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Generac GP5500 - 5500 Watt Portable Generator

Generac Electric Generators and Accessories
Model: 5939
(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
191 Reviews
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  • Features
  • Specs
  • 19
  • 191
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  • Accessories

Run Watts
Rated Watts
Surge Watts
Starting Watts

Product Video Disclaimer: "PED is not responsible for any variances from the product in this video and the item you purchase. Please review all product specs prior to purchase."

Emergency Generator
Ideal for restoring power to mission-critical appliances

Generac OHV Engine
Splash type lubrication for improved engine life

7.2-Gallon Steel Fuel Tank and Gauge
Generates up to 10 hours of power at half load

Hardened Steel Tube Cradle
Protects the generator from damage

Mobility Kit
Solid rubber wheels and locking fold-down handles

Hour Meter
Built-in resets remind you of scheduled maintenance

Low Tone Muffler
Specially designed muffler to keep noise levels low

Low Oil Shutdown
Automatically turns off the generator to prevent damage

Covered Outlets
Provides added safety and extends the life of the generator
Engine Brand
Starting System
Recoil Start
389 CC
Consumer Engine Warranty
2 Years
Commercial Engine Warranty
1 Year
Engine RPM
3600 RPM
Low Oil Alert/Shutdown
Cast Iron Sleeve
Product Specs
120/240 Single-Phase
60 Hertz
Auto Voltage Regulation
Surge Watts
6875 Watts
Rated Watts
5500 Watts
Fuel Type
Rated Amps
23 @ 240 Volts (Single Phase) Amps
Portability Kit
Never Flat Wheels
Tank Size
7.2 Gallons
Run Time @ 50% Load
10 Hours
Fuel Tank Material
Fuel Gauge
Decibel Rating @ 7m
Not Measured by Manufacturer
Idle Control
Hour Meter
Voltage Meter
Lifting Eye
Not Applicable
NEMA 5-20R - Wall-Type
NEMA L14-30R
Made in USA
Assembly Required
180 Pounds
Product Length
27.25 Inches
Product Width
27 Inches
Product Height
25 Inches
Consumer Warranty
2 Years
Commercial Warranty
1 Year
Download Documents

NEMA 5-20R (Wall-Type)
NEMA 5-20R (Wall-Type)

NEMA L14-30R
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  19 Questions
Q: We have the Generac GP5500 and am wondering if it is possible to convert it to electric start?

by Mike Clements from Missouri on January 02, 2014

A: Thanks for your inquiry.

Due to the engine configuration the Generac GP5500 cannot be converted to electric start and generac does not offer an electric start kit as an option.

by Jared, 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:



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

by Jared, Product Expert
Q: Which transfer switch would you recommend for Generac 5500?
by Richie Newfield from New York on September 03, 2013

A: The Generac 5500 watt generators have a 30A 4-Prong 240V twistlock outlet which you would use to connect to a manual transfer switch using a generator power cord.

The following 30A switch kit is a recommendation found under the hand-picked accessories tab available on product page for each generator model....

Generac Model 6294 - 30A Transfer Switch Kit

by Jared, Product Expert
Q: My Generac 17KW LP stand by generator purchased earlier this year is working great. I'm now considering a GP5500 for another application, but based on reviews, I'm concerned that the alcohol in our gasoline fuels has a detrimental effect on the carburetor floats and internal components of the fuel system.

Many complaints about corrosion and flooding seem to be a common theme. Are there alcohol resistant fuel systems to combat the corrosion issues available for this application as in the Honda line of generators?

by David Berry from Texas on December 06, 2012

A: All of the manufacturers have compensated for the ethanol content in gasoline and have adjusted parts composition using different materials. The issues with carburetors clogging and gumming up is due to old/stale gasoline and not using a fuel stabilizer.

Gasoline goes bad in 30 days from the date it leaves the refinery and when using a fuel stabilizer it will keep the fuel fresh for 6 months to a year and when a generator is properly maintained by using a fuel stabilizer and running it every couple of weeks the issues disappear.

by Jared, Product Expert
Q: I have owned the Generac GP 5500 for a year now and have not lost power. I follow the long term storage directions and have less then an hour of run time. Is there a synthetic oil that can be used in the teens and above forty degrees, so that i don't have to change the oil every season hardly used?
by Tom from New York on October 04, 2012

A: Any Synthetic oil can be used all season as long as you are using the recommended 5W30 synthetic.

