Generac Portable Generator ~ What to Consider Before Buying a Generator

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Before deciding on the type and wattage of the Generac portable generator you should purchase for standby or emergency power, you need to answer some questions.

First, you should consider the different types of Generac generators. They are categorized by: 

  • How much power the unit delivers
  • What type of fuel is used to drive the engine

A Generac portable generator natural gas is a good choice if you prefer a clean-burning fuel without odors (unlike diesel fuel) and one that has lower emissions. Earth-friendly homeowners prefer natural gas as a fuel source because it produces fewer greenhouse gases and less pollution when compared to other fuels like gasoline and propane. 

If you prefer not to go through the trouble of connecting to your home’s natural gas line, then a Generac portable diesel generator can power many home systems and appliances.

In addition, these generators are ready for travel to a job site or an outdoor event that needs power for music, lights, and sound.

Why Consider Generac Portable Inverter Generators?

It is important to know what size generator you need to ensure safety and enough power.

Home emergency power to keep your family safe

The most commonly cited reason for buying a Generac portable generator 10000 watts is for home or business emergency power during an outage. A portable generator can make all the difference in how you survive a catastrophic weather event by shielding your family from the cold or the sizzling heat.

And if you have children, elderly family members, or anyone with a medical issue, owning one of the many types of Generac portable generators can be critical to their safety and health.

Flexible fuel choices during economic shortages

Consider purchasing a dual fuel portable generator or a tri-fuel portable generator for the flexibility they offer. 

Both homeowners and on-the-road service providers may be more interested in the flexibility of a Generac portable propane generator that can also run on gasoline. When a natural disaster causes gasoline shortages or utility outages, you can use the same propane tanks you have stored for your outdoor grill to power a portable emergency generator.

This means you can cut and clear away debris after a storm as well as keep your family warm and fed.

Another option is a dual fuel natural gas generator. Learn more about what is good about portable Generac dual fuel generators and what makes the best dual fuel generator.

Power security in rural areas

There is an urban/rural power divide in our country, where outlying areas contend with decaying electrical infrastructure. Added to this situation, is that the open land common to rural communities will suffer a greater impact from torrential rains, high winds, frozen precipitation, and catastrophic tornadoes and hurricanes.

The result of increasingly poor weather conditions means more transformers exploding due to lightning strikes and oversaturated soil contributing to falling trees and bringing down utility lines. After a storm, power companies serve the most populated areas first, leaving rural communities without power for days longer.

Compare a portable inverter generator from Generac vs Honda.

Generac inverter generator Generac iQ2000 Portable Inverter Generator
Generac inverter generator – Generac iQ2000 Portable Inverter Generator

Flexibility to use in non-emergencies

In addition to providing backup power in emergencies, a Generac portable genset will come in handy while RV-ing, camping, tailgating, and more. Use a portable generator for a food truck or a generator in your travel trailer. You may find uses for it around your property. With a portable generator, you can provide electricity for power tools, power washing, lights, and more. 

If your primary purpose in wanting a small generator is to take it with you to use intentionally, the portability of the unit will be important. Will you need to lift it alone? How many pounds is it, and can you lift it into your vehicle? How compact is it, and will it fit? 

Generac Generator FAQs

Different Generac portable generator models will accommodate different applications, power needs, and fuel supplies. Also learn how a Generac generator portables compare to the competition in customer reviews, reliability, price, and quietness.

What are my options for emergency power?

This is an excellent question to ask, because not only do you want to invest in the right power-generating technology, but you also want to get the most bang for your buck.

If a few hundred dollars is the only difference between powering enough home appliances to stay safe, warm, fed, and entertained for days versus the constant offloading and onboarding of different appliances during a power outage, then the larger and better technology may be worth it.

