Welcome to our review of the Westinghouse iGen2200 — a full-featured 2200W inverter generator that can run up to 12 hours, at 25% load capacity.
2200W seems to be a popular size for homeowners when it comes to inverter generators. How does the Westinghouse iGen2200 hold up in 2019? Short answer : very well. If you look at the overall value, rooted in features and quality, this is an exceptional little inverter for the price. Westinghouse is a true consumer brand, providing great products at a price most homeowners can afford. In this day and age, with a waning economy, this is exactly the type of inverter generator for the people, the masses who need backup power.
Engineered for a wide range of applications such as, emergency power during a power outage, camping, tailgating and any other reason you need backup power — BUT, after having said all of that —
I have to be honest, sometimes I don’t understand the logic of a large generator manufacturer such as Westinghouse. They have two, near-identical inverter generators : iGen2500 and the iGen2200 Which is unnecessary and creates confusion in the eyes of consumers. My recommendation to Westinghouse — make ONE great inverter generator with wattage starting range between 2200 to 2500 — the way Honda did with their EU2200i.
I think all consumers should read the great book : Paradox of Choice. Consumers are overwhelmed by too many choices. See the ad below as an example. How many products are too many to choose from?
Fewer Choices = Happier Customers
Dividing a small piece of pie doesn’t make it bigger, or better. As someone who has watched and researched the generator industry for years, it’s frustrating to continually see the same mistakes repeated over and over again by different manufacturers. Don’t confuse your customers. Add your best features into one well-designed (and well-priced) product. Period! It’s not complicated.
Customers don’t want to spend hours trying to figure out why they should buy the iGen2500 or the iGen2200 — and I don’t have a good answer for them.
As far as I can tell by the literature, the iGen2500 :
- Has 2500W starting, 2200W running (3.2hp) — has eco-mode, weighs 48 lbs., EPA & CARB, compliant, runs for 10.1 hours, and monitors (with LED) : Remaining Run Time, Output, Fuel Level, and Volts
And, the iGen2200, has the following features :
- Has 2200W starting, 1800W running (3hp), — has eco-mode, 46 lbs., 12.1 hr. run-time (slightly larger fuel tank), CSA, EPA & CARB-compliant
Conclusion : The iGen2200 has less power, runs longer, DOES NOT have an LED display, is CSA compliant and weighs 2 lbs. less. — maybe this confusion is why the WEN 56200i is continually at the top of the best seller list on Amazon. It’s less expensive and appears to be equally as good. Simple. Nothing to regret or discuss.
✓ Now, back to the original article which was written a few years ago.
Intro | Westinghouse iGen2200 Review
Westinghouse is well known as a generator manufacturer in America. When they market two 2200 Watt inverter generators that are so similar you must hunt for the differences, I immediately wonder why? The Westinghouse iGen2200 and the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT both deliver 2200 Watts peak and 1800 Watts running power. They only look different, the iGen2200 looks more current, and the interface panels differ. The WH2200iXLT has a 12 Volt output for battery charging and the iGen2200 has two USB charging ports. All the outlets on the iGen2200 have rubber covers and the WH2200iXLT has one cover for the 12 Volt outlet.
The manufacturer grouped the outputs and control panel of the WH2200iXLT on one side of the generator. On the iGen2200 the Westinghouse engineers put all the controls in a neat faceplate at the one end opposite the exhaust. The start, run, and choke controls are different and lastly, there is a small price difference.
Has 12 DC outlet (No USB outlets) | Westinghouse WH2200iXLT
The XLT in WH2200iXLT means Extreme Low Tone, and it is the previous model to the iGen2200. Expect them to phase it out and use the opportunity to negotiate the best possible price if you are interested in this model.
What can these generators run?
Westinghouse iGen2200 vs Westinghouse WH2200iXLT
This size generator is meant for entertainment and small loads. Perfect for camping, tailgating parties, on the houseboat or for an emergency backup on the RV. It will also keep your point of sales systems running in a small shop or food truck. During a disaster it will keep some lights on and power a few small kitchen units.
