Westinghouse iGen4500 Review

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Westinghouse iGen4500 Review
Westinghouse iGen4500 Review

When you are going on a shopping spree in a hurry for electric generators, you’d be constantly prone to make wrong and desperate decisions in haste. Buying few-dollars items is one thing; spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on inadequate or impractical portable generators is another, right?

Getting a portable generator seems a pretty straightforward task. But keep in mind that appearances and numbers can be deceptive and irrelevant. There are hundreds of portable generators in the market, but which exactly is the one to make your life more comfortable instead of chaotic by meeting your needs?

That’s why I am going to do a thorough review of the Westinghouse iGen4500 today. I will discuss all of its features, pros, and cons so you will be able to determine at the end of this article if it will give you good value for money.

Westinghouse iGen4500 - Front View
Westinghouse iGen4500 – Front View

At a Glance

Westinghouse iGen4500 portable generator seems quite impressive when we initially go through the features it offers. A quick scan shows that it is a good generator for outdoor use, powerful enough to run every device you need.

Because Westinghouse has been pioneering the technology for over a century, they have made sure that this inverter is up to the mark with its innovative features to provide the comfort it is designed for. 

Here’s what it packs.

  • Remote/Push-Button Start – The engine can be started with the help of an electric push button and a wireless remote along with the manual start, making it easier to operate.
  • Extended Run Time – Runs for up to 18 hours on a full tank of 3.4 gallons.
  • Compact & Lightweight – The engine weighs only 98 lbs, listing it among the lightest models with the same output.
  • Easy Portability – The model includes never-flat wheels and an ergonomic extendable handle, making it very easy to transport.
  • Super Quiet – Low sound levels. As low as 52 dB. Double insulated acoustic enclosure, asymmetrical cooling fans, and low tone mufflers help reduce the noise levels. 
  • Clean Power – Extremely low total harmonic distortion of less than 3%. Able to power sensitive electronics safely.
  • LED Display Meter – Automatic rotating digital display shows the remaining fuel, real-time output, voltage. It also indicates the remaining run hours.
  • Fuel-Efficient – Efficiency mode increases the fuel efficiency, making it up to 50% more efficient than the conventional generators.
  • Powerful Engine – Produces 4.5 kW peak and 3700 running watts. 
  • Ease of Access – One TT-30R RV Ready Outlet, two 20A household outlets, and built-in USB ports.

About Westinghouse Electric Corporation

To be frank, if there’s one company whose credentials and history impressed and amazed me, it was Westinghouse. 

George Westinghouse founded the billion-dollar ‘Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company’ in 1886. Since its inception, it branched out into several entities under the umbrella of engineering services after changing its name to ‘Westinghouse Electric Corporation. 

Westinghouse Corp. was built upon a tradition of dependability and innovation, and they have done a fantastic job of carrying the same practice to date. 

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, they have thousands of employees and have accumulated revenue of over $3.5 billion in total.

Westinghouse Electric Corporation has a strong market share in the industry and revenue growth and revenue generation per employee is greater than the industry average. 

Westinghouse Product Categories

George Westinghouse initially started his journey by launching the Westinghouse Air Brake Company in 1869.

Over the decades, Westinghouse patented so many technological inventions and developments in the manufacturing of steam turbine and gas generators, aviation, nuclear power, industrial motors, rail transit, and consumer electronics. 

Now Westinghouse’s focal point is designing and making a range of products from smart appliances to clean energy solutions. And that’s why I am going to review their star product, the Westinghouse iGen4500 portable inverter generator.

Features and Ease Of Use

Westinghouse iGen4500 - Control Panel
Westinghouse iGen4500 – Control Panel

Westinghouse has been manufacturing reliable equipment powering the world for over a century. Their flagship product, the iGen4500 inverter, has several features that make it reliable and easy to use. 

This feature-packed model provides you a premium solution to help meet your portable power needs efficiently. 

