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Generac has always been one of the finest companies when it comes to generators.
With affordable prices and great quality, it gives tough competition to some of the top companies in the business.
The generator we review today is the Generac GP5500 with 5500 Watt continuous power and 6875 Watt surge power.
Design, Dimensions & Weight
The unit looks like any other conventional Generac product – orange and black.
The body is surrounded by a hardened steel cube frame for increased and enhanced durability of the product as well as protection against dents and other damages.
The control panel is situated at the front along with two wheels attached to the back and the engine situated below the entire make.
Moving to the dimensions, the Generac GP5500 measures 27.25”×27”×25”, going by the conventional L×B×H rule.
In addition to this, the overall length of the product increases upon opening the handles attached to the unit for portability.
This stretched length is termed as extended length and in this case, it measures 44.5”. As evident from the measurements, the unit is slightly bulky, weighing 171 lbs.
But this can obviously be managed because of the inclusion of the handles which increase the portability of the product pretty dramatically.
Weight-wise, the unit is mediocre among a couple of generators. Not being too bulky or too light, the generator is overall a great buy.
Table: Portability of the generator is mediocre among others
- In Brief: Generac GP5500 Portable Generator Review
- Design, Dimensions & Weight
- Power Output/Generation
- Fuel and Noise
- Display & Control Panel of Generac GP5500
- Start-Up and Shut Down
- Additional Features
- Warranty/Repairs of Generac GP5500
- Care and Maintenance of Generac GP5500
- Consumer Review Analysis
- Pros/Cons of Generac GP5500
- Where should I operate my generator?
- Is it safe to operate a furnace using the Generac GP5500?
- Can the manual start be replaced with an electric start?
- Can the 220V outlet be used to get two 110V?
- What is running/continuous power and surge power?
- Where should I get my warranty repairs done?
- Where can I get another copy of my manual if I lost the original one?
- Where can I purchase the spares for my unit?
- Can the exhaust vents out in an enclosed space?
- Should I drain the fuel if I’m storing the generator for long?
- Our Recommendation
- Recommended Accessories
Talking of its engine and the performance, the unit utilizes a 389cc OHV engine with 3600 engine RPM, capable of generating 5500 Watt of continuous and 6875 Watt of continuous power.
If you too wonder what the difference between the two is, here is the answer. Continuous power is the power that your device will continuously consume as per its power rating specified on its body.
On the other hand, surge power is the extra power your appliance will draw momentarily in order to start itself up, and then continue running on its running specified wattage.
Talking of the output, the unit is the most excellent one in terms of this aspect. Both the continuous and surge power are sufficient enough for the audiences’ requirements.
Table: The power generation of the unit is excellent
Fuel and Noise
The right fuel for your generator is a very important factor in determining a longer life for your generator.
While filling the fuel, there are a number of things to be kept in mind which might seem insignificant at first, but in fact, are extremely important to be remembered.
Never fill the fuel tank in an enclosed space or when the engine is either running or is hot. Allow it to properly cool down and then add the gasoline to it.
Another thing to be remembered is that you should never overfill the fuel tank. There should always be some space left for its expansion.
Following requirements of fuel should be met for the unit:
Use regular unleaded gasoline with more than 10% added ethanol. Do not use E85 gasoline. Do not mix oil with gasoline.
Moving to the noise issues for the generator, Generac is a company that never specifies any sort of noise level statistics for any of its generators.
But, measuring the approximate figure for its performance, it is roughly estimated to be 67-70 dB, which is comparable to a lot of generators in the market and is definitely not loud enough to bother you with your everyday activities.
The sound levels are normal and hence, aren’t that big an issue to be concerned about.
Next up, we talk about one of the major pros of the generator – its CARB compliance.
Being one of the greatest perks of this unit, meeting the emission regulations of the Californian board broadens the spectrum of its audience and, thus, is one of the major advantages of the product.
Talking of the run time and tank capacity, the Generac GP5500 has a fuel tank capacity of 27.3 litres which, when compared to some of the top models of the spectrum, is a clear winner.
The capacity is great for the unit and with this volume of fuel; the generator is capable of operating for 10 hours at 50% load capacity.
The noise levels, like other generators, are comparable enough to others. But among those ones, this is the quietest one, following the statistical figures.
Table: The noise levels are the lowest for the unit
Similarly, the fuel capacity of the unit is absolutely amazing. Compared to others, it is the best among all of them in terms of capacity.
