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 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.
The control panel features the following 5 AC outlets:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Decent weight (170.9 lbs)
- No electric start
- Not CARB-compliant
- Relatively low run time
- Low fuel efficiency
Features and Specifications
|Engine||389 cc Generac OHV 4-stroke|
|Voltage||AC: 120/240V 60 Hz|
|Running watts||5,500 W|
|Starting watts||6,875 W|
|Running amps (@120/240V)||45.8/22.9 amps|
|Peak amps (@120/240V)||57.3/28.6 amps|
|Run time @50% load||10 h|
|Run time @25% load||Unknown|
|Automatic Voltage Regulation||Yes|
|Data center||Lifetime run hours|
|Fuel tank||Steel, 7.2 gal|
|Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)||27.5 x 27 x 25 in|
|Noise (lower limit)||Unknown|
|Security||Low oil and overload protection|
|Neutral||Bonded to frame|
|Accessories included||Oil and wheel kit|
|Other model numbers||5939|
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.
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.
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?
|Item||Running Watts||Starting Watts|
|At home||Sump pump (1/2 hp)||1050||2150|
|Furnace fan (1/2 hp)||875||2350|
|Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Total||4397 W||5872 W|
|For camping||Radiant heater||1300||1300|
|RV AC (11,000 BTU)||1010||1600|
|Total||4390 W||4980 W|
|For work||Table saw||1800||4500|
|Total||4010 W||6710 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.
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