Here’s what it will provide you:

Remote/Push-Button Start

The inverter has an electric push-button start for ease of operation. The battery is included with the unit. With the wireless remote start, the key fob starts up from up to 100 yards away. Along with the manual recoil start option, both of these features provide you with an easy ignition system. 

Extended Run Time

The 3.4-gallon fuel tank saves you from frequent trips to the fuel station and provides an extended run time of up to 18 hours at 25% load. It can run for up to 12-15 hours at 50% load, surpassing its competitor inverters with similar outputs. 

Compact & Lightweight

The engine has a very compact and sleek design that will help it fit tight spaces and vehicles. At 98 pounds, this inverter is one of the lightest in its category. Its competitors like the Champion 3000-Watt generators or WEN Inverter Generator 56380i are heavier.

Easy Portability

The weight of this inverter is too much for one person to carry around easily. Hence, the integration of never-flat wheels and an extendable handle that can pop out and fold in have resolved the portability issue quite common in conventional generators. 

Super Quiet

If you are looking for quieter portable generators with a power cap, this one is for you. It has an astonishingly low noise level of 52 dB only. What helps in reducing the noise levels is the double insulated acoustic enclosure, the asymmetrical cooling fans, and the low tone mufflers.

Clean Power Output

The THD of the output is less than 3%. The low distortion makes the power clean and safe for sensitive electronic equipment like mobile phones and laptops. 

LED Display Meter

The automatic rotating digital display shows the remaining fuel, real-time output, voltage. The 5 LEDs light up at different output levels (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%). 

The display also shows the remaining run hours depending on the output and fuel. It also shows the lifetime run hours, so there is no need to install a third-party hour meter.

Fuel-Efficient

Switching to the efficiency mode increases the fuel efficiency, making it up to 50% more efficient than the conventional generators. The generator senses the load and starts running at a slower RPM to save fuel.

Ease of Access 

One 120V TT-30R RV Ready Outlet, two 20A household outlets, and two built-in USB ports make this generator versatile for camping and outdoor parties.

Low Oil Shutdown/Overload Protection

The control panel has a low oil indicator, and the inverter automatically shuts down in case of a low oil level to protect the engine from possible internal damage. The model also has integrated overload protection.

Parallel Ready

The engine is parallel-ready. You just have to connect another one of the same types to double your output power. However, the parallel 50A cord is sold separately.

Engine Specs for Westinghouse Generators

Westinghouse iGen4500
Westinghouse iGen4500

What I liked about this company is that the generators are exclusively equipped with their own Westinghouse brand engines. 

Westinghouse mainly uses three types of engines for its portable inverter generators. 98 cc engines are used for inverters with low power output, 224cc for medium-level output, and 420cc for bigger inverters. 

Let’s talk about the engine Westinghouse uses for iGen4500.

What Engine Is Used in Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator?

The type of engine used by the company in this inverter model is a dependable 7.3 HP 224cc OHV 4-Stoke Westinghouse engine. It has a maximum RPM of 3600. 

The main features of this EPA and CARB certified engine unit are:

  • Horizontal Single Cylinder
  • 4-Stroke
  • Air-cooled
  • Manual Recoil/Electric/Wireless Starting Mechanism
  • Forced Splash Lubrication System

You can find the engine’s full specifications here.

Fuel Type and Efficiency

Gasoline is the only fuel you can use to run this engine. It does not support the duel-fuel mode.

Fuel Tank Capacity

The gasoline capacity of the fuel tank of this generator is approximately 12.8 liters (or 3.4 gallons).

Why Is Gasoline Used for This Generator Unit?

As with most of the other generators, gasoline is used in this inverter generator as well. The fuel type was probably selected due to its widespread use and ease of availability.

Benefits of Using Gasoline

  • Gasoline produces more energy per unit of fuel than propane and natural gas; hence it can be an ideal choice for running the generator in low fuel and high power requirements.
  • Gasoline is considerably cheaper than propane if we compare the cost of per kW generation. That makes it more efficient in terms of economic values. On the flip side, natural gas is even cheaper than gasoline, but gives out less energy per unit than gasoline, hence becoming impractical. 
  • Gasoline is easily available and extremely common. You won’t have to venture far to have your fuel tank filled. Propane may only be available at some specific locations in your vicinity.

