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Generac 5943 - GP7500E 7500 Watt Electric Start Portable Generator

(Based on expert analysis, manufacturer ratings and customer reviews)

4.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
285 Reviews
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  • Features
  • Specs
  • 16
    Q&A 
  • 285
    Reviews
  • Articles
  • Shipping
  • Accessories

Grade

Style
Run Watts
7,500
Rated Watts
Surge Watts
9,375
Starting Watts
Fuel
Engine
Need Help? Ask Our Generator Experts.


Portable Emergency Generator
Energizes mission-critical appliances - except central a/c

Electric Start
Start the generator with the press of a button (battery included)

Generac OHV® Engine
Splash type lubrication for improved engine life

Low Oil Pressure Safety Shutdown
Protects the engine and generator from lack of lubrication

Steel Gas Tank w/ Fuel Gauge
Durable gas tank with offset filler tube to minimize spillage

Heavy-Duty Cradle
1-1/4" diameter hardened steel frame to protect it from damage

Portability Kit
Oversized wheels with Never-flat technology
Heavy-duty fold-down handles that lock

Hour Meter
Built-in resets remind you of scheduled maintenance

Low Tone Muffler
Minimizes noise levels and maintains neighborhood sanity


Model
  Model Number:5943
 UPC:696471059434
 Manufacturer:Generac
 Made in USA:No
Engine
 Brand:Generac
 Starting System:12-Volt Button Start w/ Recoil
 HP/CC:420 cc
 Consumer Engine Warranty:2 Years
 Commercial Engine Warranty:1 Year
 Engine RPM:3600 RPM
 Low Oil Alert/Shutdown:Yes
 Cast Iron Sleeve:Yes
Product Specs
 Voltage120/240 Single-Phase
 Frequency:60 Hertz
 Alternator:Brush
 Auto Voltage Regulation:Yes
 Fuel TypeGasoline
 Rated Amps:31 Amps @ 240 Volts (Single Phase)
 Portability Kit:NeverFlat
 Tank Size:8 Gallons
 Run Time (50% Load):12 Hours
 Fuel Tank Material:Metal
 Fuel Gauge:Yes
 Decibel Rating @ 7m:Not Measured by Manufacturer 
 Idle Control:No
 Hour Meter:Yes
 Voltage Meter:No
 Lifting Eye:No
 Battery:Included
Overview
 Assembly Required:Yes
 Weight:201 Lbs. (91.17 kilograms)
 Dimensions:27.25"L x 27"W x 25"H
(69.22 x 68.58 x 63.50 cm)
 Consumer Warranty:2 Years
 Commercial Warranty:1 Year
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Outlets
NEMA 5-20R (Wall-Type)
NEMA 5-20R (Wall-Type)

NEMA L14-30R
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  16 Questions
Q: Is this generator electronics friendly? Do you know the specs for Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)?
by Dan from Michigan on January 06, 2014

A: Thanks for your inquiry.

The factory doesn't publish the THD% for this series. My recollection from our training was that they were in the "15-20%" threshold which would make them not suitable for sensitive electronics.

Outside of Honda presently, I haven't seen many portable synchronous generators that are any better as most are 15% or greater with their capacitor excitation. Of course, the Honda 6500 watt is twice the cost.


by Mike, Product Expert
Q: I was interested in buying the Generac GP17500E. I did my homework and believe it is the one for me. The questions I have are:

1. Can I convert it to propane?

2. How long will a 15lb propane tank last on this generator if I'm not powering the whole house and just the bare necessities?

Thank you Ryan

by Ryan from New York on October 16, 2013

A: Thanks for your inquiry.

We at Power Equipment Direct do not recommend converting your gasoline portable generator to an alternative fuel and doing so will void the manufacturer’s warranty and may cause damage to the generator itself. These conversions are not recommended by any of the generator manufacturers.

Gasoline has an Ignition Point of 475–536 °F. When a generator is manufactured to run solely on gasoline these temperatures are taken into consideration and the engine components are made to handle these temperatures.