One thing that is a little disappointing is the excellent tank capacity leading to a not-so-satisfactory output hour. Others might not have such a tank capacity, but the operational hours are better than this unit.
Table: The operation hours of the unit aren’t very impressive
Display & Control Panel of Generac GP5500
As mentioned in the above sections, the control panel of the unit is situated towards the front. It is neatly and tidily organized, which is why it is very easy to understand all the functions in just one or two uses – at most.
Here is an image for a clearer view of the buttons and outlets:
120V AC 20 Amp Duplex Receptacles: These supply power for operation of 120 volt AC, 20 Amp single phase, 60 Hz electrical lighting appliances.
120V/240V AC 30 Amp Locking Receptacle: This supplies 120 or 240 volt, 30 Amp single phase, 60 Hz of power for AC appliances.
Circuit Breakers: Each of these outlets are designed to protect your generator against electrical overloads and are also equipped with the one-touch reset button.
Hour Meter: The hour meter tracks the number of hours of operation of the generator.
Start-Up and Shut Down
What a good number of consumers don’t realize is the importance of following a proper start-up and shut down procedure.
Doing so will ensure a better, healthier and longer life of your generator, and, of course, lesser trips to the service centres! Here is the proper procedure for doing so:
Disconnect all the loads from the generator and ensure that the generator is leveled up before you attempt to start the engine.
- Open the fuel shut off valve.
- Turn your engine run/stop switch to on position.
- Move the engine choke to left to the full choke position.
- Firmly grasp the recoil handle and pull it away until slight resistance is felt. Then, pull rapidly and away from
- the generator.
- Once the engine has started, move the choke too half the choke position until the engine has stabilized and then fully into run position.
- Take off all loads and unplug all your appliances from the receptacles of the generator.
- Allow the engine to run at zero load in order to stabilize the internal temperatures of the unit.
- Turn the run/stop switch to off position.
- Close the fuel valve.
There are some features in every product which make it stand out of the crowd and make you want to consider buying it all the moreover other products. Here are those features for the Generac GP5500:
Fold-Down Handles: Due to the addition of these, the portability and storage, both are dramatically enhanced.
Covered Outlets: There aren’t many generators out there that come with covered outlets on the panel. The covers repel the dust from the receptacles, thus, minimizing minor maintenance tasks.
Hour Meter: The inclusion of the hour meter lets the user keep track of the number of hours the generator has been run to have an idea of the remaining time of the power supply.
Warranty/Repairs of Generac GP5500
Upon successful registration of the unit, Generac assures you that the product you receive will entirely be free from any defects in material and workmanship.
In case you find any of the parts or the product to be defective, Generac will, at all its discretion, replace or repair any parts upon proper evaluation at an authorized Generac service dealer.
For claiming the warranty, there are some guidelines and rules and regulations for the proper redemption of your warranty. Here are those listed:
- The unit must be registered with Generac and you must preserve all proofs of purchases like receipts at all times.
- All warranty repairs, replacement of parts and maintenance should be performed only at authorized Generac service centres.
- The warranty is non-transferrable from the original owner.
- Proof of performance of all maintenance performed should be available with the owner.
However, despite the guidelines, there are a few exclusions under which the owner will not be entitled to claim the warranty on the product. The list for those is given:
- Damage caused to transfer switch system or the generator by accidents, shipping, improper handling or storage.
- Failures caused by use of stale or non recommended fuels by the company.
- Installation of non Generac spares or use of contaminated and stale oil for the engine.
- Failures due to normal wear and tear, accidents, misuse, improper installation, neglect, etc.
- Modifications performed in the generator in a way not authorized by Generac.
- Any accidental failures caused by defect in workmanship or delay in repair or replacement of spares.
In addition to this, if you wish to contact the Generac service centres or the company for any other issues, you can write to:
Generac Power Systems, Inc.
P.O. Box 8
Fax: (262) 544-4851
Or visit www.generac.com
Care and Maintenance of Generac GP5500
Proper care and maintenance procedures if not followed, can lead to grave damages to your generator, and in some cases, you might also end up losing your warranty on the product.
Thus, it is highly advisable to follow the given maintenance schedules periodically and at proper times in order to ensure a loner and healthier life of your generator.
- Every Use: Check the engine oil level and refill it if necessary.
- Every Month: Change the engine oil and fill the tank with fresh oil.
- Every 100 Hours: Change the engine oil and check the valve clearance properly.
- Every 200 Hours: Service the air filter and replace the spark plug at proper intervals.
