Generac 5735 GP17500E 17500 Watt Portable Generator Review

Generic 6000 LP3250

Generic 5735 GP17500E Portable Generator

The Generac 5735 GP17500E is the largest portable generator in Generac’s line up and can supply 17,500 watts of continuous power while being able to surge up to 26,250 watts. This generator can supply backup power for your whole house or small commercial enterprise in times of power outages. This Generator is NOT CARB compliant.

Generac was founded in 1959 and since then has been the first company to produce affordable generators for homes. Their generators are engineered with engines specifically designed for generators and are able to withstand all the rigors of generator use.

Today Generac is the number one manufacturer of all types of generators, they not only manufacture portable generators but also standby generators and generators for commercial and industrial uses.

Power Output and Generation

The Generac 5735 GP17500E gas powered portable generator is one of the largest generators in its class.

It has a heavy duty 992 cc OHVI engine which encompasses a an X Torq governor which maximizes the engines performance. It is an electric start and uses a 12VDC Group U1 CCA Battery.

The engine runs at a typical 3600 RPM and uses a full pressure lubrication unlike others that use splash lubrication. Oil recommendations are for straight 30W oil for conditions above 40°F expected operating temp. Below this a 10W-30 down to 10°F and a Synthetic in environments below 5°F. There is a low oil shutdown with a delay for startup to allow oil pressure to build.

Recommendation is to use gas without or less than 10% ethanol. A strict no Methanol to gas is cautioned by the manufacture. Also with ethanol use make sure there is more frequent inspections for leaks.

Electrical output:

This generator has a continous supply power of 17,500 watts and surge capactiy up to 26,250 watts. The following table shows maximim 120V service based on circuit breaker capacity.

The outlet availablity is all 60 Hz (except DC)

Receptacle Amps Watts Notes
(1) 12 V DC 10 120 Battery Cables Included
(1) 120V 5-20R 20 2400 Duplex two outlets total 20A
(1) 120V 5-20R 20 2400 duplex GFCI outlet total 20A
(2)120V L5-30R 30 3600 2 circuits each with 30A
(1) 120/240V L14-30R 30 3600/7200 Twist Lock Typ L14
(1) 120/240V 14-50R 50 6000/12000 Is not a twist lock*

* The 50 amp outlet is located below the control panel and requires consideration of a restraining clip since it is not a twist lock recpetacle (which have a tendency to get overly expense). There does exist a potential for heavy cords or vibration to loosen the extension cord, however, this hasn’t seemed to be a major issue for most users. For more about plug and outlets.

To use the max continous wattage you can use multiple receptacles. Here is an example of how that might work.

circuit: watts
14-50A 8000
L14-30A 4000
L5-30A 2300
L5-30A 2100
5-20A 1100
Total 17200

That’s a good distribution of power accross all the outlets. Be sure you understand your needs and distribution requirements. with this capactiy you can easily manage all your power requirements for large mansions or small buisnesses.

Fuel Type and Noise Levels:

This generator uses gasoline as fuel. It has a large fuel tank which can hold up to 16 gallons of fuel which gives it a run time of 10 hours at 50% load capacity.


The Generac 5735 GP17500E generator is equipped with a low tone muffler that lets it run at a comfortable noise level which blends in the background.

Generac doesn’t publish sound data. I’ve ranted about this on the LP3260 review, but they could add some credibility by at least giving some 6 foot or 25 ft data.

I turned to user reviews to see what the general consensous is on this unit and it is favorable. It seems the engine mechanical noise is the major contributor as the muffler does a very good job of knocking down the engine exhaust noise, however there after market mufflers like the Wlaker Quiet flowSS that can make an even bigger improvement.

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Dimensions and Weight



The overall dimensions of the Generac 5735 GP17500E portable generator are 48.5 x 31 x 39.5 inches ( L x W X H ) and it weighs in at 390 lbs. This makes this portable generator quite large but for the amount of power it can supply it is comparatively much smaller than the Standby generators.

The long 4 foot is due to the handle that protrudes out which is a fixed and non fold-able handle. It essence this was machine that was made portable but not intended to moved willy nilly around without some consideration.

At 390 lbs. it’s going to take some consideration on loading or loading off a pickup or trailer. It does come with an integrated lifting eye for easier portability or for securing the unit. Plan on using a couple of people to pull/push this beast around.

