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).
The control panel provides the upcoming 7 AC outlets:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- In the expected price range
- CO Sensor
- GFCI Outlets
- Honda engine
- Clean sine wave
- High run time
- Made in USA
- No electric start
- On the heavy side (227 lbs)
- Low fuel efficiency
Features and Specifications
|270 cc Honda GX270 OHV 4-stroke
|AC: 120/240V 60 Hz
|Running amps (@120/240V)
|Peak amps (@120/240V)
|Run time @50% load
|Run time @25% load
|Automatic Voltage Regulation
|Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)
|41 x 32 x 29 in
|Noise (lower limit)
|Low oil and overload protection, CO monitoring
|Bonded to frame
|Funnel and wheel kit
|Country of origin
|Other model numbers
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.
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.
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?
|Sump pump (1/2 hp)
|Furnace fan (1/2 hp)
|Refrigerator (energy star)
|Pair of small speakers
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