One important thing to be remembered at all times is that you must perform the maintenance more frequently if the generator is being operated in dry and dusty conditions.
Consumer Review Analysis
For the most transparent viewpoint of the generator, we visited a number of online portals that have the product up for selling and read the consumer’s experiences of the product.
There definitely are some perks and some negatives to the product, as experienced by the customers, and so, here is what the consumers felt of the Generac GP5500:
What customers like:
Easy to Assemble: Upon arrival, there’s not much to put together in the unit. The customers are all praises for the easy assembly of the rest of the parts that is required, and how everything is a breeze to compile together on its arrival.
Quiet: The 70 dB noise levels of the generator don’t bother the customers even slightly. They seem to be very happy with its low noise levels and quiet operation.
Reliable: One of the buyers mention hoe the generator was extremely useful to him during hurricane Irene. The unit is very reliable and proves to be a great backup option during emergencies.
Power: The power of 5500 watt seems to be enough for the buyers who have used the product. They have claimed how the generator powers up most of the home appliances during a power outage and keeps them going.
Start Up: The buyers claim how the generator starts up in at most two pulls and is a breeze during startup. You don’t have to wrestle with the generator to get it started and it starts as smooth as cheese.
What customers dislike:
Fuel Leaks: A few customers have complained of the fuel leaks in the unit, but this may have been caused by improper shipping of the product.
Heavy: The weight of the generator is too heavy to be taken to places, as pointed out by some of the customers. However, it is easy to move it around for short distances because of the fold down handle.
No Additional Outlets: The absence of additional outlets is a complain of a few customers, but the issue can be rectified by the use of a transfer switch.
No Electric Start: A number of generators in the price range come with electric start. This unit, however, lacks this feature which is desirable among a lot of customers.
Pros/Cons of Generac GP5500
No product is going to be perfect and hence, untouched by its own set of pros and cons. Here is a complete list of all the pros and cons for this generator, and hence, why you should or not consider buying the Generac GP5500:
Power: If you’re looking for something that could keep you going with most of your basic home appliances running, this is the unit that could provide you with excellent backup in emergencies.
Noise: the noise levels of the generator are indeed very low, and wouldn’t bother you too much.
Covered Outlets: The covers will prevent dust accumulation on the outlets and receptacles and will keep them clean and running for a long time.
Reliable: As reviewed by a lot of customers, too, the unit is extremely reliable and wouldn’t let you down in your extreme times when you’re in need of urgent power.
No Electric Start: This is perhaps one of the most major drawbacks to this great product. Not having electric start does push it down a couple of points when compared to some of the most popular models out there.
Weight: The unit is slightly bulky to carry long distances.
No Digital Control Panel: The inclusion of a digital panel enhances the users’ convenience dramatically, but the absence of this feature is also quite a drawback for this unit.
Inaccessible Spark Plug: In order to reach the spark plug during maintenance procedures, the fuel tank has to be removed to access it.
The Generac GP5500 is available on www.amazon.com. For the set of features you get, the price of the generator is justified. For the ones who are looking for a good product at a decent price, this is the one for you.
Talking about the overall performance of the product, here are our scores for the unit on every aspect:
Price – Because of the affordable price, we rate this one at an 8/10.
Performance – The unit does not have any performance issues as such, and thus is reliable enough. 8/10.
Ease of Use – Going by the customer reviews, the unit is easy in assembly, storage and operation as well. 8/10.
Noise – Since noise levels of the unit are comparable to all the other ones, we rate it at 8.5/10.
Fuel Tank capacity – For the excellent tank capacity, the unit definitely wins extra points from us. 9/10.
Overall – For its entire set of features, the unit overall seems to be a good one. 8.5/10.
On the whole, we feel the Generac GP5500 is a great buy for the pros, cons and customer experiences of the product. If it were for us, we would definitely recommend this one.
It’s always a good idea to equip your generator with some accessories to keep it happy and healthy.
Little things bought for the product can go a long way in reducing your maintenance tasks significantly.
Basic accessories like generator covers can be bought at any local stores as the company does not provide any special ones for this particular model, but for transfer switches, shut off valves, air filters, maintenance kits and more, you can check out the following links:
Thus, overall, we feel the product is a great buy, both for the quality and reliability you get. In terms of price, it may stand mediocre, but does fir your pocket if you’re willing to spend a wee bit more for a worthy product.
Generac is one of the most trusted brands among a lot of generators, and so, if you’re at all planning to buy a generator that would fit all your needs, the GP5500 is what you’re looking for.