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Hey all,

No experience - but, with an impending storm in the area - I have the need for a generator to keep a few items at home going. Chest freezer, refrigerator, maybe a little space heater, etc.

I know I'm late grabbing one just ahead of a storm but I picked up a WEN model 56200i for store pickup (I'm stuck at work) because they showed that as available and I confirmed with the store that they had it.

WEN 56200i review

Specs seem just fine to me and similar when compared to other units in the same price range.

Does anyone have experience with this model or could maybe comment on whether it's decent or not (maybe I missed something glaring specs-wise, etc)?

Any insight would be much appreciated, thanks.
 

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I have no knowledge of that particular generator. I’d suggest checking into I guess it would be the surge wattage of your appliances. We commonly run the same appliances with a 3000w unit and have only had an issue when the wife thinks she needs to microwave. Good luck!
 

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That generator will run a standard 15 amp circuit. It will handle the startup of a large item such as a fridge or freezer. If you want to run two large items that generator is borderline IMHO. It is rated for 1,600 watts your wife's hairdryer is like rated at 1,500-2k watts.
 

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The fridge and freezer will keep a very long time as long as you don't open them much so that's a good thing. Also you can run one of those for a couple of hours and once cool move to the next item.

Fridge and freezer should keep food from spoiling without power for a good day, really longer if you don't stand there with it open for long.

If you want to run all of those at once you'll need a much bigger generator.
 

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You’re gonna want at least a 5,500watt in all reality. You’ll be able to run everything you need to in your house. Yes, you can get by with less, but...
I have a 8,500/14,000 Briggs and Stratton and the beast will run basically my whole house, depending on Amperage draw of course.
 

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2000 watts is nowhere near big enough. I've got a 2800 yamaha and when running the fridge by itself, mind you with 10/3 extension cord of 14 foot, the gen will idle to it's rev limit when the compressor kicks on. Once running, it settles down to a normal fast (3400) idle. Keep in mind that the idle speed on this thing is dependent on wattage output, at 2500w it's running 3400 RPM. It will run 4000 to turn a high load item on (such as a compressor). Just to the run the fans, it barely sweats, but once the compressor is on, it's gonna take some juice to maintain it-much less start it.

You never want to get a gen that is "barely big enough". If you need 4000w, get one about 6500. For one reason, barely adequate is a great way to kill the appliance AND the generator, particularly on cheap chinese generators and inverters. The cheap ones are cheap because of the circuitry and control system, particularly on the control boards of the inverters. On conventional generators (non inverters), the frequency (hz) is adjusted via engine RPM. Sensitive electronics-basically anything these days-can easily get fried if the frequency is "off" even just a little. That doesn't even take into consideration the voltage-which also changes with RPM on cheap generators. That's why inverters are FAR superior. That and fuel usage...most inverters vary the engine speed through the control board assembly, based on load. No load=slow (and quiet and fuel sipping) idle speed. That's why I mentioned my little 2800w gen's idle characteristics.

An electric space heater may pull 2000w by itself...I have a "little big heat" I keep in the trailer for those cold race days, and it's 600w by itself.

Also many don't consider ambient temp. The hotter the air temp, the more wattage the appliance is going to draw. Heat=resistance and resistance means more watts required to run that appliance than it would if it was cooler.

Extension cords also affect wattage requirements. The longer and smaller the conductor, the more wattage required.

Take your appliances, figure out the voltage and amperage requirement. For instance if the microwave uses 5A at 125v (usually a sticker on the back), you multiply them to get the wattage requirement. In that example, 625w. Add 10% for safety margin and round up to the nearest whole number (700w). Just used as examples, FWIW.

You can buy a little doohickey called a kill-a-watt which tells you the exact amount of wattage, I have one at work for customers that want to buy a 5000w gen to run 4800 watts.. (for example)...and most times their "estimated wattage" is FAR less than actual. This little tool has saved many a customer from buying a generator that is way too small, but there's been one or two who nobody could tell them anything different, and they bought a gen, to turn around & come back the next day saying something is wrong with their brand new expensive generator because it keeps tripping the overload. Those are the ones that are hard to reason with.
 

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I'm a Honda guy.

Also don't put all this time in a generator only buy a good space heater that will work great but not pull so many amps. That way you may can use a little smaller Generator that uses less gas and easier to move around and so on.
 

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I know this is an older conversation, but I would add that it may be wise to select a generator that can run on propane. I live through an ice storm back in my senior year of high school. We were without utility sourced power for a full week. My Dad went and bought a generator an hour away but fuel was running a little scarce just before the power came back. IN the event of a long term outage gasoline can become hard to get and get more expensive. Propane could be easier to obtain and the price more stable.

When I bought a backup generator, I chose one that can run on gasoline or propane. I then had my house plumbed for a propane hook up and setup my generator to run off a grill hook up. I always have hundreds of gallons of propane as it's what heats my home. Or I can change the fitting and hook up to a gas grill tank. Or I can put gasoline in the gas tank and run gas. Nice thing about propane is it never goes bad. Buy a tank now, use it in 10 years. Just as good as the day you bought it. Options.
 
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