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Best 5500 Watt Portable Generators

Most powerful option Budget Friendly option Most Exclusive option
Honda EU7000iS Ryobi RS905500 yamaha EF6300ISDE
HONDA EU7000iS Ryobi RY905500 YAMAHA EF6300iSDE
5500 Running Watts 5500 Running Watts 5500 Running Watts
7000 Starting Watts 6875 Starting Watts 6300 Starting Watts
Runs on Gasoline Runs on Gasoline Runs on Gasoline
Electric start (recoil backup) Recoil pull start Electric start (optional remote)
120/240 AC Voltage 120/240 AC Voltage 120/240 AC Voltage
No DC Voltage No DC Voltage No DC Voltage
Runs 18 hours at 25% load Runs 9 hours at 50% load Runs 13.3 hours at 25% load
52 dBA at 25% load 78 dBA at 25% load 58 - 64 dBA at 25% load
261.5 lb (118.6 kg) weight 192 lb (87 kg) weight 200 lb (90.71 kg) weight
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How we chose the best

Our Generatorist team went over 700 different portable generators to identify almost 30 machines that we have analyzed down to the smallest details. Out of those, we have selected the following options we consider to be the best.

the Most powerful option

PREFERRED FEATURES
Electric Start: Yes (No Remote) Dual Fuel: No
Recoil Backup Start: Yes Fuel Gauge: Yes (Dial)
Inverter: Yes Metal Fuel Tank: Yes
Idle Control: Yes (Eco Throttle) Electric Fuel Injection: Yes
Battery Included: Yes Fuel Shutoff Valve: No
Low Oil Shutoff: Yes Spark Arrestor: Yes

why we chose this machine

If you are looking for a 5500 generator that provides the most starting power, then Honda EU7000iS is the way to go. This machine is equipped with a reliable and high-quality Honda GX390 four stroke engine that provides up to 7000 starting watts.

Not only is this machine powerful, it is also incredibly quiet (just 52-60 dBA at rated load).
Thanks to the electronic fuel injection system, eco-throttle mode, and a 5.08 gallon metallic fuel tank this machine is able to run (on gasoline) for 18 hours at 25% load (6 hours at 100% load).

There are several types of electric outlets available:

  • Two 120 VAC (5-20R DUPLEX) with 20 amps each
  • One 120/240 VAC (L14-30R Twist Lock) with 30 amps
  • One 120 VAC (L5-30R Twist Lock) with 30 amps

With regards to the ease of use, you can start the Honda EU7000iS comfortably thanks to the electric start feature (sadly, a remote control is not available). However, we love the fact that manufacturers have also decided to keep the manual recoil pull start as a backup option if your battery dies.

Points to consider

This generator is quite expensive. Although this machine is portable thanks to its folding handle and two wheels, it is on the heavy side. Its dry weight is 261.5 pounds (118.6 kg) and if you add the fuel, it is approximately 292 pounds (132.4 kg).

We are missing a manual fuel shutoff valve. The unit includes parallel connection outlets, but the connection kit is still not available.

If you can’t get a Honda EU7000iS for whatever reason (it may be out of stock or out of your budget), then we have listed a couple of alternative 5500 generators that still provide a lot of starting watts.

Don´t forget to take a look at feedback and reviews of Amazon customers. Focus on those classified as “verified purchase”.

The Best Budget friendly option

PREFERRED FEATURES
Electric Start: No Dual Fuel: No
Recoil Backup Start: Yes Fuel Gauge: No
Inverter: No Metal Fuel Tank: Yes
Idle Control: No Electric Fuel Injection: No
Battery Included: No Fuel Shutoff Valve: Yes
Low Oil Shutoff: Yes Spark Arrestor: Yes

why we chose this machine

The Ryobi is a well-known brand among producers of portable generators. If you are on a tight budget and still want a good machine, then we recommend the RY905500 model.

If you get this machine, you will get a gasoline generator with a powerful 420cc OHV (overhead valve) engine that will produce 6875 surge watts. Sadly, we were not able to identify the producer or a brand of this engine.

Thanks to its larger 6 gallon (22.9 l) metallic gas tank this generator is able to run for up to 9 hours at a 50% load. Based on the information available on the internet and provided by various user reviews, this machine is louder than Honda EU7000iS or YAMAHA EF6300iSDE with its 78 dBA.

