FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
General Product Knowledge
How long has Westinghouse been making generators?
Westinghouse built the world’s first industrial alternating current (AC) generator at the Ames Hydro-electric Generating Plant in Colorado, USA in 1891. It is only more recently, though, in 2011 that the company launched its own range of consumer portable generators.
What engine does it have?
The generators are exclusively equipped with their own Westinghouse brand engines. These are all purpose-designed and built 4-stroke, overhead valve (OHV) petrol engines that comply with Australian and US EPA emissions standards.
How heavy is it?
Westinghouse generators are designed to be amongst the lightest in their class. The models up to 2,600 Watts output can be easily carried by one person using the integrated ergonomic lifting handle. Larger models have multiple lifting points and also Never-Flat wheels for ease of portability; it is recommended for safety that they be handled as a two-person lift or by one person using a mechanical aid. Please refer to the brochures or specifications at www.westinghouseoutdoorpower.com.au/downloads/ for the weight values.
How noisy is it?
The inverter generator models are the quietest in the Westinghouse line-up. The selectable ECO-throttle switch, double-insulated acoustic enclosure and low-tone mufflers allow these units to run ultra-silently from only 51 dB(A), which is quieter than normal conversation level and barely audible.
What can it run?
Each model of Westinghouse generator has its own electrical output ratings that are expressed in terms of running power and starting power, both of which are measured in Watts. To select the right generator for your needs, please refer to the Generator Selection Guide at www.westinghouseoutdoorpower.com.au/downloads/
How many kVA is it?
Because the various manufacturers use different ways to determine their kVA ratings, the only way you can be really sure of accurately comparing generator outputs is by referring only to their continuous running power outputs in Watts.
Does it have electric start?
The Westinghouse iGen4500s, 8500E, 8500E-PRO and 8500E-AS models feature keyless electric starting and are fitted with a 12 Volt battery; they can also be started manually using their built-in recoil starter.
Does it have remote start?
The Westinghouse iGen4500s can be started or stopped remotely by the press of a button on its wireless remote control fob. The 8500E-AS model can also be operated remotely, either by manual or independent command via the generator’s intelligent 2-wire automatic-start, run and stop control system.
Where are they made?
The generators are designed in the USA and made in China or Vietnam under the license and supervision of Westinghouse. Overseas models, such as those for Australia, are developed with local engineering input to ensure regulatory compliance and satisfy customer preferences in their home markets.
What is the warranty?
To ensure the lasting quality of your ownership experience, all Westinghouse generators are covered by a 2-year domestic use warranty. Please refer to the full conditions of the warranty that are clearly stated at www.westinghouseoutdoorpower.com.au/downloads/
Can it run my RV’s air conditioner?
Please refer to the specifications for your air conditioner to ascertain its running power and starting power requirements, and then use these values in conjunction with the Generator Selection Guide on our website to choose the right Westinghouse generator. Or sometimes the air conditioner manufacturer may specify a recommended minimum generator size. Remember to allow additional power for any other electrical lights or devices that you might want to operate simultaneously with the air conditioner.
Modern RVs are fitted with battery or power management systems that control the interconnection between the vehicle’s batteries, AC and DC loads, solar panels, battery charger, portable generator and external mains power supply. These automatic systems can make it difficult for you to switch off other electrical loads when running your air conditioner. So, whilst you can get by using an iGen2200 to run most popular RV air conditioners on their own, opting for a larger inverter generator such as a 2400i, iGen2500, iGen2600 or ideally an iGen4500s gives you the added comfort of powering more electrical conveniences at the same time.
Can I use my generator in a National Park?
Please check with the relevant Federal, State or Territory agency responsible for managing the national park(s) that you want to visit for this up-to-date information. Generators can be used in many camping areas throughout Australia albeit with restrictions. In Queensland, for example, a noise level limit of 65 dB(A) at 7 metres applies and all Westinghouse inverter generators comply with this requirement. Exemptions are commonly available upon application for using generators to power disability aids or other medical treatments.
Will it fit my RV’s generator slide-out tray or storage box?
The overall dimensions of Westinghouse inverter generators are similar to those of other leading manufacturers’ units, so you should not have a problem finding a Westinghouse model that fits your RV’s storage space. Please refer to the consumer guide with product comparisons at www.westinghouseoutdoorpower.com.au/downloads/ that include this dimensional data.
Can the inverter generators be connected for parallel operation?
Westinghouse inverter generators configured for the Australian market do not have this feature. If your application has a high power demand, we recommended that you consider using a single large inverter generator such as the iGen4500s instead of connecting two smaller units in parallel. The single iGen4500s option can be more cost effective and is also considered to be more reliable and safer.
What is an inverter generator?
Inverter generators use advanced electronic technology to produce the cleanest and most stable electrical power output. Whereas standard generators run constantly at full speed and deliver their raw electrical output directly from a hardwired alternator, inverter generators can vary their engine speed according to the power demand and produce their electrical output in a 3-step computer-controlled process. This superior technology enables inverter generators to be lighter, quieter and more fuel efficient than traditional fixed-speed generators.
