WEN Portable Generator Comparision 3500 vs 5500 vs 7000 vs 9000

WEN 3500 Watt Port. Gen.

WEN 3500 Watt Port. Gen.

WEN has four workhorse models in the 3000 to 7000 continuous rated portable generator range. They label these with the surge rating capacities which makes it a little difficult to truly understand the output.

Here are the combined continuous rating and surge watts for the models:

Recently we noted that WEN is indicating the 5500 (5000/5500W) model as out of stock and may be discounting that model although it is still available at outlets like Amazon as of this posting.

The WEN Portable Generators are top sellers and are all rated high at 4 1/2 stars or better out of 5.

There are a few differences in the WEN generators and I will compare the four models first with what is the same and then the differences.

Common WEN Features

Warranty and Repairs

The WEN Generators have a 2-year limited warranty to only the original purchaser making it non-transferable. If used for commercial/rental warranty period is 90 days.

2 year limited warranty

Year Limited Warranty

Filling out the warranty card is necessary for it to be valid. Warranty service is through contacting WEN customer service and not from the original retailer.

As with most warranties materials and workmanship are covered for normal use. WEN does reserve the discretion of manufacture to decide. The good part is they provide repairs under warranty without charge for parts or labor. The fixes are considered to be original product and will be good to the end of the original period from purchase.

The WEN website has a direct look up for parts and accessories. and makes easy to order your parts. They are laid out with picture and name and part number.

Normal wear and tear and maintenance parts are excluded such as air filter replacements,spark plug replacements,brush, and recoil starter rope

User controlled items are excluded such as misuse and accidents. Complete details are included in the manual.

Reports are that customer service has been excellent. When there are problems and broken parts, service has been on top of it. Noted were that WEN would send repair parts for self installation avoiding a trip to the service center. For the handy person that’s a good option.

Engine and Power Output Commonalities:

Engines:

WEN Engine, muffler

WEN Engine, muffler

All Engines use gasoline as fuel and are OHV 4 stoke engines. They all have low oil shutdown protection. Non of the models are CARB compliant but do meet EPA standards for other 49 states and come with spark arrestors.

All engines have easy pull recoil rope start, however the two larger models also include electric start and come with a battery. All engines are forced air cooled and run at 3600 rpm and do not have any throttle control. Oil fill is poorly placed a flexible funnel is needed to get to it easily.

Fuel and run time are set to be about 10 to 11 hours at 50% load. The 3000/3500W model has a 4 gallon tank where the rest of the models have a 6.5 gallon tank. All models come with a fuel gauge for monitoring usage.

All units come with an hour counter to monitor run time for maintenance.

Power Output

All the models use coil power generation configured for the output needs.

outlets

outlets

All models come with (4) 5-20R (3-prone), (1) L14-30R, and 12VDC outlets. On the 7000/9000W model there is also a L5-30R outlet. (see more on outlet configurations here: receptacle types

No grounding wire or rod

Mobility and Accessories and Care

WEN has included wheel kits and include a spark plug wrench and Flathead screwdriver as accessorizes for maintenance.

Start-up

WEN is very adamant about preparing the generator properly before starting. The manual gives the procedures and is the normal, add oil, gas, check it out things. Be sure you read and follow the directions.

Care and Maintenance and Use

WEN’s manual has a section on using the generator which details do’s and don’ts such as making sure that if you’re wiring a transfer switch to the house you have it done professionally.

Periodic maintenance is detailed in the manual.

  • Each use is as expected with – check fuel, air cleaner, as well as the engine oil.
  • After 20 hrs, only changing the engine oil is given for the initial break in..
  • For every 50 hours change oil and clean the air filter.
  • Every 100 hours is also clean fuel filter cap and spark plug
  • and at 300 hours clean the fuel tank.

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WEN Model Differences:

Obviously there are a number of given differences such as watts and engine size. We’ll summarize a few here and show in the table below.