Propane (LP) has an Ignition Point of 920-1020°F and Natural Gas (NG) has an Ignition Point of 900–1500°F. These higher temperatures will cause damage over time on any “gas only” powered engine.

The following guidelines cover Honda engines (Also applies to other engine manufacturers) modified to run on fuels other than the one for which they were designed, such as converting an engine to run on propane (LP) or natural gas (NG).


• Honda gasoline engines are certified to operate on unleaded fuel with a pump octane rating of 86 or higher, containing no more than 10% ethanol (E10).

• Any change to the original configuration of a certified Honda engine is a potential violation of the Clean Air Act prohibition against tampering (40 CFR §1068.101(b)(1)). The tampering prohibition is important because poorly designed and installed modifications can increase emissions.

• The Clean Air Act prohibits anyone from removing or rendering inoperative any device or design element installed on engines in compliance with regulations. These actions are considered tampering, which carries a civil penalty up to $37,500 for each engine or equipment in violation.

• Engines converted by a third party (OEM, dealer, converter, etc.) to run on a different fuel type must be recertified with the EPA on the new fuel to comply with applicable emission standards. The third party must recertify under a new family and notify Honda to not include the modified engines in the original family.

• Converted engines to be sold for use in California must meet CARB requirements and the converter must obtain approval from CARB. EPA certificates or tampering exemptions will not satisfy the requirement for CARB certification.

• Once certified, the third party must remove the Honda emission control label and apply a compliant emission control label for the new fuel indicating the new certifying manufacturer. Honda will no longer assume any responsibility as the certifying manufacturer.

• The Honda Distributor's Limited Warranty does not extend to parts affected or damaged by the conversion to or use of fuel other than the fuel for which the engine was originally designed.


• Honda offers V-twin engines specifically designed and certified for use in LP/NG applications. The engines incorporate special design features that address the higher combustion temperatures and reduced lubrication to the valve guide area (since it is a dry fuel, not liquid). Please contact your sales representative or distributor for additional information.


Disclaimer: The guidance provided is intended for Honda dealer/distributor informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You must contact the appropriate certifying agencies if you require information on how regulations apply to your specific application.

The regulations and additional information can be found at these web sites:

EPA - EPA

CARB - CARB


The run times will always vary based on the actual load put on the generator.



by Mike, Product Expert
Q: hi, i purchaed a Generac 7500 E from you recently. i was looking to see what type of Oil i need to purchase ? is it 2 cycle or 4 cycle ? or neither ? please let me know , thanks
by Brett from New York on January 28, 2013

A: The unit uses a standard motor oil (4-cycle) and you will need to refer to the chart in the owner's manual for the recommended viscosity. Unit comes with SAE 30 weight oil and most applications use 10W-30.

Per Section 2.7.1 of the manual:

"All oil should meet minimum American Petroleum Institute (API) Service Class SJ, SL or better. Use no special additives. Select the oil's viscosity grade according to the expected operating temperature (also see chart)."

• Above 40° F, use SAE 30
• Below 40° F and down to 10° F, use 10W-30
• Below 10° F, use synthetic 5W-30
by Mike, Product Expert
Q: Looking at the 7500E and wondering what is the type and rating of the Battery, Lead Acid , NiCad Metal Hydride?? Cost of replacement??
by Bob Vandegrift from Virginia on September 03, 2012

A: They use lead acid batteries that are AGM, sealed batteries. These typically cost between 40-50 if they need to be replaced & can be sourced from a Batteries Plus or an InterState battery store.
by Mike, Product Expert
Q: I am looking at a Generac 5943 7500 Watt generator. It is rated at 31 amps. Can I install a 30 amp 10 circuit transfer switch or do I need to go to a 50 amp transfer switch? The transfer switch is 150 ft away from the generator. Will 10 guage 4 conductor wire be adaquate or do I need to go to 8 guage 4 conductor wire?
by Dick Heaton from Massachusetts on August 04, 2012

A: You would need to go with 30A accessories to connect to the Generac model 5943. The largest outlet on the generator is 30A and that is what you match your accessories to.

