When was the last time you experienced a power outage? Yesterday? Last week? Last year? Even if it has been a while since then, it must have been a terrible experience. It might have happened in the middle of a meeting or even on the hottest days of the year.
Going on a day without having electricity is a nightmare. However, getting a generator is your best solution against those pesky outages.
Having a generator becomes so important in these times, that you need to invest in it so for extra utility and comfort.
Then what kind of generator should you get? There are all sorts of generators that you might feel overwhelmed.
What to look for?
Utility should always come before price unless you have a relatively low budget. However, there are tons of generators available on the market across different price ranges that could suit your needs.
Generators are usually marked by how much power they supply. The standard measurement used across different brands is watts. That’s why the first step one needs to take before finding a generator is knowing how much watts do your core house appliances need.
Why only the core items? Generators can usually power everything, but the more power they can supply, their prices skyrocket.
Usually, generators that power everything costs thousands. So, for those who only want a backup home power source only for their essential appliances, you don’t have to invest in overpowered ones. Number crunching can be hard, but luckily for you, there are multiple tables and databases that you can search online that can give you an idea of how much power an appliance uses.
Generally, however, something in the range of 3000-5000W would fit a small household. However, if you have a bigger house, it may be necessary to look for high-end portable generators.
Now that you’ve nailed down how much power you need, it’s time to decide what type of generator you will be wanting. There are three types of generators, and each type has a different use. Browse through them to see which one hits the right spot.
- Standby Generator
Standby generators are the most expensive generator type. It’s primarily because their purpose is to give immediate power when outages occur. Standby generators are found in hospitals, laboratories, and other places that need stable electricity and can’t afford power outages.
This generator type is preferred in emergencies because it is automatic. You have to go and start it manually because it runs itself the second it detects a power outage, making it expensive yet also very convenient.
- Portable Generator
Portable generators are the best for you if you like to travel or if you don’t need something as high-powered as a standby generator. These are often small and compact, which allows for easy transportation and better ergonomics. Portable generators’ main feature is the built-in sockets where you can directly plug your appliances. It’s not as powerful as the others, but its main feature is portability.
- Inverter Generator
Inverter generators are one of the most efficient generators on this list due to its ability to convert DC power to AC power, which allows it to operate at more efficient rates and lower noise. They also have a neat function that serves fuel consumption well, as they only use power based on the loads, unlike regular generators that are always on full power. Inverter generators are fuel-efficient equipment well worth their price!
Starting up a generator can be difficult if it doesn’t have additional startup options, especially if you’re new to generators. Knowing this, if you’re already spending money on a generator, why not get a user-friendly one? Nowadays, generators have electric startup and remote startup for added convenience and comfort, so you don’t have to settle with the basic recoil start.
Monitoring and Control Panels
Control panels can be the difference between you noticing problems in your generator early on. Control panels let you know the most important details your generator produces. This can range from fuel consumption to power output, and if anything looks weird or out of place it can signal you that you might need to do maintenance sometime soon. Make sure to find one that lets you see at least all of the core information that you need for ease of use.
Which is better?
With most of the important information ideas to keep in mind in choosing generators, it’s time to look at two units to see how they match-up.
|9 hours (@50% load)
|9 hours (@50%load)
|Wheel kit and folding handle
|Wheel kit and folding handle
|Electric start and pull start
|Electric start and pull start
|5 AC Outlets
|5 AC Outlets
Duromax is one of the top generator brands in the market. They are known for their sturdy and reliable generators. The XP12000E is one of their best portable generators.
Power and Efficiency
The XP12000E is powered by a DuroMax 18HP 457cc DuroMax OHV engine with 9500 running watts and 12000 starting watts. With such high power, it can power all your appliances and still have the power to spare for another house or two. It also has an 8.3-gallon tank, which it uses to supply power for up to 9 hours at 50% load.
Furthermore, it has a low-oil shutdown feature that turns the generator off to protect the engine from excessive wear and damage caused by insufficient oil levels.
Furthermore, for such a powerful generator, it surprisingly only emits noise of 70+dBA from 23 ft, which is very quiet and just a bit louder than the sound of a normal human conversation.
In terms of emissions, the device meets both EPA and CARB standards.
DuroMax also offers MX2 technology, meaning you have the option to operate the generator at both 120V and 240V, or you can choose to go at 120V but with full power.
The XP12000E is easy to start. It has electric startup, and you can also do it manually by recoil/manual start. While recoil start is also fine and very reliable, it takes a lot of effort and energy to start the generator this way, so it’s more comfortable to have electric start and just have recoil start as a backup option.
It has wheels and a foldable handle, making it easier to carry around. It has overall dimensions of L40″ x W29″ x H27.5″ and weighs a total of 255lbs. It’s not the lightest portable generator, but given the fuel capacity and the amount of power it provides, the added weight is expected.
The XP12000E is a good option for a portable generator. While it is not as portable and ergonomic as other generator models in the market, it delivers top performance, which is what matters at the end of the day.
This generator has an LED display that tells you the core information on your device. It also has a built-in fuel gauge so you can check the fuel levels with a glance.