A 5W30 synthetic oil is multi-weight with the 5 covering the low temperature end and the 30 covering the high temperature end.

Synthetics offer better high-temp resistance and better low-temp flow, and they leave nearly no deposits. Hence the high cost for a better product.

by Jared, Product Expert
Q: I own a townhouse with small backyard. Where should I consider placing my new Generac GP5500 portable emergency generator while I experience power outage please? The weather may be quite inclement like a thunderstorm or a blizzard?
Or is it simply a bad idea to use it?

by Igor from Maryland on July 01, 2012

A: The best case scenario it to wait out the bad weather before you run the generator, but if it is a must, then you will need to have some type of roof over the unit whether it would be a lean-to or building a roof with a minimum of 3 exposed sides for proper cooling and exhaust.

You can place the generator anywhere outdoors as long as you are a minimum of 5 feet from any window, door or ventilation opening to prevent fumes from entering the building.

by Jared, Product Expert
Q: Is the 5939 available as a tri fuel unit and what is the dB rating
by Tony from New Jersey on January 17, 2012

A: Generac does not offer any Tri-Fuel generators, only Winco (see link below).

Winco Tri-Fuel Generators

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.

At this time there are no db(A) ratings available on this model.

by Jared, Product Expert
Q: Is this Generator CARB compliant (California) ... thanks
by Tim from California on January 14, 2012

A: Model 5939 (GP5500) is not California Carb compliant. The link below will show you all the CARB models available.


by Jared, Product Expert
Q: What kind of motor does the Generac have in it?
by Dom from New Jersey on September 30, 2011

A: This model has a Generac OHV engine in it.
by Jared, Product Expert
Q: I already have a Gen-Tran switch (6 switches) wired to my house and need a new generator to hook into it for home power outages and emergencies. Is the Generac GP5500 a good choice? Does it come with a cord that plugs into the Gen-Tran switch?
by MissH from Massachusetts on September 01, 2011

A: Yes, the Generac GP5500 is a good choice because it features a 30-Amp Twistlock outlet.

As long as your transfer switch has a 30-AMP instead of 20-AMP outlet, you're fine.

You'll still need to buy the cord (and possibly a power inlet box) separately from the generator.

You can learn more about them here:

How to Pick the Perfect Power Transfer System
by Jared, Product Expert
Q: I am looking to buy a good generator for home emergencies. I live in Westchester, New York so we don't get many power outages, and when we do they usually get power back to us quickly (within 1-2 days at most).

I just need to power a refrigerator and maybe a small window ac unit and a few lights and small electronics.

I am looking at the Generac XG4000 or the Generac GP5500. The GP seems much bigger and heavier and may be more than I need, but it's cheaper than the XG.

What are the main differences between the two lines? Should I go for the cheaper more powerful one?

by Donato Signore from New York on August 27, 2011

A: If you will only use your generator for emergency backup, go with the larger and less expensive GP model.

The GP series is designed to backup homes during a power outage.

The XG series can also backup a house. But, it is designed for the person who will also be doing projects that require a generator to run power tools.
by Jared, Product Expert
Q: I intend to use this generator during outages typically caused by bad weather such as snow or rain. Is this generator suitable for use outdoors in these kind of conditions? If not, is there a accessory cover available which will allow operation of the generator in these conditions?
by Paul Hitte from Maryland on April 07, 2011

A: Portable generators are not intended for use in bad weather. The control panels are not water tight and electrocution can happen if run in bad weather.

We do offer an outdoor enclosure which is designed to house a generator while running which keeps it out of the bad weather. This item is called a Gen-Shed and for pricing and additional info please see link below.

Gen-Tran Gen-Shed

An alternative to the Gen-Shed is to create a type of generator covering that leaves 3 exposed sided and allows for engine cooling while running.

by Jared, 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 Jared, Product Expert
Q: Hi,

I have two home sump pumps that I would need to run with the generator I buy. Would this (Generac 5500 Watt Portable Generator) be a big/good enough one for the job?

by Mary Maurath from Illinois on March 06, 2011

A: This really depends on the starting loads of the sump pumps. 5500 Watts is a good size but it is best to use the following formula to calculate the wattage needed.