You will definitely need to go to a larger gauge wire but still may have some voltage drop due to the distance.

Please consult with a certified electrician for installation and wire sizing assistance.

by Mike, Product Expert
Q: My electrician recommended getting a generator of 7500 or 8000 running watts. Does the 5943 qualify?

What is a "float charger"? Does this model have it?

Does the battery charges when it is running?

by Gary Stauffer from Virginia on July 14, 2012

A: Model 5943 is a good choice to meet your electricians recommendation.

A float charger allows you to keep the charger plugged in all the time where it will charge the battery when it gets low and stops charging when it is fully charged and won't over charge the battery.

Model 5943 does not come with a float charger. The charger supplied can only be plugged in for a max of 48 hours.

This is because you should start the generator weekly and if the battery seems low you can charge it with the supplied charger. This keeps the engine lubricated and ready to use when needed.

The generator does not charge the battery when it is running.
by Mike, Product Expert
Q: What"s the warranty on the Generac Model 5943?
by Terry Pfaff from Michigan on March 11, 2012

A: Consumer Warranty: 2 Years
Commercial Warranty: 1 Year
by Mike, Product Expert
Q: How many amps on 240 volt receptacle ??
Thanx, Jim

by Jim Mothershead from Maryland on February 07, 2012

A: You can find the maximum amperage rating listed in the specs section on the product page.

31 Amps @ 240 Volts (Single Phase)

by Mike, Product Expert
Q: What type/style of battery comes with the Generac 5943? I would like to know what type of a battery charger/maintainer the battery would require. I am thinking about a BatteryMINDer Charger/Maintainer/Desulfator - 1.3 Amp, 12 Volt, Model# 12117. This one is not recommended for deep cycle batteries.
by Tom Wagasky from Ohio on January 20, 2012

A: Generac does not provide the Group number for the battery that comes with the generator. It is listed as a 12V with 10Ahr and the generator comes with a batter charger already.

You can confirm with Generac customer support at 888-436-3722.

by Mike, Product Expert
Q: Is this model made in America?
by L Carr from Indiana on January 06, 2012

A: The engines are produced overseas and the generators are put together in Wisconsin at their facility.

If you are looking to purchase American made only then you need to look at the Generac XG & XP models which are entirely built in Wisconsin.

Generac Portable Generators

by Mike, Product Expert
Q: I just bought this generator form EGD and wand to know if it has a Voltage Regulator? and also would like to know if you recommend Synthetic Oil?Thanks John P>S I just orderd it 10-9-11 I paid more for it on your site then other sites but your site seems more profesional & provides more information.
by John Eichinger from New Jersey on October 10, 2011

A: John,

Per Generac their GP models do have Voltage Regulation and the recommended oil per Generac is based on temperature in your area and can be found in the owner's manual. If you are in a colder climate then synthetic oil is ok to use.

by Mike, Product Expert
Q: We are interested in the Generac 5943. We want to utilize a transfer system to power our fridge/freezer, submersible water pump, and enough lights to keep us from "breaking legs" in an emergency. Our home is 2800 sq ft. Do we need to accessory kit, or anything else? Are we "over killing" mode or are we on the right track?
by Charles McDonald from Connecticut on August 31, 2011

A: You're on the right track. The Generac 5943 is a great choice to power a small home.

With a transfer switch, it can energize 10-circuits in your home. Just doesn't have the strength to power a central air conditioner.

Here's a link to the Power Transfer System that we recommend with this unit:

Reliance Controls 30-Amp Power Transfer System
by Mike, Product Expert
Q: I planning to get a generator and, with a proper interlock, backfeed into my panel. I'm considering the Generac 75000E. It has a 240-volt 30-amp receptacle. Do any of these other generator have a receptacle greater than 30 amps in the same price range.
by Mike from Pennsylvania on August 31, 2011

A: First things first, NEVER backfeed into your panel!

