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Powering Through Outages: Choosing the Best Generac Gas Generator for Your Needs

When the lights go out and the power shuts off, life can come to a standstill. From losing access to refrigerated foods and air conditioning to being unable to charge devices or rely on medical equipment, power outages can wreak havoc on daily life. Investing in a gas powered generator provides protection and peace of mind when emergencies and outages occur.

Generac is one of the most trusted and reputable brands when it comes to gas generators built to withstand tough conditions and run reliably for hours on end. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll highlight the top Generac gas generator options and discuss key factors to evaluate when choosing the right model for your needs. Whether you need backup power for recreational uses like camping or emergency coverage for your home or business, Generac has a gas-fueled generator up to the task. Let’s explore what makes Generac a top choice and how to select the best Generac generator for any situation!

How Do Gas Powered Generators Work?

Before diving into specific Generac generator models, let’s first understand what sets gas powered generators apart and how they produce electricity:

  • A gasoline, natural gas or propane engine turns a shaft
  • This spinning shaft is connected to the rotor of an alternator
  • As the rotor spins, it converts mechanical energy into electrical energy
  • This electricity is then delivered via outlets to power devices
  • A steady supply of gas means continuous operation, unlike limited battery power

Some key advantages of gas powered generators:

  • More power output than smaller portable gas generators
  • Ability to run continuously without stopping as long as fuel is supplied
  • Higher wattage ratings, often between 5,000 to 17,000+ watts

Potential drawbacks compared to other generator types:

  • Require manual start via pull cord or electric starter unlike automatic standby generators
  • Must be periodically refueled, unlike solar or natural gas standby generators

Overall, gas motors provide reliable generator power output for extended periods when electricity access is lost. Now let’s look at the top gas generator models from Generac.

Top 4 Generac Gas Powered Generator Options

Generac produces a wide range of gas generator models to suit various applications. Here are 4 of their best and most popular models:

Generac GP5500

  • Wattage: 5,500 continuous watts / 6,875 peak watts
  • Engine: Generac OHVI 420cc engine
  • Weight: 197.7 lbs
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Features: Electric start, TruePower technology

An excellent mid-range model sufficient for essentials like fridges, freezers, some small appliances and partial home coverage during shorter outages. Easy electric start button and Generac’s advanced inverter generators deliver superior power quality.

Generac GP6500

  • Wattage: 6,500 continuous watts / 8,125 peak watts
  • Engine: Generac OHVI 420cc engine
  • Weight: 209 lbs
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Features: Electric start, TruePower inverter

Step up to the GP6500 for extra power capable of running additional appliances like kitchen essentials, water heaters and HVAC systems for partial home backup power during outages.

Generac GP8000E

  • Wattage: 8,000 continuous watts / 10,000 peak watts
  • Engine: Generac OHVI 570cc engine
  • Weight: 353.8 lbs
  • Fuel: Gasoline or propane
  • Features: Electric start, OHVI engine

Top-of-the-line air-cooled performance for heavier home backup power needs while also being reasonably portable for worksites. Power up major appliances like stoves, washing machines and more.

Generac GP15000E

  • Wattage: 15,000 continuous watts / 17,500 peak watts
  • Engine: Generac 992cc V-Twin OHV engine
  • Weight: 450 lbs
  • Fuel: Gasoline or propane
  • Features: Electric start, OHVI engine

The GP15000E cranks out serious power capable of serving as a primary source of home backup electricity or handling multiple large appliances and tools on jobsites. The largest air-cooled portable model Generac offers before stepping up to industrial generators.

Key Factors When Choosing a Generac Gas Generator

Now that we’ve highlighted some excellent Generac gas generator models, let’s go through the essential factors to weigh when picking the right generator for your specific needs:

Generator Output Wattage

Consider the running wattage you need to power essential appliances and lights. If solely for emergency backup, 5-8kw is often sufficient for refrigeration, freezers, some lights and small devices. For whole home coverage, look for larger 10-17kW generators.

Fuel Source Availability

If natural gas supply is stable, a natural gas generator may be optimal. For gasoline or propane models, ensure you have adequate fuel storage and supply.