There are several types of electric outlets with covers available:

  • Two 120 VAC (5-20R DUPLEX) with 20 amps each
  • One 120/240 VAC (L14-30R Twist Lock) with 30 amps

Also, produced power is cleaner and more reliable thanks to an automatic voltage regulator. Although this machine has only a manual recoil pull start, the starting procedure is straightforward.

Points to consider

Ryobi RY905500 is a budget-friendly 5500 running watts generator that is made in china. It packs a powerful non-branded engine that runs only on gasoline. Sadly, this machine doesn’t have a fuel gauge so you will have a hard time planning the fuel management. 

Some people consider this machine to be quite noisy. Luckily, this generator is not as heavy as other options on this list and can be moved around easily.

If you can’t (or don’t want to) get Ryobi RY905500 for whatever reason, then there are two other good, yet very affordable 5500 generators for you to choose from.

Don´t forget to look at feedback and reviews of Home Depot customers. Focus on those classified as “verified purchase”.

The Most exclusive option

PREFERRED FEATURES
Electric Start: Yes (Remote Optional) Dual Fuel: No
Recoil Backup Start: No Fuel Gauge: Yes
Inverter: Yes Metal Fuel Tank: No (Plastic)
Idle Control: Yes (Smart Throttle) Electric Fuel Injection: No
Battery Included: Yes Fuel Shutoff Valve: Yes
Low Oil Shutoff: Yes Spark Arrestor: Yes

why we chose this machine

If you are like us and always want to get the most exclusive product possible, then go for a Yamaha EF6300iSDE. Although this 5500 generator is expensive, you will definitely get a high-quality, compact, silent, and powerful machine for your money.

This inverter generator includes a 357cc, OHV, four-stroke Yamaha engine that runs on gasoline and can provide you with a 6300 starting watts. It’s protected against low-oil malfunction thanks to its low-oil automatic shut-down.

Although this machine doesn’t have the largest gas tank (just 4.5 gallons / 17.03 liters), this generator can run up to 13.3 hours at a 25% load, because it is an inverter machine that is equipped with a Smart Throttle feature.

The best part? This machine is among the quietest (just 58-62 dBA).

There are also several types of electric outlets available:

  • One 120 VAC (5-20R DUPLEX) with 20 amps
  • One 120/240 VAC (L14-30R Twist Lock) with 30 amps
  • One 120 VAC (L5-30R Twist Lock) with 30 amps

Also, the produced power is clean enough to be able to run even the most sensitive electronic appliances. Thanks to the included battery, transistor controlled ignition, and an automatic choke the start of this generator couldn’t be more convenient and simpler.

Points to consider

The YAMAHA is one of the best producers of small engine devices including generators. Sadly, because they produce high-quality products you need to expect to pay a lot of money for their machines.

Although this generator offers a very comfortable electric start, we would love to see a recoil pull start as a backup alternative.

It has a good-looking modern design and a compact build. Sadly, this makes its maintenance a little bit harder. Also, it is on the heavier side with its 200 pounds (90.7 kg) of dry weight.

In case that you don’t want to get the YAMAHA EF6300iSDE, we have listed two other generators that we consider to be quite exclusive as well.

Don´t forget to look at feedback and reviews of Amazon customers. Focus on those classified as “verified purchase”.

Shopping guide to

5500 watt portable generator

Lots of people do purchase generators only after they are left without any power. This puts them under pressure and they often make a hasty decision that leaves them with a costly machine that doesn’t fits their needs.

Backup generators for your household appliances can become quite an overpriced investment, especially if you have absolutely no idea what you really need to look for.

Luckily, thanks to our shopping guide you are going to make a much more informed shopping decision. If you want to get the best 5500 generator out there, you need to consider:

  1. Power requirements – Since in this article we are comparing machines that all provide 5500 running watts, you need to consider the amount of starting (or surge) watts provided.
  2. Your budget – The second most important thing is to know your budget you want to invest in your generator. Actually, in most cases this is the most limiting factor you will encounter while choosing your machine.
  3. Portability – Do you need your machine to be portable? Then go for brands and models that offer lower dry weight, a wheel kit, and a folding handle.