Emergency power is categorized by the following products:

Home Standby Generators 

  • Permanent installation by professionals and most expensive
  • Will transfer and start power automatically during an outage
  • Are typically bi-fuel diesel and propane powered
  • Power range from 5,000 to 20,000 watts
  • Costs range from $2,000 to $6,000

Electromechanical Gas-Driven Generators

  • Will not feature clean electricity for sensitive electronics
  • Are the least expensive of all generators
  • Are best used for power tools and equipment
  • Power range from 3,000 to 8,500 watts
  • Costs range from $400 to $2,000

Generac Inverter Generators

  • Clean power without spikes – safe for electronics
  • Operates much quieter, typically between 55dB and 75dB
  • Efficient operations that save on fuel costs
  • Power range from 1,500 to 10,000 watts
  • Costs range from $300 to $4,000

Check out the Generac GP2200i.

Portable Power Stations

  • Battery units that must be fully charged before using
  • No fuel emissions or carbon monoxide worries
  • Will not power as much – or for as long compared to others
  • Power range up to 2000 watts
  • Costs range from $750 to $3,000

Are Generac portable generators any good?

Founded in 1959, Generac is the leader in affordable home standby generators. These are the larger, permanently installed gensets that are built to supply total power to homes and a variety of industries for days of a power outage. 

When it comes to wondering if is Generac a good generator, know they are highly reviewed by consumers for performance and reliability. Regarding Generac generator prices, you’ll pay more for a Generac than you would a Champion or Westinghouse portable generator. However, a Generac generator will last a long time with proper maintenance.  

Where can you buy Generac portable generators?

You can buy a Generac generator directly from the Generac website. However, you will usually pay the higher manufacturer’s suggested retail price or MSRP which can be hundreds of dollars more than what you’ll pay at a home improvement store or an online distributor.

Shipping costs will also be a factor.

Depending on the physical size and power output you’re looking for, you can buy Generac portable generators from Ace Hardware, Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Northern Tool, and some online factory-direct distributors.

Some price range examples at the time of this writing include:

  • Walmart – $500 for a Generac 7117 – GP2200i 2,200 Watt
  • Lowes – $800 for Generac GP PowerRush 6500-Watt Gasoline
  • Ace – $1,000 for Generac GP Series 8000 W

Learn about Generac generator’s cost and how to find the best prices.

What size Generac generator is needed to power a house?

A typical home can use up to 10,000 watts of power for all essential systems and appliances, a Generac Portable Generator 10,000 Surge Watts, 8000 Rated Watts, Electric Start, Model# 7686 is suitable for larger homes or multi-unit homes. 

Another good choice for a typical-sized home would be a Generac portable generator 6500w rated power. This Generac generator sells for a little under $1,000 online at Northern Tool and it features a large 7.9-gallon fuel tank that runs for 11 hours at 1/2 load with a weight of under 200 pounds.

Generac portable propane generator
Generac portable propane generator GP5500

Which Generac portable generator is most popular?

The Generac 7117 Gp2200I W 50St Inverter ranks high for “ease-of-use”, and “super easy to start” for a portable gas generator. But, it is the Generac 7000 that is one of the most popular portable generators on the market. This unit runs on gasoline, has a compact build, 5 power outlets, and boasts a long engine life.

Also, consider a Generac portable generator 6500w that features advanced technology to deliver 40% more starting capacity. Other handy features include low oil shutoff and a large capacity fuel tank for 10.5 run hours at 50% capacity.

Any of these generators deliver enough clean power to provide heat, lights, and keep food fresh along with powering a few electronic devices for entertainment and to keep on top of current news. The key when using a medium-sized generator to get through an emergency is to stagger the start-up of each appliance until the unit is loaded to 50% – 70% capacity.

Generac GP5500 - Generac portable generator natural gas
Generac portable generator natural gas Generac GP5500

What is the largest portable generator that Generac makes?

Consumer review ratings rank the Generac GP17500E as one of the best large portable generators to power an entire house. Yes, this behemoth of portable generators will deliver 17,500 running watts of power with its large capacity, 16-gallon fuel tank that will run for 10 hours at 50% load.

