Keep the Lights On: The 4 Best Propane Generac Generators for Backup Power

When the power goes out, life can come to a standstill. No lights, no refrigerator, no cooking, no internet. Just asking the kids to pass the time without screens can induce whines and groans. But with a trusty backup generator, you can keep your home humming during grid failures and weather-related outages.

Generac stands out as the leader in home backup power. Their propane-fueled generators provide reliable electricity for your essentials when you need it most. Unlike gasoline, propane stores indefinitely without degrading. It’s more stable and safer to handle than diesel. Generac’s exclusive OHVI engine technology also optimizes fuel efficiency.

In this guide, we’ll explore why Generac’s propane models belong on your shortlist and how to pick the perfect size and features for your needs. You’ll also learn proper setup, operation, and maintenance practices to keep your investment running for years to come. Let’s get started!

Why Choose a Generac Propane Generator?

Propane gains points for convenience compared to other generator fuels. There’s less maintenance without gasoline’s gumming varnishes or diesel’s higher sulfur content. Propane has a nearly unlimited shelf life when properly stored. The generators themselves also start right up, even in cold weather.

The Generac OHVI engine presents another advantage. It operates at a lower RPM to run quieter with superior fuel efficiency. These generators waste less energy yielding the same output as competitors.

Generac’s propane-powered lineup provides home coverage choices from small essentials circuits up to whole house backup. Their True Power Technology also supplies clean, stable electricity ideal for sensitive electronics.

Picking the Right Size Propane Generac Generator

Choosing your generator means balancing output wattage with your budget. To decide on capacity:

  • Make an inventory of must-run appliances/devices and add up their starting (surge) and running wattages.
    -Multiply this total by 1.3 as a buffer. This gives you the minimum generator watts needed.
  • For whole house coverage, start with an 18 kW unit for a roughly 2000 sq ft home. Go higher for larger spaces, increased needs.
  • Evaluate any motorized appliances with big startup loads. For the fridge, well pump, etc., pick a generator that handles at least 2-3 times their rated watts.
  • Lean toward inverter generators if running computers or home office equipment. They output clean, stable power for electronics.

Other factors to weigh include:

  • Noise – Inverter models run quietest, around 55-65 decibels. Conventional generators register 65-75 dB.
  • Electric start – Choose this convenience over pull starting, especially for cold weather operation.
  • Monitoring – Opt for Wi-Fi connectivity to monitor generator status from your smartphone.
  • Outlets – Ensure sufficient output capacity for your needs.
  • Installation – If wiring into your home, verify the generator offers the necessary transfer switch capability.

The Best Propane Generac Generators

Now let’s reveal our picks for Generac’s top propane-powered models across a range of applications.

Generac GP5500 – Best Mid-Size Propane Generator

The Generac GP5500 packs serious punch in a compact form factor. Rated at 6875 starting watts and 5550 running watts, it provides ample electricity for job sites, RVs, outdoor events, and home backup.

Despite its portable size, the GP5500’s 212cc Generac engine delivers big power. It cranks out electricity for around 10 hours at half load from its single 8-gallon propane tank. The electric starter ensures easy, reliable cold weather activation.

An integrated digital multi-meter lets you monitor voltage, frequency, and runtime hours to optimize performance. Generac’s TruePower technology supplies clean, stable current with less than 5% THD for electronics. The GP5500 runs relatively quiet at just 74 dBA.

For the money, you’d be hard pressed to beat the versatility and power density of the GP5500 propane generator. It’s a robust mid-size choice fantastic for portable use or home backup.

Generac GP6500E – Best Quiet Propane Generator

Homeowners who value peace and quiet should check out the ultra-smooth Generac GP6500E. This inverter generator puts out a strong 6500 starting watts and 5500 running watts.

Inverter technology straightens out the generator’s raw AC power into clean, steady current with less than 3% THD. You’ll have no trouble powering home electronics without interference or damage.

The GP6500E truly shines with noiseless operation hitting just 59 dBA while running. That’s quieter than a normal conversation. The inverter power makes this possible by generating the same electricity at a lower RPM. This represents a massive reduction from conventional generator racket.

An efficient 196cc Generac OHVI engine ensures excellent run times from each propane tank. Like the GP5500, it provides 10 hours at half load. Plenty of power in a hushed package earns the GP6500E top marks as the leading quiet propane generator.

Generac GP17500E – Best Large Propane Generator

When you need to power an entire home or business during extended outages, turn to the big-league Generac GP17500E. With 17,500 peak watts and 14,000 running watts, this muscular unit means business.

The 999cc V-Twin Generac OHVI engine provides the mammoth power output. It can readily handle heavy loads like home A/C units and well pumps that would trip smaller generators. Just remember to keep within the continuous 14 kW rating.

Electric start takes the hassle out of firing up this beast. The GP17500E also features True Power technology to support sensitive electronics. Noise levels remain tolerable at just 74 dBA.