This article explains what happens when you do:

How NOT to Connect a Portable Generator

Secondly, consider getting a Power Transfer System to connect to the generator.

How to Pick the Perfect Power Transfer System

Finally, this generator has a 30-amp outlet because it produces approximately 30-amp of power.

If you want a generator with a 50-amp outlet, you'll need a bigger generator around 10- to 17.5-kilowatts.
by Mike, Product Expert
Q: I just bought this generator from your company and am expecting it any day. I now need a transfer switch to accompany the generator. I am looking at the Reliance Controls 31410CRK switch. Will this compliment the generator and be sufficient?
by Pete Leclerc from Rhode Island on August 31, 2011

A: You chose wisely.

The 31410CRK is the perfect companion to this generator because it features 10-circuits.

Reliance Controls 3140CRK
by Mike, Product Expert
Q: I’m looking at getting an emergency generator for storm/hurricane outages we have here in the Houston area.

It is for an 1800 sq-ft house. I’d like to power as much of the house as possible to continue “normal life” as much as reasonable. I understand I won’t be able to power the central A/C. Instead I’ll have an 8000 BTU portable A/C unit I’d like to power (about 1100 watts).

So, in general, the main things I’d like to run are:
o Refrigerator
o Portable A/C
o 3 ceiling fans
o Microwave
o Washer
o Gas dryer
o Computer and TV
o Miscellaneous lights

I’d like to power at least 6 single-pole circuits. 8 would be better, and 10 would be ideal (that would power all my circuits in the house). I don’t need to power any double-pole circuits.

My main service panel is mounted outside, on the back of my house. Putting a transfer switch indoors would be quite involved. So mounting outside is desired.

The Generac 5943 – GP7500E 7500 watt looks like it would fit what I’m looking for.

Do you agree? What would you recommend for a manual transfer switch and/or any other items I need in order to get this set up right?

by Steve Collins from Texas on April 18, 2011

A: Steve,

The 7500watt generac is a good unit for basic needs. The main thing to understand is that you will have to manage your loads and this is best accomplished by using a manual transfer panel (outdoor) which would be mounted after your meter but before your main panel. This allows you to manage your entire panel (making sure you do not overload) by selecting the circuits you want to run as certain times. The link below is a model I recommend for this to be done. Please have certified electrician install this system due to the nature of the install.

Manual 200A Outdoor Transfer Panel

Manual 100A Outdoor Transfer Panel

by Mike, Product Expert
Q: I just received the generator I purchased from you (Generac GP5500 - 5500 Watt Portable Generator) and it comes with a bottle of oil. It does not say on the bottle what type it is. 30 weight or 10w30? Do you know so that it is the proper oil to use for the current temperature.
Thanks, Larry

by Larry from Ohio on March 26, 2011

A: Generac uses 10W30 in their kits that get sent with the portable generators.
by Mike, Product Expert
Generac 5943 Reviews & Ratings
Write Review
Overall Rating
Features
5/5
Quality
5/5
Performance
5/5
Value
5/5
Overall
4.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
Pros
Easy To Use (55)
Price (36)
High Quality (33)
I'd Buy It Again (23)
Easy To Store (23)
Cons
Heavy (16)
Unreliable (5)
Expensive (4)
Low Quality (2)
Hard To Check Oil Level ... (1)
93% of respondents would recommend this product to a friend
285 Reviews  Sort by 
 
Mike, the Portable Generator Expert
Electric Generator Expert

Product Expert
Total Reviews
102 Reviews
Total Helpful Votes
6148 Helpful Votes
Electric Generators Direct Recommended

We like the Generac 7500 watt portable generator for four reasons.

1. Electric Start
Generators are often hard to start with a recoil rope. This Generac generator comes conveniently equipped with an electric start button and a battery. Simply press the button, and it starts like a charm.

