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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 who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures
The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, the extra features it benefits from, and any relevant emission compliance details.
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 5,500W and a peak wattage of 6,875W.
This 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.
As the GP5500 has a high THD (<20%), it is not recommended to use it to power sensitive electronic devices.
The control panel includes 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 generator is designed for ideal use outdoors and in rough environments.
As the generator's weight is 170.9 pounds, manually moving it or transporting it may be challenging, despite the fact that it is technically considered 'portable' (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.
To help you monitor the GP5500's status and activity, its control panel is equipped with a digital data center, giving you 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 overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, 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, so it is adequate for use 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|
|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 engineered and built in the USA. However, their components can be a mix of domestic and foreign parts.
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||AC (10,000 BTU)||1500||2200|
|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||5497 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.
Couldn't find the right answer for you? Ask your own question.
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.