Operating sensitive electronics in remote areas or during power outages requires power backup solutions that offer clean power. One reliable solution is the use of inverter generators. When shopping for these generators, it is advisable to look for brands that offer quality generators at pocket-friendly prices. One such brand is WEN. Here is a brief overview of the WEN brand and an in-depth review of the WEN GN400i 4000-Watt Gas Portable Inverter Generator.
A Brief History of the WEN Brand
The WEN company was founded in 1951 as a power tools manufacturing company. Its pioneer designs made the basis of many tools being used today by woodworkers. These include electric chainsaws, jigsaws, engravers, electric soldering guns, and wet wheel sharpeners. Over the years, WEN expanded its line of products to include electric generators, air compressors, drill presses, miter saws, and bench binders, to mention a few.
By the end of 2001, the company had sold over 50 million units to consumers. WEN offers a wide range of portable generators such as inverters. It also has models that run on dual-fuel technology. This way, customers can access power solutions that meet diverse needs.
The company is headquartered in Elgin, Illinois. It has partnered with leading retailers in the North American region to ensure its products are available to its clients.
Why Choose WEN Generators
WEN generators stand out among competing brands because they are affordable and reliable. Moreover, WEN offers up to a 2-year warranty on its generators. When it comes to high power output, WEN has models that can produce more than 8,000W. Such units can have enough power to run a mid-sized home and high voltage appliances.
The WEN inverters, on the other hand, come in handy when you don’t need too much power and also have a limited budget. WEN inverter generators give you the flexibility of upscaling your power output by connecting two units in parallel. The parallel ready feature makes WEN inverter generators suitable for a wide range of applications such as tailgating parties, RV camping, and use on remote worksites.
Additionally, WEN generators are specially built to withstand heavy use. They feature all-metallic construction making them ideal for use in remote areas. This way, you can rest assured that your WEN generator will withstand harsh conditions in a rugged environment.
When it comes to portability, WEN generators are lightweight compared to other models in their class. The heavier models WEN come in open-frame designs, which make it easy for two or more people to carry the units. Some WEN generators come with wheel kits. These kits make it easy for a single person to move them. The lightest models come with easy-to-carry handles making their portability hassle-free.
Generally, WEN generators come in simple designs that are easy to use. They are also easy to start and maintain and, therefore, built for the average user. On the downside, WEN generators, especially the inverters, tend to be louder than other models of comparable output.
Therefore, if noise is a key consideration for you, you might need to shop for quieter models. However, the difference isn’t huge. You might find that these generators are louder by 3- 4 decibels, which might be negligible in most applications since the noise levels for the WEN generators are within acceptable limits.
If you intend to invest in an inverter generator, then WEN GN400i is a great choice if you need to run powerful appliances with clean electricity. Here is an in-depth review of this inverter generator.
The WEN GN400i has running and peak wattages of 3,500 watts and 4,000 watts, respectively. This output is sufficient for running critical appliances in your home, such as a refrigerator, sump pump, TV, lighting systems, dishwasher, and ovens. Before you connect your appliances to this generator, ensure that your total load does not exceed the rated wattage to avoid overloading and damaging the unit.
If you wish to power high voltage tools for your DIY projects, ensure that the surge wattage of your machine does not exceed that of the WEN GN400i. Otherwise, the machine will not run.
The beauty about the WEN GN400i 4000-watt gas portable inverter generator is that the unit produces clean electricity. It has a 0.3 % THD on its electrical output with no load and 1.2% THD at full load. In both scenarios, the WEN GN400i produces a pure sine wave electrical signal. The clean electrical power output allows you to connect sensitive electronics such as computers, medical instruments, and lab appliances to this portable generator without the fear of destroying the appliances.
Additionally, the WEN GN400i comes parallel ready. This feature allows you to connect your generator with a similar model in parallel and double your power output. Thus you can increase your power output to 7,000W with ease by using a second GN400i generator. This flexibility allows you to do more when the need arises and step down your power output to match your reduced electricity needs. This way, you will avoid the wastage of resources.
This WEN inverter generator runs on a four-stroke OHV engine with a 212 cc displacement. At 50% load, this engine consumes 0.26 gallons of gas per hour, making the generator one of the most fuel-efficient models in its class. The 1.8-gallon fuel tank allows the engine to run for a whole 7 hours, which is sufficient to weather most power outages. You can get a longer runtime, especially if you apply a lower load.
In such cases, it is advisable to activate the generator’s eco-mode. This move adjusts the engine RPM to match the applied load. The engine burns less fuel while giving you a higher runtime. It also reduces engine wear and tear, thus increasing the unit’s lifetime. Moreover, this engine is designed to run quietly with a noise level of 67 dB(A). This feature allows you to use it in most computing sites and residential areas. It also makes the generator model ideal for tailgating and other outdoor festivals.
The control panel of the GN400i generator has multiple power outlets. They include two 120V NEMA 5-20R ports, one RV-ready 120V TT-30R receptacle, and two 5V USB outlets. These power ports make it easy for you to hook up multiple appliances to the WEN GN400i generator. If you wish to connect the generator to your house, you can use a transfer switch for a safe connection.
The unit also comes with LED indicators that allow you to know when the generator is output-ready, overloaded, and when it’s low on engine oil. Other notable features on the WEN GN400i portable generator control panel include the engine switch, choke, circuit breaker, ground terminal, overload reset button, and parallel ready ports. These features are well-placed for the hassle-free operation of the generator.
When it comes to the safe operation of this inverter generator, WEN has incorporated low-oil and low-fuel auto-shut-off features. The unit has sensors that trigger engine shut down when the oil is low. This feature protects the engine from damage and only allows the engine to run when there is enough oil. The low-fuel auto-shut-off feature also comes in handy when your fuel tank runs dry. This feature turns off the engine for added safety.
