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Generac GP5500 - 5500/6875W Portable Generator

The Generac GP5500 (5939) is a portable open frame generator with a rated wattage of 5,500 W and a starting wattage of 6,875 W.

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Description

The GP5500 has enough power for emergency use, when you’re not using it for outdoor recreation and DIY projects.

Zoom on the Generac GP5500

In summary, the Generac GP5500 is a portable generator especially useful for:

  • RV travellers looking for even more independence
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • Food truck owners who do not wish to see their business interrupted under any circumstances
  • Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures

In the sections ahead, the power characteristics, availability of various outlets, the portability, and any additional features of the device shall be discussed, including its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Generac GP5500 in use

The Generac GP5500

The Generac GP5500 is powered by a 389 cc Generac OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120/240V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 5,500W as well as a peak wattage of 6,875W.

The generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.

With a fuel capacity of 7.2 gallons, the GP5500 may run for around 10 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.72 GPH).

The quite high THD (<20%) of the GP5500 makes it unsuitable for powering sensitive electronic devices.

Outlets

The control panel features the following 5 AC outlets:

Two Duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R)
120/240V 30A (L14-30R) receptacle

Because the GP5500 is equipped with a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: it can power your home during a power outage, as it can be easily connected to your breaker box to power your household.

Portability

With its dimensions of L27.5 x W27 x H25 in, the conventional, open frame design of the Generac GP5500 offers stability and allows the generator to be raised above ground level. The generator is designed for ideal use outdoors and in rough environments.

Since the generator weighs 170.9 lbs, it will be incredibly difficult to manually lift it and transport it, even though it is technically considered to 'be portable' (in the sense that it is movable). However, its challenging mobility is solved by its wheel kit (⌀9.5") and its folding handle, which will ease its displacement, once it is on the floor.

Features

Panel of the Generac GP5500

The GP5500's control panel

The control panel of the GP5500 includes a digital data center, which assists you in monitoring its status and activity, as it provides information on the lifetime run hours.

The generator includes a built-in fuel gauge, a quick, easy and convenient method of checking the device’s gas level.

From a security standpoint, the product offers an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), allowing you to use it with a peace of mind.

Besides the usual set of documentation and owner's manual (opens in a new tab) to get you promptly started, Generac also included some oil in the GP5500's packaging.

Emissions

The Generac GP5500 is EPA approved, but NOT CARB-compliant. Thus, it cannot be purchased or sold in California.

However, it features a spark arrestor, making it usable in forested areas.

Product Video

The Generac GP5500 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Generac GP5500 compare to generators of similar power (between 5000 and 6000 W).

  • As its weight is 170.9 pounds, the Generac GP5500 falls in the expected weight range of the devices in the 5000-6000 rated wattage category. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the Genmax GM6000XiE, with a dry weight of only 106.9 lbs.
  • Regarding its autonomy, the autonomy of the GP5500, reaching around 10 hours at a 50% load, can be considered as low end, compared to other products of a roughly equal output. If you consider autonomy on a single full tank as one of the deciding factors, one of the generators in the same power range that offers the highest run time is the Predator 6500, with around 14.5 hours.
  • Even though run times are undoubtedly important, they are dependent on the fuel capacity to a large extent. For a more wholesome picture, we must take into consideration the fuel consumption of the generator. In fact, this generator is not among the most fuel efficient, within the aforementioned wattage range : its estimated gasoline consumption at 50% load is around 0.72 GPH. If not satisfied with the afore-mentioned fuel consumption, you may wish to check out the A-iPower SUA7000L. With a fuel consumption of as little as 0.36 GPH, it is one of the most efficient generators currently on the market.
According to our stats, the following comparison is pretty popular: Generac GP5500 vs Generac GP6500.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 5000-6000W generators, the Generac GP5500 is on the cheap side of the price range.

It can therefore be a really good buy if you're looking to acquire a budget generator.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • Inexpensive
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (170.9 lbs)
WEAKNESSES:
  • No electric start
  • Not CARB-compliant
  • Relatively low run time
  • Low fuel efficiency

Do you own the Generac GP5500 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterNo
PortableYes
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine389 cc Generac OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Power
VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz
Running watts5,500 W
Starting watts6,875 W
Running amps (@120/240V)45.8/22.9 amps
Peak amps (@120/240V)57.3/28.6 amps
Run time @50% load10 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
AC outlets
  • 2x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
  • 1x 120/240V 30A (L14-30R)
DC outletsNo
Data centerLifetime run hours
IndicatorsNo
Fuel tankSteel, 7.2 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight170.9 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)27.5 x 27 x 25 in
Noise (lower limit)Unknown
THD< 20%
ComplianceEPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil and wheel kit
Warranty2 years
Other model numbers5939
UPC696471059397

Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.

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About Generac

Generac Power Systems is an American based generator and power equipment manufacturer, founded in 1959. As its name suggests, the main focus of Generac are power generators, and other related electric equipment, such as switches, paralleling systems and small engines. The company has several manufacturing facilities based in the US, thus, their products are made in the USA. However, the company provides no information about the origin of their components.

Warranty Information

The Generac GP5500 is covered under a warranty for up to 2 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Generac generators, please consult Generac's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-888-GENERAC (888-436-3722).

Questions & Answers

What can it power?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our generator size calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeSump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Furnace fan (1/2 hp)8752350
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Electric range21002100
Security system180180
Total4397 W5872 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
RV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
Radio100100
Total4390 W4980 W
For workTable saw18004500
Grinder14002500
Reciprocating saw730960
Bug zapper8080
Total4010 W6710 W
What is the noise rating of the GP5500?

Due to the lack of standardization in noise emission measurement, Generac does not provide their units' noise levels.

How much oil does the 389 cc motor hold (Asked June 08, 2021)

Engine oil capacity is 1.06 qts.

Couldn't find the right answer for you? Ask your own question.

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Generac GP5500
9.5 Total Score
1 review
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User Reviews

  1. 4.75
    Price
    100
    Value
    100
    Quality
    80
    Performance
    100

    We bought our Generac 5500 in approximately 2008 or 09. We use it at our home when the power goes out, which usually happens a couple of times a year, sometimes more. As I am typing this we have been out of power for several hours and the generator is working great. It has been a good investment overall with the exception of a problem I had with it because I was using regular gasoline instead of recreational gas. Since I switched it starts and runs flawlessly and serves our needs very well. Usually starts with a pull or two. I made a wooden framed lightweight vented cover for it, set it on a cement pad, and it stays outside year round here in Michigan. For our purposes it has been a really good buy.

    + PROS:
    • inexpensive (on sale when we bought it)
    • reliable starting, pulls a little hard but starts fine
    • dependable (overall it has been great when using recreational gas instead of regular)
    - CONS:
    • had to have it repaired once (but it is 11 years old)
    • according to your review, it uses more gas than others
    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

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