The Westinghouse iGen2500 inverter generator has its virtues. It’s easily portable and extremely quiet, with an operating volume of 52 decibels. 52 dB is comparable to the noise made by an electric fan or hair dryer, relatively tame by generator standards. But the iGen2500 still has its faults. Many many faults. To call the iGen2500 a troubled product would be an understatement. The portable generator’s countless mishaps shattered Westinghouse’s hard-won reputation for making reliable machines.
The iGen2500 leaked gas all the time, overheated like an empty pan on a hotplate, and had a tendency to burst into flames while operating. The generator’s disastrous run peaked with a product recall in late 2017. The model is still on the market today, an indication that Westinghouse has at least tried to fix the mistakes it should never have made in the first place.
Westinghouse iGen2500 Problem 1: Gas leaks
When you think of fuel leaks you might picture a slow but steady drip-drip of gasoline. The iGen2500 didn’t drip. It spouted gas into its insides like a fountain. Its closed and compact construction made getting the gas out from between the generator components almost impossible.
You had to painstakingly use a rag, soaking up the gas and wringing the cloth then repeating the process over and over again until it was gone.
The gas leaks weren’t a problem with old generators either. Brand new generators were leaking gas. Customers reported getting an iGen2500 from the store, filling it up with gas, and then getting none of that satisfying roar and shake when they started it up. Gas would rather go anywhere else than in the engine’s combustion chamber.
Westinghouse iGen2500 Problem 2: Overheating and catching fire
Due to its closed construction and a poorly made cooling system, the iGen2500 was prone to spontaneous combustion. Couple this with fuel lines that leaked worse than sieves and the fireball starts to look really scary.
One too many fires led to a recall. Westinghouse repaired the faulty units and re-released the model. There have been no reports of flammability in newer iterations of the iGen2500.
Westinghouse iGen2500 Problem 3: Poor build quality and constant breakdowns
The iGen2500 resurrected the nearly dead Made in China meme. But in all honesty, this was on Westinghouse. A lot of well-built stuff is manufactured in China, iPhones being the most prominent. Despite having an ‘i’ before its name, the iGen2500 came nowhere close to the build quality we’ve come to expect from Apple. Or Westinghouse in this case.
The laundry list of problems is long. We’ve already mentioned the leaky fuel lines but there are others. The gas cap couldn’t vent properly, the engine kept dying, and the pull handle was flimsily constructed. One customer had his generator’s pull handle breaking after only five uses. This was while he had to deal with a gas leak and an engine that kept dying all at the same time. His generator was brand new. He experienced all these problems the first time he tried to use it.
Despite being rated at 2500 watts, the iGen2500 didn’t seem able to handle anything that required more power than a cellphone (it takes five watts to charge a cellphone). Any time a customer loaded the generator with an air conditioner, fridge, or anything requiring a moderately large amount of power, it coughed and died.
One more gripe: the iGen2500 produces only 2200 watts of power in operation, not 2500. Its branding is just as unreliable as its operation. It produces 2500 watts upon starting but the output is not sustained at that level, dropping almost immediately to 2200W.
Westinghouse iGen2500 Recall
Its myriad problems and extreme flammability got the iGen2500 on the radar of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. The CPSC issued an order to recall all Westinghouse iGen 2500 and iPro2500 generators on December 7, 2017. This recall order affected 4500 units.
To its credit, Westinghouse appears to have fixed many of the problems with the iGen2500. The generator is still on the market and it seems to have been received reasonably well with a rating of 4.4 stars on Amazon, and 4.7 on Walmart.
There are still negative reviews about the generator leaking gas, falling apart, and breaking down at inopportune moments mixed in with the positive ones. Westinghouse also offers a three-year limited warranty to deal with any issues that might arise.
Other legal and generator issues
- On the heels of the 2017 recall, the CPSC ordered Westinghouse to recall two more generator models, the WGen5300DFv Dual Fuel and the iGen4500DF Dual fuel for catching fire in 2020.
- Westinghouse is also currently being sued by the FTC for illegally restricting customers’ right to repair purchased products. The company voids your warranty if you use a third-party repair service, a situation the FTC wants to change.