Zoom on the Generac GP5500
In summary, the Generac GP5500 is a portable generator especially useful for:
- RV travellers looking for even more independence
- Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
- Food truck owners who do not wish to see their business interrupted under any circumstances
- 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 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 5500W and 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 includes the following 5 AC outlets:
Since the GP5500 bears a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: it is easily connectible to a breaker box and can power your home in case of a power outage.
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.
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). However, its challenging mobility is solved by its wheel kit (⌀9.5") and its folding handle, which will ease its displacement, once it is on the floor.
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.
A built-in fuel gauge allows for a quick, easy and convenient check of the fuel level of the generator.
From a security point of view, the generator is equipped with an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), giving you a peace of mind during use.
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.
- 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. If concerned with autonomy, one of the products of a comparable power output, which offers the highest run time, is the Cat RP5500, boasting with 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 somewhat less fuel efficient than devices of comparable output: its estimated fuel consumption reaches 0.72 GPH at a 50% load. If you wish to further improve in the area of fuel efficiency, the Westinghouse WGen5300v, 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 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||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)||N/A|
|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||Dish washer||1500||3000|
|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||5897 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|
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