Starting Amps x Volts = Watts

This way you make sure the generator isn't undersized in case you decide to run lights or any additional items such as your refrigerator.
by Jared, Product Expert
Q: Jim: I want to buy a protective cover for my Generac 5623 6500W portable generator (33.5" x 26.5" x 27.5"). Any recommendations for a cover that will fit this model of generator?
by John G. Smith from Maryland on February 27, 2011

A: The Classic Accessories Large Cover will fit up to 8000 watts. We have tested these covers on all of the Generac GP model generators and other manufacturers.

Note: It is important to not include the wheels when measuring the width as the generator covers are not meant to cover them.

Large Cover

by Jared, Product Expert
Q: I'm considering a portable generator (Genrac 5500 most likely) and my challenge is that I want to run the generator about 50 ft from the house transfer plug that will be near the front of the house. How long can the generator plug run? (30amp, 4 prong style).


by John from Massachusetts on February 21, 2011

A: A 50 foot 30 amp cord can be purchased for this, so you would be able to run the generator further away from your house without a problem. There is a possibility to have a slight voltage drop, but not enough to make a difference.
by Jared, Product Expert
Q: What weight of oil do I put in my Generac model 5500 generator?
by Buddy from Oklahoma on January 31, 2011

A: 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

• 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 Jared, Product Expert
Q: What is the best type and least expensive generator for a pop up camper and home use?

by Mike from Virginia on January 25, 2011

A: Generator sizing is based on the starting amperage of the equipment you plan on powering which will determine the size generator needed.

Proper sizing of the generator is based on 80% of the generators running capacity, so when a large load kicks in the unit has enough flexibility to handle it and still provide clean voltage output.

To calculate the wattage, the following formula will help convert starting amps to watts - Starting Amps x Volts = Watts

by Jared, Product Expert
Q: Hi Jim i need to know about the noise level of this one does it have a special rectangular muffler
by Shirley Bolling from California on January 17, 2011

A: Unfortunately, Generac, like many other generator manufacturers, do not publish the decibel ratings for their generators. This unit does come equipped with a Low Tone Muffler for Quiet Operation but do not have a decibel rating to give you. 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.
by Jared, Product Expert
Generac 5939 Reviews & Ratings
Overall Rating
4.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
Easy To Use (37)
Price (28)
Reliable (25)
High Quality (20)
I'd Buy It Again (18)
Heavy (15)
Low Quality (3)
Durability (2)
None Of Above (1)
Expensive (1)
93% of respondents would recommend this product to a friend
191 Reviews  Sort by 
Jared, the Portable Generator Expert
Electric Generator Expert

Product Expert
Total Reviews
103 Reviews
Total Helpful Votes
9411 Helpful Votes
Electric Generators Direct Recommended

This generator has enough power to back up your refrigerator and sump pump and a few lights.

If you are looking for a generator to be there in an emergency when you need, this Generac model can give you peace of mind that your most important appliances are covered. This generator is powered by a Generac engine and has a clean compact design for easy portability.

You may even have enough power to watch the big game!
Jared Recommends This Model
Was this review helpful?
Green Bank, WV
Total Helpful Votes
18 Helpful Votes
Most Helpful Positive Review
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Reliable And Easy To Hook Up
We purchased this model after the Derecho that passed over West Virginia, 5 days or so after. Also purchased a ProTran switch to hook it up to dedicated circuits.

I'm a biologist, but the electrical circuit knowledge I have, supported by internet how to made the task easy. Just today I built a deck extension by our side entry to permanently set the unit in place, instead of hauling the almost 200 pounds back and forth from our detached garage. It's got 60 some hours already, no complains... more
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Pros: Easy To Use, Price, Reliable
J Recommends This Generac Product
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Craig J.
Porter, TX
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 5/17/16
Total Helpful Votes
10 Helpful Votes
Most Helpful Critical Review
1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5
New Generator Dead On Arrival
I received my Generac GP5500 in good physical condition. Added the supplied oil and a gallon of gas. Turned the gas valve on. Turned the off/on switch to on. Set the choke to choke. Pulled the cord numerous times and the generator just had a dead sound. Checked for any loose wiring.

