WEN 56352 Portable Generator

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If you look for a portable mid-powered generator, WEN 56352 is a superb choice.  It is estimated 3500 surge watts and 3000 running watts.  Although this power output might fall to the lower range for this price level, the incorporated features compensate for this.  The lower amount of power produced makes this device less useful in supplying multiple appliances during a power blackout, but sufficient for the work site needs.

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The foundations are comprised in a 7 HP OHV 4-cycle engine powered by gasoline, but the value of this unit is defined by its add-ons.  The WEN model 56352 offers you the option of switching over 120 and 240 Volts, a wheel kit, DC charging capacity, and even an hour counter to make your maintenance calendar easier to monitor.  We are sorry to disappoint our friends in California, but the WEN generators are NOT CARB compliant, thus not available for sale in California.

WEN 56352 Review

We assume you understand your power needs before picking your portable generator.  Figure out how you intend to utilize it and the features comprised.  To compare WEN 56352 to other WEN generators, check out the following table. Available are diverse models in terms in active power output.  WEN earned a good name for customer support out of its headquarters in Elgin, Illinois.  All fix-it-yourselfers, rejoice: WEN website makes ordering accessories and replacement parts a super simple process to your benefit.

The WEN line of comparable generators is highlighted in the table that follows.  The more upscale models offer more horsepower and an electric launch, but get ready for them to be louder models as well.

Model #56352565515668256877
Engine Displacement212cc389cc390cc420cc
Horse Power7131315
Starting MethodManualManualElectric/ManualElectric/Manual
Hour MeterYesYesYesYes
Low Oil Automatic ShutdownYesYesYesYes
CARB complianceNoNoNoNo
Fuel Tank Capacity4 gallon6.5 gallon6.5 gallon6.5 gallon
Run Time 1/2 Load11 Hours11 Hours10 Hours9 Hours
Noise Rating @ 23 ft67 dB74 dB74 dB82 dB
Spark ArrestorYesYesYesYes
Voltage120V/240V120V/240V120V/240V120V/240V
Surge Watts3500550070009000
Running Watts3000500055007000
Outlets(2) 120V, 20A, 3-prong
(1) 120/240V, 30A twist lock
(1) 12V DC 8.3A
(4) 120V, 20A, 3-prong
(1) 120/240V, 30A twist lock
(1) 12V DC 8.3A
(4) 120V, 20A, 3-prong
(1) 120/240V, 30A twist lock
(1) 12V DC 8.3A
(4) 120V, 20A, 3-prong
(1) 120/240V, 30A twist lock
(1) 120V, 30A twist lock
(1) 12V DC 8.3A
Wheel KitYesYesYesYes
Warranty2 Years Limited Warranty2 Years Limited Warranty2 Years Limited Warranty2 Years Limited Warranty

Power Output

With its 3500 Start Watts and 3000 Running Watts, WEN 56352 has enough watts for powering most domestic devices individually. You can use this generator as a workhorse out on your job site to power your distinct tools. You might conclude that the available power output is better matched to running individual devices, rather than anticipating it to power several units during a power interruption.  For instance, running a regular refrigerator or freezer may take roughly 2000 watts to cover up the surge need.  Barely 1000 watts that remain can power a TV, and maybe some lights.  To estimate your power needs and figure out whether this unit will have sufficient power output for those, check out this useful table.

The total harmonic distortion (THD) of the generated sine wave is around 15 – 20%.  This implies you might consider investing in a bit pricier inverter unit to power sensitive electrical devices that do not endure THD over 6% and require a UPS, an uninterrupted power source.

Attaching WEN 56352 to your domestic power supply system delivers the bare minimum of sustainment. Clearly, this generator is a source of “as needed” power supply.  You will appreciate its reliability on your outdoor adventure, on social event or on the jobsite.

Volt meter is not included. A power indicator light is placed on the control panel.  When this light is green, it means that the engine has accrued the required mechanical energy for the unit to supply the rated electrical energy.  Concerning the lack of the voltmeter, you’ll have to assume that the volts being supplied are not deviating heavily from the desired 120V.  Should it me a major concern, purchase an inexpensive digital wattmeter that measures the voltage and the current.

If you intend to attach this WEN unit to your domestic power system, make sure that you use the proper power transfer switch mounted in accordance with the National Electric Code, NFPA 70, better by a certified electrician.

Type of Engine and Fuel

56352-300x202

WEN 56352 is equipped with a rugged 212cc, 7HP OHV engine started via a non-contact transistorized ignition.  The WEN generators run on regular lead-free gas with a minimum octane number of 87.  It goes without saying, you are not advised to use oil and gasoline mixture. We also recommend you to use fresh gasoline – stored for less than 3 months, otherwise supplement with fuel stabilizer. Avoid letting mud or humidity getting into the fuel.

