Power on the Go: Choosing the Best Generac Portable Generator for Your Needs

When the lights go out, portable generators provide lifesaving backup power. A good portable gen can keep your fridge cold, phones charged, and lights on during blackouts. Generac’s lineup offers reliable power for home, work, and play.

In this detailed guide, we’ll cover how to select the ideal Generac portable generator. We’ll review Generac’s top models for home backup and heavy-duty use. You’ll also get key tips for operation, maintenance, noise control, and safety.

Let’s dive in and find the perfect portable power solution!

Choosing the Right Generac Portable Generator

With a wide range of models, Generac has portable generators suited for light home use up to heavy-duty worksites. Consider these key factors when selecting your Generac portable generator:

Intended Use

How will you use the generator? Light home backup during shorter outages? Running high-demand tools and equipment on a jobsite? Powering an event? Your usage determines the appropriate power output.

Fuel Type

Generac portables run on gasoline or propane. Gasoline provides more running time per fill-up. Propane generators produce cleaner power but need refills. Compare fuel availability and costs.

Power Output

Generac portable generators range from 800 watts to 15,000 watts. Choose adequate power for your expected loads without overspending on overcapacity.

Noise Level

Larger generators are louder – measure noise ratings in decibels (dBA). Look for “quiet” models if using near homes. Sound enclosures further reduce noise.


If moving frequently, consider weight, carrying handles, and wheel kits. Stationary models emphasize power over portability.

Additional Features

Assess power quality, outlets, control panels, lifting eyes, hour meters, and warranty terms across models. Get only features you need.

Generac Portable Product Lines

GP Series: Heavy-duty portable power for demanding applications.

iX Series: Advanced inverters for ultra-clean, quiet portable power.

GPW Series: All-weather resistant models for reliable operation.

Use this overview to narrow down suitable Generac portable product lines based on your power needs and budget.

Top 4 Generac Portable Generators for Home and Play

Generac offers dozens of portable generator models. Here are 4 of their top-selling and highest-rated models for home backup and recreational use:

Generac GP5500 – Best Compact Home Backup Choice

The GP5500 strikes the ideal balance of power, portability, and price for home backup:

  • Power: 5500 starting watts and 4400 running watts.
  • Weight: Just over 100 pounds with fold-down handle.
  • Noise: 69 dBA, not whisper-quiet but acceptable.
  • Run Time: Up to 14 hours at 25% load.
  • Outlets: Two 120V household outlets plus a 12V DC outlet.
  • Price Range: $$

This mid-size portable unit provides ample power for fridges, lights, TVs, and fans during shorter home outages. It’s easy to maneuver and operates relatively quietly.

Generac GP8000E – Top-Rated Home Backup Portable

The GP8000E is Generac’s bestselling and most powerful home backup portable generator:

  • Power: 8000 starting watts, 6800 running watts.
  • Fuel: Runs 10 hours on a 6.6 gallon propane tank.
  • Noise: Just 74 dBA, impressive for its output.
  • Outlets: Four 120V household outlets with power panel.
  • Electric Start: Starts easily with battery assist.
  • Price Range: $$

With the ability to power large appliances and whole home loads, this rugged portable generator is Generac’s go-to for home backup power.

Generac GP15000E – Heavy-Duty Portable Powerhouse

The GP15000E is Generac’s largest and most capable portable generator, ideal for worksites, events, food trucks and heavy-duty backup.

  • Power: 15,000 watts for huge temporary power needs.
  • Runtime: Up to 12 hours at 50% load.
  • Noise: Surprisingly quiet at just 74 dBA.
  • Outlets: Four 120V, one 120/240V twist lock outlet.
  • Mobility: Never truly “portable” at nearly 400 pounds!
  • Price Range: $$$

This powerhouse portable generator can run high-demand equipment requiring up to 15kW. It’s overbuilt for reliability in harsh jobsite conditions. An essential backup solution for large homes too.

Generac iQ2000 – Ultra-Quiet Camping Companion

The iQ2000 inverter generator is perfect for quiet, portable power while camping or tailgating:

  • Power: 2000 starting watts, 1600 running watts.
  • Super Quiet: Just 53 dBA, won’t disturb your neighbors!
  • Compact: Under 50 pounds with folding handle.
  • Fuel Efficient: Up to 11 hours runtime on 1.06 gallon tank.
  • Clean Power: Advanced inverter for sensitive electronics.
  • Price Range: $$

This super-quiet inverter generator is ideal for campers, tailgaters, and homeowners needing unobtrusive backup power for a few essential appliances.

Smooth Operation and Maintenance of Portable Generators

Proper use and maintenance ensures your Generac portable generator delivers reliable power whenever and wherever you need it most. Follow these guidelines:

Safe Placement

Never run a portable generator indoors or near open windows. The carbon monoxide is deadly. Position at least 15 feet from your home with exhaust pointed away.


Check fuel levels frequently. For extended outages, conserve fuel by running intermittently to recharge batteries and cold food. Keep spare stabilized gas and propane tanks on hand.

Regular Maintenance

Follow Generac’s maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual. Replace oil, air filters, spark plugs, and batteries per intervals. Test under load monthly. Clean debris and dust regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions About Generac Portable Generators

How long can a Generac portable generator run on a full tank?

Depends on the fuel tank size, power output, and load. Most Generac portables provide 6-14 hours runtime. Larger units like the GP15000E can operate for 10-12 hours continuously on an 8-10 gallon tank.

How loud are Generac portable generators?

Noise levels range from 53 dBA for inverter models up to 74 dBA for heavy-duty models. Sound-attenuating enclosures can further reduce noise. Compare decibel ratings before buying.

How much does a Generac portable generator cost?

Basic models start at $500-800. Larger portable units for home backup run $1000-1500. Big 15kW models range from $2500-4000. Prices vary based on features and fuel type.

Can you connect a Generac portable generator to your home?

You can power specific appliances using extension cords. A manual transfer switch is needed to safely feed a home’s electrical panel. Never plug a generator directly into your home’s wall outlets.

Are Generac portable generators reliable?

When properly maintained, Generac’s portable generators deliver proven durability for home and commercial applications. Units have brushless alternators and overload protection.

How do you size a portable generator?

Add up wattages of items to be run simultaneously, then add 20% as a buffer. Or choose a model rated at least 3000 watts per room you want to power during an outage.

What’s better – gasoline or propane generator?

Gasoline provides more running time per fill-up. Propane has a longer shelf life and is available during gas shortages. Propane generators burn cleaner but cost more initially.

How often should you service a portable generator?

Generac recommends an annual tune-up by a certified dealer. Change oil every 50-100 hours of use. Inspect and clean units regularly when in use. Keep records of maintenance.

Generac Delivers Portable Peace of Mind

Whether you need backup power at home or portable power on the go, Generac delivers the reliable performance you expect from a leader. Follow the guidelines above to choose the ideal portable generator for your needs. With proper operation and maintenance, your Generac portable will deliver years of worry-free runtime whenever and wherever you need it.

Stay powered up and in control with Generac!

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