The strong point of the iGen2200 is that it delivers clean power with less than 3% Total Harmonic Distortion. It is, like all inverter generators, perfect for sensitive electronic systems. Electronic controls are the preferred control for almost all modern facilities and even in power tools. It is becoming increasingly important to consider these control systems when shopping for a generator. Any control with control buttons and a display unit will use electronic components sensitive to noise in the power line.
VIDEO | A Closer Look at the Westinghouse iGen2200
Although inverter generators are now on the market that deliver 7500 watts, it is the smaller 2000 and 2200 Watt units that are popular. But, these smaller generators cannot even power some of the things we use in an RV. If you often take your generator with to the cabin in the woods you will also discover that it is limited in what it can do. It is a small wonder then that I’m often asked to explain what you can run with 2200 Watts.
The first thing we must understand is what running watts is. It is an indication of the maximum power your generator can deliver continuously. At that level it is not near the limits that will overload the generator but the generator will power down if you exceed that limit. No harm done when it trips the power, but it is inconvenient when that happens. You must unplug everything before you can reset the overload protector and then rethink what you use.
Another output consideration is the peak power or starting Wattage reading of a generator. The generator uses an electronic device that monitors the maximum power that it must deliver when a device starts up. The generator can “overload” its circuits for up to a minute or so, but then it trips the circuit breaker. It is necessary because of the additional power needed during start-up by reactive and inductive loads like motors, transformers, etc.
A generator must cope with three basic types of loads:
- Resistive loads like heaters and incandescent lights. Resistive loads convert current into energy as heat and generate no magnetic fields.
- Inductive loads resist changes in current in an alternating voltage wave. When you measure the current, its changes follow behind the changes in voltage. All motors like fans, pumps, drills, and inductive devices like solenoids, and relays are inductive loads.
- A reactive load is a load carried by a generator that generates an alternating current, in which the current and voltage are out of phase.
I already covered these principles in a previous article How big of a generator do I need? that is worth reading. You will find the answer to all your questions in it.
I assembled a list of utilities an iGen2200 or WH2200iXLT can keep running within safe limits, which you can consider as an example. The running Watts adds up as you go down the list:
- 3 x 9 Watt LED lights = 27 running Watts, 0 Peak Watts
- 1 x 200 Watt Refrigerator/ Freezer = 227 running Watts, 600 peak Watts
- 1 x 100 Watt AM/FM Radio = 327 running Watts
- 1 x 100 Watts CD/DVD Player = 427 running Watts
- 1 x 625 Watts Microwave Oven = 1052 running Watts
- 1 x 40 Watt X-Box, Game Cube, Playstation = 1092 running Watts
- 1 x 25 Watt Cell Phone Battery Charger = 1117 running Watts
- 1 x 200 Watt TV = 1317 running Watts
- 1 x 80 Watt AM/FM Radio = 1397 running Watts
- 1 x 200 Watt Box Fan – 20″ = 1597 running Watts, 250 peak Watts
- Highest peak Watts = 600w
- Total running Watts = 1597W
- Total load = 2197 Watts.
Alternatively, you may use it to run one 1/2 HP Sump Pump = 1050 running Watts, 2200 peak Watts. Once the sump pump is up and running, you can add a device that will drain only 750 Watts in total.
With the parallel feature available on iGen2200 generators it is possible to double up your power. Then you have 3600 Watts running and 4400 Watts peak. Now you have enough power to support your 30 Amp 120 Volt RV.
Increase your power as you need it | Parallel Ready
A 30-amp outlet at 120 Volt supplies 3,600 Watts. The RV will have a circuit breaker that has a nominal value of 30 Amp. It will trip on a total load anywhere between 2,880 Watts and 4,320 watts. What it means is that if you are satisfied that the RV circuits are working well your paralleled generators will support the RV.
For a 50 Amp 240 Volt RV you need a maximum of 12,000 Watts. If you can find two affordable 6,000 Watt parallel enabled inverter generators, then you are set.
Review | Westinghouse iGen2200 / WH2200iXLT
I already highlighted the cosmetic differences between the previous and current models but I intend to review both models as one. When I get to points where they differ, I will discuss them separately.