Overall, the Generac GP17500E brings almost limitless backup power in a single package. It will keep a large home or business humming smoothly no matter what mother nature throws its way. Just be prepared to handle the weight and size.

Generac GP22000i – Best Whole House Propane Generator

For large homes that require the ultimate in whole house backup power, the Generac GP22000i stands at the summit. This inverter generator cranks out a staggering 22,000 peak watts and 17,500 running watts.

Capable of powering a 5,000+ square foot home, the GP22000i has capacity to spare. It can readily start high-draw appliances like pool pumps and central A/C units without load shedding. The clean, stable inverter power also precludes any concerns running sensitive electronics.

Despite the mammoth output, noise remains hushed at just 63 dBA thanks to the inverter technology. The 999cc V-Twin OHVI engine also aids quieter, more fuel-efficient operation. It provides smooth power for 10 hours at half load.

In a blackout, the Generac GP22000i can power an entire home without interruption. No more picking and choosing which devices to run. It’s the gold standard for whole house propane backup generators.

Key Generator Setup Tips

After picking the perfect Generac propane generator, proper setup ensures your investment keeps your home humming during outages. Follow these guidelines:

  • Always turn off the main breaker when wiring into your home electrical panel to avoid backfeeding.
  • Follow all codes and acquire permits/inspections for home generator installations.
  • Position the generator outdoors only, in a well-ventilated spot away from doors and windows.
  • Use heavy-gauge, outdoor-rated grounded extension cords for connections.
  • Ensure propane tanks are securely linked with no leaks before startup.
  • Shut off connected appliances before starting the generator.
  • Break in new generators gradually by varying loads and run times.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors and never run a generator inside your home.

Operating Your Generac Propane Generator Safely

Exercise caution when running your propane generator to keep your home and family safe:

  • Double check for leaks and ventilate the area before starting each time.
  • Turn off all connected appliances and devices first.
  • Never exceed the rated wattage/amperage capacity.
  • Monitor noise and temperature levels constantly.
  • Allow generators to cool fully before transporting or storing.
  • Handle propane carefully away from sources of sparks or heat.
  • Keep children and pets away from the running generator.
  • Refuel only after shutting down and allowing the unit to cool.

Maintaining Your Investment for the Long Haul

Like any engine, proper maintenance keeps your Generac propane generator running smoothly for years of reliability. Follow the manual for proper service intervals, but in general:

  • Change oil and filters per the prescribed schedule.
  • Inspect and clean spark plugs as recommended.
  • Check and replace air, fuel, and oil filters when needed.
  • Verify propane connections are tight with no leaks.
  • Clean the generator regularly with compressed air.
  • Use proper fuel stabilizer if storing propane for long periods.
  • Run generators monthly to circulate oil and recharge batteries.

Answers to Common Generac Propane Generator Questions

Investing in a Generac propane generator understandably sparks lots of questions for first-time buyers. Here we answer some of the key queries:

How long will a propane tank run my generator?

Runtime varies based on load, but plan on 10-14 hours for a typical portable 100 lb. tank at 50% load. Higher capacity tanks offer extended runtimes.

What maintenance does my propane generator need?

Expect to change oil every 50-100 hours of use. Replace air, oil, and fuel filters every 200 hours or so. Follow the manual for spark plug and battery care.

What size generator do I really need?

Pick a generator rated for at least 130% of your devices’ total starting wattage for a safe margin. Get help sizing if wiring into your home’s full electrical system.

How loud are propane generators?

Inverter models run quietest around 55-65 dB. Conventional generators register louder at 65-75 dB.

Can I connect my generator directly to my home?

Yes, with a proper transfer switch installed by an electrician following all codes. Never plug the generator directly into household outlets.

Where is the best outdoor location for my generator?

Place it on a level surface away from windows and doors for proper ventilation. Weatherproof models can sit outdoors year-round.

Is it safe to run my generator in the rain?

Generac’s G-Force series and other weatherproof models are designed for wet weather operation when positioned properly away from water ingress points.

How do I know if my generator is overloaded?

Monitor the digital load meter, if equipped. Overloading can also cause voltage drops or the breaker tripping. Size your generator with enough headroom to prevent overtaxing it.

Reliable Power When You Need It Most

In a blackout, Generac propane generators kick on automatically to keep your essentials running uninterrupted. With options ranging up to 22,000 watts, they can power just your critical circuits or even a large home in its entirety.

Generac’s proprietary OHVI engines run smooth and efficient thanks to advanced technology. Their exclusive True Power inverters output clean, stable electricity safe for sensitive electronics. Just don’t forget the regular maintenance to keep your investment humming for the long run.

Staying prepared with a quality backup generator means weather and grid reliant worries won’t force your household to go medieval again. Let us know if you have any other generator questions!

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