exactly 6000 watts (50%).
I managed to run for 9 hours and 36 minutes on a 50% load. I can safely say it is one most fuel-efficient generators out there.
In my opinion, the Champion 12000 watt generator is best for worksites, but it can be used for both residential and commercial use as well. 9/10 from me.
DuroMax is one of the biggest brands in the generator industry. Their high power output generators are more popular than the competition.
DuroMax XP15000E 15000 watt generator is the prime example that can be used both at the worksite, and residential.
This machine is equipped with the latest 713cc V-twin engine that packs a whopping 15000 peak, and 12500 running watts. That much power is enough to run an entire house and most of the appliances at a job site.
This machine is specially designed to power large appliances that is why it is very heavy because it generates close to 23 horsepower.
The frame is extremely durable with all-metal construction. The dimensions are pretty compact and with the help of inflatable tires and a foldable handle, it can easily be transported across any terrain.
Modern features are DuroMax XP15000E:
- The DuroMax MX2 technology gets the maximum power from each of the 120V outlets. You can operate your generator at 240V or 120V only at full power.
- It features an idle mode as well. DuroMax XP15000E controls are RPM (speed) of the engine when power requirement is less to reduce the fuel consumption, and noise levels.
- It has a hoist bar for construction sites.
- DuroMax XP15000E also features a surge arrest and digital meter to track the generator’s vitals.
I knew beforehand that this generator is going to be a bit loud. It packs a lot of power in that open-frame design so it is going to be noisy.
I conducted the test from 20 feet away at 50%, and from 30 feet away at 50% load.
From 20 feet away, the noise was 80 to 81dB, and from 30 feet away, the noise was 78 to 79dB.
It is not too silent, and not too noisy. It is pretty standard for most generators.
Runtime and load test
I took it to a worksite where a buddy of mine is the HSE supervising engineer. I asked him to test my DuroMax XP15000E generator by giving it some serious load.
He connected it with motor-driven tools. I was monitoring the load and generator’s noise pattern.
So the total peak watts was 14500, and running watts were 12300. There were some changes in the noise pattern and it got a bit loud which is understandable.
We also calculated the total runtime on 50% load. It managed to last for 8.82 hours on a pretty amazing half load.
We concluded that DuroMax XP15000E 15000 watt generator is ideal for worksites.
So overall, DuroMax XP15000E 15000 watt generator is ideal for job sites. With so many outlets to choose from, we can plug any appliance or tool into this generator. A lot of people are using this for residential and commercial use as well.
9/10 from me.
Generac 5734 GP15000E is a monstrous portable emergency generator with 15000 running watts. It is also used as a standby generator because it can provide enough power to run your entire house like it is nothing.
Generac brand id is known for manufacturing large standby generators. It is a very reputable company that takes pride in its durable products.
This machine is equipped with the latest 992cc engine that can generate a constant 3600 RPM when needed. Although you will use that idle control most of the time.
Idle control adjusts the engine speed to provide as much power as needed to save fuel.
Idle control mode is necessary for these large generators because we don’t use 15000 running watts all the time. All that power would have been wasted and not to mention the extra fuel consumption.
Generac 5734 GP15000E is pretty heavy I am not gonna lie, you will not be able to move without those wheels and handle.
Speaking of wheels, I have heard a ton of complaints regarding the wheels becoming flat. You can contact customer service to improve the quality of the wheels.
If you want to go over 15000 running watts capacity, then Generac 5734 GP15000E has a 50AM breaker that will trip, that’s how you will know you have asked it to do too much.
This machine has mostly been used as a substitute for an emergency standby portable generator. If you opt for a big standby generator, it will cost you between “$10k to $12k”, not to mention the installation cost.
If power outages are not that frequent in your area, you should consider Generac 5734 GP15000E as an emergency backup power source instead of spending a lot on a whole-house unit.
The control panel is beautifully laid out with all the necessary outlets, an hour meter, circuit breakers, and a low-oil shutdown.
Speaking of outlets, all the receptacles are protected by circuit breakers to prevent overloading and to protect the cords.
