Table of Contents
- Why Should You Choose An Inverter Generator?
- Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
- Accessories For The Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator
- Final Word
Inverter generators have a sleeker appearance, are easier to use, and produce cleaner power than conventional generators. From our research, the Westinghouse iGen4500 is the pick of the bunch, specially adapted for recreational use but equally suitable for emergency home use.
This review will shine a light on the Westinghouse iGen4500 inverter generator to reveal its strengths, weaknesses, and everything you need to know about it. We watched all the ranking Westinghouse iGen4500 reviews on Youtube and read countless articles, forum threads, customer feedback of the inverter generator to make sure this article is as exhaustive as it can be.
Also, at the end of the article, we will suggest the three top accessories you need to get the best out of your Westinghouse iGen4500 inverter generator.
But first things first – what makes inverter generators so desirable?
Why Should You Choose An Inverter Generator?
When you first go out to shop for a generator for your RV or home, you have the two main options of a traditional diesel generator and an inverter generator. Inverter generators, like the Westinghouse iGen4500, have several advantages over the more conventional open-frame generators:
Higher Fuel Efficiency
Inverter generators run more efficiently and are easier to use than traditional generators. Their efficiency stems from how they work, specifically their variable engine speed.
Regular generators run at full tilt continuously, even when there is no load. Not so for inverter generators that throttle up and down depending on the load, they are supplying.
If there is a heavier load to power, an inverter generator will throttle up. Likewise, when you disconnect an appliance and the total load decreases, the generator automatically throttles down. This saves fuel and protects the generator from unnecessary wear.
Safe For Sensitive Electronics
One weakness of regular diesel generators is the quality of the power they produce. That power isn’t as clean as it should be to safely power sensitive equipment. That quality of power is known as total harmonic distortion (THD).
With some diesel generators, THD can be as high as 25 percent, when it needs to be below five. An inverter generator can bring THD down to under 1 percent, which makes a world of difference. But how do these generators achieve such low THD?
Again it has to do with how the generators work. Alternators on regular generators produce power and send it as is direct to the control panel. With inverter generators, the alternator first feeds the power through a rectifier that converts it from AC to DC power. An onboard computer then converts that same power back to AC mode.
That series of conversions stabilizes the power, making it cleaner and safer for your smartphones, televisions, and other sensitive electronics.
Inverter generators are remarkably quiet, even when running at full capacity. In eco-mode – producing only the power needed for the job at hand, the noise the Westinghouse iGen 4500 inverter generator makes can be as low as 52 decibels. That is quieter than normal speech and perfect for camping and home use.
Several things are responsible for inverter generators’ remarkably low noise output. The first is their compact design and the smaller engine they use. Smaller engines generally make less noise.
Another reason why inverter generators are so quiet is they do not always have to run at full throttle. They can sense when they need to increase and decrease electricity output. If the job at hand requires less power, they will automatically throttle down and run more quietly.
Importantly, however, inverter generators have a body casing that absorbs a lot of the noise the engine makes. The casing is made from materials specially chosen for their sound reducing qualities and lined with foam and other materials that absorb even more of the noise. That contrasts sharply with open frame generators that have no noise barrier.
The Westinghouse iGen4500 is a mid-sized inverter generator with the capacity to supply 3700 watts of power continuously, and 4,500 watts at peak generation. While you can use it at home or on a remote job site, its design and specs make it a perfect fit for RVs and travel trailers.
Who Makes the Westinghouse iGen4500?
The iGen4500 is made by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Designed in the USA, Westinghouse generators are manufactured at factories in China and Vietnam.
Even though Westinghouse only started making inverter generators in 2013, the company has been producing electric power equipment since it was founded by George Westinghouse in 1886. The company is responsible for some of history’s biggest moments. Even Nicola Tesla once worked there.
Generators fall under the Outdoor Power Equipment division, which besides inverter generators also makes traditional, open-frame generators and portable power stations. In terms of inverter generators, the iGen4500 is the largest in the line. It has a slightly more expensive dual-fuel version.
What Can the Westinghouse iGen4500 Power?
The Westinghouse iGen4500 is a mid-sized generator that has enough capacity to run your critical appliances and electronics after a grid outage at home. It is just about sufficient for an RV.