The Duromax XP12000EH is similar to the XP12000E with some minor tweaks in some aspects.
Power and Efficiency
The XP12000EH is powered by the same DuroMax 18HP, 457cc OHV engine used by the XP12000E. In terms of power and efficiency, the XP12000EH has 9500 running watts and 12000 starting watts. It has an 8.3-gallon fuel tank, and it can run for up to 9 hours at 50% load. The generator also has a dual-fuel feature that allows you to use it with either gasoline or propane.
It’s also relatively quiet for a generator with this amount of power at 72dBA from 23 ft, so you don’t have to worry about waking up your sleeping neighbor.
This generator is also EPA and CARB certified.
DuroMax also offers MX2 technology that allows you to operate the generator at both 120V and 240V simultaneously. If you want, you can also choose to use 120V with full power.
The XP1200EH has an electric startup, which is very helpful, especially if it’s your first time owning a generator. In case the electric start fails, it also has the basic recoil start that you can use as a second option.
The XP12000EH has an LED panel for monitoring your essential information like oil levels and power output. It also has a built-in fuel gauge for easy checking of the fuel levels and making sure that you don’t run out of fuel during emergencies.
The XP12000EH has built-in wheels and a folding handle. In terms of its dimensions, it has L30″ x W22″ x H26″ and weighs 221lbs.
With its heaviness, the built-in wheels and handle are a great help to help you move it from place to place. While it’s still a heavy generator and it can be difficult to transport at times, it’s not as heavy as the XP12000E.
For a pound for pound comparison of both generators let’s compare it by feature.
Power and Efficiency
In terms of power and efficiency, the XP1200E and XP12000EH are almost dead even. The XP12000E and XP12000EH have the same running and starting watts with 9500 and 12000 respectively. They can power and start the same amount of appliances.
In terms of running time and fuel capacity, they can both run up to 9 hours at 50% using an 8-3-gallon fuel tank. They also have similar fuel consumption at 0.92 gallons per hour(GPH) at 50% loads. However, their main difference is that the XP12000EH is dual fuel and can run on propane or gasoline, giving it another option for efficiency by using the more efficient propane as fuel.
In terms of noise, both generators produce the same amount of noise with 72dBA. Either option will still make a racket if you are sensitive to noise.
Both devices also pass EPA and CARB standards, so there is no issue with that.
Size and Weight
The two generators are neck-to-neck when it comes to portability. Both the XP12000E and XP12000EH have wheels and handles that make them more portable, which is very helpful, especially because they are heavy, high-powered generators.
Speaking of weight, the XP12000EH is significantly lighter than the XP12000E with 221lbs compared to 255lbs. The XP12000EH is also largely more compact with its L30″ x W22″ x H26″ dimensions against the XP12000E’s L40″ x W29″ x H27.5″.
With these figures, the XP12000EH easily has the portability advantage.
Startup Mechanism and Monitoring
In terms of ease of starting, both the XP12000E and XP12000EH offer electric starting.
Both devices have LED displays for easy monitoring of power outputs and have fuel gauges for easy fuel monitoring.
There might be terms that you are unfamiliar with, or you can also have some questions on how to use these generators, and this is why we prepared the answers to these frequently asked questions.
What is the difference between running and starting watts?
Running watts is the amount of power that your generator can continuously produce. Starting wattage is higher because some appliances need a bigger kick of energy to start, and it’s also the amount of power your generator uses upon startup. However, it’s not safe to use all of the starting watts for long periods.
Can I plug my portable generator into an outlet?
No. Don’t do this, because it can cause back feeding to the utility lines connected to your home that can potentially harm anyone that is doing maintenance. There is also the risk of overloading your circuits and causing a fire.
How often do I need to maintain my generator?
Be sure to check your user manual for guidance on generator maintenance. However, generally, the maintenance process is similar. Make sure to check it at least every two weeks or a month, depending on how frequently you use it. Check the core parts, including oil, cables, and batteries to see if they are all in good condition. If you identify a problem that you’re not familiar with, it’s best to call a technician.
What is a GCFI outlet?
A GCFI outlet is used as a protective circuit device for cases when there is an imbalance in the outgoing and incoming current. It protects your devices by immediately cutting off power when the generator senses a weird flow of electricity.
Based on the features and specifications of both generators, it’s safe to say that the XP12000EH has this comparison in the bag with its huge portability and dual-fuel advantage.
Looking at the overall features and similarities of both generators, the DuroMax XP12000EH is a more refined and user-friendly version of the XP12000E.
There are only several reasons to buy the XP12000E over the XP12000EH, especially considering that the XP12000EH is better across the board. The only decent reason to go for the XP12000E is if you’re not looking to use propane.
Furthermore, the XP12000EH has a sizable weight and size advantage, being 34lbs lighter and L10” x W7” x H1.5” smaller. Since they are both portable generators, they should both be easy to move around, but the XP12000EH is so much better in this regard.
Yes, the XP12000E is a sturdy, high-powered generator that you can rely on for the years to come; but the XP12000EH can also do that, but with added portability and comfort.