Information about the outlets is given below:
Generac 5734 GP15000E features a full-pressure lubrication system, the engine can employ an automotive-grade, spin-on oil filter that sifts out debris, dirt, and unwanted substances.
A 15000 running watts generator isn’t gonna be a silent one, but It is not that noisy honestly, I was ready for a roar but it surprised me.
I conducted the noise test under 50% load. Its noise levels are between “80 to 84dB” from a distance of 20 feet away. It is pretty standard for most large portable generators.
Load Test and Runtime:
To check it properly, I gave it a load of the following appliances:
|Appliance||Quantity||Peak watts||Running watts|
|A standard fridge||1||1200||200|
|AC (10,000) BTU||1||4400||3000|
It ran everything without any change in the noise patterns. Next up was the runtime under 50% load.
We put it under half load and run it on a full tank. It lasted for 10 hours and 27 minutes. Now I am super impressed.
That idle control works. The engine adjusts the RPM to provide only the required load to save fuel and reduce noise levels. It worked.
So overall, Generac 5734 GP15000E 15000 portable generator is the real deal with all that power, idle control, integrated lifting eye, electric start, outlets, and durable frame.
It is ideal as an emergency portable standby generator because it is cheaper than a standby unit with a similar sort of performance. My only complaint is it is not CARB compliant, and it is pretty heavy.
9.4/10 from me.
Check out our guide about the top 50 Amp generators
A-iPower is not a well-known brand like HONDA or Champion, but they are quickly becoming popular for their high power output generators.
A-iPower SUA15000EC is a 12000 running watts generator that is famous as a commercial, and a backup power source.
This machine is equipped with the latest 680cc OHV twin-cylinder engine that produces 24 horsepower. That much power is enough to run all the major appliances in your home, and most of the tools at a worksite.
So A-iPower SUA15000EC is generating clean power with less than 5% harmonic distortion. It is safe for power-sensitive devices like cellphones, DLSR cameras, laptops, and computers. I am gonna test that clean power theory later on.
Although it is a pretty heavy-ass machine, the dimensions are kinda compact. You can move it around with the help of caster wheels and a handle.
On the control panel, the outlets are covered, there is overload protection, and a digital info center. So good overall.
This generator gives me good vibes at a budget-friendly price, so I conducted a noise and load test to see what is made of.
Most of the generators that produce clean power don’t generate much noise. This machine is supposed to produce less than 5% harmonic distortion, so the noise levels at 50% should be around 80 to 82dB from 25 feet or so.
The noise levels from a distance of 30 feet away at 50% load were 84 to 87dB. It is noisy without load as well. I think you would have to use from 30 t0 50 feet away.
Load test and Runtime
Firstly, we gave it a load total of 1130 running watts that include a 6000 dryer, a window AC, fridge, and some other small appliances.
This portable generator managed to keep up with the load without a tripping overload alarm. The noise patterns changed a bit and it became a slight noisier.
Secondly, to check the runtime, we ran the A-iPower SUA15000EC generator at 50% load constantly. It managed to last for 7 hours and 23 minutes on an 8 gal tank. The fuel efficiency of this machine is really good.
Lastly, I came to know that A-iPower SUA15000EC is an AVR technology unit, so this will not be able to produce less than 5% harmonic distortion.
The output power will not be clean.
So overall, A-iPower SUA15000EC portable generator is a powerful and fuel-efficient machine with automatic idle control. It has a super-strong frame and compact design.
This machine is idle for commercial and residential use. My only complaint is the noise, lack of clean power output like the manufacturer claimed.
8.8/10 from me.
Ford 11050W is one of the most underrated dual-fuel generators on the market. Hardcore fans love this machine. Ford is a great brand, even with generators.
At a budget-friendly price, you will get a whopping 10500 running watts on gasoline, and 8550 running watts on propane.
Despite not being CARB compliant, it is lightweight, highly portable, super-quiet, and durable, so it ideal for emergency backup, farming, commercial, and residential uses.
So out of the box, you will get a quick start guide, a user manual, a spark plug wrench, a combination wrench, a measured oil bottle, a propane hose, a funnel.