Noise Level Ratings

Larger generators can produce up to 80 decibels of sound. If noise is a concern, look for “quiet” models with sound attenuation enclosures.

Portability Requirements

If you’ll be transporting your generator frequently, ensure the weight and size are easily manageable, or invest in a wheel kit.

Runtime Duration

Estimate your outage duration to choose a fuel tank size providing adequate continuous runtime. Bigger tanks allow longer run times between refueling.

Budget Constraints

Generac offers models ranging from under $1000 for basic portable generators to over $4000 for top-tier home standby options. Set realistic budget expectations.

Planned Uses

Determine your exact needs – home backup, worksites, recreation? This dictates necessary power output.

Ease of Use

If simplicity is key, opt for electric push button start and add accessories like powerswitch transfer kits for automatic power transfers when the grid goes down.

Additional Features

Assess if you need extra capabilities like computer monitoring software, multiple connection outlets, special RV connections, or extreme weather protection packages.

Warranties

Generac’s warranties provide strong coverage protection. The more expensive the unit, the longer the warranty duration, affirming the product’s quality.

Maintaining and Using Your Generac Generator

Once you’ve chosen the ideal Generac gas powered generator for your needs, proper operation and maintenance is crucial to ensuring optimal performance when you need it most. Below are some key generator care tips:

  • Check engine oil, coolant and fluid levels regularly. Refill if low.
  • Follow the manual’s fuel and oil recommendations. Don’t overfill.
  • Allow the generator to fully cool down before storing it.
  • Start and run the generator monthly to keep components in good shape.
  • Give the generator ample ventilation when running to prevent overheating.
  • Keep a carbon monoxide detector in your home during operation.
  • Rotate gasoline and propane fuel to keep it fresh.
  • Inspect fuel line connections and the fuel filter before each use.
  • Reset the overload circuit breaker switch if it’s been tripped.
  • Test GFCIs and outlets prior to use.
  • Keep the generator sheltered in cold or wet weather during storage.

Abiding by Generac’s manuals and guidelines will keep your generator in prime condition when emergency power is needed. Next let’s go over some commonly asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Generac Gas Generators

How long do Generac gas generators typically last?

With proper maintenance and care as outlined in manuals, Generac generators can often provide reliable service for 10-15 years or more.

How noisy are Generac gas powered generators?

Noise varies by model, but levels typically range from 60-80 decibels when measured from 23 feet away. Larger models produce more noise.

Do you need a transfer switch installed to use a Generac generator?

While not absolutely required, installing an automatic transfer switch allows a generator to safely power appliances without the risk of backfeeding electricity. Manual switching without a transfer switch requires extreme caution.

Can you convert between natural gas and propane on Generac generators?

Some dual-fuel capable Generac models allow converting between natural gas and propane using an optional conversion kit. Other models are designed solely for one fuel type.

Do Generac generators require professional installation?

Larger standby and whole home models often benefit from professional installation. But smaller portable generators like those highlighted in this article can be installed DIY-style by handy homeowners.

What is the typical fuel consumption rate of Generac gas generators?

Fuel usage varies based on load, but expect generators to burn .04-.07 gallons per hour per listed kilowatt. So a 7kW unit uses roughly 0.3-0.5 gallons per hour.

Are Generac generator warranties transferable to a new owner?

Yes, the generous Generac generator warranties are fully transferable if you sell your home. Only the balance of the original warranty transfers over.

What regular maintenance does a Generac generator require?

Expect to perform tasks like: changing oil, replacing air filters, inspecting fuel lines, checking fluid levels, testing batteries, cleaning carburetors and exercising the generator monthly.

Conclusion

From portable models like the Generac GP5500 to powerful whole house options like the Generac GP15000E, Generac produces gas-powered generators suited to virtually any residential, recreational or commercial application. Their OHVI engines provide excellent reliability and efficiency. By determining your power output needs, fuel source availability, budget and planned uses, you can select the ideal Generac generator for keeping appliances running and your home comfortable when utility power is out. Just be sure to follow proper operating guidelines and maintenance procedures. With Generac powering your essentials, you’ll stay comfortable and productive through any power outage scenario.

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