That said, the iGen4500 is too small to feed directly into your home’s electrical circuits via a transfer switch. You have to connect the load directly to the generator using the two duplex 20A household outlets. There are also a couple of 5V USB ports that you can use to charge your mobile devices and other small gadgets.
If you have more appliances to supply, the iGen4500 is parallel capable, meaning it can be hooked up in parallel with another inverter generator using one of the two 120V receptacles.
The generator comes already outfitted for RV use, with a TT-30R receptacle. You can, thus, plug your entire RV or travel trailer (TT) directly into your generator without the need for an adapter. So if you are shopping for an RV-ready generator, the iGen4500 would be perfect.
Westinghouse iGen4500 Specs
The all-important spec for any generator is its power rating. The Westinghouse iGen4500’s name emphasizes the 4500. That is the peak wattage that it can only sustain for short bursts and which gives you the extra power you need to start any tools or appliances that use an electric motor.
The number you should be more concerned with is the running watts, for which the iGen4500 is rated at 3,700 watts. This means your total load cannot exceed 3,700 watts at any given time. If you have to, you can parallel this generator with another to increase the power output.
We will talk more about the Westinghouse iGen4500’s specs as we discuss the generator’s features. First, here are all the specs at a glance:
What Do We Like About the Westinghouse iGen4500?
There is a lot to like about the iGen4500. Below we will discuss the different qualities you should look for in a good inverter generator and gauge how well this generator’s features deliver on them. Since this is marketed as a portable generator, we will start there:
It follows that a portable generator must have a manageable weight. Otherwise lugging it around will become a real struggle. Though it is compact, at 104.7 lbs dry weight, the Westinghouse iGen4500 is fairly heavy.
With a full gas tank, the generator should weigh about 130 lbs, which isn’t light by any measure. Given that weight, lifting it onto a truck bed has to be a two-man job.
But if all you have to do is get it out of the garage and a safe distance from doors and windows, you shouldn’t need any help. The generator has two rear never-flat wheels and a grab bar that makes it easy to drag it where you intend it to sit.
If you need to position it a bit farther away, there is a long telescoping handle that makes it an easier job to pull the generator.
Multiple starting options
As a generator manufacturer, you will lose a part of the market if your portable generator takes significant physical exertion to start. A manual recoil start, in this instance, isn’t favorable for physically challenged people.
The Westinghouse iGen4500 includes all the starting mechanisms you could ask for. Besides the backup manual recoil start, this generator has a push-button start and a wireless fob for remote starting, which we can imagine will be many people’s favorites.
So unless the onboard battery dies, starting this generator is as easy as it can be. Speaking of the onboard battery, it sits on the rear side of the generator, behind a cover panel. Connecting it is as easy as snapping two terminals together.
Low sound output
The biggest selling point for inverter generators has to be their low noise level. Several sound tests show the Westinghouse iGen4500 runs remarkably quiet. From 50 feet away, in eco-mode or with a load, the generator is no louder than normal conversation.
We should surmise the low noise output is a factor of the cover that encases the whole generator, muffling most of the sound coming from the engine.
We also think the iGen4500 looks rather sleek in its ‘blue jacket’, which is always nice.
The iGen4500 uses a 7.3 horsepower OHV 4-stroke engine that is robust enough for all-day use in the event of a blackout. Inverter generators aren’t the most powerful, but this one is something of an exception. It can run an RV and most appliances in the home, with some power to spare.
Looking at the Westinghouse iGen4500’s dimensions, it is clear it isn’t the most compact generator you will find. But the larger size is good for one specific attribute – a larger fuel tank. To be precise, the fuel tank on the Westinghouse iGen4500 can hold 3.4 gallons of gasoline.
A full tank will give you 18 hours of continuous operation. So in theory, this generator should get you through the night without a need to refill the tank. The fuel tank is positioned right on top of the unit, so refueling shouldn’t be a problem.
Fuel shut-off valve
We like that there is a fuel shut-off dial on this generator. This feature is important for several reasons. One is it stops fuel from settling in the generator’s fuel system where it can cause clogging issues.
If the fuel you are using is an ethanol blend, there is also a chance that the ethanol will corrode the carburetor, the O rings, and the engine seals. It’s also a good practice generally to shut off the fuel when transporting the generator.
Digital LED display
One of the competing inverter generators to this Westinghouse iGen4500 is the Champion 4000-watt inverter generator. That generator is RV-ready and is even cheaper than the iGen4500, meaning it should be an easy decision to choose between the two. Is it, though?
