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
- People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
- Food van owners who know that just a short power outage could lose them hundreds of dollars
- 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 is powered by a 389 cc Generac OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120/240V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 5500W as well as a peak wattage of 6875W.
Its starting mechanism is based on a conventional 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 following 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 Generac GP5500 has a conventional, open frame design, of the following dimensions: L27.5 x W27 x H25 in, which offers support and allows it to be raised above ground level. This type of design is ideal for tough environments and heavy 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). However, this lack of maneuverability is compensated by its wheel kit (⌀9.5") and its folding handle, with which you can conveniently shift it, once it's on the ground.
A digital data center, one of the features of the GP5500’s control panel, gives you information on the lifetime run hours, and thus, is helpful for the monitoring of 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.
Security-wise, this product benefits from an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.
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 and thus, may be used 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 matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the Westinghouse WGen5300v with only 107 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.
- The run time is important, but also hugely depends on the capacity of the fuel tank and doesn't mean much if we don't talk about fuel consumption as well. This generator is not fuel efficient compared to devices of similar output: its estimated fuel consumption stands at 0.72 GPH at a 50% load. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.35 GPH, the Westinghouse WGen5300v is a device you should look out for.
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|
|Peaks amps (@120/240V)||57.3/28.6 amps|
|Run time @50% load||10 h|
|Run time @25% load||N/A|
|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|
|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|
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