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You’re looking for a good generator to help you get through the winter months or the stormy days and you might be considering the Generac GP5500. This portable generator is great for travelers who want to have some independence, those of you who like to spend time outside, or even business owners.
It can’t hurt to have an emergency backup generator for your home either, but there are so many generators out there—what makes the Generac GP5500 special?
That’s the question we’re here to answer in our Generac GP5500 review so that you make sure it’s the right generator for your needs.
Generac GP5500 At A Glance
- Includes an OHV engine that has a long life and provides consistent power
- This generator will let you know when you have a low oil level, although you have a fuel tank that holds 7.2 gallons—or 10 hours of run time at a 50 percent load. It will also shut down at a low oil level to prevent the engine from being damaged
- The circuit breakers are covered to provide you with more protection
- You can fold down and lock the handle to store this generator when you don’t need it, and when you do, the wheels make it easy to move around
- Includes an hour meter to track maintenance intervals
- The frame is made from 1 and ¼-inch steel tubes, which are durable for the long-run—while still being environmentally friendly
- Part of the reason why this is such a great generator is because it has such a powerful engine. The 389cc OHV engine generates 6,875 peak wattage, with a rating of 5500 watts. This means that it can continue to work for over 10 hours at only 50 percent load.
- It helps that the engine works so smoothly too. Pull the starter cord and it will fire up smoothly without dying down randomly. The recoil handle is easy to yank, although you might need a couple of pulls to get it strong enough to really get the generator going.
- This generator does run on gasoline, although it starts with electricity. This is what makes it so easy to turn it on as compared to some other options, and what reduces the noise level. Granted, you might not find that the noise seems quieter when you have it turned on in front of you, but there is a new included noise muffler that you may notice helps a lot.
- Yes, this generator weighs 180 pounds. That makes it somewhat difficult to bring up stairs or into a car, but the wheels are made to never be flat, and the handle folds in when you don’t need it. This makes it easy to store this generator when you’re not using it, and simple to pull around with you when you need it.
Before you pick up your Generac 5500, you’ll need to know what to expect out of your generator. At a glance, keep these specifications in mind:
- The Generac 5500 is 5500 watts with a 389cc OHV engine and 120 volts
- The whole generator is 180 pounds, although it does have wheels that do not deflate over time
- Includes a 6.7-gallon fuel tank with a fuel gauge included
- You will receive maintenance alerts with this generator, and will shut down automatically when the oil is low to safeguard the engine
- This generator really can run for a long while continuously as long as you have extra gasoline. Fill it up every 10 hours with another 5 gallons of gas to keep it working. As long as you don’t have too many things plugged into this generator, you’ll find that it won’t overload easily.
- Anyone can use the Generac GP5500, which is why this is such a great generator to own. You can transport it anywhere with the large wheels and just pull the cord to get it started. There’s nothing especially complicated about using this generator: pour in the gas, turn it on, and check when the oil is low to keep it running properly.
- This unit continually works for hours without it having much of a problem. You can keep it running for days without it shutting down, and can continue to use it many times. Even after 100 days, it continued to work for us without a problem.
- You may find that the noise level is a little loud. We did not notice much of a difference even with the included muffler, although it may not be as loud as you would expect if you have another type of generator.
- Considering the price of this generator, you might expect customer service that’s a little better than it actually is. The warranty is really only good for one year, and Generac generally responds late to any questions and requests for service or maintenance. If you’re having a problem with it, you might find that you need to learn to fix it up yourself.
- The quality control with this generator can be problematic. We found that ours worked well, but there are many people who bought their generator from different vendors and were disappointed that it did not work as well as advertised. Some had cheaper parts and some did not work with an easy pull of the handle.
Why Get a Generac GP5500?
Supports Many Products
One of the most impressive things about the Generac GP5500 is that it can support many products at once. We were able to plug in a portable heater, 2 refrigerators, lights, a TV, and a cable box without a problem, although you will likely need to alternate what you have plugged in at once to avoid accidentally overloading the unit. Really, you can plug in anything to this unit as long as you’re careful not to plug in too many things at once.
For All Travelers/Occasions
While we hope that you’ll never need to use a generator for days at a time, many people know that with storms, there are times that you need something like the Generac. You don’t need to use it only as a homeowner though, or only for essentials.
Since this Generac is portable, you can use it as an RV traveler, or if you’re participating in some kind of outdoor event. It works especially great for these outdoor events, since you don’t need to worry about refilling the fuel as often as you would if you were running this generator for days at a time.
Use this generator as a food truck owner if you don’t want to see your business interrupted, or even when you’re camping and don’t quite want to rough it so much.
Thanks to the 5 AC outlets right on the control panel, it’s easy for you to use and connect this Generac generator when you need it. The whole thing is transfer switch ready, so you can easily connect it to your breaker box without a huge interruption in your home or business life. In the case of a power outage, this means that you’ll be spending less time stumbling around struggling.
As you’re transporting your generator, you might be worrying that it’s not durable enough to transport or that it won’t work too well if you have it outside. You should look into the Generac 5500 though because the whole design ensures that it remains durable over time.
The open frame means that even if you smack it into something as you’re moving it, you won’t see damage. Of course, the frame raises it above ground level too, so you won’t have your generator sitting in the grass or in the dirt.
Digital Data Center
Right in the 5500’s control panel, you can see everything in one place. Check out all the outlets in the panel, see the lifetime run hours, and use this to monitor the activity and status of your generator—all you need to do is take a look at the panel and you can keep an eye on how your generator is working.
You can even see a built-in fuel gauge to quickly and easily check the fuel level. Ultimately, this provides you with peace of mind when you’re trying to keep your home or your business running.
Portability and Storage
Yes, it’s true that this generator still weighs a fair amount. It does have wheels though, which makes it simple for you to push around with you. The handle will even fold down to ensure that you’re able to store it for the times that you don’t need it.
You have a lot of options out there when it comes to purchasing a generator. If you’re looking for something reliable and durable, you don’t need to look much further than the Generac 5500. This generator is easy to use and transport, and can support your home for days even if you’re using it for multiple devices—all you need to do is to remember to refill it.