When it comes to production of electricity, most people depend on the “grid”, a colloquial term that refers to your local power company set up.
There are times, however, when an individual decides to go off grid, long term or short term, but still wants to keep some of the conveniences of the modern world.
This is but one of the many times a portable generator can come in quite handy. Today, we are going to take a look at the Wen 56200i generator to help you decide if it is the right unit for you.
The Wen 56200i is a small, easy to manage inverter generator. It comes in at 48 pounds and measures 18 x 11 x 18.
This unit is small enough to go anywhere “off grid” you would like to go and the built in carrying handle makes the trip that much easier.
Like most power generators, the Wen 56200i utilizes a gasoline engine to produce electric power, first in AC form, which is converted to DC and then back to AC (hence the inverter designation).
This allows the device to provide more power overall as well as creating clean energy that is safe for your sensitive electronics.
How much energy does the Wen 56200i generator produce?
- 2000 watts start up
- 1600 watts run
A generators run time is calculated at less than 100% load.
In other words, an estimated run time is not accurate for times when the unit is at peak production, 2000 watts for this particular unit.
According to manufacturers specifications, this inverter generator will operate for approximately 7 hours on one tank of fuel at 50% load.
Number one question on most people’s mind (after run time) is how much noise will this generator make.
This is a fair question and valid concern, particularly if you have ever heard the monstrosity that is your standard generator. At 25% load, this generator is measured at 51 dBA, about the level of your typical window air unit.
Keep in mind, several things can affect the noise level, not the least of which is the area in which you use it. Closed in spaces will definitely amplify the sound somewhat, as will heavier operation loads.
What do you need to do to keep your generator in top operating condition? It is a gasoline powered engine, therefore regular oil changes and spark plug maintenance is important.
In fact, if you look inside your owner’s manual, there is a log for tracking upkeep.
It is also important to use the right set up procedure if you want to prolong the life of the unit. Inverter generators will vary somewhat on break in instructions, but they are generally something like this:
- Fill new generator with approved engine oil, carefully note fill lines
- Allow generator to run at 50% capacity for up to two hours
- Run at 75% capacity for two hours
- Allow generator to cool completely
- Check oil- potentially change oil with manufacturer recommended product
Where Can You Use The Wen 56200i?
This question is as simple as the question where do you need electricity?
Are you planning a camping trip?
Would the hunting cabin benefit from a little modern power?
Whether you are tailgating or preparing for a natural disaster, you can utilize the Wen 56200i generator. It is small, portable and offers plenty of power for most applications.
Under The Hood
How is this model powered? If you were to crack this bad boy open (and please do not because it will void your warranty), you would find a sturdy 79.7 cc four stroke engine.
Even though it is somewhat small in stature, it still performs well in its class, and provides nearly pure sine wave, making it safe for even super sensitive electronics.
What kind of fuel efficiency can you expect from the Wen 56200i generator?
This will depend a lot on how you use the device. For example, if you are powering a small air conditioner along with lighting and maybe another small appliance, you will use more fuel than if you are simply keeping the lights on.
For basic usage, you can expect around 6-8 hours per 1 gallon tank of fuel.
Ease Of Use
Right out of the box, this inverter generator is pretty simple to operate. Follow the instructions for oil and fuel fill and give a few light pulls on the starter rope.
Once you are up and running, simply follow the in box instructions on break in and maintenance. Overall, this unit is pretty simple to use and intuitive, though one thing you might not consider is the need for a grounding wire.
Grounding Instructions: On the front of your generator is a grounding nut. Here you will attach a #12 AWG copper wire. Tighten down the approved wire and attach the other end to a metal rod, which you will then drive into the ground.
Your grounding rod should be made of steel, copper or brass. By grounding the unit, you prevent the risk of electrocution.
The Wen 56200i generator has multiple power outlets on the front of the unit and they include:
- 2 AC three pronged receptacles
- 1 five volt USB
- 1 – 12 volt DC receptacle (for parallel connection)
According to the product page on Amazon, this generator has a two-year warranty, which is par for the course for these types of devices.
However, it is important that you check with the manufacturer to determine if Amazon is an authorized retailer, because if not, it could affect your warranty.
Generally speaking, you will should not have an issue but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Wen 56200i offers eco mode and when engaged the generator will automatically adjust fuel consumption when the load demand changes.
This gives you much better fuel economy than the standard generator.
Parallel mode gives you the option for more power by allowing you to connect two Wen 56200i generators, a nice feature when you find you need just a little more power than one device provides but prefer the quiet operation and portability of the inverter generators.
These small portable generators can go anywhere you need to go, whether it’s the back yard or the back forty.
They are small enough to fit in any vehicle and light enough for the average person to carry easily.
At 2000 watts starting and 1600 watts running, this particular generator is not going to be a good fit for heavy duty use, say with a large 13,000 BTU air conditioner.
They are probably not a feasible option if you want a long term energy supply. The Wen 56200i is definitely versatile and useful in a multitude of situations, but it does have its limits.
The Wen 56200i generator is competitively priced in the $700 – $800 range.
Click the link below to check the latest price and available sellers on Amazon.
Wen corporation has been in business since 1951 and has built their reputation on creating and producing power tools.
The original focus of the company was woodworking tools and in their words, “help artisans around the world”.
Today their lineup includes a full bevy of woodworking tools as well as air compressors, generators and snow throwers.
Based on available information, this unit is manufactured in China.
Feedback has been positive overall for the Wen 56200i generator.
A common comment on this unit refers to sound and fuel consumption.
For example, one consumer reports they used it at an outdoor baby shower for 7 hours powering lights, audio and small cooking appliances and the gas hand barely moved, plus it was only 30 ft away and they didn’t realize it was there.
Our Wen 56200i Inverter Generator Review: Final Thoughts
As with any consumer product, you should do your homework before making a purchase.
Make sure you understand the scope of what your power requirements are and then choose the unit that best fills those needs. Size, portability, power output, features and price are all factors for you to consider.