- Westinghouse iGen2200 :
- 1.2 gallon tank, up to 12 hr. runtime (25% load), 2 USB ports, 46 lbs.
- Westinghouse WH2200iXLT : (Read our full Review)
- 1.3 gallon tank, up to 13 hr. runtime (25% load), 12V DC Outlet, 43 lbs.
Inverter generators are quieter than conventional models, with noise levels as low as 49 to 52 dBA at 25% load. These generators are also lighter and more portable than the conventional types. Now, imagine a world where every electrical device we use, have electronic components as controllers. Your oven, stove, microwave, dishwasher or vacuum cleaner all have smartphone type interfaces. Even the lights in the home do not use physical switches, you control it from your phone. It’s the environment we are all heading towards and it is incompatible with the conventional generator.
So, the inverter generator will become more prominent and hopefully prices will come down, currently, inverter generators are still somewhat expensive.
Westinghouse iGen2200 | inverter generator
Quiet, lightweight, fuel efficient and produces clean power so you can power all of your sensitive electronics safely.
- 2,200 Peak Watts, 1,800 Running Watts
- Fuel Efficient – Up to 12 Hour Run Time (1.2 gal)
- Will safely power all of your sensitive electronics with clean Inverter Technology
- Light Weight – Only 46 lbs
- 3-Year Warranty and Lifetime Technical Support
- EPA, CSA, CARB Compliant
- Produces clean power (<3 % THD)
- Clean power allowing safe operation of sensitive electronics such as computers, televisions, tablets, and mobile phones.
- Fuel efficient – runs up to 12 hrs on 1.2 gallons of fuel
- Will get you through the night on under a gallon of gasoline.
- Whisper quiet – as low as 52 dBA (Quieter than a normal conversation)
- Ideal for emergency power, camping, tailgating and situations where you need less disruption.
- Double your power when you run two iGen2200 generators in parallel
- Parallel Cord (sold separately) : Westinghouse WH260041 Inverter Generator Parallel Cord
- Easy to take with you wherever you go.
- Dual USB Charging Ports : Charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets with built-in USB charging ports.
- Circuit protected, Low-Oil Shutoff, and more
- Safety features – including overload prevention, and low-oil shutoff.
- The iGen2200 also comes with Oil, Funnel, Tool Kit, Manual, and Quick Start Guide.
- 3-Year Residential Warranty and Lifetime Technical Support.
The iGen2200 has a fuel capacity of 1.2 gallons of regular gas. When running at 25% load it runs for 12 hours on a tank of fuel. Even though 12 hours on a mere 1.2 gallons sounds good and offers a good run-time, it’s not very fuel efficient. I say that regardless of the claims that the Westinghouse iGen2200 is super fuel efficient. When you talk about fuel efficiency, you must take the power the iGen2200 delivers into account. It’s below our average of 5 kilowatt-hours per gallon calculated from fuel efficiency scores of over 40 generators of all sizes. The Westinghouse iGen2200 delivers 4.5 kilowatt-hours per gallon. In comparison, a Honda EU2200i with the same output, achieves a fuel efficiency of 6.06 kilowatt-hours per gallon. It may not be a fair comparison when you consider that the Westinghouse is almost half the price of the Honda. But it is not as super fuel efficient as claimed.
It is not as noisy as the conventional generators but once again the iGen2200 is not a winner in this class. It’s rated sound level is 52 dBA at 25% load and I confirmed that the noise level rises substantially when running under full load. In one document of Westinghouse it shows a reading of 58 dBA. The lowest reading so far in our reviews was 48 dBA with a maximum of 57 dBA. It is not a bad score though. Feedback from many users show that they are both surprised and satisfied with the low noise levels of the iGen2200. The maximum engine speed on the iGen2200 is lower than conventional units and it helps to reduce noise levels.
The Westinghouse parallel cord enables you to combine one iGen2200 with another iGen2200 or the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT, iGen1200, or iGen2500. If you already have one of the compatible Westinghouse models it is a great way of extending its power output and extending connectivity. The parallel cable kit contains two 120 Volt NEMA 5-20R household power outlets and one NEMA TT-30 RV power outlet.