2. It's Affordable

3. Low Tone Muffler
This feature reduces the noise level. If you have ever been near a portable generator while it's running, it can be very loud. This keeps the noise down.more
Mike Recommends This Model
Was this review helpful?
20531
Jacob S.
Woodmere, NY
Total Reviews
7 Reviews
Total Helpful Votes
197 Helpful Votes
Most Helpful Positive Review
REVIEWED
NOV.
05
2012
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Great Generator
Excellent Generator. It's very heavy duty - it weighs over 200 pounds.

I installed the Generator on a whim, a month before Sandy roared through. We lost power for 20 Hours, and it ran great with the excellent Reliance 10-switch 31410 CRK switch.

The machine is very loud, like a motorcycle, but it has lots of power and runs great.

Highly Recommended Generator as well as Electric Generators Direct.
Was this review helpful?
6634
John P.
Little Rock, AR
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 10/27/14
Total Helpful Votes
18 Helpful Votes
Most Helpful Critical Review
REVIEWED
NOV.
17
2014
1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5
Did Not Produce Electricity
Fired right up, but does not generate electricity. Had to place a warranty call on a brand new unit - very disappointing! Poor quality control, according to the repair tech... He said the wrong sized brushes were installed at the factory, and there's no way it could have been successfully tested before being shipped.

Waiting to get the generator back, it's been a week. Not happy!!

BTW, I've since heard that Generac has been sold to another company and the quality has gone downhill.... more
Mike, the Portable Generator Expert
Product Expert
John,
Hello

We are sorry to hear you had an issue with the Generac generator you purchased. My suggestion would be to contact Generac directly with your concerns since they manufacture and warranty the product. They can be reached at 888-436-3722. Generac has not been sold to another company I can assure you of that.

Thank You
more
John's Experience With Electric Generators Direct
Web Site
5/5

Service
5/5

Shipping
5/5
"Telephone support (Jose) was very helpful. Gave me local service companies to call for warranty repair, where Generac only gave me companies in "nearby towns". I think the Generac will work okay for me, but I'm very disappointed at having to place a warranty call before I've even used it."
 more
Was this review helpful?
186
William
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 10/22/12
Total Helpful Votes
20 Helpful Votes
REVIEWED
AUG.
08
2014
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Problems At First
I purchased this generator as backup power supply for our home. I was only running it a couple tenths of an hour each month to keep it ready. I used a good grade of gas and put Startron stablizer in the fuel. At about 8 months, when I started it, it pour fuel out near the carb intake. I could not get it to stop leaking. I took it to an Generac authorized repair shop. They had to fix the needle valve. The mechanic said we had been doing all the right things but he has seen this problem... more
Cons: Unreliable, Initially Had Mechanical Problems
William Recommends This Generac Product
Was this review helpful?
204
Peter
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 7/20/14
Total Helpful Votes
12 Helpful Votes
REVIEWED
AUG.
10
2014
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
New - No Emergency Yet
1. Shipping and lift gate service was perfect.
2. Setup was a breeze.
3. Started on the first crank.
4. Ready to go, very pleased!

Suggestion for Generac - Put the type of oil on the
container so the customers knows what to put
in the next time (i.e. 10w-30, 30 weight).
Pros: Easy To Use, High Quality, Easy To Store, Features
Cons: None That I Have Found
Peter Recommends This Generac Product
Was this review helpful?
123
Gerald B.
Erhard, MN
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 8/28/14
Total Helpful Votes
10 Helpful Votes
REVIEWED
OCT.
31
2014
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5
Generac Electric Generator
Our generator works great at the farm.

The one thing we'd like to see added is an exhaust pipe that would adapt to a pipe to extend the exhaust outside.
Gerald Recommends This Generac Product
Mike, the Portable Generator Expert
Product Expert
Gerald,
If you're using your generator inside, please stop immediately!