Typical Uses and Needs

The Generac 5735 GP17500E portable gas powered generator is the largest in its class and with capacities of 17,500 watts of continuous power and surge up to 26,250 watts.

This generator with its large output makes it an ideal generator to be used as a backup power source for your larger house in times of power outages. It can easily power a whole house and keep you comfortable. Since it is portable and can be moved around, it also is a very useful generator which can power up a larger number of power tools at a job site when there is no other source of electric power available. It can also be used in your cabin in the woods as a source of power for your electrical needs, but depending on size this may be an overkill situation.

Display & Control Panel, Start-up

GP17500E Control Panel

GP17500E Control Panel

The control panel of the Generac 5735 GP17500E generator consists of circuit breakers and outlets to attach your electrical appliances. When you face the control panel you will find to the top on the left hand side the 50amp circuit breaker which services the 120/240 Volt AC 50 amp single phase receptacle that is cradled in a wire clip below the control panel.

To the left of the circuit breaker you have the 12Volt 10 amp DC outlet and above it you have the hour meter. Next to the 12Volt outlet you have the Idle control switch which lets the engine idle when no load is present and run at normal speed when there is a load thus saving on fuel.

Below this switch you have the 120/240Volt 30 amp locking receptacle. To the left of this receptacle you have four 30 amp circuit breakers which control the 30amp receptacles. And above you have two 20 amp circuit breakers which control the 20 amp receptacles. Next to the 20amp circuit breakers you have a 120Volt 20amp duplex receptacle and next to this you have another 120Volt 20amp duplex GFCI receptacle.


The Generac 5735 GP17500E generator is equipped with an electric start. Before you start the engine of the generator check the engine oil level and check the fuel level. Here are the steps to be taken to start the generator.

  1. Check and see that there are no loads connected to the generator.
  2. Make sure that the generator is on a level surface.
  3. Open the fuel shut off valve.
  4. Turn the Idle control switch to the Off position.
  5. Move the Choke knob outwards to the Full Choke position.
  6. Press and hold the Start/Run/Stop switch to the Start position till the engine starts. Release the switch to the Run position.
  7. When the engine starts, move the Choke knob to the ½ choke position till the engine runs smoothly and then move it to the Run position.

Shut Down

  1. Shut Off all loads and then unplug them from the generator.
  2. Turn the idle control switch to the Off position.
  3. Let the generator run for a few minutes without any load to stabilize the temperature of the engine and the generator.
  4. Move the Start/Run/Stop switch to the Stop position.
  5. Close the fuel valve.

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Here is a list of the features of the Generac 5735 generator.

  1. It has an electric start.
  2. It can provide power for a large number of circuits.
  3. It has a hardened steel tube cradle for added strength and durability.
  4. It has an idle control which reduces fuel consumption for extended run times.
  5. It has an integrated lifting eye for easy transport and security.
  6. It has a Generac OHVI engine with pressure lubrication for long life.
  7. It has full tubular constructed handles which do not fold down and heavy duty never flat wheels for easy portability.
  8. It has an hour meter which helps in keeping track of the maintenance by notifying you of needed maintenance items.
  9. It has a low tone muffler for good quite operation.
  10. All outlets are circuit breaker protected against power over loads.

Care and Maintenance

It is important that you do proper maintenance on your generator to ensure that it runs at its best and has a long life. It is important that you keep your generator clean from dust, dirt, oil and moisture. Here is the maintenance schedule as recommended by Generac.

Every Use

  1. Check engine oil.

First 30 hours

  1. Change engine oil.

Every 100 hours

  1. Change engine oil.
  2. Check valve clearances.

Every 200 hours

  1. Replace spark plug.
  2. Service air filter.

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Warranty and Repairs

The Generac 5735 GP17500E generator is covered by a 2 year limited warranty from Generac Power Systems. This warranty covers all defects in parts and workmanship and covers the labor to replace them.

The warranty covers both the engine as well as the alternator. This warranty is only available to the original purchaser and is not transferable. All transportation costs are to be borne by the consumer. For the commercial user the warranty is limited to one year after purchase.

Consumer Comments

The Generac 5735 GP17500E generator gets 4.4 stars out of 5 on Amazon. The customers who bought this generator were very pleased with its performance.