In case you overload the generator by accident, the circuit breaker gets activated and cuts the electrical power supply to the connected load. This feature protects the generator and your appliances from sudden power surges, which could damage them. To use your generator after an overload, press the overload reset button. These features make the WEN GN400i easy to use.
WEN GN400i Care and Maintenance
WEN provides comprehensive guidelines on how to effectively care for and maintain the GN400i inverter generator. To achieve this, start by reading the user manual carefully to understand the salient features of the inverter generator. This move is critical, especially if you do not have the technical know-how in generator maintenance.
- Some of the crucial tasks you will need to perform include cleaning the unit regularly to prevent dirt and dust from affecting its normal operation. A good practice is to clean the generator after each use and store it covered in a dry/cool place.
- You will need to add or change the engine oil depending on how frequently you use the generator. Before each use, check to confirm that the oil level meets the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Another component you will need to clean is the carburetor, especially when storing the generator for a long time. Draining the fuel prevents it from accumulating and blocking the carburetor. This development prevents the generator from operating properly, next time you want to use it.
- Other parts of this generator that will require your attention include the spark arrestor, sparkplug, air filter, fuel tank, and combustion chamber. Some of these parts are complicated to maintain and may require skilled labor. If you encounter any difficulties or are not sure of what you need to do, consider contacting WEN-approved technicians in your area for assistance. This approach helps you avoid invalidating your warranty by accidentally damaging the generator. Luckily, the company has an extensive network of qualified technicians across the country to ensure that you get help whenever you need it.
Where Can You Use the WEN GN400i
The WEN GN400i portable generator comes with peak and running wattages of 4,000 watts and 3,500 watts, respectively. It comes with a parallel-ready feature that allows you to connect a similar model to double your power output. Moreover, the electrical signal from this portable generator is clean and therefore ideal for sensitive electronics. These features mean that you can use the WEN GN400i to power your home during power outages.
In this case, you may need to power some of your vital appliances. You can achieve this by connecting individual appliances whenever you want to use them or using a transfer switch to connect the generator to your mains circuit. If you would like to power your whole house, consider purchasing a second GN400i unit which you can use to double your output to about 7000 watts.
This inverter generator is also an excellent pick for anyone who needs to power their RV for outdoor trips. For instance, the generator has enough power output to run most appliances you would find in most RVs, such as mini-fridges, hairdryers, TVs, coffee makers, and air conditioners. It has an RV-ready power outlet that makes it easy to power your RV.
Also, digital nomads can use the generator to provide them with clean electricity anywhere, anytime. This way, they can power their computers or digital appliances and get the freedom to work from anywhere. The GN400i inverter generator has enough power to run power tools that you can use for your DIY project or remote work site. Only be careful not to overload the generator.
Users’ Opinion About the WEN GN400i
This WEN RV-ready 4000 watt open frame inverter generator receives a lot of positive reviews from customers, with the vast majority of consumers giving it top marks. These customers also rated how the WEN GN400i inverter generator faired on various aspects, as listed below:
- Easy to use – 4.7
- Value for money – 4.6
- Maneuverability – 4.4
- Portability – 4.3
- Longevity – 4.3
- Noise level – 4.3
These scores show that the generator performs above average and that most customers who bought it were pleased with its features. One customer was extremely satisfied with the generator especially because of its power output, noise level, and ease of use/maintenance.
Those who gave this generator favorable reviews loved its pocket-friendly price, fuel efficiency, and overall look. The generator provides sufficient electricity and is also not expensive to maintain. Thus, it gives you value for money.
While most customers had good experiences with this inverter generator, it wasn’t so with a few users. For instance, some clients complained that the generator couldn’t start straight from the box.
Other customers claimed that the unit arrived with a broken spark plug boot. Most of these clients had cases of defective units. If this happens to you, you have the option of returning the generator and claiming a replacement since the company offers a two-year warranty. You can also opt to work with approved technicians to repair the unit and proceed to use it. In this case, you may need to get spare parts from the manufacturer, which might take time, but the company will cover the repair costs if the warranty is still valid.
|Engine Type||4-stroke, OHV|
|Amperage||26.6A @ 120V|
|Tank Capacity||1.85 gal.|
|Max. Runtime||7 hours @ 50% load|
|Dimensions||19.8″ × 13.8″ × 18.9″|
- Clean energy
- Quiet operation
- Lightweight and compact
- Versatile control panel
- No issues found
Comparing WEN GN400i 4000-Watt Gas Portable Inverter Generator With Similar Generators
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The WEN GN400i inverter generator weighs 66.1 pounds, which is highly portable compared to most generators in the market with comparable output. Additionally, its open frame design makes it easy for two or more people to carry the generator. In case you are alone, WEN includes a never-flat wheel kit which makes it easy for you to move the generator.
A WEN inverter generator differs from other WEN generator models in that it has inverters that turn the electrical signal from the alternator from AC to DC. A microprocessor is then used to convert the DC back to an AC signal. The final output is thus cleaner with very low THD and thus ideal for use on sensitive electronics. WEN inverter generators are also designed to match the throttle with the applied load, resulting in higher fuel efficiencies.
The WEN GN400i has a noise level of 67dB(A), quieter than most generators in the market. This design allows you to use the generator in campsites without worrying about exceeding noise-level limits or disturbing your neighbors.
The WEN GN400i inverter generator runs on a four-stroke OHV engine with a 212 cc displacement. This engine is powered by gas and consumes 0.26 gallons per hour at a 50% load.
The run time of the WEN GN400i depends on the fuel available in its tank and the applied load. For example, when at full tank and 50% load, the generator can operate for 7 hours without interruption.