I called the Generac Helpline and they offered no help, and said I needed to take it to a Generac Service Center. I called Electric Generator Direct and they said to call Generac. I expected an exchange for a... more
Jared, the Portable Generator Expert
Product Expert
Very sorry to hear about your issues with your generator. As an online retailer, any service related issues need to be addressed by a local servicing dealer.
Manufacturer Response
Brand Rep
We apologize for your frustrating experience. Unfortunately, we are unable to determine the exact cause of your unit's issues via online correspondence or over the phone. Considering this, we do recommend having an independent authorized service provider in your local area diagnose any issues that your personal unit may be experiencing. Please know that these trained professionals are able to provide any warranty coverage that applies to your purchased product. If you have any questions about the servicing process or your product's warranty, please do not hesitate to contact us directly at 888-GENERAC (436-3722); we are available 24/7.
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Randolph B.
Chestertown, NY
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 3/26/17
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Great Generator
Shipping was fast, generator was on sale, great price. Followed instructions, started on 2nd pull the first time. A littler more noise even with the large muffler, but not too bad. Have not had the need to use it as a back up yet but should be good to go.
Pros: Easy To Use, Price, High Quality, Features
Randolph Recommends This Generac Product
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John D.
Jacksonville, NC
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 3/24/17
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
I Am Very Happy With This Item
I purchased this item for a backup on the house, but now I use to power my weed eater, blower and washing my cars. My son went camping and loved it to. Easy to operate. Thanks for a well build product and it works!
Pros: Easy To Use, High Quality, Durable, Exceeded Expectations
Cons: Heavy
John Recommends This Generac Product
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Donald B.
Eustis, FL
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 9/1/16
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Pretty Happy.
During Hurricane Mathew our power was out for two days. During this time my Generac ran two refrigerators, one freezer, one window air conditioner. my wife's oxygen concentrator, one c-pap machine, two TVs, one oscillating fan and in the morning ran the coffee maker and microwave. If I had a complaint, it would be that the muffler is not big enough. Seems the longer it ran the louder it got. Needless to say we would have lost a lot of food otherwise.
Donald Recommends This Generac Product
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Joel B.
Elroy, WI
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 10/10/16
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Great Company To Deal With, Ordering Process Was Very Simple
I have only used the generator a couple of times, when I first started it and the couple of times I have used it, it has started on the first pull. I haven't used it for any length of time so the verdict is still out on that, and it is a little noise.
Pros: Easy To Use, High Quality, I'd Buy It Again, Features
Cons: it is a little noise
Joel Recommends This Generac Product
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James C.
Houston, TX
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 9/12/16
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Works Great
Right out of the box I took it to the pier and ran my fishing lights for about 8 hours. It ran great with no problems. Very happy with it. Good price with free shipping right to my front door.
Pros: Easy To Use, Price, Reliable, Ridged Handle Makes Moving It Easy
Cons: Louder Than I Like But I've Never Had A Quite One
James Recommends This Generac Product
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James C.
Louisville, KY
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 8/28/16
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
I bought this to run an old camper I have and it provides all the power I need. It was easy to put together and is easy to start. The low oil warning system is a plus as I recently killed another brand by my own negligence and its lack of said system. I would recommend this unit to a friend.
James Recommends This Generac Product
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Terry H.
Dundee, NY
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 1/25/16
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5
Great Product
I use this all the time. Love it.
Pros: Easy To Use, Reliable, Price, I'd Buy It Again
Cons: Heavy
Terry Recommends This Generac Product
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Kristen L.
Shelby Township, MI
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 3/28/17
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
We can't say enough about the deal we got on our Genrac from Electric Generators Direct: best price, value and delivery was ready within 2 days! This generator is perfect for keeping many of our many appliances running during an outage.
Pros: Easy To Use, Price, Reliable, I'd Buy It Again
Kristen Recommends This Generac Product
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Joshua B.
Fond Du Lac, WI
Purchased from Electric Generators Direct
Purchased 1/3/17
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5
Very Loud Generator
Bought this generator it is extremely loud. Did not realize it would be this loud. Also is very heavy and a little bigger than I was picturing.
Pros: Easy To Use
Cons: Heavy, Very loud
Was this review helpful?
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We currently CANNOT ship this product to California or any destination outside of the United States
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 1   Q&A
Estimated Ship Date on June 02, 2017


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Shop for the Generac GP5500 - 5500 Watt Portable Generator at Electric Generators Direct. Research Generac 696471059397 portable generators online. Find Generac GP5500 portable generators & Generac GP 5500 features and specifications. Get the best deal; compare Generac 5939 prices now. Buy the GP5500 direct and save.