Running a gas generator indoors is extremely dangerous and deadly. Make sure you only run it outside, away from any windows or doors at all times.
more
Was this review helpful?
102
William G.
Ocean Park, WA
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 10/25/14
REVIEWED
NOV.
17
2014
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Happy
I bought my generator about 3 weeks ago. When it arrived I put it together, added gas and oil and it started right up. A couple of days ago our power went out and I got to use the generator. It worked great, no problems. Wife was very happy.
William Recommends This Generac Product
Was this review helpful?
92
Leonard Y.
Bonita Springs, FL
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 7/1/14
REVIEWED
AUG.
16
2014
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Peace Of Mind
Living on the west coast of Florida, it is only when and not will, we lose power for an extended period of time. We are now protected with our Generac 5943 - 7500 watt generator. Our electrician made the modifications to our home power box in less than an hour. The generator was prepared for operation and the testing was successful. Power was smooth and the generator is not as noisy as I expected. We feel we have a little more security in our home.
Pros: Easy To Use
Leonard Recommends This Generac Product
Leonard's Experience With Electric Generators Direct
Web Site
5/5

Service
5/5

Shipping
5/5
"The tailgate option is wonderful. The driver placed the unit directly into my garage"
 more
Was this review helpful?
71
Tony R.
Tullytown, PA
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 9/6/11
Total Reviews
9 Reviews
Total Helpful Votes
29 Helpful Votes
REVIEWED
JUL.
22
2014
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
5943 & Reliance 10 Breaker Transfer Box Did It All
Bought this unit prior to Hurricane Sandy and did not dissapoint... 3 days without power and it was Hotel living here at home with all the circuits the 5943 Powered.The real test was going to be if we lost power in the summer as we had not tried to power our 24,000 BTU living room AC yet...

A few weeks ago a storm knocked power out for 24 hours.We had the AC running all day along with all the other 8 or 9 circuits... My concern was what would happen when the Refrigerator and the AC... more
Pros: Easy To Use, High Quality, I'd Buy It Again, Exceeded Expectations
Tony Recommends This Generac Product
Was this review helpful?
71
Clarence R.
Windsor, NC
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 11/3/14
REVIEWED
NOV.
25
2014
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Generac 5943 Purchase
Replaced a 5500 W portable with this 5943. I like the construction, lift lever and electric start. I was getting to old to continue manually cranking my prior generator with the 11 hp motor.

I already have it set up to run my house when current is out. (I will not be running any 220 appliances.) Delivery was quick and easy.
Clarence Recommends This Generac Product
Was this review helpful?
50
Charles S.
Crane Hill, AL
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 12/3/14
REVIEWED
DEC.
24
2014
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Fantastic Generator!
After unboxing the GP7500E, I had it running within 45 minutes. Then over the next 4 hours, I shut it down & started it manually & electrically 5 or 6 times. Never a problem! Several days later I shut down the power to my house, started the generator, hooked it to my transfer switch, engaged the breakers and ran everything in the house for 5 hours without a glitch. I am a very happy camper! Thanks PED!!
Charles Recommends This Generac Product
Was this review helpful?
40
Ray Grunch
Gainesville, GA
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 2/24/15
REVIEWED
APR.
28
2015
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5
Loud, Dirty And Incompatible
This is one of the most disappointing purchases I have made in recent history.

1. This thing is loud, it has no idle up feature so it is loud 25/8/366.

2. The power coming out of this is so dirty, Generac won't even publish the THD numbers. Rumor has it at about the 15% range.

3. This has a neutral to ground bond and it is permanent. If you have a house panel transfer switch, you could be buying yourself some trouble.

After purchasing this, I found a reputable competing... more
Cons: Heavy, Expensive, Low Quality, High Thd
Mike, the Portable Generator Expert
Product Expert
Ray,
Unfortunately, not all generator manufacturers publish the decibel ratings for their generators. Currently, there are no industry standards or requirements for generator manufacturers to follow when testing their generators for noise. Due to this, manufacturers can test the noise level under any conditions they choose and, therefore, the results are not very reliable as each company will test under conditions that are favorable to their products.