How does it stack up against Honda and Yamaha?
Westinghouse generators offer consumers a unique combination of features, performance and value. You can check out the comparisons of our most popular inverter generators against those from other leading manufacturers in the consumer guide at https://www.westinghouseoutdoorpower.com.au/downloads/.
What type of fuel does it use?
All standard grades of unleaded petrol available from service stations are suitable for use in Westinghouse generators including regular (91), premium (95), ultra-premium (98) and low aromatic Opal (91). E10 unleaded petrol with up to 10% ethanol is also suitable, but not recommended because of its water absorption properties.
Do I need to add oil to the fuel?
Westinghouse engines are all clean running, fuel efficient 4-stroke models that do not need a petrol-oil mix like 2-stroke engines.
Can it run continuously?
Westinghouse generators can run 24/7 if operated and maintained in accordance with the supplied instructions. For safety, you should always stop the generator to refuel it. If you’re going to be running an inverter generator for an extended period at low or mid-range power output, switch on its ECO throttle control to minimise fuel consumption, noise, and engine wear and tear.
Spare Parts and Service
Where do I take it for service or repair if I’m away on a trip?
There is a network of authorised Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment service agents throughout Australia who can provide after-sales support for your generator. You can click here to find their details on our website or call us on (1800) 453 626. Should you experience any problem with your generator, it is recommended that you consult the troubleshooting guide in the Instruction Manual first before calling us on (1800) 453 626; the most common issues can be resolved quickly in this manner without the inconvenience of having to take the unit to a service agent.
Where can I buy a replacement 12 volt battery for my generator?
For the Westinghouse 8500E, 8500E-PRO and 8500E-AS models, a Motobatt MBTX12U battery or equivalent is the recommended replacement part. It can be purchased from your nearest Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment service agent or automotive battery retailer. Kindly note that notwithstanding the “POWER ON” branding that may be marked on the battery originally fitted to your generator, it is not a product of Power On Australia (www.poweronaustralia.com.au) and cannot be purchased from them.
The battery fitted to the iGen4500 and iGen4500s models is a custom-designed product with unique overall dimensions. For optimum fit and performance, it is recommended to purchase an original replacement battery from your nearest Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment service agent. If this is not convenient for you, an aftermarket battery such as a Motobatt MB5.5U or Yuasa 12N5-3B, 12N5.5-3B or YB5L-B can be substituted albeit with some stretch manipulation of the hold-down strap to accommodate the replacement battery’s taller overall height.
Can I charge my electric vehicle (EV) directly from a Westinghouse portable generator?
Yes. You’ll need a mobile charging cable for your EV with an Australian 3-pin plug that can be connected directly into and powered by a standard household 240 Volt socket outlet. The charging cable plug can be either a standard domestic 10 Amp, 3-pin type or a heavy-duty 15 Amp, 3-pin type that has a larger earth pin.
Some EVs, notably Tesla™ cars, have a safety feature whereby the charging system will first run an earth assurance test to verify that the electrical supply has multiple earthed neutral (MEN) protection. Fixed electrical installations such as those in Australian houses and other buildings are configured with MEN protection as standard. Only those Westinghouse portable generators fitted with an RCD safety switch, like the WHXC3750-PRO or the WHXC8500E-PRO, are compatible with these EV charging systems. Other standalone portable generators without an RCD cannot charge a Tesla™ car because they will fail the vehicle’s earth assurance test function.
Always check your EV’s Owner’s Manual first for instructions about charging from a portable generator. Where possible, It is recommended that the generator and EV charging system be trialled to ensure that the combination works satisfactorily.
Can a Westinghouse 2-wire automatic start generator be connected directly to a Tesla™ Powerwall™?
No. The Powerwall is intended for use in a grid-connected hybrid solar power system only. It cannot connect to the generator’s 2-wire automatic control system and nor can it be charged from the generator’s electrical power output.
Any Westinghouse portable generator that’s not equipped with an RCD safety switch can nevertheless be incorporated into a grid-connected hybrid solar power system. This requires a manual transfer switch (MTS) or an automatic transfer switch (ATS) to be installed downstream from the Powerwall and mains grid power supply. Such electrical installation work must be carried out by a licensed electrician. The generator can provide electrical backup in the event of (a) mains power failure and (b) the Powerwall’s battery being discharged or the electrical load exceeding the Powerwall’s maximum output.
The switchover to generator backup can be done manually in a basic system or automatically in a more sophisticated solar power system incorporating a Westinghouse 2-wire automatic start generator.
Note: A purpose designed off-grid solar power system typically incorporates a multifunction solar inverter, battery charger and system controller (or individual components with these functions) that can communicate with and receive power directly from a Westinghouse 2-wire automatic start generator. The generator can automatically recharge the solar system’s battery if the solar panels can’t produce enough power due to inclement weather or the electrical load is excessive. Depending on system configuration, the generator may also feed in power to supply the load.