Here is what a few of them indicated as part of their feedback: Generally stated that it is a well built solid machine and at this power level is pretty quiet. It runs great and has plenty of capacity for any major power job for residential, small commercial, and large construction sites. One customer likened it to the F350 Ford Pickup and super duty usability.

Assembly was easy and is a fantastic buy for the money. Long term use the feed back has been excellent with great performance during Hurricane Sandy. With the generator power output and cost customers are not hesitating to recommend it to others and finding it hard to beat.

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Pros & Cons


  • Has an electric start.
  • Lots of power at 17,500 watts of continuous and surge of an additional 50% up to 26,250 watts.
  • Has a large gas tank with a fuel gauge that can hold 16 gallons of fuel which lets it run for 10 hours at 50% load capacity.
  • Low oil pressure automatic shut down, shuts the engine if the oil level is low.
  • Has idle control which reduces the noise and saves fuel when there is no load present.
  • Has lock down folding handles and comes with never flat wheels for reliable portability.
  • It has an hour meter which can be reset for regular maintenance.
  • Has a hardened steel tube cradle for added durability.
  • Has a high performance, low maintenance OHVI engine designed specifically for generators by Generac.


  • It consumes a lot of fuel, but that’s the cost of high output
  • It is very heavy and can be difficult to move.
  • The 50amp receptacle is located on the underside of the control panel and is not a twist lock (more expensive) and has potential to allow cords to vibrate or be pulled out.


The list price of the Generac 5735 GP17500E Portable Generator with Electric Start is over $3300.00 but is generally available at Amazon for around $2700.00 with free shipping. This seems to be a very reasonable price for a generator that is capable of putting out over 17kW of power to run your every need.


Accessories available for the Generac 5735 portable generator include a dust cover that helps to protect the generator from the elements when not in use.

Classic Accessories 79537 Generator Cover, Large, Black

Generac has a generator canopy made specifically for this generator which allows you to run the generator safely even under rainy conditions.

GenTent wet weather safety canopy for portable generators

Generac also has a 50amp manual transfer circuit kit available for this generator which allows you to connect your home safely to the generator. Along with Generac’s 50 amp 120/240 Volt inlet box with a spring loaded flip lid

Generac 6296 50-Amp 10-16 Circuit Manual Transfer Switch Kit for Portable Generators

Generac 6341 50-Amp 125/250V Raintight Power Inlet Box with Spring-Loaded Flip Lid

There are 50 amp power cords available for this generator in lengths of 100 feet, 50 feet as well as 10 feet from Generac.

Generac 6330 10-Foot 50-Amp Generator Cord with NEMA 1450 Male and CS6364 Female Locking End
and Generac 6329 50-Foot 30-Amp Generator Cord with NEMA L14-30 Ends for Maximum 7,500 Watt Generators
and Generac 6392 100-Foot 50-Amp Generator Cord with NEMA 1450 Male End and CS6364 Female Locking End

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The Generac 5735 gas powered portable generator is an economical solution to powering your whole house during power outages as compared to standby generators. However, it is not CARB Compliant for California use.

Though it consumes 16 gallons of gas every 10 hours of running at 50% load capacity it is much cheaper than a standby generator and with a power capacity of 17.500 watts of continuous output it can easily meet all your power requirements for the home.

It is also a very useful generator when it comes to running power tools at a job site where there is no electricity available. It can also be easily used to power a small commercial establishment during times of power outages. Also it is a totally American made product from the number one company devoted to manufacturing generators for all types of uses.

This unit does come with the Battery, first oil service, wheel kit and Generac’s maintenance kit and manual.

Similar Generation Units:

The following Generators are similar to the above but at different wattage sizes

Generac 5734 GP15000E 15,000 Watt 992cc OHVI Gas Powered Portable Generator with Electric Start

Generac 5943 GP7500E 7,500 Watt 420cc OHV Portable Gas Powered Generator with Electric Start

Generac 5747 XG8000E 8,000 Watt 410cc OHVI Gas Powered Portable Generator with Wheel Kit And Electric Start

LP Generator

Replace Generac 6001 LP5500 Series Liquid Propane Powered Portable Generator (CARB Compliant), 5500-watt

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