How Long Will The Engine Run On Full Tank?

Fuel consumption ratings are done at 25% load according to the industry standards. 

This engine keeps running for about 18 hours straight at a 25% load cap with a full fuel tank (3.4 gals of gasoline). 

At 50% load, the inverter can run for an astonishing 14-15 hours at maximum fuel cap.

Noise Levels

Westinghouse has done remarkably well to keep this inverter as quiet as possible by using state of art technology. There are very few generators, with similar outputs, which have an even quieter sound level in comparison to this one. 

The company has incorporated several features in this inverter like an acoustic enclosure with double insulation and low tone mufflers to reduce the noise. 

Here’s what the engine produces at different loads.

Variable Load Noise Level

The 212cc 4-Stroke engine operates at about 52 dB at 25% load from an industry-standard 7 meters (23 feet). That is quieter than a normal conversation. The Economy Mode helps to run the engine ultra-silently by slowing down the engine depending on the power requirements. 

This feature helps your neighbor sleep comfortably while the unit runs right next to his wall without disturbing the environment.

Hence, the variable load noise levels can fluctuate between 52 – 65 dB. It is quiet but can do better with the Eco Mode on.

Full Load Noise Level

At full load, this generator can go up to 65-75 dB at full power. Though these numbers are pretty good, it’s still not impressive enough. Several other portable generators are quieter at full load.

Noise Reduction Technology – Comparison with Other Models

Westinghouse has done remarkably well at introducing noise cancellation technology in this model. Many features work in unison to reduce the noise levels at variable loads. But at full load, I have seen that a few generator units were quieter than this one. 

Let’s compare this inverter with a few other models to see how it fares.

Louder Models

  • Kohler Power Systems have generators with noise levels of 69-70 dB.
  • Generac’s Guardian Line Series and Protector Gas Series have generators that produce sounds measuring 66 dB

Quieter Models

  • WEN’s 56200i 2,000 Watt Portable Generator has a sound level of 51 dB at 25% load.
  • Champion Power – Model 100574 has an output of 64 dB while running at full load.
  • Honda EU2200i can run as low as 48 dB when at 25% load. 

We can see that iGen4500 is quite powerful and equally impressive at working at a low noise at variable loads. I’d consider it a bit louder in comparison to its competitors when comparing at full load.

Portability

A portable generator that’s light and compact and gets the job done, attracts more customers than those that aren’t. Portability is one of the key features in inverter generators that are in demand at the moment.

Though not extremely lightweight, this model still makes the cut when it comes to the lightest inverters available with such a power output. 

Dry Weight

The dry weight of the iGen4500 inverter generator is 104.7 lbs. / 47.5 kg.

Wet Weight

The wet weight or curb weight of this generator is about 134.3 lbs. / 60.9 kg (that includes Engine Oil = 0.6 qt and full gasoline tank = 3.4 gals).

Compactness

The model iGen4500 is compact and can easily fit any tight space. There’s no drawback of the size it carries. Its dimensions are:

  • Length: 29.6 in / 58.92 cm
  • Width: 21.5 in / 45.72 cm
  • Height: 24.3 in / 51 cm

Ergonomics

If we look at the portability of ease of transportation of this model, we’d be in for a pleasant surprise. The inverter packs everything necessary to move it around. It has a pair of never-flat wheels that help in the movement without sliding and sticking on different surfaces.

It also features a telescoping and extendable suitcase-style handle that makes the portability of the engine effortless. This ergonomic handle folds near the underside of the front face, hence making the overall look of the unit more stylish and trendy.

Portability – Comparison with Other Models

This model is compact and comparable with other engines of the same kind, there’s no doubt about that. But it isn’t extra lightweight either. There are more than a few competitors that are producing lighter and more compact models while providing the same or even greater power output.

