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4 and a Half stars

Review of the Westinghouse WGen3600 Open Frame Portable Generator

4650 Starting Watts, 3600 Running Watts on Gasoline

Electric Start: No

Weight: 107lbs

Noise: 68dB


Should You Buy It?

Yes, when it's available. The WGen3600 is an affordable open frame solution that will provide you with a decent amount of power, but it doesn't have an electric start. Some owners say it is noisy and heavy, but this is generally a characteristic of open frame generators.

Overall, it's another good example of Westinghouse's commitment to providing value for money products backed up with a long warranty and Lifetime Technical Support. Customer Service does come in for some criticism and, while this is not a pervasive view, it's worth keeping in mind if you ever have to deal with their agents. 

Key Points about the Westinghouse WGen3600

Good value for money
Easy setup and operation
Fuel gauge
Everything but fuel in box
No electric start
Customer Service could be better
No hour meter or warning LEDs
Open frame so noisy

Overview of the Generator

The WGen3600 is a medium power generator designed to give people a means to provide home backup power for the basics so they aren't left without electricity because of an outage or other emergency. It's also looks to be a pretty good solution for powering travel trailers and for other recreational uses. It could find a place on a jobsite as well.

Controls and Features


The WGen3600 has a basic control panel. On their website, Westinghouse say this model has a VFT Data Center that displays real-time information to keep you up to date with regular maintenance. But as far as we can tell it does not have this feature. Neither is it mentioned in the wGen3600 manual.

LED indicators for low oil, overload, or readiness, often found on similar units, are absent on the WGen3600.

The generator does, however, have a fuel gauge and an automatic engine shutdown if the oil level is insufficient for safe operation. It has automatic voltage regulation and overload protection as well.

There is no electric start feature on the WGen3600, just a manual recoil cord. Once running, it can power most refrigerators and larger appliances together, and will operate for up to 13.5 hours on its 4 gallon gas tank.

For equipment connection you have 1x120v duplex household outlet, 1xL5-30R, and 1xTT-30R RV Ready outlet. The RV outlet allows you to connect to your RV to keep the air conditioner and other appliances powered. All the receptacles are protected by rubber covers to give added protection from the environment.

Like all of Westinghouse's line of portable generators, this one is backed by a 3-year limited (residential) warranty and Lifetime Technical Support. 
It appears that the generator is not CARB compliant unless it's fitted with a CARB Canister, which is required for models sold into
and used in California. There is a spark arrestor to stop sparks from exiting the muffler, so it should be safe to use in camp sites and National Parks.

Power Output

Using traditional technology, the WGen3600 produces 4650 starting watts and 3600 running watts from its Westinghouse 212cc OHV 4-stroke engine. The engine is fitted with a cast iron sleeve for increased durability.

This is not an inverter, and with a Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of <23% you should avoid connecting sensitive electronics without a UPS/line conditioner/surge protector.

Bear in mind that these power outputs can be affected by the ambient temperature and altitude of where you live. 


Weighing 107lbs, the WGen3600 is made of hardened-steel with protective roll bars and a foam grip handle. It is supplied with  a kit of two solid never-flat wheels designed to make it easier for you to move it around. The never-flat wheels have the advantage that they are airless so won't lose pressure over time. On the other hand, heavy units can cause the wheels to develop flat spots when left standing for an extended period. And there's no way of fixing that.

We've added some more information on no-flat wheels, and show some alternatives that owners often choose to replace them with.

Noise Level

Westinghouse specify the WGen3600 as having a noise level of 68dB. Using a phone app, one owner measures it at 84dB from 3 feet away and 74 dB from 20 feet.

While a phone app might not be 100% accurate, you may want to look upon manufacturer levels as no more than indications. There's no substitute for standing close to a generator to make up your own mind, though this may be impractical nowadays.

What Most Buyers Like

This is a popular choice for many buyers owing to its price and brand. It's often out of stock, especially during bad seasonal weather in parts of the country. Those that do manage to get hold of an example say it has easy and clear to setup instructions and that, barring fuel, Westinghouse provide everything needed to get the generator going when it first arrives. This includes engine oil, a funnel, a spanner and spark plug wrench.

What Some Buyers Like Less

A few buyers are surprised how noisy and heavy it is, and there have been multiple instances of damage in transit by delivery companies. It's quite usual for these companies to have only one person making the delivery. The chances of any heavy item being damaged must be quite high, sometimes cosmetically, but at other times quite seriously. This is especially so where there is little protection in the box.

A minority say their interaction with Customer Service could have been better.

Running Watts3600
Peak Watts4650
Running Amps30A
Peak Amps38A
AC Voltage120V
AC Frequency60 Hz
Parallel CapableNo
Fuel Tank Capacity4 gal. (15 L)
Fuel GaugeYes
Run Time @ 50%13.5 hrs.
Noise Level68 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion<23%
OutletDuplex 120V (5-20R), 2xUSB
Outlet1x120V L5-30R
Outlet1x120V TT-30R
GFCI OutletsNo
Display TypeAnalog
Voltage MeterNo
Frequency MeterNo
Lifetime Run HoursNo
Low Oil IndicatorNo
Overload IndicatorNo
Output Ready IndicatorNo
Covered OutletsYes
Overload ProtectionYes
RV ReadyNo
Grounding SystemFloating Neutral
Engine Displacement212cc
Engine TypeOHV 4 Stoke
Starter TypeRecoil
Low Oil ShutdownYes
Oil Capacity20.3 oz. (0.6 qt.)
Economy ModeNo
Choke TypeManual
Included AccessoriesOil Bottle, Oil Funnel
Spark Plug Wrench
Warranty (Residential)3 Year Limited
Warranty (Commercial)1 Year Limited
Assembled Length23.3 in. (590 mm)
Assembled Width22.8 in. (580 mm)
Assembled Height21.3 in. (540 mm)
Dry Unit Weight107 lb. (49.4 kg)