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WEN GN400i Spec Review

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Picture 2 of the WEN GN400i
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Picture 4 of the WEN GN400i

The WEN GN400i is a compact and lightweight open frame portable inverter generator with a rated wattage of 3500 W and a starting wattage of 4000 W.

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Description

Remember when you had clean and quiet portable power? The WEN 4,000-Watt Inverter Generator provides clean energy, free of voltage spikes and drops, at approximately half the noise level of a standard generator. Our 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces up to 4000 surge watts and 3500 rated watts of power. Designed to mirror a pure sine wave, this generator limits total harmonic distortion to under 0.3 percent at no load and under 1.2 percent at full load, making it safe to run laptops, cellphones, monitors, tablets and other sensitive electronics. (source: WEN)

Zoom on the WEN GN400i

In a nutshell, the WEN GN400i is a compact and lightweight portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • Amateur DIY lovers
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
  • Camping and tailgating hobbyists looking for a portable power source

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 GN400i's engine, 212 cc OHV 4-stroke, fueled by gasoline, can deliver 120V. It provides a running wattage of 3500W and reaches a peak wattage of 4000W. In addition, as it is parallel capable (WEN Parallel Connection Kit not included), this power can be doubled when linked to another similar or compatible unit.

With a noise rating of 67 dBA (less noisy than a normal conversation), the inverter generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.

Thanks to a fuel capacity of 1.85 gallon, the GN400i can operate for around 7 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.26 GPH).

Sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlets, as the GN400i produces a clean sine wave, with a <1.2% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD).

The generator will allow you to simultaneously power various devices, for example:Note: The above mentioned examples presume a maximum load of 75% and use wattage estimates. In addition, the items might not be able to start simultaneously. With our wattage calculator, you can predict if the product can fulfill your requirements.

Outlets

The control panel includes the following 3 AC outlets:

Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacle

It also sports 2 DC outlets: there's two 5V USB ports with which you may charge electronics, for example mobile phones or tablets, conveniently.

Even if this WEN generator isn't quite RV Ready, it still allows for an easy RV connection via an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor, thanks to its L5-30R receptacle.

Portability

With its dimensions of L19.8 x W13.8 x H18.9 in, the conventional, open frame design of the WEN GN400i offers stability and allows the generator to be raised above ground level. The design is ideal for rough environments and demanding outdoor use.

The 66.1 lbs of the GN400i's dry weight enables you to use it anywhere you will ever need. Moreover, grabbing and moving this product is made even easier by its open frame design.

Features

Panel of the WEN GN400i

The GN400i's control panel

Some light indicators allow you to instantly see if its oil levels are insufficient, the generator is on overload and the generator is ready.

The inverter generator includes a built-in fuel gauge, a quick, easy and convenient method of checking the device’s gas level.

The fuel shutoff feature turns off the flow of fuel, allowing for the GN400i to use up the remaining fuel from the carburetor before automatically shutting down. This helps fight the build-up and blockages caused by stagnant fuel inside of the carburetor, minimizing maintenance while prolonging the unit’s lifespan.

As for its security measures, the device features an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, letting you use it with a peace of mind.

Along the basic documentation and a user manual, useful for starting the generator right away, the WEN GN400i's package also includes these accessories: funnel, oil and tool kit.

Emissions

The WEN GN400i is neither EPA approved nor CARB-compliant..

However, it features a spark arrestor, so it is adequate for use in forested areas.

The WEN GN400i versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the WEN GN400i compare to generators of similar power (between 3000 and 4000 W).

  • As for its weight, the WEN GN400i weighs only 66.1 pounds, making it one of the lighter generators in the 3000-4000 rated wattage category.
  • Because this inverter generator emits noise as low as 67 dBA, it can be considered to have a pretty average expected noise rating for a device of its 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 Westinghouse iGen4500, whose lowest noise levels reach just 52 dBA.
  • As for its autonomy, the GN400i, with an autonomy of 7 hours at a 50% load, is placed on the low end among the generators of its kind. If concerned with autonomy, one of the products of a comparable power output, which offers the highest run time, is the Honda EB4000, boasting with 16 hours.
  • While the run time is an important parameter, it is dependent on the fuel tank’s capacity and thus, doesn’t say much on its own unless we consider fuel consumption as well. This inverter generator, with an estimated fuel consumption of just 0.26 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, is one of the more fuel efficient generators, for the previously mentioned wattage range. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.17 GPH, the Westinghouse iGen4200 is a device you should look out for.

Price comparison

As you can see from this dynamic chart, when compared to other 3000-4000W generators, the WEN GN400i 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
  • Several accessories included
  • Parallel capable
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight (66.1 lbs)
  • Fuel efficient
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Acceptable noise (67 dBA)
WEAKNESSES:
  • No data center
  • No electric start
  • No EPA or CARB compliance
  • Relatively low run time

Do you own the WEN GN400i and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General

InverterYes
PortableYes
Parallel capableYes, cable not included
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine212 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil

Power

VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 5V
Running watts3500 W
Starting watts4000 W
Running amps29.2 amps
Peaks amps33.3 amps
Run time @50% load7 h
Run time @25% loadN/A

Features

GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationNo
AC outlets1x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
1x 120V 30A (L5-30R)
DC outlets2x 5V USB port
Data centerNo
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tank1.85 gal
Fuel gaugeYes

Misc

Weight66.1 lbs
Dimensions (L x W x H)19.8 x 13.8 x 18.9 in
Noise (lower limit)67 dBA
THD< 1.2%
EmissionsN/A
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedOil, funnel and tool kit
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 GN400i 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. Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-847-429-9263.

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