Besides having a smaller fuel tank, the Champion generator lacks a digital LED display. Many people will choose the Westinghouse generator just for its digital data center.
The digital display allows you to check at a glance, the fuel level, power output, remaining runtime, and the lifetime run hours. On the same data panel is an indicator light that alerts you when the generator is overloaded.
There is also a circuit breaker that will trigger a shutdown if the load exceeds the generator’s installed capacity. As well as that, a security feature we also like is the low oil shutoff that automatically turns the generator off if the oil drops too low.
What Are The Main Problems Of The Westinghouse iGen 4500?
Let’s be honest; no mechanical device is without issues. Even the best generators will fail at some point. What you don’t want is a generator that is in the repair shop more times than you are using it.
Again, a generator that is a pain to start is probably not worth the investment. So before you take your generator on the road or out to the campsite, you want to break it in at home to be sure everything works as it should. If the unit has too many bugs, then you should probably return it and get a different model.
A few people had problems starting the iGen4500, with both the electric and pull start failing. We can imagine the frustration if this happens when you need the generator the most.
Westinghouse iGen4500 choke problems
A more frequent complaint people have lodged about the iGen4500 has to do with the choke not working properly. The effect is the engine smokes and runs rough. The generator also consumes more fuel than normal.
Essentially, a choke on a generator is designed to restrict (or choke) the airflow in the carburetor so the air-fuel mixture has a higher fuel concentration. A richer air-fuel mixture generates more power and combustion needed to start a cold engine.
So what happens is when you first start the generator, the choke should be in the closed position to enhance the fuel concentration in the air-fuel mixture. Once the engine starts and is warmed up, however, the choke should open to allow more air into the carburetor.
More oxygen in this case improves combustion and ensures the fuel burns completely. The engine, therefore, uses less fuel and burns more smoothly.
The problem with the iGen4500 carburetor is that the choke is regulated by a computerized control module that in some cases gets disconnected during shipping or may never have been properly connected. The choke, which is set in a closed position, must automatically open as the engine runs and warms up. Only in this case it doesn’t because the cable that connects the choke to the control module is loose or disconnected.
A simple fix for the Westinghouse iGen4500 choke problem is to reconnect the wiring for the choke control module. Once you do that you should see the choke adjust to the open position on its own, which is how it is designed to work. This video will walk you through the choke fix.
The Westinghouse iGen4500 is well-made. But we came across complaints about the gas cap being of a flimsy quality. One reviewer on Amazon mentioned how it broke when they tried to open it the first time.
To be fair, most complaints are reported by people with a limited understanding of how inverter generators work. For example, the electric start will not work if the battery terminals are not connected. That brings us to the issue of customer service:
It seems most of the problems users encountered with the iGen4500 could have been solved by more attentive customer service. The choke and starting problems could have been fixed by the users themselves if Westinghouse customer service had only directed them to an instructional video or a specific page on the user manual.
One reviewer complained of being given a new case number every time they followed up on an issue they already reported. That, in effect, means even follow-ups are treated as new cases. That is frustrating, especially when the company never follows up on the complaint.
The customer service people are said to be nice and polite enough when you are reporting your issue, but it seems in many cases they never get back to you. Even in such cases, users agree that the generator is actually well-made, just that the quality of customer service lets it down.
Does Westinghouse iGen 4500 Require A Lot Of Maintenance?
The Westinghouse iGen4500 inverter generator does not require any more maintenance than other inverter generators. That said, it will perform at its best and last longer with regular maintenance.
Your first port of call in terms of generator maintenance is the user manual. The iGen4500 ships with one. You can also download a copy here. The user manual includes all the critical information on generator assembly, the parts diagram, digital data center, operation, and general maintenance.
For maintenance, you need to know where the service covers are located, including the battery and oil access. Parts that will need regular inspection, maintenance, and, at times, replacement include the foam air filter, oil drain plug crush washer, spark arrestor, fuel filter, spark plug, and battery.
Generally, you may only have to replace the oil and clean the air filter once in a while. As a habit, check the oil level every time you run the generator. Again, the manual has all the information on the oil change schedule as well as forA removable instructions on how to check the level and change the oil.
Westinghouse iGen4500 Documentation:
Accessories For The Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator
Below we review our top picks for the accessories you need to protect and get the most efficient use out of your Westinghouse iGen4500 inverter generator.
