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 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'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.
This generator gets running thanks to 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.
The GP5500 is unsuitable for the powering of sensitive electronic devices due to its relatively high THD (<20%).
The control panel features the upcoming 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 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 featured design is ideal for the outdoors and all tough environments.
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. Nevertheless, thanks to its wheel kit (⌀9.5") and its folding handle (a decent solution to its lack of maneuverability), the generator can be easily moved, once placed the ground.
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.
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, 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).
- With a dry weight of 170.9 pounds, the Generac GP5500 finds itself in the expected weight range for generators able to produce between 5000 and 6000 rated watts. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the WEN GN6000, with a dry weight of only 119 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. Furthermore, considering the run times, one of the generators which have a roughly same power output, with the highest autonomy, is the Cat RP5500, as it provides around 15 hours.
- Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. 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 fuel consumption is your top priority, we suggest to check out the Westinghouse WGen5300v, which has a fuel consumption of only 0.35 GPH and thus, is one of the most efficient devices in our database.
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||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||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|
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