So pulsar and Ford teamed up to manufactured this machine. This is a Pulsar product, but with the Ford logo on it, it tells you something. Of course, Ford wants to stand behind their name so you should expect it to be a tough product.
Ford 11050W has a digital hour meter and an automatic low oil shutdown. The entire frame is hardened-steel with roll bars on the top to ensure maximum durability of the exterior.
Ford 11050W portable is not lightweight, but the design is engineered in such a way that it can fit in small spaces.
It is compact and portable, and with the help of those 10” rubber wheels and collapsible handles, it is very easy to move it around.
Ford 11050W dual fuel portable generator is using a good muffler to suppress the sound.
It is not a silent generator by any means, but I don’t find it too noisy as well. Here are the results of the noise test.
Ford 11050W produced 74 to 76dB at 50% load. You can use it from a distance of 30 to 40 feet away and won’t disturb you.
Load test and runtime
The Ford Logo is on this generator, so I knew it will handle a heavy load like a champ.
On gasoline, we give it a total load of 9800 running watts, and on propane, we gave it 8000 running watts.
On gasoline, the overload alarm tripped after 10,000 watts, but before that, it was running smoothly without any changes in the noise pattern.
We could have pushed it beyond its capacity but I don’t like to push new generators to their limit.
Next up is the runtime test. Anything above 5KWh is considered good for a portable generator. On gasoline, we ran Ford 11050W at 50% load on 6.6 gal fuel. It lasted for 10 hours and 21 minutes. That is above 6KWh which is excellent.
On propane, it lasted for 8 hours and 13 minutes at 50% load. I was expecting something closer to 7 hours but I was surprised by the fuel efficiency.
It has both manual and electric starters. Your battery will be dead if you leave the generator standing too long. So use an electric starter to get the maximum juice out of the battery.
It has several different outlets including 4 households and an RV-ready outlet. There are individual circuit breakers for the AC outlets and the main circuit breaker. All of them are covered to protect them from dirt and rain.
8.9/10 from me.
The level of clean power output Westinghouse WGen12000 can produce may leave you wondering why this generator is so cheap. Westinghouse takes pride in its manufacturing. They always make budget-friendly products with optimum performance and durability.
Westinghouse WGen12000 is no exception. With 15000 peak and 12000 running watts, it is one of the highest sold portable generators for residential and commercial use.
This machine is equipped with the latest 713cc V-Twin engine with a pressurized lubrication system. V-Twin engines are known for their performance, fuel economy, and durability.
If I compare Westinghouse WGen12000 with DuroMax XP15000E and CAT RP12000E, DuroMAX is a more a medium-duty domestic brand generator suitable for homes and worksites, CAT is known as a high-end manufacturer of industrial-grade generators, and Westinghouse is the best value for money with similar kind of performance like the other two. It is slowly getting popular
Despite being compact and portable, Westinghouse WGen12000 is a heavy generator, you will not able to lift it and I would recommend not lifting in a standing position to prevent injuries.
It comes with a wheel kit and a lifting bracket to make loading and off-loading easier. The wheel kit is not that good though.
Westinghouse WGen12000portable generator runs smoothly and has a three-way ignition start. A manual recoil starter, an electric starter, and a remote starter allow you to start and stop the generator from a distance of 109 yards away.
My generator usually sits 50 to 60 yards away from and I never had any problems from that distance with my remote. I have never tried 109 yards distance before.
However, the remote starter is a huge feature especially in the cold. Nobody likes to get up and start the generator in the cold, but with the remote, just sit there like a lazy ass person and start your generator without any problems.
Don’t worry it has an auto choke feature and a smart idle feature that will automatically lower the engine speed to provide the required power to save power and reduce noise.
Westinghouse WGen12000 is both CARB and EPA compliant but not CSA certified. Bad news for the Canadians.
Let’s see the noise and load test that I conducted.
This machine is using a pulse-Flo muffler to suppress as much noise as possible, but this isn’t exactly a quiet generator. So I conducted the noise test from a distance of 30 feet away at 50% load.
