In Brief: Westinghouse WGen3600v Review
Westinghouse WGen3600v provides a good option to those looking for a generator with an output on the lower end to help meet their RV or trailer related needs. With its 3600 running watts and 4650 surge watts, it can also help household users out when they’re in a tight spot due to emergency power outages. It lasts long, is quite efficient, and has been praised for its reliability by many customers.
The Westinghouse company is a common name in the world of electronics and is associated with high quality and reliable products.
It produces generators which sell extremely well, racking up hundreds of positive reviews from customers.
One such well selling generator they produce is the WGen3600, capable of producing 3600W of continuous wattage and going up to as much as 4650W in case of surge power.
This makes it ideal for a variety of situations, including partial household needs and for use in RVs and trailers.
With its CARB, EPA, and CSA compliant engine, it can run for up to 12 hours on a 50% load – this proves its efficiency and usefulness, especially to those who might use it as a backup in emergency situations.
Design, Dimensions & Weight
The design is straight-forward and well planned, with a prominent control panel and warning labels and safety stickers placed in diverse prominent locations on the generator.
Since it isn’t an inverter generator, the components are not enclosed in a hard plastic container but are instead distributed within the metal frame of the generator.
Its dimensions aren’t the most compact but are still manageable. It has a length of 23.23 inches, a width of 22.84 inches, and a height of 21.26 inches.
This is when the mobility kit, which consists of two 8-inch wheels and extendable handles, are attached to it.
Overall, it weighs 112 lbs when its fuel tank is empty, which is definitely on the heavier side.
When its 15 liter/4-gallon tank is full it can weigh around 137 lbs.
This makes it one of the heavier models in the list, narrowly beating out the WEN 56352. There are only three models which are significantly heavier than it, while there is a range of models which are lighter.
Thus, if weight is a concern for you, you can consult the following table to find more appropriate generators for your needs:
Table: This model has a high weight
Power Output / Generation
The engine type is an OHV, 4-stroke with 212cc of engine displacement.
These specs aren’t of too much consequence to normal users, who should only keep in mind that it has a 4-strok engine and as such, only engine oil appropriate for such an engine type should be used.
In particular, Westinghouse recommends a SAE 10W-30 specification oil. Using improper oils can easily deteriorate the engine and can also void your warranty as it counts as improper use and negligence of care.
The output is only in AC and loads can be attached through 4 120V outlets, two of which have a 30 Amp rating with the other two having a rating of 20 Amps.
The maximum surge power is 4650W and the engine can give a peak running power of 3600W.
This makes this model an extremely high output choice, both in terms of running power and surge power. In fact, its running power is second only to the Champion 76533 in the list of reviewed models.
It is thus ideal for those who require a higher output range, especially in terms of surge power.
These high power ratings make it ideal for trailer usage, with one of the outlets meant specifically for trailers, along with partial household usage, particularly as an emergency back-up.
However, the current produced by this generator can have distortions, making it unfit for powering sensitive electronics like mobiles or laptops.
Table: This model has one of the highest outputs
Fuel and Noise
The fuel tank on the WGen3600 has a capacity of 15 liters or 4 gallons, which is a good size especially since this model is efficient enough to generate an output which lasts for 12 hours on a 50% load with a full tank.
This makes it the model with the highest fuel tank capacity, along with the WEN 56352. Coupled with its high output, it is capable of providing a high supply of electricity for an extended period of time.
This makes it a lifesaver during long power shortages or emergency situations.
Table: This model has the highest fuel tank capacity
The fuel is unleaded gasoline with an ethanol content of less than 10% by volume and an octane rating of above 87, which means mid to upper-grade gasoline will be ideal.
The octane rating of a particular type of gasoline is generally written on the front label of the bottle, so finding an appropriate fuel will not be an issue.
Furthermore, this model meets rigorous pollution standards and is EPA, CARB, and CSA compliant, which means that it can be used in all 50 states.
Westinghouse itself does not provide an official noise rating for this model but other retailers have rated this model at around 62 dB of noise, which is a decent level but can get disturbing if kept too close.
This noise level is not the highest, with there being a significant number of models louder than it but it is also not the quietest.
It falls somewhere in the middle, as far as the number of generators louder and quieter than it go. As such, there are models with significantly lower decibel levels than it but this model is also comparatively quiet.
This can be assessed through the following table:
Table: This model has a middling noise level
Display & Control Panel
As stated before, the control panel on the WGen3600 is prominent, well-labeled and intelligently designed.