Even Westinghouse’s iGen4200 is much lighter.

Here’s its comparison with a few similar models.

Heavier

  1. Honda EU3000iS Super Quiet Inverter Generator
    • Dimensions: 25.9 x 17.6 x 22 inches
    • Weight: 130.7 lbs.
  2. Yamaha EF3000iSE Generator Inverter Generator
    • Dimensions: 26.8 x 17 x 21.8 inches
    • Weight: 147.71 lbs.

Lighter

  1. Westinghouse iGen4200 Hybrid Open Frame Inverter Generator
    • Dimensions: 24 x 20.5 x 20 inches
    • Weight: 80 lbs.
  2. WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator
    • Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.8 x 18.9 inches
    • Weight: 66.1 lbs.
  3. DuroMax XP4400E 4,400 Watt Portable Generator
    • Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 17 inches
    • Weight: 100 lbs.

Service and Maintenance

Servicing and maintenance of the electric generators should always be performed by certified and knowledgeable professionals. In case you are not familiar with the procedures, it would be best that you call a professional or a technician to help you out in that regard.

The user manual of iGen4500 includes instruction in both English and Spanish languages. You can go through it here. The maintenance schedule of your generator is given by the company here

The most common problems and troubleshooting steps are included on page 25 of the owner’s manual.

If you have questions or need assistance, Westinghouse suggests that you do not return this engine to the store and instead call customer service at +1-855-944-3571 for assistance. 

User and Operation Manual

You can go through the operator’s manual of the iGen4500 inverter generator here

Warranty

Westinghouse offers a 3-year residential warranty and 1-year commercial warranty for this generator equipment. 

To ensure that your inverter is covered by warranty, you’ll have to register your Westinghouse generator online. Go to the official link here and fill out all the necessary information. Transportation charges will be borne by you if your inverter has been sent for repair or replacement.

Commonly Known Issues

As per the result of thorough research, I’ll now enlist a few common issues that users of this inverter have to face in the long run. 

Fuel Tank Corrosion

One of the most common issues that pop up for this engine is fuel tank corrosion. If your inverter is old and isn’t starting or shutting down just after a few seconds, there’s a strong chance that the fine rust particles may have been passed through the filter and ended up in the carburetor.

Issues with Starting Up

The issues with the engine not being able to start is the most frequent one. This could be due to several reasons like carburetor issues, faulty fuel lines, choke, etc. Even if everything has been taken care of, there’s no guarantee that your engine will be firing up straight away right out of the packaging in the first attempt to start it up.

Uncooperative Customer Service 

The customer service team is pretty disappointing from what I gathered from all the reviews and experiences. They take a long time in responding initially and there are hardly any follow-ups on the subsequent calls.

Repair and Replacement Take A Long Time

The repair process and the replacement of parts/engines take a long time that makes the customer experience extremely frustrating and troublesome.

Online User Reviews and Ratings

You don’t need to go elsewhere if you are looking for this inverter’s overall ratings given by its users. Most of the customers consider it trustworthy and worth the money. Others? Not so much.

Here’s what I have found:

  • Ratings
    • Positive – 6946
    • Critical – 441
    • Total – 5830
  • Reviews
    • Positive – 6105
    • Critical – 359
    • Total – 5830
  • Average Rating: 4.3 / 5

Ratings by Features

  • Value For Money – 4.3 / 5
  • Portability – 4.5 / 5
  • Maneuverability – 4.4 / 5
  • Tech Support – 3.4 / 5
  • Light Weight – 4.2 / 5
  • Noise Level – 4.4 / 5

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s go through a few common queries of the potential customers who want to know more about a few features of this generator.

Can I use any other fuel apart from gasoline? LPG? Propane?

Unfortunately, the only fuel you can use is gasoline. There’s no conversion kit included with the engine (I doubt if the company will approve it wither). So make sure that you contact customer support and follow their instructions if you want to install any conversion kit. Without proper information and unauthorized modifications, you may have your warranty voided.
For your information, there’s a dual fuel variant of this generator as well with the same features, the iGen4500DF. It runs on both gas and propane. You can opt for it if you want to run your generator on propane as well.