Once you have defined these major limiting factors, then you can filter out a vast majority of machines. If there are still too many options for you to choose from, then you need to have a look at these extra features and decide, which are a must have for you:

  • Inverter – Inverter generators provide cleaner and much more reliable power as they do output AC current, but that is converted into DC voltage and then inverted back into clean AC voltage. Except for clean current that doesn’t damage softer electronic appliances such as computers and laptops, these machines are quieter and more fuel efficient.
  • Noise – If noise is your main concern, then choose an inverter generator. Also conventional machines can be quiet but even if they include an effective muffler they don’t produce as low levels of noise as inverters.
  • Automatic Voltage Regulation – The AVR is an electronic device that automatically maintains output terminal voltage of your generator at a set value no matter the load or operating temperatures. Some sensitive electronic appliances could get damaged if the voltage gets out of certain range.
  • Automatic Idle Control – The automatic idle control (also known as Eco Throttle or Smart Throttle) can save you a lot of fuel costs and can reduce the noise of your generator. It automatically adapts the rotations of your engine in relation to the actual load. If your generator runs idle, this system can significantly reduce the number of rotations per minute.
  • Electric Fuel Injection – The electric fuel injection (EFI) system is an excellent replacement of carburetor, a part that can get easily clogged if you don’t use your generator frequently. Also, electric fuel injection helps your engine to run more efficiently, leading to reduced fuel costs.
  • Alternative Fuel Source – Do you know what is the biggest and most frequent issue after a hurricane strike? The lack of gasoline. That is why we always recommend to get a dual fuel generator that can also run on propane or a natural gas.
  • Fuel Gauge – Sadly, even these days some generators are built without any fuel gauge or indicator. This makes the fuel management and planning of a run time a really hard job.
  • Electric Start with Recoil Backup – Some people don’t like the manual recoil pull start for one reason or another and couldn’t imagine having a generator without a comfortable electric start. If you are such a person, then please get a unit that offers a recoil pull start as a backup starting method. In most cases, the battery of your generator that is responsible for electric start dies after not using your machine for longer periods of time and you may be left without a power source.
  • Manual Fuel Shutoff Valve – This valve becomes very helpful especially during the transportation and storage of your machine. In case you need to store your generator for a longer period of time, you need to remove all fuel from the system to avoid clogging of carburetor by gasoline that went bad.
  • Material of Fuel Tank – There are two main types of fuel tanks, each having its pros as well as cons. Plastic fuel tanks that are usually lighter, will not rust, but are less durable. Then there are metallic fuel tanks that are much more durable, but are heavier and prone to rusting if they are not treated well. It’s really up to you what material will fit your needs the most.
  • Longer Run Time – Each and every person who already owned a generator knows how annoying is to frequently refill the gas tank. You need to turn your generator off and let it cool off for a while before you can add new gasoline. That is why you should chose a machine that offers a longer run time.
  • Maintenance free electric battery – If you decide to get a generator with electric start, then go for one that offers a maintenance-free battery. This way you will always have your generator ready to serve.
  • Spark Arrestor – This is a helpful piece of equipment that minimizes the chance of setting dry vegetation on fire. Some areas restrict the use of generators to only those including spark arrestor.
  • OHV Engine with Automatic Low Oil Shutoff – In general, overhead valve (OHV) engines are much more efficient and durable. Also, the automatic low oil shutdown system will protect your engine against damage caused by low oil levels.
  • Multiple Types of Covered Outlets – While choosing the 5500 generator, you need to consider the types of outlets you will need and the maximum allowed amperage. Based on our experience, the 5500 running watts generator will have 20 amps and 30 amps outlets. Also, we prefer machines that have covered outlets to avoid getting dust and debris into them.

All these extra features are recommended by our Generatorist team. However, each one increases the final price of your machine. That is why you should individually prioritize these features and decide, which you can live without and which feature is a must have for you.

5500 Generator FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Because we got a lot of questions over the time with regards to 5500 watt generators, we have decided to add this FAQ section where you can look for helpful information.

If you have questions that are not answered here, feel free to contact us or leave your question in the comments section available at the end of this article.

In general, this type of machine can run almost any essential household appliance, including:

  1. Small window AC unit
  2. Fridge with a freezer
  3. Sump pump
  4. Small heating system
  5. All smaller electric appliances
  6. A couple of power tools

To learn, whether you can run all these at the same time you need to know the power consumption of each appliance in your home. Also, you need to know whether your generator has the correct number and type of outlets as some higher wattage appliances such as AC units may need different outlets than other low-wattage appliances.