Controls with similar functions are grouped together and there is no clutter on the panel as the switches, valves, and outlets are all sufficiently spaced out.
The choke lever and fuel valve are not present on the control panel, however, and are manual, being respectively located next to the fuel tank and choke valve on the side of the generator.
The following controls are available on the panel:
- Engine switch
- Main circuit breaker: controls the outputs to all outlets and prevents the generator form being overloaded
- 20 Amps circuit breaker: controls the current flowing through the 120V duplex
- Grounding terminal: used to ground the generator – consult local regulations before grounding
- 4 outlets: a 120V, 30 Amps twist-lock outlet, a 120V, 30 Amps TT-30R outlet, and a 120V, 20 Amps duplex
Startup and Shut down
This model only has a manual starting and shutting down procedures. No electric or remote options are available.
Before starting the model, ensure that no loads are connected to the generator and that the circuit breakers are in the proper position. Then follow these steps:
- Rotate the fuel valve to ON
- Turn the choke lever to ON
- Flip the engine switch to RUN position
- Slowly pull the starter coil until resistance is felt and then pull sharply
- As the engine begins to start running, gradually turn the choke lever back to OFF position
The shutting down procedure is even easier. First unplug all loads from the generator and then follow these steps:
- After unplugging devices, let the generator run with no load for a few minutes to stabilize its internal temperature and engine speed
- Flip the engine switch to STOP position
- If you intend to store the engine away and not use it again turn the fuel valve to OFF as well
- In case of emergency shutdown, simply flip the engine switch to its STOP position.
This model doesn’t have any particular additional features apart from the fact that it comes with a mobility kit consisting of two 8-inch wheels and extendable handles with rubber tops to make moving it around easier.
Westinghouse generators have a standard warranty across all models which guarantees replacements and servicing of parts free of charge.
To register for this warranty, the warranty card must be filled out and sent to Westpro (the company which owns Westinghouse) or you can register your model online.
The warranty applies for 3 years after the date of purchase or 1000 hours of use, whichever comes first, for generators used for personal use.
The second and third years only allow for replacements of parts for no cost.
If used for commercial purposes, the generator has a warranty for a period of 6 months or 1000 hours of use, whichever is earlier.
Warranty is not applicable and is voided if non-Westpro parts are used on the generator, if proper maintenance is not followed, use of contaminated or adulterated oil or fuel, and in cases of force majeure.
To avail of the warranty, you must approach your nearest Westpro Authorized Service Dealer and notify them of the problem along with demonstrating that proper maintenance procedures and care have been followed.
Care and Maintenance
You must take proper care of your generator in order for it to function optimally and for its continued reliability and longevity.
One major aspect of care is regular maintenance as prescribed by the generator’s manual.
Without maintenance, your generator can encounter many cumulative problems and issues which, it is important to note, will not be covered by the model’s warranty as the warranty is voided if proper maintenance procedures are not followed strictly and promptly.
As such, the manual for the Westinghouse WGen3600 recommends the following schedule:
- Before each use: check oil level, check or clean the cooling features, check the air filter
- After first month or first 20 hours of use: change engine oil
- After 50 hours of use or every 6 months: change engine oil, clean air filter
- After 100 hours of use or every 6 months: check and clean the fuel filter (to be done by an authorized Westinghouse service dealer), the spark plug, and the spark arrester
- After 300 hours of use or every year: replace the air filter and spark plug, and check or adjust the valve clearance and idle speed (to be done only by authorized Westinghouse service dealers)
The air filter will require more frequent cleaning in dusty areas so check it more often than recommended if you live in such a region.
Customer Review Analysis
This model is geared primarily towards RVs and partial home users. As such, customers have reviewed its functioning in these settings extensively.
The customers have liked:
Reliability: this model, along with the WGen series in general, has been praised by many for its reliability, which is a result of it being a long-lasting and efficient generator which is capable of meeting users’ needs consistently, with many customers stating that this generator saw them through many emergency blackout situations
Mobility kit: while users have criticized this model for its weight, some have simultaneously commended it for the mobility kit which comes as part of the model, consisting of two 8-inch wheels and two extendable handles which make moving this model around much easier
Efficient and high output: quite a few users stated that this models efficiency, which can run 12 hours on a half-load, along with the high output voltage of 3600 running watts and 4650 continuous watts made it extremely useful for them, being able to easily power all their basic needs
However, customers have also complained about the following:
Poor quality of plastic parts: some of the reviews have focused on the fact that the components made out of plastic on this model are flimsy and break easily, with many people stating that they had damages to their generator components within the first few uses itself
Issues with starting: a few of the reviews also noted that there were issues with the manual starting of this model, particularly with the starter cord – apart from the starter cord, a handful of customers also noted that the engine switches got stuck in their position
Weight: most users said that the excessive weight of this model was a major con, since it would take at least 2 people to carry – this made it difficult for those who didn’t attach the mobility kit to it for purposes of making it more compact and easy to transport
By looking at critical reviews of this model, along with customer’s comments, and by an analysis of its manual and features, the following pros and cons of this model can be stated.