What are the most common issues that I can come across while using this generator?

Well, there are certainly a few. The fuel tank corrodes after prolonged use or storage. The customer support isn’t very responsive and helpful either. 
I have mentioned a few other common issues as well in the review above. Have a look and decide if you can cope with them in the long run.

What do I do if my unit is not starting right out of the box?

I can’t list every single issue or instruction as the list could span a few pages. But I’ll mention a few common ones here to help you out. For further info and detailed troubleshooting steps, refer to the owner’s manual as mentioned in the review above.
* Check if the fuel tank has an ample amount of gasoline.
* Look at the oil level. 
* Ensure that the fuel switch and the main power are on.
* Try using the manual start option. Keyless ignition may not work sometimes due to battery drainage.

What is the fuel consumption rate at specific loads?

The fuel-efficient engine, designed by Westinghouse itself, runs for about 18 hours at 25% load on a full fuel tank of 3.4 gallons. At full load, the inverter should keep running for about 4-5 hours.
If you want to know more, I have also mentioned the estimated run time for 50% load as well in the above review. 

What kind of fuel shall I use for this inverter?

Westinghouse recommends that you only use gasoline with an octane number between 87 and 93 with an ethanol content of 10% or less. Never use E15 or E85.

What type of engine oil should I use for this generator?

If you want to use engine oil without having to worry about the operating temperatures of the inverter, SAE 10W30 is the best choice for you. If you are going to purchase the ones corresponding to the temperature limits, here’s the info for your ease.
* 10W-40 Engine Oil for temperatures above 80°F
* 10W-30 Engine Oil for temperatures between 20°F – 120°F
* Synthetic 5W-30 Engine Oil for all temperature ranges 

Is the output pure sine wave? Can I use the power for my sensitive items?

At full power output, the total harmonic distortion is even less than 3% so your sensitive tools and gadgets are pretty safe. So it can be said factually correctly that this generator produces cleans power and there should be no issues with running all your sensitive equipment on it.

What is the warranty period of this inverter and how can I claim it?

This unit comes with a three-year residential and one-year commercial warranty. Refer to the review above if you want to know how to register for the warranty of your generator and how to claim it.

Pros and Cons

Let’s take a brief look at the pros and cons of the model iGen4500 before you make a final decision to buy it or dump it.

Pros

  • Approval certifications. EPA III and CARB Compliant.
  • Compact size and attractive design.
  • 18 hours run time at 25% load. Increase in fuel efficiency with the Eco mode.
  • Low oil shutoff extends engine life by avoiding damage.
  • Stable & pure sine wave output with minimal THD. Safe to use for sensitive electronics.
  • Keyless electric start and remote start at the press of a button.
  • The digital display meter shows output, volts, run time, lifetime hours, and fuel quantity.
  • Portable design that comes with preinstalled wheels and a folding handle.

Cons

  • No dual-fuel operation. Runs only on gasoline.
  • Pretty loud at full power. Nearly as loud as a conventional generator.
  • A bit heavier due to the large fuel tank and bigger battery.

Summary

Anything manufactured by Westinghouse has very rarely disappointed its users. This inverter upholds the same values of quality and reliability that Westinghouse stands for. It is an exceptional product that will help solve most of the power issues and help you with peace of mind during a long vacation a camping trip. 

The features that this inverter provides at this price are also a bit above the rest. The best feature is perhaps the remote start that will help you get your inverter up and running from inside your RV or the bed in your home. No need to go outside and start pulling the cord anymore. The extended run time also ensures that it keeps on running for as long as you need it with refueling frequently.

Overall, the specifications of this model make it an ideal choice for camping, tailgating, home parties, and outdoor functions and even for on-the-go businesses on the wheels like a mini-food truck.

Capable of delivering when needed, this machine has gained my trust and I will definitely go for it if I ever needed one.

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