Even if the generator has an Idle Control it does not quiet down the generator since the unit will be under load and will automatically turn off that feature. The only "Quiet" generators would be an Inverter Style and the largest they have would be 5500 watts.

The factory doesn't publish the THD% for this series. My recollection from our training was that they were in the "under 15%" threshold which would make them comparable to Utility power. Outside of Honda presently, I haven't seen many portable synchronous generators that are any better as most are 15% or greater with their capacitor excitation. If you can work with less than 15%, the Generac is a good option.

Below will go into detail regarding the Bonded Neutral and explain why and how it can be wired to a house:

Many generators that have a bonded neutral to frame can be modified so the neutral is floating, or separate from the frame and generator ground. If the neutral connection (bond) to frame can be removed, if the manufacturer supports this, it’s usually the best solution as it would result in a “floating neutral” generator and would be ideal for connecting to most transfer switches.

If the generator manufacturer does not support modifying the generator to remove the bond between neutral and ground/frame, the system can be setup to meet all codes by using a neutral switching transfer switch. A “non-separately derived system” is where the generator neutral is floating, and its neutral is always interconnected with the neutral for the utility – this is the most common way backup systems are setup – including automatic backup systems.

If you need to isolate the neutral then you need to use a GFI type transfer switch such as the Reliance Controls "X" series switches.....see link for details

GFI Transfer Switches

Note: Typically these switches are not required unless the 120/240v outlet on the generator is GFI protected which is found on Professional generators such as the Generac "XP" models and not the "XG" model.

The fact that a generator has a bonded-neutral does not rule out compatibility with 2-pole transfer switches, which make up the majority of all transfer switches. The only time that a portable generator will not function with a 2-pole transfer switch is if the generator has a bonded-neutral AND there is a GFCI breaker or GFCI mechanism protecting the receptacle being used to connect the generator to the transfer switch. Most 120/240v generator receptacles are not GFCI protected.

National Code does not require switching the neutral in general, but arguably the neutral should be switched when using a bonded generator based on how the system is setup and defined as a whole. Any time a bonded-neutral generator is connected through a transfer switch to a house wiring system, what results are two neutral-to-ground bond points: one at the main panel and one at the generator. This can be construed as having two bond points in the electrical system, even though the portable generator is not part of the system, and therefore one of the bond points should be removed (or a transfer device implemented that isolates the neutral).

Having two bond points in this scenario creates 'dual paths' on the ground and neutral between the generator and the house panel, aka "ground loop", meaning the ground wire from the generator to the house panel will share some of the return power with the neutral wire. This leads to a very small amount of voltage on the ground wire between the generator and house panel. It can be argued by an installer or authority that this power on the ground is objectionable, and a special neutral switching setup might be mandated. This is also why if there is a GFCI breaker protecting the generator receptacle, it will sense this power being lost on the neutral (to the ground) and will trip every time the generator is connected, even under No load.

* If the generator does not have a GFCI protecting the in-use receptacle, there will not be a trip and the generator will power circuits successfully. Now it’s just a question of whether having this setup is acceptable to the home owner, installer and authority if applicable.
Using bonded generators without switching the neutral has been a common application for many years, regardless of how the code is interpreted, but about 10 years ago generators started adding GFCI's (per OSHA job site requirements) and wiring them into the larger receptacles, which will limit their applications when used at homes. The 2014 code will require new generators to have built in GFCI’s, but only on the 15/20 amp 120 volt outlets, which in most cases are not being used to power a transfer switch. If we look at all of the portable generators that are bonded neutral, and then separate the models WITH a GFCI breaker protecting the 120/240 outlet, the percentage of these generators is extremely small. These are the only generators that will functionally require a 3-pole transfer switch that breaks the neutral.

Breaking the neutral with a “3-pole” (neutral switching) transfer device eliminates the ground loop (dual paths) between the generator and house panel created by having two bond points, and will eliminate the problem of the GFCI breaker tripping creating a “separately derived system” where the generator neutral is never common with the utility neutral.

I hope this information was helpful.
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