Engine, Fuel Tank and Run time:

WEN Fuel Tank and Gauge

WEN Fuel Tank and Gauge

The 3000/3500W model has a 212cc 7 hp which is right in range when compared to other generators for this output. The other three are all closer to 400cc and 13 to 15 HP. Again comparably sized for the output requirements.

A 6.5 gallon tank for all models except for the 3000W model which has a 4 gallon tank. 50% load run time is 9 to 11 hours, with the larger units running less.

Noise Levels:

Noise levels are given for a 22 foot radius

  • Model 56352: 3000W = 67 dB Which is reasonable quiet.
  • Model 56551: 5000W = 74 dB On the louder side
  • Model 56682: 5500W = 74 dB loud side.
  • Model 56877: 7000W = 82 dB Very loud and would recommend barriers to contain the noise.

Dimensions and Weight

All the WEN Portable Generators are compact for their size approaching close to a 2 feet cube expect for the 3000W model which is a little over 2 foot long and about 1-1/2 feet wide and tall. This is nice for storage.

As expected the small generator is about 110 lbs. with the larger ones running around the 200 lb level plus or minus 10 or so pounds.

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Outlets and amps

As noted before all have 120V 5-20R and 120/240V L14-30Rrepecticals and 12VDC outlet. The 7000/9000W also has a L5-30R outlet providing an 120V 30 amp capability.

Total theoretical amps at 120V that can be supplied at rated wattage is:

  • Model 56352: 3000W = 25 amps
  • Model 56551: 5000W = 42 amps
  • Model 56682: 5500W = 46 amps
  • Model 56877: 7000W = 58 amps

At 240V half of that amperage is available. Of course combination of the various circuits would need to be used to reach these maximums.

Display & Control Panel

Take a look at the control panels below

WEN 3000/3500W Control Panel

WEN 3000/3500W Control Panel

WEN 5000/5500W Panel

WEN 5000/5500W Panel

WEN 5500/7000W Control Panel

WEN 5500/7000W Control Panel

http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/outdoor-living/detailpages/powerpro//B0092K1FG2-2_t.jpg

WEN 7000/9000W Control Panel

Main Model Differences

Model # Running / Surge Watts Max Amps Fuel Tank Gal

Run Time 1/2 Load (hrs)

Noise Rating @ 23 ft Engine Size / HP Dimen
L
x W
x H
(in)
weight lbs. 120V outlets 240V outlets
56352 3000 / 3500 25 4 11 67 dB 212cc / 7 24.4 x 18.5 x 17.7 111 (4) 5-20R (1) L14-30R
56551 5000 / 5500 42 6.5 11 74 dB 389cc / 13 27.6 x 22.1 x 21.1 190 (4) 5-20R (1) L14-30R
56682 Elect Start 5500 / 7000 46 6.5 10 74 dB 390cc / 13 27.4 x 21.5 x 21.8 200 (4) 5-20R (1) L14-30R
56877 Elect Start 7000 / 9000 58 6.5 9 82 dB 420cc / 15 27.4 x 21.5 x 21.8 210 (4) 5-20R; (1) L5-30R  (1) L14-30R

All have 12VDC outlet.

Price

WEN Portable generators are very reasonably priced from around $340 for the small one and closer to $800 or $900 for the larger outputs. Below are the current pricing from Amazon for the models.

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Summary

The WEN Gas Powered Portable Generators are top sellers and highly rated by the users.

Any of these models will serve you well. Since all are equipped with L14-30R receptacles the can easily be used with the L14 inlet and transfer switches  for powering your house. Be sure you take time to study the learning center on estimating and wiring your house to make sure you are getting adequately sized unit.

The 3000W or 5000W can supply basic needs in many homes and probably majority in small houses. The larger units of course will provide more starting and continuous load for taking on whole house needs.

The only downside for me was the noise ratings being so high. This could be very annoying if running the units for long periods of time not only to you but your neighbors as well. Some consideration of sound damping with enclosed fencing or such might be a consideration.

Overall I’m pleased with customer service and warranty aspects of these machines. Generally they are well thought out and provide for excellent portable generation at excellent prices and value.

Check above for the latest on current pricing.

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Photo’s from: Amazon.com

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