The Generac GP17500E generator certainly delivers enough power (and then some) to run most all home systems during a power outage, but with a price of $3,599.00 MSRP and a weight of 390 pounds, this model is best compared to permanently installed whole-house generators that can cost a lot more.

Generac portable diesel generator
Generac portable diesel generator

Is there a Generac portable diesel generator model for RVs?

Yes, Generac does market some of its generators for RV use while camping out, tailgating, or traveling across the country. Any Generac generator that uses diesel and/or propane fuel, that isn’t too heavy for lifting, and has caster wheels for greater mobility would be a good choice.

Consider a Generac 5500w portable generator. It will provide enough power for the following:

  • RV’s air conditioning unit approx. 1800 watts to start and 650 watts to run
  • RV water heater around 1200 watts
  • RV refrigerator 600 watts
  • 200 – 400 watt buffer

After these major systems are powered, you will have over 2000 watts of power left over for an electric blanket, electronic devices, music and television, and a few compact kitchen appliances. Learn more about the Generac GP5500.

What Generac portable generator safety and convenience features should you consider?

Since all Generac generators will feature some safety features, check the brochure to see which of the following built-in safety and/or convenience features are present in the model you are considering:

  • LCD screen to monitor performance
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) sensors
  • Low oil monitor and shutdown
  • Low fuel or maintenance needed gauge
  • Never-flat wheels for easy portability
  • USB ports to charge mobile devices
  • Reduced noise and fuel consumption
  • Parallel-ready connections
Generac generator portable Generac GP5500
Generac GP5500

What are the pros and cons of each fuel type generator?

Generac portable generator natural gas

  • Can tap into your home’s natural gas supply
  • No odor unlike diesel-powered generators
  • Very reliable and highly efficient portable generators
  • Must be aware of explosion, fire, and CO risks

Generac portable diesel generator

  • Low maintenance and easy-to-find fuel source
  • Better fuel economy results in lower operating costs
  • Diesel fumes may be noxious to some

Generac portable propane generator

  • Propane fuel tanks have the longest shelf life
  • Propane is a clean-burning fuel
  • Operates less efficiently than diesel or natural gas

How do you safely use a portable generator?

Always maintain and use your portable generator by the manufacturer’s use and safety instructions. There are grounding requirements for portable generators. It is important to:

  1. Never attach a portable generator directly to the electrical system of a structure unless the generator has a properly installed open-transition transfer switch.
  2. Be sure to always plug appliances and electrical tools directly into the generator, using the appliance manufacturer’s supplied cords.
  3. Use ground-fault circuit interrupters (CFCIs) according to the instructions.

Generac Recall

Generac Power Systems, Inc. issued a recall for some of their portable generator models due to finger amputations. The Generac portable generator recall list includes the models listed below. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, consumers should immediately stop using the recalled portable generators (from June 2013 – June 2021) unless the locking pin has been inserted to secure the handle in place before and after moving the generator.

This Generac recall involves 6500-watt Generac portable generators and 8000-watt Generac portable generators with unit type numbers:

  • XT8000E
  • XT8000EFI
  • GP6500
  • GP6500E
  • GP8000E 

In addition, you can contact Generac for a free repair kit.

orange outdoor generator
Portable generator reviews

About Generac Portable Generators

If you have considered the above questions, then you’re ready to decide on the right Generac portable generator natural gas, Generac portable propane generator, or Generac portable diesel generator for you and your needs. Today, homeowners have the luxury of investing in tri-fuel portable generators that use diesel, gasoline, and propane as fuel sources.

Whichever Generac portable generator you choose, always be sure to review all the safety guidelines and maintenance requirements to keep your home and family safe during operations. 

Your intent for buying the best portable generator may be as backup power for blackouts, natural disasters, and other power losses. However, it is likely that once you own it, you will find other uses for it as well.

Generac manufactures generators that are specifically designed for portability. They provide several benefits that traditional generators do not. They can also be a lot more affordable. 

Written by Linda D. Jones