5 Best 10000-Watt Generators (Fall 2022) – Reviews & Buying Guide

What can you power with a 10,000-watt generator?

A 10,000-watt generator can power almost everything in your house, except the central heating. And this would only be because central heating requires close to 5,000 or 6,000 starting and running watts, which would leave little power for the rest of your appliances, considering you need 5,000 to 7,000 watts to power basic appliances in an average-sized home.

Otherwise, it will comfortably power a sump pump, refrigerator and freezer, space heater, humidifier, furnace fan blower, microwave oven, TV, desktop or laptop, laser printer, security system, and lights.

If using it at a job site, you can connect an electric lawn mower, pressure washer, chain saw, circular saw, electric drill, string trimmer weed trimmer, paint sprayer, disc sander, hand drill charger, and halogen work lights. You can also connect an RV.

Important features to consider before you buy a 10,000-watt generator

Below, we explain each of the features that are important in a generator.

Rated and maximum power output

The rated power is the amount of power the generator can handle under normal load. In other words, it can handle any amount of power up to the indicated rated amount. Feeding a higher amount of power than the rated amount into the generator can cause overloading and may cause the generator to malfunction or get damaged.

The maximum power refers to the additional wattage the generator uses at startup and occasionally when running at the highest level of consumption. Maximum power is also referred to as peak power. Note that maximum power is only used for a few seconds at a time, while rated power is consistent and continuous throughout the period the generator is in operation.

Both power ratings (rated and maximum) will be indicated among the generator’s specs, so be sure to check what these are before buying.

For optimal performance, the total rated wattage plus highest peak wattage of the appliances you plan to connect to the generator should be lower or equal to the generator’s rated and peak wattage. If they exceed those of the generator, it will be overloaded and likely malfunction.

Engine

The engine is the power behind the generator. The more powerful the engine is, the more efficient the generator will be. Generator performance may not always correspond to the engine size, but in many cases, a big engine means a better performing generator. A good example of a generator that confirms this statement is the HONDA EB10000. It has a massive engine and is one of the best performing generators you can buy. Again, some engines may be smaller but more powerful.  The best way to gauge how good the engine is is by checking the rated power and peak power it supports.

Fuel tank capacity

5 Best 10,000-Watt Generators for Your Power Backup Needs (Fall 2022)

The bigger your generator’s fuel tank, the longer it will run without you having to stop and refill. If you choose a generator with a small fuel tank capacity, it means you’ll have to top off your fuel more frequently than someone whose fuel tank is bigger. If you’ll be using the generator for short periods of time, this may not be a problem. But if you expect the generator to run for more than 10 hours a day, it may be a little inconveniencing. Some people don’t mind the frequent refills as long as the generator’s performance is exceptional.

Runtime

How long will the generator run before the fuel reserve is exhausted? Seven to eight hours is considered good enough. Some generators deliver slightly less than this, while a few give as many as 11 hours in runtime. A good example is the Pulsar PG10000B16 which has a runtime of 12 hours. DuroMax XP10000E and JDNA Gentron GG10020C generators are other good performers with 11 hours of runtime each. Choose a generator with a longer runtime if you intend to run it for long periods at a time.

Outlets

Most generators come with numerous 120V outlets, a 120V/240V twist-lock outlet, and a 12V DC outlet. This makes it possible to power a diverse range of products. If a generator does not have a 12V DC outlet or a 240V receptacle, it means you can only power smaller appliances and cannot charge your batteries.

The more outlets available, the more devices you can connect at once. That means you can charge your phone, connect your computer and printer, and connect other crucial appliances like the fridge, heater, and pump without a worry.

Noise level

Gasoline generators overall tend to be noisier than propane generators. Generally, though, most portable generators have a noise level that’s between 72 dBA and 80 dBA. Choose a quieter generator like the DuroMax XP10000E if you’re keen not to disturb the people inside the house, if you’ll be connecting your RV, or if your neighbors are only a short distance away. You don’t want to be a nuisance in the neighborhood. If the distance between houses is great and the noise isn’t likely to disturb anyone, or if you’ll only be using the generator occasionally and for short periods, you can go for a louder generator, especially if its performance is remarkable.

Size, weight, and portability

5 Best 10,000-Watt Generators for Your Power Backup Needs (Fall 2022)

If you’ll be moving the generator around frequently, choose a model that isn’t too bulky or heavy. No one expects you to lift the generator – it wouldn’t be safe to do so considering most of them weigh more than 200 pounds – but it should have good quality wheels and fold down handles to make transporting it easy. A lot of the 10000-watt generators in the market have these, so it’s a matter of choosing the best wheel kit and how easy each one moves.

Warranty

You can’t afford to buy a generator without a warranty. Even at their lowest prices, generators are costly and call for you to have some sort of back up from the manufacturer. Thankfully, all major generator manufacturers issue warranties, with validity periods ranging from 1 year to 3 years. Some manufacturers give different validity periods for parts and workmanship, so always confirm what’s covered in yours and for how long.

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