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NorthStar c5500 - 4500/5500W Portable Generator With Honda Engine

The NorthStar c5500 is a portable open frame generator with a rated wattage of 4,500 W and a starting wattage of 5,500 W.

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Description

Zoom on the NorthStar c5500

In a nutshell, the NorthStar c5500 is a portable generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
  • People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
  • Professionals who want to be able to deliver results, even during a power failure

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 NorthStar c5500 is powered by a 270 cc Honda GX270 OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120/240V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 4,500W as well as a peak wattage of 5,500W.

This generator is started via a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.

The c5500 can operate for around 15.1 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.53 GPH), due to its fuel capacity of 8 gallons.

Sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlets, as the c5500 produces a clean sine wave, with a <5% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD).

Outlets

The control panel provides the upcoming 7 AC outlets:

Three Duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
120/240V 30A (L14-30R) receptacle

As it features a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, the c5500 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.

Portability

With its dimensions of L41 x W32 x H29 in, the conventional, open frame design of the NorthStar c5500 offers stability and allows the generator to be raised above ground level. The generator is designed for ideal use outdoors and in rough environments.

Although this generator is technically considered 'portable' (in the sense that it can be moved), its 227 lbs make it incredibly difficult to manually lift and transport. Still, once it is on the ground, its wheel kit (⌀10") and its folding handle can easily solve the issue of low mobility and allow for easy relocation of the device.

Features

Panel of the NorthStar c5500

The c5500's control panel

The c5500's control center features a convenient voltmeter, which provides an easy way to monitor power output anytime to aid you with the monitoring of its status and activity.

The generator allows for a quick, easy and convenient assessment of its gas level, as it is equipped with a built-in fuel gauge.

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).

It also includes a carbon monoxide sensor. This sensor is designed to monitor the level of carbon monoxide present during the generator's operation. If the generator is positioned incorrectly and carbon monoxide levels rise to an unsafe level, the generator will automatically shut down.

Besides the usual set of documentation and owner's manual (opens in a new tab) to get you promptly started, NorthStar also included a funnel in the c5500's packaging.

Emissions

The NorthStar c5500 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Thus, selling and purchasing this generator is allowed in each of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor and thus, may be used in forested areas.

The NorthStar c5500 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the NorthStar c5500 compare to generators of similar power (between 4000 and 5000 W).

  • As its dry weight is 227 pounds, the NorthStar c5500 is one of the heavier of the products which can generate 4000 to 5000 running watts. If you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above-mentioned power range is the WEN 56477i, with a dry weight of just 72.7 pounds.
  • Since the c5500 boasts with a run time of around 15.1 hours at 50% load, it can be safely judged as one of the devices with the highest run time among those of a comparable output.
  • 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. 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 0.53 GPH. If not satisfied with the afore-mentioned fuel consumption, you may wish to check out the WEN 56477i. With a fuel consumption of as little as 0.27 GPH, it is one of the most efficient generators currently on the market.

Price comparison

As you can see from these interactive charts, when compared to other 4000-5000W generators, the NorthStar c5500 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

STRENGTHS:
  • In the expected price range
  • CO Sensor
  • GFCI Outlets
  • Honda engine
  • Clean sine wave
  • High run time
  • Made in USA
WEAKNESSES:
  • No electric start
  • On the heavy side (227 lbs)
  • Low fuel efficiency

Do you own the NorthStar c5500 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterNo
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine270 cc Honda GX270 OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Warranty4 years
Power
VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz
Running watts4,500 W
Starting watts5,500 W
Running amps (@120/240V)37.5/18.8 amps
Peak amps (@120/240V)45.8/22.9 amps
Run time @50% load15.1 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsYes
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
AC outlets
  • 3x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
  • 1x 120/240V 30A (L14-30R)
DC outletsNo
Data centerVoltmeter
IndicatorsNo
Fuel tank8 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight227 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)41 x 32 x 29 in
Noise (lower limit)Unknown
THD< 5%
ComplianceCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection, CO monitoring
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedFunnel and wheel kit
Country of originUSA
SeriesCommercial-Grade
Other model numbers1654400

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.

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About NorthStar

NorthStar is a brand of outdoor power equipment trademarked and sold by the Northern Tool + Equipment company which has been based in Burnsville, Minnesota, USA since being founded in 1981. NorthStar products include log splitters, portable generators, air compressors, and pressure washers. Their line of commercial-grade portable generators is manufactured in the US. With many units powered by Honda engines, NorthStar outdoor power tools make up a large percentage of the product line for the fast-growing Northern Tool company.

Warranty Information

The NorthStar c5500 is covered under a warranty for up to 4 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of NorthStar generators, please contact the NorthStar Customer Support: 1-800-270-0810.

Questions & Answers

What can it power?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our wattage calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeSump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Furnace fan (1/2 hp)8752350
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Clothes iron12701270
Mixer200200
Total3587 W5062 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
Slow cooker270270
Pair of small speakers4545
Total3595 W4015 W
For workTable saw18004500
Reciprocating saw730960
Drain cleaner250250
Total2780 W5480 W

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