Are you looking for an inverter generator from a name brand, but don't want to pay for a Honda? Generac is famous for their industrial generators, and they've been in the portable generator market off and on for the past 50 years. However, since the relaunch of their consumer line in the late 2000s, they've farmed out manufacturing to outside companies. Does that mean their GP2200i inverter generator carries a price premium because of the name, or does their expertise deliver a product that's a cut above generic inverter generators?
The Basics: Power, Sockets and Dimensions
The Generac GP2200i portable generator produces 2,200 peak watts to handle reactive loads from electric motors. It supplies 1,700 rated watts of continuous power, which is 100 watts lower than most competing models. This portable generator measures 19 x 11 x 17 inches and weighs just under 47 lbs.
The Generac GP2200i comes with two 5-20R 120 volt household outlets. They’re duplex outlets, which means you can draw the full 20 amps from one outlet using an extension cable. This portable generator also has a 12 volt cigarette lighter socket and a 5 volt USB Type A socket. Generac includes a cable that lets you use the 12 volt port to charge batteries. The USB socket has a maximum output of 1.5 amps. That’s less than the standard’s 2.1 amp maximum, so you won’t get full charging speed when connecting electronics to this port.
With the 7118 parallel kit, you can connect two identical inverter generators together to get a combined 3,230 watts of power. The parallel cable has built-in L5-30R and TT-30R sockets, making it easy to hook up the generators to an RV for shore power.
The GP2200i is CARB compliant and comes with a spark arrester. This makes it legal in any area that allows generators, including the state of California and wilderness areas with strict fire regulations. An external ground connection can be used with a grounding rod as required to meet local electrical safety regulations.
What do I Need to Use the Generac GP2200i?
Like any generator, you want to set up the Generac GP2200i far away from buildings and vehicles to prevent carbon monoxide build-up. The generator’s full power can be transferred using a heavy gauge extension cord.
Unlike most portable generator manufacturers, Generac does not recommend changing the carburetor jets when using this generator at high altitudes. However, you should still expect power to decrease in the mountains, since there is less air for the engine to use to burn fuel.
Generac GP2200i Maintenance
The Generac GP2200i inverter generator comes packed with a bottle of oil, an oil funnel and a tool kit. This is everything you need for regular maintenance, aside from a wire brush to clean the spark arrester.
The 80 cc engine that powers this portable generator holds 0.36 quarts of oil. Generac recommends SAE 30 oil when operating at temperatures above freezing, 10W-30 below 40°F, and 5W-30 synthetic at all operating temperatures.
The air filter uses a foam element that can be cleaned with soap and water. It does not need to be oiled.
Valve clearance specifications are included in the owner’s manual. However, Generac recommends bringing the generator to the dealer for adjustment.
There isn’t a good way to drain the tank, aside from running the engine. However, Generac says the generator can be stored with stabilized fuel for up to 24 months. That’s far longer than the three month interval suggested by most manufacturers. Untreated gas in the GP2200i should be used within a month of purchase.
The spark plug can be accessed without tools, thanks to a top-mounted hatch that clips into the cover. However, you’ll need to remove a few screws from the side panels to do anything else.
The Generac GP2200i is one of the most useful entries in the inverter generator market. There are few inverter generators available that offer so many ways to connect to appliances. However, you may encounter problems if you need help with repairs or warranty work.