Just, don’t expect to run your whole house on this machine simultaneously as this will require a lot more power than a 5500 generator can produce. I have provided tables with rough estimates for individual electric appliances in this article.

If you need to provide an energy backup for your whole house without any limitations, you may consider getting a stand-by unit instead of portable one.

Usually, these are much more expensive and need to be installed by a professional electrician.

In general, a 5500 running watts generator should provide enough power to run a small well pump. Sadly, answering this question is really hard without knowing the exact running and starting watts required by your water pump.

I have found rough estimates for different types of pumps:

  • 1/3 Horse Power – It takes 750 running watts and 1500 starting watts.
  • 1/2 Horse Power – It takes 1000 running watts and 2100 starting watts.
  • 3/4 Horse Power – It takes 1500 running watts and 3000 starting watts.
  • 1 Horse Power – It takes 2000 running watts and 4000 starting watts.
  • 1 & 1/2 Horse Power – It takes 2500 running watts and 5000 starting watts.

As you can see in the estimates above, the issue is not running watts but starting watts. To get the precise numbers, you will need to find the voltage (120 or 240) and horsepower information on the info-plate of your pump.

Then, all it takes to learn required wattage is to apply this equation:

Watts (W or kW) = Volts (V) x Amps (A)

Although theoretically, you could run a very small central AC (that is modern and power efficient) with a 5500 running watts generator, we would rather go for an emergency window AC unit as 5500 generators may have too little starting power.

However, the answer to this questions really depends on the number of running and starting watts your AC unit requires.

Obviously, these numbers vary from one unit to another and are based on cooling ability of individual models and brands. That is why you need to look for this data at the name tag of your central AC:

  1. LRA (Locked Rotor Amps) – This number represents the current you can expect under starting conditions when you apply full voltage.
  2. RLA (Rated Load Amps) – This number represents the maximum current a compressor should draw under any operating conditions.
  3. FLA (Full Load Amps) – This number represents the same as the Rated Load Amps.

Just note that you need to take into consideration the amps for both the compressor and the fan unit. To determine, if your 5500 generator can run a central AC, please consult the manufacturer or a professional electrician.

Keep in mind that a typical central air unit runs on a 208/240 volts and is often permanently mounted and hardwired into the electrical system of your house. That is why to safely run this electric appliance you need to connect your generator through a transfer switch.

Actually, you should always connect your generator through a transfer switch if you don’t want to damage your appliances or endanger people who may be working on electric lines in your neighborhood.

In general, a 5500 watt gasoline generator has a 4-stroke engine. If this is the case, you will need to use either SAE 30 (if you live in a hotter climate) or a SAE 10W-30 if you are going to use it in a colder climate.

However, there are many things you need to consider while choosing the oil for your machine:

  • Whether you got a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke engine
  • Starting and operating temperatures
  • Type of fuel your machine runs on
  • Certifications and classifications of the oil
  • Reputation of the brand and company behind the oil

If you need to learn more information on how to choose the best oil for your generator, then consult our guide that is available right here. We provide you also with a list of best brands in various categories of oil.

In general, a 5500 watt generator provides approximately 45 amps, in case of 120 volts or 23 amps in case of 240 volts. To learn more, you should check out the owner´s manual to the machine you want to buy.

Actually, identifying how many amps there are in a 5500 running watt generator is a very simple process. All you have to do is to apply the following formula:

Amps (A) = Watts (W or kW) / Volts (V)

You need to divide the wattage by the voltage. So, in this case you need to divide 5500 by 120 or 240 to get the correct numbers.

Although this question doesn’t have an universal answer as each generator has unique fuel consumption and capacity of the fuel tank, based on our database an average 5500 generator runs for approximately 11 hours on a 50% load.

This number is a median that we got after looking at the run time of over 30 generators that provide 5500 running watts.

There is not a single correct answer to this question. Actually, there are several features of your 5500 generator you need to consider while choosing your transfer switch.

We will be doing a guide on choosing the best transfer switches soon but in the meantime, consider this guide from Electric Generators Direct.