The tank contains 4 gallons (15L) of fuel that will suffice to operate the generator at 50% load for 11 hours. There is a fuel meter, which will show the level of fuel left in the tank thus guiding you in filling to the desired level. Out of the few critical consumer comments, some were addressing the issue of the fuel meter not working accurately.  If this is the case, the manufacturer promises to exchange the meter.

A special on/off valve enables fuel to be flowing to the carburetor.  You can drain the gas tank in this area if you plan a lengthy storage.  A fuel filter cup attached to a fuel tank that can be pulled out and cleaned if needed.

The choke valve can be activated manually via a lever with on/off indicators. Moving the lever to OFF and then gradually stirring the lever to ON position after a couple of minutes of run time are the actions you do when you want to start the unit.

Since WEN 56352 is EPA approved and comes with spark arrestor and a muffler, it is allowed for use in U.S. National Parks.  We recommend NGK BP7ES as a spark plug replacement.

Like all portable generators, this unit comes with a grounding clamp.  Many users of portable power generators run their devices without grounding.  Ignoring this step may lead to disastrous consequences. You cannot be too cautious about issues like that. To learn more about the grounding issues of portable generators, we suggest you to consult the Article 250 of National Electric Code (NEC). Normally, when the generator is fixed to its frame, it is neutral grounded. However, there are some exceptions. You may reach out the detailed guidelines, or contact WEN with further questions.

Starting Your Generator

Starting the WEN 56352 is a no-brainer. As with all generators, do not have any devices plugged in to the outlet receptacles.  Check the oil and fuel levels.  Unlock the fuel line, move the choke lever to off, then push the start button and pull the recoil start. Typically, one pull is sufficient.

Immediately above the receptacles, a power indicator light transmits the status of the receptacles. The power is on if the light is on.  You can now attach your power cords and push the circuit reset buttons to prevent overloading of the generator.

When stopping this unit, first unplug all devices.  When unplugged still in operating mode, your devices can damage the generator. Then just turn the engine switch to off and turn the fuel valve off.

The unit must be running to be able to use the DC power supply.

Oil Usage

No oil is shipped with WEN generators. You must apply the appropriate amount of oil before running the generator for the first time. 20 fluid oz. is the capacity of the engine motor block. Use SAE 30 oil in most operating temperatures. In lower temperatures, you may also use 5W-30 or 10W-30 oil.  We do not recommend you to use the SAE 30 under 40 degrees F. Opt for a good quality detergent oil marked with the service classifications SL, SJ, or SM of the American Petroleum Institute. Synthetic oil that WEN approves for use in all temperatures will get you a longer oil life.

The Low-Oil Automatic Shutdown feature protects the engine if the oil level drops to critical low in the motor block.  If you check the oil level every time you use the generator, you may never require this safety measure.

Change the oil at suggested intervals; otherwise, the oil can become polluted. The oil drain plug is placed right below the filling orifice. Using a 10mm hexagon wrench, take out the plug and let the depleted oil to entirely drain. For a proper draining, we recommend that you perform this task while the generator is still warm. Do not drop the unit to let the oil out, as you would do with other brands of generators.

With the run time counter incorporated in WEN 56352, it is easier to adhere to your maintenance plan.

Meters and Outlets

Look at the power panel and see one 240/120V Twist-Lock Receptacle (NEMA L14-30) and two 120 Volt 20 Amp three pronged NEMA 5-20R Receptacles. To activate the 240V feature, use a Voltage Selector Switch. The 240V supply affects the L14-30 receptacle only and not the regular three prong receptacles. When the 240V is being delivered to the receptacle, both Voltage Indicator Lights will glow.

Two out of three pronged receptacles will both supply 25A when set to 120V.  The 25A is distributed between the three prongs and the twist-lock when the selector is moved to 240V,

On this WEN unit, do not run more than 2400 watts out of only one of the two 120V receptacles, even though it is rated for 3000 running watts. Make an effort to level out the power distribution so that the unit remains undamaged.

When power is being delivered to the receptacles, the power indicator will glimmer green.

The circuit reset buttons help to avoid the power overload. If the receptacle short-circuits or becomes bogged down by high-wattage rating appliances, the circuit protector may cut out power delivery to the receptacle. In this case, the voltage indicator light(s) go down; power supply from the overloaded receptacle shuts down. You will need to disconnect all electrical appliances from the generator and hit the circuit reset buttons. Call the customer support service if power still does not come back to the receptacle.