Mobility kit: this model has a dry weigh of 112 lbs which makes it difficult to move but the mobility kit, which comes included and consists of two 8-inch wheels and two extendable handles, makes this model much easier to move around and improves its portability greatly
High output and efficient: this model is capable of producing a running supply of 3600W and a surge power which exceeds this by over 1000W at 4650W – it is also capable of running for up to 12 hours on a half-load – all these features make it extremely efficient for its output and establish it as a good choice for RV, trailer, and partial household users
Easy to use: the instructions in the manual of this model are clearly stated, and it has a simple design and an uncluttered control panel, making it extremely easy to use – in fact, many users have commented on this ease, particularly stating the manual starting process is a breeze to perform
No Hour Meter: this model does not come with an hour meter, which makes it hard to keep track of the amount of time it has been used for and thus causes troubles for timing maintenance
Distorted Power Supply: this model’s power supply can be quite distorted, with Westinghouse only being able to guarantee a distortion of less than 23% – this also means that this generator is definitely not suited for use with sensitive electrical items such as your mobile phones, tablets, or laptops
Heavy: at 112 lbs, this unit is definitely on the heavier side and can give problems with moving even with two people lifting it, making it tedious to transport – the mobility kit does ameliorate matters but if you detach the mobility kit to make the generator more compact then you will definitely face issues with the weight
No, it isn’t.
No, it has neither. It is a manual/recoil start type generator.
It has a dry weight of 112 lbs and can weigh around 137 lbs with a full tank of gasoline.
The fuel tank has a capacity of 4 gallons or 15 liters.
The fuel is unleaded gasoline with an ethanol content of less than 10% by volume and an octane rating of 87 or above.
It has a length of 23.23 inches, a width of 22.84 inches, and a height of 21.26 inches.
While Westinghouse does not give an official noise level rating, authorized dealers place the level at around 62 dB.
Westinghouse recommends SAE 10W-30 specification oil.
The warranty lasts for 3 years or 1000 hours of use, whichever comes first, for personal usage and for 6 months or 1000 hours of use, whichever comes first, for commercial or rental usage.
Yes, it is.
No, the engine speed of this model remains constant.
No, this model has to be grounded using the grounding terminal on the control panel.
It is manufactured in China.
It can last for 12 hours on a full tank of gasoline at half-load.
No, it cannot. Alterations made to change the fuel type of the model will void the warranty.
This price level places it within the five cheapest models out of the reviewed list. This means it is an economical option, especially when compared to brands such as Honda or Briggs and Stratton.
While there are models which are definitely cheaper than this, which can be seen below, in terms of pricing this model is also a very good option.
The following ratings have been given to the important facets of this model and its functioning based on analysis through the comparison tables and its general features and reviews:
This model is one of the cheaper options in the reviewed list, being under the $400 mark. This makes it affordable, when compared to other models, and very competitively priced since only three models are cheaper than it.
This model has a moderate noise level, lower than quite a few models but also significantly higher than models by brands such as Honda. There are also less expensive brands than Honda which have slightly quieter models.
This model is tied for the highest fuel capacity out of the reviewed models having a volume of 15 liters. This ensures that it lasts for a long time, making it invaluable during long periods without electricity.
It has a high output and is reliable and trustworthy. It is also extremely efficient and is capable of lasting for 12 hours on a half-load.
However, there have been complaints about the quality of its plastic parts and the starting procedure, along with a slightly erratic output.
Ease of use
This model is generally easy to use, and has been praised for this by many customers. The control panel is very clearly laid out. However, it doesn’t have an hour meter, which can make timing maintenance an issue.
Overall, this model’s strengths lie in its high output, its relatively low cost, its fuel capacity and its ease of use.
There are, however, reservations about its performance and while its noise level is not too loud, it can get distracting if kept too close.