Portable generators are one of those tools you never think about until you realize that you need one. So often you see on the news people running to all of the big box stores trying to find a generator before the hurricane or big blizzard arrives. Instead of making an impulse buy decision don’t you think it would be smarter to purchase a tool like this with a clear mind and while not under a time crunch? I think so.
Over the past few weeks here at ToughAssTools we have been focusing on generators and anything and everything that goes with them. We have researched and written various guides, questions, and reviews on a variety of generator products. Our goal here is to have one comprehensive guide on these very useful tools and to provide you, the consumer, with everything that you need to know. In this latest article we are going to be doing a product review on Westinghouse’s WGen portable generator.
Before You Buy
Before you consider purchasing a generator rather it be this model or something else it is always smart to stop and take a step back to look at all of the possible considerations that need to be factored in. Generators come in all sorts of sizes, features, and safety concerns. Do you know what to look for? Do you know where to begin? If you do, then by all means bypass this section and move right onto the Product Features.
However, if you find that you still have some questions on what to look for then I highly suggest you take the time and read through some of our guides. These guides will serve as your compass in the maze that are generators. Yes, I know, that was a bad analogy. Oh well. That aside, these guides will provide you the knowledge on what to look for and after reading if you find that this product isn’t the right one for you then we have served our purpose by steering you in the right direction.
- If you are not sure what size of generator you should be buying click here to be taken to our generator size guide. Also, be aware that sizing your generator isn’t as easy as estimating or guessing. In order to get the appropriate and correct power required you need to take the time to add up all of the wattages of your appliances and figure out the starting/running watts of each.
- If you are not sure what features you should be looking for then click here to be taken to our top features for generators guide. This guide dives deep into the various bells and whistles that you can get on your generator. If you’re a bare bones guy then this article may not be for you, but if you are looking to get some of those extra features and save yourself some time and headaches then I suggest you check out the guide.
- Lastly, if you are not quite sure how to safely use and run a generator then please click here to be taken to our safety guide. Safety is something I just can’t stress enough of when dealing with generators. These machines can be life savers but they can also be very dangerous if you do not know what you are doing. If used incorrectly it can lead to property damage, fire damage, personal injury, or even fatalities. Safety first!
Now when looking at this product on Amazon we can see that there are many different model types such as WGen6000, the WGEN7500, the WGEN5500, and many more. For the most part these various model types differ by the wattage, or power, provided from the generator. There are a few other differences between models such as the ‘DF’ models can also take Propane as a fuel source. Along with the different model types you can also find accessory items such as additional power cords, transfer switch power cord, and a power inlet box. Before we go further in this review, I want to make clear that this product review is focusing on the features of the WGen6000 model. While the other models are VERY similar there may be slight differences between them.
Once you have chosen the right model of generator for you the next thing you are going to look at is how many outlets it has and what you can do with it. In this case on the WGen6000 we have four separate one-hundred and twenty volt outlets. You may see these labeled as ‘duplex outlets.’ What that simply means is that there are two right on top of each other and the other two are next to each other. These are your basic outlets that everyone is familiar with. That being said, there are a few added benefits to these outlets. The first is that they come with what’s known as Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, or GFCIs. These GFCIs protect your generator and your appliances if an excess of current begins to occur. These are the same types of safeguards that you have in your kitchen. The other benefit is that these outlets come with a rubber covering to help protect them when not in use.
If you are looking at this generator for a quick and easy solution to get a few things running during a power loss then these are the outlets you are going to be using. However, if you are wanting to hook this generator directly up to your home’s circuit breaker box then there is good news. This generator comes ready to be hooked up to your home via the 120/240v 30a outlet. That being said, in order to do this correctly you will need to have a manual transfer switch installed and a power inlet box. You will need a professional electrician to install both of these to ensure everything is setup correctly and safely. Please do not try to do this yourself. Leave it to the professionals.
The other day I was writing an article about what can happen when you overload your generator. In the article I explained how you can overload your generator and what the consequences could be if you did. Now, hopefully you don’t have that problem but IF you do end up overloading your generator by mistake you can rest assured as the WGen model comes with a circuit breaker that will stop an overload from occurring. If your generator senses and overload it will shut down automatically to prevent damage to the system. This is a nice insurance policy on an expensive tool.
I’m not a big fan of the rip-cord start on my weed whacker. It’s a pain to get started each time and at the end when it finally does start my arm is sore. When there is an electric start option I’m apt to take it. In this case with the WGen we have just that, and electric starter. That means no messing with the rip-cord. Instead you hit the ignition and call it good. (Batteries are included with purchase as well.)