Looking at the whole spectrum of generators providing 5500 running watts, we have selected three budget-friendly options:

  1. Ryobi RY905500
  2. Predator 5500/6500
  3. PowerMate CX5500

Just keep in mind that you get what you pay for. These are affordable machines but lack some of our preferred features.

Our advice is to choose a machine that is powerful but still quiet. Ideally, go for an inverter such as Yamaha EF6300iSDE or a Honda EU7000iS.

Based on our database of 5500 running watts generators, there is not a single machine that would be “RV ready” as none has an 30 amp or 50 amp RV outlet built into the panel.

Luckily, you can get a necessary set of adapters (also called dogbones) to easily connect to any machine on this list through either a 20 or a 30 amp outlets.

So pick a generator that fits your needs the most and don’t forget to get the correct RV adapter.

Finding a reliable information on the “noisiness” of generators is a tough job to do. However, based on our findings, we can list the following machines as “quietest”:

  1. Honda EU7000iS
  2. Yamaha EF6300iSDE
  3. Honda EM6500S
  4. Wanco WI6000

In general, if you want a portable generator that is powerful but also quiet at the same time, then go for an inverter. Sadly, these machines are much more expensive than regular generators.

If you are looking for a 5500 running watts generator that offers the most comfortable electric start, then we can recommend you the following machines:

Both Honda and Yamaha are well known brands in the industry. They produce high quality machines that have one big downside, they are very expensive. That is why we have listed WEN generator as an option for those on a tight budget.

While going over our database of 5500 running watts generators, we have identified only one generator that runs on diesel. It is the DuroStar DS7000Q.

It’s a well made generator that offers a remote electric start. Sadly, it’s quite heavy with its 305 pounds (138.34 kg) dry weight. However, if you are looking for a diesel powered 5500 option, then DuroStar DS7000Q is a good choice.

We have found only one 5500 generator that runs on propane. It’s PowerMate PM0135500. Sadly, it has already been discontinued.

If you still need a propane powered generator, you would need to either increase or decrease the running watts category:

If you don’t insist on the propane, then our recommendation would be the Winco HPS6000HE/I. It is a Dual Fuel 5500 generator that runs on both gasoline as well as natural gas.

If you are looking for the best inverter generator that provides 5500 running watts, then go for either the Honda EU7000iS or the Yamaha EF6300iSDE. Just keep in mind that inverter generators are on the expensive side.

Getting a generator for a construction site? Then look for these features:

  • A lot of starting power
  • Covered outlets to avoid getting the dirt into them
  • Automatic voltage regulation or an inbuilt inverter for clean power
  • Quiet machine if you are working in a noise restricted area
  • Portability kit included
  • Steel fuel tank

Based on these criteria, we have identified the Westinghouse WGen5500 as the best 5500 generator for a construction site that won’t ruin your budget. It is quite affordable and has a sturdy design.

There are also more premium, quieter, high-quality machines that provide a little bit more starting watts such as Honda EU7000iS, but these don’t have covered outlets.

Are you looking for the best 5500 generator that has a plastic gas tank? There are not many options to choose from but definitely the best generator is YAMAHA EF6300ISDE.

things to consider

Before getting a generator

A lot of people rush into getting a backup power unit for their home without realizing that there are some other less-talked-about things associated with using a generator.

Transfer switch

One of the most overlooked facts when getting a backup generator for your home is the need to get and install a transfer switch by a professional electrician. Running a generator without it is not safe and limits your powering abilities.

The transfer switch is a small electrical board (similar to a circuit breaker panel) that will make sure you are not going to damage your generator, fry your electric appliances, or endanger anyone working on power lines.

Also, you can’t safely connect and operate essential electric appliances that are hardwired into your house´s wiring system such as central heating and air conditioning, water and sump pumps, or water heaters.

There are two main types of residential transfer switches for you to choose from:

  1. Manual – While these units costs between $100.00 – $800.00, you can expect to pay more as it is around 3-4 hours long job for a professional electrician to install it and he or she can charge between $50.00 – $100.00 per hour. That makes it additional $200.00 – $400.00 for labor.
  2. Automatic – In general, these units are more expensive as their price range is somewhere between $300.00 – $2,000.00, and its installation will be closer to the $300.00 – $400.00 range.