This generator is fitted out with a 12V Direct Current outlet that can draw DC power at 8.3 Amps maximum. The cigarette-lighter-type receptacle is analogous to the ones found in cars.  DC outlet is NOT appropriate for charging automotive batteries. You can use DC outlet for car vacuums, tire inflators, and chargers of various sorts. An in-line fuse placed behind the control panel protects DC outlet against power overload. You can use this feature with running engine only.

A digital hour counter adding on hours in operation helps to determine when to run the next maintenance.

Portability and Noise Level

WEN 56352 is relatively noiseless at idle. A respectable noise level of 67 decibels is documented at idle speed thanks to the muffler with spark arrester. At full capacity, the noise is at 74 decibels measured at 7 meters on the louder side. This makes it an okay option for outdoor usage, unless your fellow campers or neighbors are noise-intolerant.

The mobility kit is included with WEN 56352. Comprised of the two nice flip up handles, the two wheels and resting feet that attach to a 1-inch cylindrical frame, the kit makes moving the unit a breeze – albeit after a basic assembly. The manuals are full of photos and easy to follow. You may need assistance when moving this generator around since its unit weight, without oil and fuel, exceeds 100 pounds.

The two rubber motor pedestals diminish the vibration thus making the generator stable on the ground once operating. Needless to say, always store and operate your generator on a flat surface.

Warranty

WEN Power™ generators come with a two-year non-transferable warranty covering for defects in materials and workmanship. If used for rental or commercial purposes, WEN generators have a warranty period of 90 days from the day of the original purchase. Warranty replacements or repairs will be made free of charge for labor and parts. Wear or maintenance parts are not covered by the warranty.

Recommended Maintenance

  • Check oil each time after use
  • Change oil once per month or after every 20 hours of use
  • Change oil after first several hours at break in period
  • Check air cleaner every time you run the unit
  • Clean air cleaner once in 3 months or every 50 hours
  • Clean fuel filter cup once in 6 months or every 100 hours
  • Check/Clean/Change spark plug once in 6 months or every 100 hours
  • Clean fuel tank once a year or every 300 hours

Remember that any generator CANNOT be returned to merchant via common carrier, once filled with oil and gasoline for the first time. You either have to do the repair yourself (guided by the customer service) or to take the machine to a local repair center.

What’s in the Box

  • WEN 56352 Portable Generator
  • Wheel kit
  • Tool kit (4 wrenches)
  • Tool Pouch
  • Spark Plug Wrench
  • One standard 3-prong plug (NEMA 5-20)
  • One Twist-Lock Plug (NEMA 14-30)
  • User Manual illustrated with photos

WEN 56352 Weight and Dimensions

Weight: 111 pounds

Dimensions: (L x W x H): 24.4″ x 17.7″ x 18.5″

 

Benefits / Issues of Concern

Benefits:

  • 120/240V Voltage Capability
  • Wheel Kit included
  • DC outlet – cigarette lighter type
  • Low Oil Automatic Shutdown
  • Digital Run Time Counter
  • Stress-free fuel drain
  • Easy oil change
  • Easy website ordering of replacement parts
  • 2 Year Warranty

 

Issues of Concern:

  • Not CARB Compliant (not for sale in California)
  • DC not suitable for charging car battery
  • Upper-level Decibel rating
  • No Voltage Meter
  • Oil not included

Consumer Reviews

Without exaggeration, WEN 3500 watt generator is much loved by consumers. The bulk of Wen generator reviews rate this unit 5 out of 5 Stars. For that matter, out of 100+ reviewers on Amazon.com, only 5 rated the unit 3 Stars or less. The complaints were usually referring to dents and missing parts upon delivery. For example, it was a missing battery cap or disconnected fuel line. All customers agreed that the customer service at WEN HQ took good care of their issues.

See more consumer reviews directly on Amazon: WEN 3500 Generator Reviews

Average Rating: 4.6 Stars

Price

Prices for WEN Portable Generators differ depending on the merchant but Amazon.com is likely to have the most affordable price.

Check the available discounts for Wen Generator 3500 here.

Manual

 

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Summary

After “slicing and dicing” all available product information and researching customers` opinion on WEN 56352 Portable Generator, we confirm that it is a good pick for someone with mid-level needs looking for a reliable portable generator. It is good value for money. The power is sufficient for general needs. The incorporated wheel kit is a bonus, not commonly available on the market. The in-built digital hour counter is unique for a generator of its price niche. The lack of a voltmeter calls for purchasing a separate meter if you absolutely need it.

As an outdoor generator, it is somewhat on the louder end, but still a dependable choice suitable for frequent use. Beyond dispute, having it around gives you a piece of mind for the case of emergency.

This portable generator is unlikely to disappoint you – a whopping ¾ of people have given this unit a 5-star review on Amazon alone.

4.5