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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:
  • $801.90 - October 11, 2021
  • $754.17 - August 27, 2021
  • $737.90 - July 8, 2021
  • $837.90 - July 2, 2021
  • $796.00 - June 20, 2021
  • $777.70 - May 29, 2021
Data source: zoro.com
Since: May 29, 2021
  • Highest Price: $837.90 - July 2, 2021
  • Lowest Price: $737.90 - July 8, 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 a nutshell, the Generac GP5500 is a portable generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
  • Food truck owners who want to ensure that their business is fully self-contained and does not rely on potentially unreliable external power
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials

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 houses a 389 cc Generac OHV 4-stroke engine, which provides 120/240V, consumes gasoline and delivers a running wattage of 5500W along with a peak wattage of 6875W.

The generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism.

With a full tank, the GP5500 can operate for around 10 hours at 50% load (fuel consumption around 0.72 GPH), thanks 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.

Outlets

The control panel features the following 5 AC outlets:

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

Due to the featured twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, the GP5500 is transfer switch ready: you may connect it to a breaker box to power your household during a power outage.

Portability

The dimensions of the Generac GP5500, which are L27.5 x W27 x H25 in, and its typical, open frame design provides stability and enables the generator to be raised above ground level. The design is ideal for rough 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.

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.

A built-in fuel gauge allows for a quick, easy and convenient check of the fuel level of the generator.

As far as security is concerned, the generator can be used with a peace of mind, as it features an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker).

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 average side of the price range.

Therefore, this generator nicely fits in the expected budget for this kind of product.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • In the expected price range
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 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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1 Review
  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(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

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