Portable generators deliver reliable electricity during a natural disaster, power outage, or just to charge a tablet while camping. Users will go from feeling vulnerable to feeling empowered, with powered electronics to boot.
One option for power-hungry customers is the Wen 56200i Portable Inverter Generator, a portable unit that delivers clean, sufficient electricity.
What Is the Wen 56200i?
The Wen 56200i uses gasoline to produce energy without voltage spikes and drops. With a lower total harmonic distortion, the unit is safe to easily connect smaller electronic devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones, and cameras). The generator is light and portable enough for recreational use, such as camping, fishing, and hunting.
- Silent at 51 decibels, which is quieter than a window air conditioner
- 5 hours of runtime when fully fueled
- 1,600 rated watts of power and 2,000 watts of surge power
- Two three-prong 120V outlets, one 12V DC outlet, and one 5V USB port
- A 79.7cc 4-stroke OHV engine with EPA III and CARB compliance
- 48 pounds
- Parallel hookup with another generator can produce more than 2,000 watts using a parallel connection kit
- Eco-mode automatically adjusts fuel consumption as electronics are plugged or unplugged
- Indicator panel shows low oil or power overload
- 2-year warranty
Tips For Using The Wen 56200i
After using the Wen 56200i, here are some specific tips and best practices to help others use their generator:
- To avoid spilling fuel, use a funnel when filling the generator’s tank (a funnel is included in the purchase). Even a one-gallon water jug is optimal for pouring fuel, as bigger gas cans provide less control in pouring or also be too heavy for some consumers.
- To change the oil, remove the three small bolts on the side to find your oil plug and dipstick. Tip the generator and refill the oil tank.
- We recommend Mobil 1 Synthetic 5W-30 oil as the best value for the 56200i.
- Always use a fuel stabilizer and make sure to run your generator every few weeks to keep it in good shape.
- Some valuable accessories for purchase include the Wen 56421 Parallel Connection Kit, the Wen Universal Weatherproof Medium Generator Cover, and the 56200i-HA36 High Altitude Kit.
- Be sure to research your energy needs, as we have noticed that the user manual does not provide clear instructions about all the ways you can use the Wen 56200i.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Check out these commonly asked questions for more information on the Wen 56200i.
How Does the Wen 56200i Compare to the Wen 56225i?
- The 56200i unit is less powerful than the 56225i—1,600 watts of rated power compared to 1,800 watts).
- The 56200i is slightly less noisy than the 56225i—51 decibels compared to 53 decibels.
- Both have similar runtimes at a little over six hours.
- The 56225i has two 5V USB ports compared to the 56200i’s one USB port.
- The 56200i has a price of around $420 compared to about $515 for the 56225i.
Can I Use the 56200i if It Is Raining?
Portable generators are generally not waterproof. If you do plan to use the generator when it’s raining outdoors, make sure to use an umbrella or other covering to protect the unit from water damage.
We recommend purchasing a Sterilite 34-gallon plastic tote to protect the Wen 56200i generator and its box from rain. The tote is 8.88 inches x 18.13 inches x 21 inches has snaps that lock its lid. Such a tote is ideal if you experience rainfall during a camping trip.
You can also purchase the Wen Universal Weatherproof Medium Generator Cover.
Is the 56200i Strong Enough to Be a Home Backup Generator?
An individual’s use may vary depending on his or her power needs. It is best to research your energy needs and make a conclusion. At 1,600 watts of rated power, Wen 56200i may not have enough power. The unit may instead be better for recreational use, such as camping and hiking.
How Tall Is the Wen 56200i?
The generator is 19.3 inches (490.22 mm). The Wen 56200i may barely fit underneath a truck bed with a tonneau cover. Take this fact into account if this could be an issue for you.
How Heavy Is the Wen 56200i When Fully Filled With Gas?
Heaviness may be an issue for some customers. Without a gallon of gasoline, the unit weighs 48 pounds and about 57 pounds when full.
Can I Take the Wen 56200i to U.S. National Parks and National Forests?
Yes, the unit has a USDA-approved spark arrestor to prevent fires due to exhaust systems.
Why Purchase a Portable Generator?
Electricity is a valuable resource that most of us take for granted. Everyone has had a situation where a mobile dies at an inconvenient moment.
A hiker or camper may need his or her tablet or phone to navigate the wilderness, seek shelter for safety, or get to the desired area of a national park. A family household may experience a power outage during which an adequately charged phone, tablet, or laptop and a powered wireless router and modem connect it with others.
Outdoor workers who like to work around the house or farm can need more electricity, or they wish to connect with others even when working in the elements.
In short, a clean and efficient generator can be handy at supplying power during an outage, while camping, or even during the best of times.
Best Practices for Any Generator
You never know when a portable generator can come in handy, so it’s best to maintain the unit properly in case you need it.
Follow these maintenance tips and practices to get the most out of your generator:
- Clean debris, litter, or other waste of the generator after each use.
- Store the generator in a garage, shed, or other building so you can access it quickly and that it stays protected from bad weather.
- Fill the fuel tank and add a gasoline stabilizer to the tank.
- If you don’t often use your generator, store it after the fuel tank is empty and add a fuel stabilizer to prevent gum formation that will burden the fuel system.
- After you add a stabilizer, run the generator for several minutes so the stabilizer can flow through the system. This method can keep your fuel in good condition for up to three years.
- Always check to see if your generator has enough oil, which will improve performance and increase the engine’s lifespan.
- Read through the portable generator’s manual, so you are up-to-date on the generator’s needs.
Portable Inverter Generators and Conventional Portable Generators: What Is the Difference?
The Wen 56200i is an inverter generator, but what difference does that make?
Conventional portable generators produce just AC electricity, but an inverter generator produces power in three steps—high-frequency AC, DC, and back to AC.
An inverter generator like the Wen 56200i produces what could be called “clean electricity” or “clean energy.” Through the use of a stable sine wave, an inverter generator has minimal harmonic disruption. Such energy is better for more sensitive devices, such as tablets, laptops, and smartphones.
By contrast, a conventional generator causes higher harmonic distortion through its sine wave. With such a current, the generator can fry the components of smaller electronics.
Inverter generators like the Wen 56200i produce less power than conventional generators because of a smaller fuel tank.
Despite its smaller tank, an inverter generator automatically adjusts to its energy load and produces an AC that makes it more energy efficient.
Conventional portable generators and leaf blowers have something in common: noise. Even with some noise-diminishing components, a traditional generator is still quite loud.
By contrast, inverter generators like the Wen 56200i produce sound nearer to two people having a conversation.
Conventional generators are indeed cheaper than inverter generators. If the price is your concern, a conventional generator is a more affordable option, as well as a more powerful one.
The price difference comes from the newer technology used by inverter generators. However, an inverter generator has benefits in being quiet and more energy efficient.
For its affordability, portability, and reliability, the Wen 56200i Portable Inverter Generator is a clean, energy-efficient generator option for consumers.