The neat, compact design with rounded corners and integrated handle makes the iGen2200 easy to carry and its 47 pound weight adds to its appeal. Westinghouse placed the user interface at the one end of the iGen2200 where they grouped controls neatly and color coded some. They highlight key areas that need attention when starting the inverter in yellow. The fuel filler is within easy reach at the top of the generator. It has a yellow fuel tank vent that you must open before you use the iGen2200. You must also open it before you can open the fuel cap, because a vacuum in the tank can make it impossible to remove the cap. During normal use you open it when using the generator and close it when the engine is off.
On the control panel the engine control switch is prominent, you use it to set the choke and turn the fuel on and off. On the iGen2200 interface you will find a 120-Volt, 20-Amp duplex outlet (NEMA 5-20R), that can supply a maximum of 20 Amps. The outlets are the same as in your home, but the 20 Amp trip switch limits both. If you use only one you have the full 20 Amps, but with two-up they share the 20 Amps. The 120V outlets in your home can each deliver 15 or 20 Amps.
iGen2200 Control Panel is well thought out & clear
Next to the 120V outlets are the 2 USB 5VDC outlets for charging a USB device. They supply 1 and 2.1 Amps. All the outlets and push button switches of the iGen2200 have rubber covers to keep the weather out. The USB ports are not available on its predecessor. The WH2200iXLT has an automotive style 12 Volt outlet for charging a car battery. You could use a good quality USB adapter such as the ones we use in the car, and plug it into the 12 Volt socket.
There is only one circuit breaker on the iGen2200. When tripped, the engine will continue to run, but there will be no output from the inverter. To reset the situation, you unplug everything from the generator and press the reset. Then before you insert the power plugs again, reduce the load first by removing one of the loads.
The efficiency mode switch is also on the interface panel. When in use it lets the engine sense the load and run at a slower speed to save fuel when it is possible. When the load increases the engine speeds up to deliver more power. The main reason for this switch is to save fuel and reduce noise. Unfortunately, not all devices are compatible with this efficiency mode. If the generator reacts too slowly when a device power up, the current drawn during start-up can be more than the generator can deliver. It will either trip the generator or the device may trip. In either case you will have to reset the fault and then use the generator with the efficiency mode switched off.
The 79 cc engine has a low oil shutdown switch to prevent damage due to bad lubrication. The engine will shut down when the oil level is too low, and will only start when the oil is at the proper level. Therefore, it makes sense to ensure the engine has the proper oil level before using it.
The Westinghouse iGen2200 generators are EPA, USFS, and CARB compliant (Legal in California). The muffler has a U.S. Forest Service approved spark arrestor and the generator is approved for use in Canada. It means that you may use your iGen2200 anywhere in America and in all parks and forest service areas.
Something I noticed when I scanned through user reviews is that some WH2200iXLT and iGen2200 generators experienced gas leaks. Mostly from the carburetor and on one unit from a ruptured fuel tank. The oil level switch also failed on some and then the generator will not start. Fortunately, the Westinghouse iGen2200 is backed by a three-year warranty and Westinghouse’s nationwide service and support network. If you have basic tools like screwdrivers and spanners, it is worth investigating the problem. Many users found that the drain screw on the carburetor was loose, causing the fuel to leak. Tightening it solves the problem.
I would prefer a wattage or Amp meter on all generators, including the small inverter generators like the iGen2200. Without it you have no indication what the output current or power in Watts is. Therefore, you must calculate the load of everything you want to add to the iGen2200 and you also need the total load already connected. Unfortunately, you have no guarantee that your calculation is a true reflection of the actual load. Therefore, you either plug in and hope, or you measure the loads at each convenience with a suitable Amp meter and add up.
The Westinghouse iGen2200 and the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT are both good inverter generators in the 2200-Watt class. Westinghouse also back up these generators with its extended support facilities, it’s a company renowned for its customer support. I noticed that they actively monitor the internet for critical feedback and respond to it with an invitation to contact their support center. It gives one the feeling that the company cares and will not leave you with a dead generator when things go wrong.
Westinghouse WH2200iXLT | 2200W Inverter Generator