Depending on the model you select your generator will either take standard eighty-seven octane gasoline or could also take propane. (Most of the models take gasoline.) The unit that we are looking at, the WGEN6000, has a 6.6 gallon fuel tank. This generator is rated to run for eighteen hours with a twenty-five percent load and up to thirteen hours with a fifty percent load. The recommended oil for this generator is SAE 10W30 and it can handle up to 1.1 quarters. The good thing here though is if your oil does end up getting to low there is an automatic low oil shut off so that your generator is protected from running hot.
Before we get onto the Pros section of the review there are a few more features that I wanted to mention. They aren’t as fancy as the other benefits but they are still worth reviewing. When the generator is running it has a digital display that shows you current volts, frequency, and the lifetime hours. You also have roll bars installed on the generator to prevent damage in case the unit tips or if something falls on it. Lastly, the wheel kit is included with this generator and the wheels that come with it are ‘never flat’ which means you never have to mess with a flat tire. That’s the last thing you want to deal with during a power loss.
The Pros section can be a bit tricky as I feel like a lot of the Pros we have already mentioned above in the Product Features section. With the risk of sounding like a cheesy infomercial salesmen I’m going to say, ‘But wait, there’s more!’ No seriously folks, there are a few more features or ‘Pros’ that I saved specifically for this section. I’m going to make this section pretty short but don’t let that alarm you. This generator is a solid machine and is made by a solid company that has been around for over one-hundred years. They know what they are doing.
- These generators from Westinghouse come with a three year limited warranty for home/residential usage and a one year warranty for commercial usage. Along with that they also provide a nationwide customer service and support phone number that can be reached by dialing 1-855-944-3571. This is outstanding product support and just goes to show you how much effort Westinghouse puts forth in their brand and their company.
- The Westinghouse generators in this review are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and they are also approved by the California Air Resource Board, or CARB. This may not sound like a big deal, but it really is to be approved by both agencies.
- Usually with these larger generators people expect a lot of noise and commotion. It’s par for the course. Now, I’m not going to claim this unit is quiet as a mouse or anything like that, but it IS quieter then the competition. These generators come in at around seventy-two Dba. I looked this up before writing this to see what I could compare it to. Guess what? It’s about as noisy as running a vacuum. That’s not too bad.
This generator is truly a ToughAssTool. I looked around for a while folks for the Cons on this product and I honestly didn’t find much. Here is what I did find. The most common complaint there is on these WGen units is that the electric starter eventually stops working. Some customers stated that it stopped after only a few times and other stated that theirs stopped after months of use. The good news here is you can still physically start the generator, you just have to use the manual option. While this isn’t optimal it still gets the job done.
The other two Cons aren’t necessarily a major negative, but I wanted to mention them anyways. The first is the overall cost of the unit. Yes, you are getting a quality product with a reputable company to stand behind it but in order to get that you are going to have to pay pretty penny. Depending on the model you choose you could pay anywhere from a couple-hundred dollars all the way up to and over one-thousand dollars. (Prices are subject to change at any time.) The other somewhat snag in this is the overall weight of the unit. Again, this depends on the model size that you choose but the weight on this could range from ninety pounds upwards to two-hundred pounds. While the ninety may not be too much for you, when you get to that two-hundred pound range it may be a struggle to move around even if it does have those never flat wheels.
Overall folks I would say that this WGen generator from Westinghouse is a definite buy, especially if you are looking for an alternative power source for your home either through standard methods or through a manual transfer switch. This product on Amazon.com has over one-thousand reviews and nearly everyone of them is positive. Let me say that another way, over one-thousand people have rated this unit at four and a half out of five stars. If that doesn’t scream quality, I don’t know what does. If you are interested in purchasing this unit please click here to be taken to our Amazon.com partner.
However, after reading this review you have found that this generator is not the one for you rather it be for the features it offers, the price, or just the overall size of the unit then let me suggest you check out our Best Generator Guide by clicking here. This guide takes you through what type of generator you need for each application and what our ToughAssTool top picks are in each category.
Lastly, I want to mention the legal stuff. This article was written for advice and informational purposes only. We here at ToughAssTools are not responsible nor liable for any property damage, fire damage, injuries, or any other related matters when it comes to purchasing, installing, and running your generators.
Thanks for reading and I hope this review was helpful,