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Generac GP5500 Spec Review

The Generac GP5500 (5939) is a portable open frame generator with a rated wattage of 5500 W and a starting wattage of 6875 W.

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Price History
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Price history for the Generac GP5500
Latest updates:
  • $737.90 - July 8, 2021
  • $837.90 - July 2, 2021
  • $796.00 - June 20, 2021
  • $777.70 - May 29, 2021
  • $729.00 - April 1, 2021
  • $828.00 - March 14, 2021
Data source: zoro.com
Since: March 14, 2021
  • Highest Price: $837.90 - July 2, 2021
  • Lowest Price: $729.00 - April 1, 2021

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 wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
  • Food truck owners who do not wish to see their business interrupted under any circumstances
  • 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 in use

The Generac GP5500

The Generac GP5500's engine, 389 cc Generac OHV 4-stroke, fueled by gasoline, can deliver 120/240V. It provides a running wattage of 5500W and reaches a peak wattage of 6875W.

Its starting mechanism is based on a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.

The fuel capacity of 7.2 gallons allows the GP5500 to operate 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

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 design is ideal for rough environments and demanding outdoor use.

Although this generator is technically considered 'portable' (in the sense that it can be moved), its 170.9 lbs make it incredibly difficult to manually lift and transport. 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.

Features

Panel of the Generac GP5500

The GP5500's control panel

One of the many GP5500's features is the data center, included in its control panel, which conveniently provides information on the lifetime run hours and thus, helps you monitor its activity and status.

The generator allows for a quick, easy and convenient assessment of its gas level, as it is equipped with a built-in fuel gauge.

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. If weight is your top priority, one of the champions in this power category is the WEN GN6000, weighing just 119 pounds.
  • As far as autonomy is concerned, providing around 10 hours of runtime with a full tank at a 50% load, the GP5500 falls into the low end in comparison with other devices of a comparable power output. Concerning the run times, one of the several devices with a comparable output, offering the highest autonomy, is the Cat RP5500, which is able to run for 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. This generator is rather wasteful, compared to other devices within the aforementioned output range, when it comes to gasoline consumption, as it reaches roughly 0.72 GPH at a 50% load. If you wish to further improve in the area of fuel efficiency, the Westinghouse WGen5300DFv, which boasts with a gas consumption of only 0.35 GPH, may be the right generator for you.
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 watts5500 W
Starting watts6875 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%
EmissionsEPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil and wheel kit
Warranty2 years
Other model numbers5939

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 wattage calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeDish washer15003000
AC (10,000 BTU)15002200
Sump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Radio100100
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total4397 W5897 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
Radiant heater13001300
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.

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