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WEN 56551 Spec Review

The WEN 56551 is an open frame portable generator with a rated wattage of 5000 W and a starting wattage of 5500 W.

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Description

Zoom on the WEN 56551

In a nutshell, the WEN 56551 is a portable generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor festivals
  • Food van owners who know that just a short power outage could lose them hundreds of dollars
  • Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout

The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, the extra features it benefits from, and any relevant emission compliance details.

Power & Run Time

The WEN 56551's core is the 389 cc WEN OHV 4-stroke engine, which runs on gasoline. With an output of 120/240V, it provides a running wattage of 5000W and a peak wattage of 5500W.

The generator is rated for a noise of 67 dBA (less noisy than an office). Its starting mechanism is based on a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.

With a full tank, the 56551 can operate for around 11 hours at 50% load (fuel consumption around 0.59 GPH), thanks to its fuel capacity of 6.5 gallons.

Outlets

The control panel provides the upcoming 5 AC outlets:

Two Duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R)
120/240V 30A (L14-30R) receptacle

Furthermore, it has 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A receptacle with which charging your batteries is made easy.

Because the 56551 is equipped with a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: it can power your home during a power outage, as it can be easily connected to your breaker box to power your household.

Portability

The WEN 56551 has a conventional, open frame design, of the following dimensions: L27.6 x W21.1 x H22.1 in, which offers support and allows it to be raised above ground level. The featured design is ideal for the outdoors and all tough environments.

While the generator is considered to be technically 'portable' (in the sense that you can move it), manually lifting and transporting it may be challenging, due to its high weight of 187 lbs. Still, once it is on the ground, its wheel kit (⌀8") and its folding handle can easily solve the issue of low mobility and allow for easy relocation of the device.

Features

Panel of the WEN 56551

The 56551's control panel

To help you monitor the 56551's status and activity, its control panel is equipped with a digital data center, giving you information on the lifetime run hours.

A built-in fuel gauge allows for a quick, easy and convenient check of the fuel level of the generator.

Security-wise, this product benefits from an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.

As for its accessories, apart from the previously mentioned features, the WEN 56551 also comes with the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), allowing you to start it right away.

Emissions

The WEN 56551 is EPA approved, but NOT CARB-compliant. Thus, it cannot be purchased or sold in California.

However, it features a spark arrestor and thus, may be used in forested areas.

Product Video

The WEN 56551 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the WEN 56551 compare to generators of similar power (between 4500 and 5500 W).

  • With a dry weight of 187 pounds, the WEN 56551 finds itself in the expected weight range for generators able to produce between 4500 and 5500 rated watts. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the Westinghouse WGen5300v with only 107 pounds.
  • As this generator can emit noise as low as 67 dBA, it finds itself in the average expected noise for this kind of power. If you’d prefer a less noisy device, one of the most quiet devices, which share the same power range with this one, is the Honda EU7000iS, whose lowest noise levels reach just 52 dBA.
  • Given that the 56551 reaches an autonomy of around 11 hours with a full tank and at 50% load, it is placed within the average autonomy range of similarly powerful generators. Furthermore, considering the run times, one of the generators which have a roughly same power output, with the highest autonomy, is the Cat RP5500, as it provides around 15 hours.
  • Run times are important, yet thanks to their dependence on the fuel capacity, they should be judged along with the fuel consumption of the device. This generator is not fuel efficient compared to devices of similar output: its estimated fuel consumption stands at 0.59 GPH at a 50% load. If you wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the Westinghouse WGen5300v, with a fuel consumption of 0.35 GPH could be in your good books.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 4500-5500W generators, the WEN 56551 is on the cheap side of the price range.

It can therefore be a really good buy if you're looking to acquire a budget generator.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • Inexpensive
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (187 lbs)
  • Acceptable noise (67 dBA)
  • Decent run time
WEAKNESSES:
  • No electric start
  • Not CARB-compliant
  • Low fuel efficiency

Do you own the WEN 56551 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterNo
PortableYes
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine389 cc WEN OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Power
VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Running watts5000 W
Starting watts5500 W
Running amps (@120/240V)41.7/20.8 amps
Peaks amps (@120/240V)45.8/22.9 amps
Run time @50% load11 h
Run time @25% loadN/A
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
AC outlets
  • 2x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
  • 1x 120/240V 30A (L14-30R)
DC outlets1x 12V 8A
Data centerLifetime run hours
IndicatorsNo
Fuel tank6.5 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight187 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)27.6 x 21.1 x 22.1 in
Noise (lower limit)67 dBA
THDN/A
EmissionsEPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedNo
Warranty2 years

Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.

About WEN

WEN Products, founded by Nick Anton in 1951, is an American power tool manufacturer and distributor, which claims to have a part in the development of modern chainsaw, soldering devices and wet sharpeners, through its research in random orbital technology. The Illinois based company expanded its distribution network to include various power tools, such as presses, drills and of course, power generators. As a distributor, WEN’s portfolio largely consists of branded products of different manufacturers, imported from Asia.

Warranty Information

The WEN 56551 is covered under a warranty for up to 2 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of WEN generators, please consult WEN's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-847-429-9263.

Questions & Answers

What can it power?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our generator sizing calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeMicrowave (1000 watts)15001500
Electric fry pan15001500
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Toaster oven800800
Total3992 W4992 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
Toaster oven800800
Mixer200200
Total3990 W4580 W
For workTable saw18004500
Reciprocating saw730960
Electric fence (25 miles)250250
Total2780 W5480 W
How tall is it without the wheel kit? (Asked January 29, 2020)

The wheels have a diameter of 8 inches. Without the wheel kit, the unit's height will be around 18 inches.

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