While inverter generators have an outer casing, you still need to cover yours from dirt so you don’t have to clean it as frequently. Moisture can also corrode internal parts and reduce the generator’s service life.
This universal generator cover from Westinghouse will keep your generator clean, dry, and scratch-free. It is perfect for use with the iGen4500 both when it’s in storage and during transportation. It has a drawstring that secures it tightly around the generator. The cover’s seams are secured with high-density stitching for extra durability.
Please note that this cover should only be used when the generator is not in use. When the generator is running, it must get sufficient ventilation. If you have to protect it from the rain or snow, make or buy a specially made tarp that will still allow plenty of airflow around the generator.
EXTENSION CORD: Camco (55191) 25′ PowerGrip Heavy-Duty 30-Amp Extension Cord
The Westinghouse iGen4500 inverter generator does not come with an extension power cable. You will need one to deliver the power to your RV. Or you may need to extend the length between your RV and the generator.
The Camco (55191) 25′ PowerGrip Heavy-Duty Outdoor 30-Amp Extension Cord is our pick. It is an Amazon choice with over 6,000 5-star reviews.
This extension cable will add 25 feet of length between your travel trailer and your generator. The cable’s 30-amp male and female connectors have high conductivity and are rated for 3750 watts, which is slightly above the iGen4500’s running watts capacity. The cable itself is a 10-gauge copper wire that guarantees unfailing conductivity.
Both the male and female connector heads use grip handles that make plugging and unplugging strain-free. The heads have a 90-degree configuration that reduces stress on the cord and its connection. The cable is coated in a flexible, heavy-duty PVC sheath that resists heat and is protected with a flame retardant.
SAFETY CAN: Eagle UI-50-FS I 5-Gallon Gasoline Safety Can
Gasoline is highly flammable and can cause major damage if ignited. If you own a generator, it is a good habit to have some fuel on hand just in case an outage stretches out. To store the extra fuel, you need a storage container strong enough not to break and spill the gasoline.
Our recommendation for the fuel can to go with your Westinghouse iGen4500 generator is this Eagle Red Galvanized steel type 1 safety can, with the capacity to hold 5 gallons of gasoline. This can is made in the United States from 24-gauge hot-dipped galvanized steel, is 100% leak-tested, and has multiple approvals.
Designed to safely store flammable liquids, this fuel can has a removable safety funnel that helps prevent spills and messes when refilling your generator. In case you come near a fire, the funnel has a flame arrestor that reduces the risk of fire.
This is a tough container that will not shrink or bulge with temperature changes, like the cheap plastic ones. No surprise then that this safety can is an Amazon Choice, where it has over 5,000 5-star reviews.
Westinghouse is a trusted generator brand whose reputation rests on a 135-year history of producing high-quality electrical power systems and equipment. This iGen4500 in particular, has some of the most desirable features, including a remote start and digital data center.
The Westinghouse iGen4500 uses a 224 cc OHV 4-stroke engine that runs on gasoline. This and other engines used on Westinghouse generators are exclusively made for the Westinghouse brand.
Westinghouse generators compare favorably to other brands in terms of their noise output. The Westinghouse iGen4500 inverter generator is rated at 52 decibels, which is remarkably quiet for the power it produces.
The Westinghouse iGen4500 has a 3,7-gallon fuel tank that will last up to 18 hours, which is long enough to get you through the night. With a smaller load, you should get a longer runtime.
Westinghouse generators ship with fully charged batteries. However, the batteries will deplete if you don’t use the generator for a prolonged period. If that happens, you have to use the supplied charger to top off the battery. Otherwise, the battery will self-charge after the generator has been running for some time.
In an RV or camper, the Westinghouse iGen4500 will run the refrigerator, 11,000 BTU AC, radiant heater, blender, and several LED lights at the same time. If you are using the generator for backup power at home, you should comfortably run the refrigerator, hairdryer, washing machine, and 5 LED lights together, with some spare juice to charge your mobile phones and small gadgets.
After thoroughly vetting the Westinghouse iGen4500 inverter generator, factoring in the opinions of expert reviewers and people who have bought and used the generator, we are happy and confident to recommend it for RV or emergency home use. It is a capable, well-made generator that will serve you faithfully for many years, as long as your power needs fall within its rated capacity.