The Generac GP17500E is a power-generating beast, providing up to 26,250 watts of peak power through eight outlets, including a DC receptacle. It's noisy and a bit of a gas hog, burning more than a gallon of fuel per hour. However, most owners forgive these drawbacks because they can power just about anything a house needs, including well pumps and large air conditioning units. The GP17500E doesn't meet California's strict emissions requirements.
Plenty of power options. The Generac GP17500E is about as close as it gets to plug-in nirvana with four 5-20R outlets, two of which have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) outlets to reduce the risk of electrocution in wet conditions. It also has two 30-amp L5-30R twist-lock plug-ins, a 30-amp 120/240-volt L14-30R twist-lock connector and one DC outlet. With 17,500 continuous watts and 26,250 peak watts, the GP17500E can run appliances that draw up to 50 amps. Mike Sawisch, product expert at ElectricGeneratorsDirect.com, says this Generac is the largest portable generator on the market; he picks it as the best model in the extra-large class.
Easily powers heavy loads. Users agree that the Generac GP17500E can run just about anything. At least one owner uses it to power his entire marina business; others say they've powered 3,000-square-foot houses, including heat pumps, with no problem. Quite a few purchased this generator specifically to replace others that weren't strong enough to power central air conditioning, 3-horsepower well pumps, 240-volt 30A welding and so on. The more power a generator provides, the more gas it'll use, so it's no surprise that owners call the Generac GP17500E a gas guzzler. Generac estimates a run time of 10 hours at half load from the 16-gallon fuel tank.
Burly and loud. Attaching the wheel assembly to the Generac GP17500E isn't complicated, and the machine comes with clear instructions for both assembly and operation. However, at 390 pounds, it's so heavy that you'll need a floor jack to help you lift it to attach the wheels. Noise level is also a concern for some owners. "Kinda loud, but it's worth it," says a user at ElectricGeneratorsDirect.com. The GP17500E has a two-year warranty, and we found no complaints about customer service and defective parts that plague many other Generac generators. Several owners say they have to purchase a charger for the battery that powers the generator's electric start.
1. Electric Generators Direct.com
Product experts with ElectricGeneratorsDirect.com name the Generac GP17500E as the best portable generator in the extra-large class. About 80 owners also review the generator, giving it an almost perfect score. Users say it's a beast, providing enough power to run most anything, but say it's also heavy and loud.
Review: Generac GP17500E - 17,500 Watt Electric Start Portable Generator, Contributors to ElectricGeneratorsDirect.com, As of February 2014
About 60 reviewers rate the Generac GP17500E on HomeDepot.com, giving it an average score of 4.7 stars out 5. Most say assembly was easier than expected, and they're pleasantly surprised by how much power this generator provides. This site includes reviews from Generac.com.
Review: Generac GP 17,500-Watt Gasoline Powered Electric Start Portable Generator, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of February 2014
About 20 users review the GP17500E here, giving it an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. That's one of the highest scores any Generac model gets on Amazon.com. We usually find many negative critiques of Generac's customer service on this site, even for models with very few reviews, but that isn't the case with the GP17500E.
Review: Generac 5735 GP17500E 17,500 Watt 992cc OHVI Gas Powered Portable Generator with Electric Start, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2014