Luckily, there is also a less expensive alternative to the transfer switch called an interlock device. This is a small connector that will enable you to connect your portable generator to the service panel without the need for a transfer switch and it will cost you around $50.00 – $150.00.

Its installation should be done by a professional electrician so there will be some labor costs as well. Just keep in mind that not every electrical system or a building can use interlock device.

It will make some noise

Although it is quite obvious, a lot of people do not realize that a generator can be really noisy, especially if you run it in a densely populated area. Trust me, your neighbors will not be very happy about your generator running unless you are going to share some of your power.

If you don’t have a big piece of land all around your house, it is always a good idea to invest into a quiet machine. The quietest portable generators we know produce around 55 dBA on 50% load. That is as quiet as an urban background noise during the daytime (it is even quieter than a normal conversation which is around 70 dBA).

If you don’t want to risk good relations with your neighbors, just let them know that you are going to start your generator in advance and offer them some of your power as a form of compensation for the noise.

regular maintenance

As every other machine that has engine in it, even your generator will require a regular attention. Luckily, as long as you are a handyman you can manage to do the basic maintenance on your own.

In most cases, you will need to do just the basics:

  • Control engine oil levels and change old oil for a new one
  • Inspect and replace old spark plugs
  • Inspect, clean, and replace air filters
  • Give your machine a test run every month
  • Keep both your unit and the body of your engine clean
  • Inspect and clean fuel filter and gas tank
  • Inspect and clean spark arrester
  • Inspect and fix any loose bolts, wires, or rusty parts

Although it may sound like a lot, you can do the most within two hours. If you feel like any of the processes above are over the limits of your capabilities, then expect to pay some money at local service station of small engines.

An expert employed there will gladly do the maintenance for you.

Storage requirements

Storing your generator may not be as easy as it may seem in the first place. The most comfortable way to store your unit is to get a wheel kit and a foldable handle to easily move your machine around.

Also, you need to keep in mind that if you are going to store your unit for a longer period of time, you should either drain all the gas from your fuel lines or add a fuel stabilizer into the tank and let it run for a while as otherwise, the gas inside will go bad and will create gum deposits that will clog your carburetor sooner or later.

While draining your fuel, you will find manual fuel-shutoff switch to be a very practical feature.

local Laws & regulations

Before you go and buy your generator, it is always the best idea to learn whether there are any local laws and regulations that could limit the spectrum of generators you can choose from. Some states, municipalities, and areas limit the highest allowed noise while others limit the maximum allowed amount of air pollution.

Just ask at local dealer of generators and if they are professionals, they will be able to give you every piece of legislation and regulation that your generator needs to meet if you want to use it in your backyard.

Carbon monoxide

Sadly, even these days there are people dying from carbon monoxide poisoning related to using generators. They don’t realize (or just underestimate) the fact that fumes from their generator are poisonous.

The worst part? Carbon monoxide is an odorless, and colorless gas.

That is why you should never run any generator inside enclosed space or too close to your (or others) home (including open doors and windows) as you could be poisoning yourself or anybody else without even realizing that.

Sadly, the detection of this poisonous gas is almost impossible unless you install a carbon monoxide detector.

Top 5500 Generators

Summary of our selection
Most powerful option Budget Friendly option Most Exclusive option
Honda EU7000iS Ryobi RS905500 yamaha EF6300ISDE
HONDA EU7000iS Ryobi RY905500 YAMAHA EF6300iSDE
5500 Running Watts 5500 Running Watts 5500 Running Watts
7000 Starting Watts 6875 Starting Watts 6300 Starting Watts
Runs on Gasoline Runs on Gasoline Runs on Gasoline
Electric start (recoil backup) Recoil pull start Electric start (optional remote)
120/240 AC Voltage 120/240 AC Voltage 120/240 AC Voltage
No DC Voltage No DC Voltage No DC Voltage
Runs 18 hours at 25% load Runs 9 hours at 50% load Runs 13.3 hours at 25% load
52 dBA at 25% load 78 dBA at 25% load 58 - 64 dBA at 25% load
261.5 lb (118.6 kg) weight 192 lb (87 kg) weight 200 lb (90.71 kg) weight
Check price Check price Check price

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About the author

Hands behind everything you see around. Matthew is the main workforce that puts all ideas into realization. So, do not feed him bad ideas.

Matthew

handyman, loves science

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