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 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.
The control panel features the following 5 AC outlets:
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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
- In the expected price range
- 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||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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