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4 and a Half stars

Review of the WEN DF1100T Dual Fuel Open Frame Portable Generator

11000 Starting Watts, 8300 Running Watts on Gasoline
9500 Starting Watts, 7500 Running Watts on Propane
ELECTRIC START: YES

wen df1100t

Should You Buy It?

Most owners have a very positive opinion about this generator. It's heavy and noisy, but this is perfectly normal for such a powerful model.

So, on balance, yes, it's definitely a highly recommended option if you need something with this level of power output and the versatility of dual fuel.

Bear in mind that WEN's warranty isn't as long as some other manufacturers, who offer 3-years, but all depends on the quality of the warranty itself. We talk about warranties in our blog post.

Key Points about the WEN DF1100T

Dual fuel versatility
Electric start
Hour meter
Good power at an affordable price
Customer Service problems
Uneven quality control
Relatively heavy
Noisy (an open frame)
More information with owner likes and dislikes is shown in the following paragraphs.

Overview of the Generator

WEN DF1100T Components
This is one of the more powerful portable generators from WEN. Its outstanding benefits include dual fuel and 120v/240v versatility, plus electric start. It's output is easily capable of running your lights, TV, refrigerator, sump pump, power tools, or other essentials. It's an ideal emergency backup solution and for working with high power tools on a jobsite.

Controls and Features

Control Panel of the WEN DF1100T Generator Dual Fuel Generator
WEN DF100T Control Panel
The comprehensive control panel contains 4x120v GFCI outlets (5-20R), 1x120v 30A twist lock outlet (L5-30R), 1x120v/240v 50A outlet (NEMA 14-50R), and a 12v DC socket. 

A fuel selector dial allows you to choose your operating fuel, either gasoline or propane. To get the generator going you have a key-operated electric start, powered by an included battery. You also have a manual recoil cord in case the electric start is not available.

A low oil pressure sensor in the engine performs an automatic shut down when detecting the level is below that needed for safe operation. It also prevents you from trying to start it when there isn't enough oil in the sump.

There is no fuel shutoff, so you must drain the carburetor manually before storage - (WEN also recommend draining the fuel tank too, for the same reason that the fuel goes stale over time).  You can do this by using the fuel-drain screw on the carburetor. Doing so avoids it from causing blockages in the carburetor, which will easily prevent you from starting the generator.

However, there are downsides to completely draining the tank, as we  explain. An alternative is to add a fuel stabilizer, which should be good for keeping the fuel in the tank in its original condition for up to 12 months. Just be sure to run the generator after adding the stabilizer so that fuel in the carburetor and fuel lines are also treated.

WEN supply as standard a 47-inch LPG hose, enabling you to easily connect the generator to a propane tank. 

As the generator is EPAIII Certified and CARB Compliant it can be used in all 50 states. This one also comes equipped with a spark arrestor, so you can use it safely in National Parks and camping grounds.

The generator runs for up to 8.5 hours at 50% load on its 6.6-gallon fuel tank when using gasoline. With a 20lb propane tank it runs for up to 3 hours at the same load.

WEN offer a 2-year warranty on all their inverter generators. 

You can read the manual for more detailed information on this model.

Power Output

As a dual fuel model this WEN generator delivers power from either gasoline or propane. Burning gasoline gives you up to a whopping 11000 starting watts and 8300 running watts. Propane outputs diminish to a still respectable 9500 starting watts and 7500 running watts. 

Note, the power outputs aren't clean, meaning the current can fluctuate, unlike a portable generator built with inverter technology. With this in mind, you should avoid connecting sensitive electronics without also using a line conditioner/UPS/surge protector.

While these power outputs are big and are good indicators, it's not a good idea to run portable generators at 100% of their rated outputs for more than half an hour or so. To extend the life of the engine, you should aim for no more than 75% to 90%. And remember, no portable generator is designed to run 24/7.

This, and the fact that engine power deteriorates with altitude and climatic conditions, may mean that the power outputs you actually get will be less than expected.

Weight

At 213.8lbs you'll need the supplied set of wheels and the foldable handle to help in moving it around. The choice of no-flat wheels is meant to solve the problem of pneumatic variants deflating over time. However, in practice many owners find that no-flat wheels deform permanently when left standing in storage for an extended period. Because of this some owners replace them with other variants, some of which we show as alternatives, as well as discussing the subject of no-flat wheels.

Others suggest you prop the unit up to take the weight off the wheels, but the problem with this is that the generator becomes less portable.

Noise Level

WEN don't appear to publish a noise level in the manual for this model. However, others report a noise level of 72dB.

The problem is that we all hear noise in different ways. So published levels don't mean a lot when manufacturers tell us their generator is about as loud as a vacuum cleaner. Which vacuum are they referring to? The fact is you really need to stand up close to a generator to judge for yourself how relatively loud or quiet it is, and at different loads. And that isn't always really practical nowadays.

What Most Buyers Like

All in all, this is a great, fully-featured relatively inexpensive electric start generator. It's easy to use and start, easy to assemble and for most buyers works as expected. They say it has lots of power at a reasonable price.

And with this kind of power it makes a great emergency backup solution for a whole house.

One owners reminds others not to forget to ground the generator properly. They add you should follow the manual's instructions, which says: "A generally acceptable grounding wire is a No. 12 AWG (American Wire Gauge) stranded copper wire. This grounding wire should be connected at the other end to a copper, brass, or steel-grounding rod that is driven into the earth. Wire and grounding rods are not included with the generator".

WEN supply you with everything needed to get the generator going for the first time, except fuel.

What Some Buyers Like Less

One owner wishes it had a fuel pump rather than being gravity fed. Without this they can't hook up larger fuel tanks.

While owners find it's a good whole house solution, a few say you shouldn't expect it to be a complete replacement for your grid supply.

The generator is louder than expected and there is some concern about the noise bothering others.

The multi-meter looks to be a simple timer and doesn't record cumulative use, which would allow owners to monitor and keep to maintenance schedules (Note: this contradicts the information in the above image). 

For one buyer the generator "worked great until the 3rd use. Thereafter the unit dies and shuts off after about 10 minutes of run time".

WEN should do something about the worthless battery supplied. One owner can't find the model anywhere, and the company should recommend a compatible replacement.

Some say they are unable to get Customer Technical Support at weekends.
SPECIFICATIONS
Gasoline
Starting Watts11000
Running Watts8300
Propane
Starting Watts9500
Running Watts7500
PhaseSingle
Frequency60Hz
Rated VoltageAC: 120V/240V, DC: 12V
Rated AmperageAC: 70A/35A, DC: 8A
Engine Type4-stroke, OHV, single cylinder
Cooling SystemForced air
Displacement457cc
Horepower12.6 at 3600 RPM
Fuel TypeGasoline and Propane
Gas Tank Capacity6.6 Gallons (25L)
Oil Capacity37.2 fl.oz (1.1L)
Run Time 50% Gas8.5 Hours
Run Time 50% Propane3 Hours (20lb tank)
Spark Plug TypeTorch F7TC/NGK BP7ES
Spark Plug Gap0.7 - 0.8 mm (0.028 - 0.031 in)
Spark Plug Torque1/2 - 3/4 turn after gasket
contacts base or 15 ft-lbs
Dimensions (inches)27.3x20.6x21.9 (LxWxH)
Weight213.8lbs
Last updated on: 9 December 2022
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