From a distance of 30 feet away at 50% load, the noise levels were 76 to 79dB. For an open frame generator, these noise levels are acceptable.
Load Test and Runtime
Before the runtime test, I always conduct a load test. I knew Westinghouse generators provide as much power as advertised before conducting this test.
I gave it a total load of 1130 running watts of a dryer, AC, electric heater, a fridge, and some other appliances. I was careful not to shoot the peak watts beyond 15000.
I was constantly getting 1130 running watts without tripping the overload alarm. I didn’t notice any drastic changes in the noise pattern as well.
I was monitoring everything on the digital VFT meter. I also checked harmonic distortion, it was less than 5% which means the power is safe for cellphones, laptops, computers, and other power-sensitive appliances with clean sine waves.
To check the fuel economy, I conducted a runtime test. I gave it a 55% load on a 10.5-gallon gas tank. It managed to last for 10 hours and 55 minutes. That is about 6.3KWh.
So overall, Westinghouse WGen12000 portable generator is ideal for homes, camping, and commercial uses with a whopping 12000 running watts and incredible fuel economy.
It features several different outlets to practically power any large or small appliance. It has a smart idle control that will automatically adjust the engine according to the power need, a remote start for lazy ass people like me.
9/10 from me for residential use.
Best 15000 Watt Generator Buyer’s Guide – What To Look For In 15000 Watt Generators
After reviewing the best 15000-watt generators, we have researched some things that should be considered before making a purchasing decision.
In this buying guide, we have tried to compile data we found during our interviews, market research, testing, and online surfing.
Type Of Generator:
In the 15k watt range, you will only get either a portable emergency generator or a whole house standby generator.
If you are going to use the generator for a residential, commercial, worksite, or camping, then portable emergency is a good option because you can’t move a standby generator, they are permanently installed.
Portable generators are also budget-friendly options for areas where power outages are not that frequent. A dual-fuel portable generator is a better option for campers and RV owners.
15000 watts of power is more than enough for a standard home, so why spend $10000 to more on a standby generator, you can easily get a portable unit for under $3000.
Standby generators on the other hand are permanently installed and cannot be moved.
They start automatically, they are less noisy, they spend less fuel, and the return of investment is greater. They are preferred for the areas where the power outages are more frequent and prolonged.
A 15000-watt generator will never be silent. But, you can choose a less noisy unit like Westinghouse WGen12000, or Champion 12000. Anything that blows 80dB from 30 feet away is good.
Firstly, check the running watt and the surge watts of the generator you are buying, because a 15000-watt generator doesn’t always produce 15000 running watts. It could be surge watts.
Secondly, calculate the wattage of the appliances you need to run.
Wattage = Volts x Amps
Furthermore, check how many motor-driven appliances you want to run, because motor-driven electronics consume more to overcome inertia, then they settle down to their original capacity.
For example, a refrigerator needs 800 to 1000 watts to run, then it settles down to 200 to 250 continuous watts.
Lastly, always a generator with a few hundred extra watts than your requirement.
If you need a smaller wattage unit make sure to visit our list of top-rated 3000 watts generators
Tank Capacity And Runtime:
For a 15K watts generator, anything between 7 to 10 gallons is a good tank capacity, and anything between 7 to 10 hours at 50% load is a good runtime.
Top generators and their runtime:
Type Of Outlets:
For a 15000 watt generator, we want all types of outlets to power anything we want for the price we are paying.
Look for 30amp, 20amp, and 50amp outlets in the generator. Additionally, if USB ports are available, it is always a bonus.
The only reason I would purchase a huge 15000-watt portable generator is to be able to power large appliances like a dryer, AC, electric heater, power saws, and other things. I don’t want to purchase extra extensions to power my appliances.
Ease Of Use:
The following feature would make it so easy to use and transport the generator:
We created this article for people who want something big, portable, reliable, and budget-friendly that can power an entire house, or power most of the tools on a worksite without investing $10000+ on a whole house generator.
A 15000-watt generator can replace a standby whole house generator if power outages in your area are not frequent and prolonged.
Thank you for reading this article. Share it with like-minded people if it helped you.