Zoom on the Generac GP5500
In summary, the Generac GP5500 is a portable generator especially useful for:
- RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
- Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
- Food truck owners who want to ensure that their business is fully self-contained and does not rely on potentially unreliable external power
- Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout
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's core is the 389 cc Generac OHV 4-stroke engine, which runs on gasoline. With an output of 120/240V, it provides a running wattage of 5500W and a peak wattage of 6875W.
Its starting mechanism is based on a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.
The GP5500 can operate for around 10 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.72 GPH), due to its fuel capacity of 7.2 gallons.
Since the GP5500 has a somewhat high THD (<20%), it is advisable to not use it for the powering of sensitive electronic devices.
The control panel features the upcoming 5 AC outlets:
As it features a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, the GP5500 is transfer switch ready: in case of a power outage, you will be easily able to connect it to a breaker box and power your household.
The design of the Generac GP5500 is a typical, open frame, with the dimensions of L27.5 x W27 x H25 in, offering support and stability and enabling the possibility of raising it above ground level. The device has been designed for tough environments and demanding outdoor use.
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). Still, once it is on the ground, its wheel kit (⌀9.5") and its folding handle can easily solve the issue of low mobility and allow for easy relocation of the device.
Monitoring of the GP5500's status and activity is made possible by a digital data center, which provides information on the lifetime run hours and is one of the features of its control panel.
A built-in fuel gauge allows for a quick, easy and convenient check of the fuel level of the generator.
As for its security measures, the device features an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), letting you 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).
- At a weight of 170.9 pounds, the Generac GP5500 places in the expected weight range of the generators in the 5000-6000 rated wattage range. If you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above-mentioned power range is the Genmax GM6000XiE, with a dry weight of just 106.9 pounds.
- The GP5500's autonomy is somewhat low end compared to devices of its power range, as it reaches only around 10 hours at 50% load on a full tank. 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 Cat RP5500, with around 15 hours.
- Run times are important, yet thanks to their dependence on the fuel capacity, they should be judged along with the fuel consumption of the device. Compared to its peers, this generator is not exactly fuel efficient, compared to similarly powerful devices, with an estimated fuel consumption of 0.72 GPH at a 50% load. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.36 GPH, the A-iPower SUA7000L is a device you could look out for.
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||5500 W|
|Starting watts||6875 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|
|AC outlets|| |
|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||Dish washer||1500||3000|
|Microwave (1000 watts)||1500||1500|
|Sump pump (1/2 hp)||1050||2150|
|Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Set of 5 LED light bulbs||55||55|
|Total||4397 W||5897 W|
|For camping||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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