An In-Depth Look at the Generac GP6500 COsense Portable Generator
Whether you’re in need of emergency power or looking for a reliable generator for your job site, the Generac GP6500 COsense Portable Generator is worth considering. As hurricane season approaches, the demand for robust construction equipment continues to rise. That’s why our team has decided to delve into the features and benefits of this particular generator.
The Advantages of the Generac GP6500 COsense
- COsense technology: This generator is equipped with a carbon monoxide sensor that monitors CO levels and automatically shuts off if they exceed safe limits.
- Multiple outlets: It boasts four 120V outlets and one 120/240V outlet, providing ample options for your power needs.
- Sturdy construction: With its solid frame, the Generac GP6500 COsense is built to last.
- Great value: At a price tag of $799, this generator offers excellent value for its power capabilities and CO sensing.
The Shortcomings of the Generac GP6500 COsense
- CO sensor positioning: Like most generators with carbon monoxide induction, the CO sensor can trip unnecessarily if it’s not properly positioned.
- Not ideal for sensitive electronics: It’s worth noting that this generator is not recommended for powering sensitive electronic devices.
Our Recommendation: The Generac GP6500 COsense Portable Generator
When it comes to getting your money’s worth, the Generac GP6500 COsense Portable Generator is an excellent choice. With its operating capacity of 6500 watts, it provides the versatility needed for emergency power and construction sites. Additionally, the COsense unit ensures that carbon monoxide buildup is prevented. While there are other great options available, they often come with a much higher price tag.
Experience the Standout Feature: COsense Technology
One of the standout features of the Generac GP6500 COsense Portable Generator is its COsense technology. This innovative sensor detects carbon monoxide levels, alerts you to any dangerous levels, and automatically shuts off the engine to ensure your safety.
Every year, people make the mistake of assuming that running a generator with an open door or window is sufficient. Unfortunately, this can have fatal consequences. The COsense technology offers faster detection than typical home CO detectors, allowing for quick engine shutdowns and enhanced safety measures.
Power Meets Versatility
The Generac GP6500 COsense is powered by a Generac 389cc overhead valve engine, delivering a continuous operating power of 6500 watts. With Generac’s PowerRush Advanced Technology, the startup wattage is boosted to an impressive 8125 watts.
The versatility of this generator is a major advantage. It can power most single unit central air units, leaving room for essential appliances such as refrigerators. Additionally, it can handle any device that plugs into a standard 120V outlet, and even 240V products up to 27 amps. While it offers substantial power, it’s important to note that it falls short of meeting the demands of a whole house generator.
If you’d like to determine your specific power needs, take a look at our article on calculating power requirements.
How Long Can It Run?
One common question that arises when discussing generators is how long they can run. The answer depends on the specific devices you’re running. For the Generac GP6500 COsense, the runtime varies depending on the capacity at which it’s being used.
At 50 percent capacity (3350 watts), the generator’s 6.9-gallon fuel tank will keep the engine running for approximately 10.5 hours. It’s important to note that the runtime decreases as the wattage increases, and vice versa.
Noise Level Considerations
While there is no standard in the US for testing generator noise levels, we conducted some tests for comparison. We measured the noise level at 3 feet from the front of the generator to capture the startup sound. Additionally, we measured the noise level at a safe working distance of 20 feet.
Keep in mind that the alternator of the generator typically runs between idle and half throttle, occasionally increasing to handle inrush current.
|3 feet||20 feet|
|Idle||90 dB||76 dB|
|50% throttle||94 dB||81 dB|
|100% throttle||98 dB||89 dB|
Please note that decibels are measured with A-weighting and slow response.
As a point of interest, we ran an additional test to determine the closest distance to achieve 85 decibels at idle, which is the maximum limit under OSHA hearing protection regulations. For this model, the distance is 7.5 feet.
Connecting Your Devices
The Generac GP6500 COsense offers various connection options, allowing you to use the plugs that you already have. Here’s a breakdown of the available connections:
- 2 x 120V, 20A 5-20R GFCI duplex outlets (4 outlets in total)
- 1 x 120/240V, 30A L14-30R Twist Lock outlet
While there aren’t any USB or 12V outlets directly built into the generator, this is not usually an issue. Typically, these devices are used indoors, while the generator is located outside.
Pro tip: Ensure that the extension cord you use is appropriate for the devices you’re running. For guidance on selecting the right gauge and length, check out our article on choosing the best extension cord.
Easy Transportation and Additional Features
The frame of the Generac GP6500 COsense Portable Generator is constructed with 1 1/4-inch steel pipes to provide rigidity and strength. The never-flat wheels, measuring 9 1/2 inches, allow for easy transportation on most surfaces. Although they may sink slightly on wet ground, they perform well on firm terrain.
The handle mount may initially seem a bit unconventional, but when properly installed, it folds up neatly. While it may require a slight bend to grab the handle, this positioning ensures a comfortable rolling height and angle.
The Generac GP6500 COsense Portable Generator also offers several additional features for your convenience and peace of mind:
- Timer display on the control panel to track maintenance intervals
- Low oil shutdown to prevent engine damage
- Outlet covers to protect against the elements
- Metal fuel shutoff valve, providing sturdier construction
The Missing Features
While the Generac GP6500 COsense Portable Generator excels in many areas, there are a few features that it lacks:
- Electric start (available on the GP6500 model without COsense)
- Not recommended for sensitive electronics due to a Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of more than 5%
- Automatic choke
One area of concern is the plastic choke lever, which is at risk of breaking due to its design. While it remains usable, it could benefit from sturdier materials or a more robust construction.
Pricing and Alternatives
The Generac GP6500 COsense Portable Generator is attractively priced at $799. If you’re looking for similar power capacity and CO sensing, here are a few alternative models to consider:
- Champion 100593 with CO Shield (6250 running watts): $749
- Generac GP6500 with COsense 7680: $799
- Ryobi RY906500S with CO Shutdown: $799
- DeWalt DXGNR6500 with CO protection: $899
For those seeking a CARB-compliant model, the GP6500 7683 is available at a price of $849. It offers the same capabilities as the standard model but caters to California regulations.
The Final Verdict
In conclusion, the Generac GP6500 COsense Portable Generator is a fantastic investment. Its operating capacity of 6500 watts ensures versatility for both emergency power situations and job sites. With the inclusion of COsense technology, you can rest assured that carbon monoxide buildup will be effectively prevented. While other models are available, they often come at a much higher price point.
Generac Portable Generator Specifications:
- Model: Generac GP6500
- Operating power: 6500 W
- Starting wattage: 8125 W
- AC voltage: 120/240 VAC
- AC frequency: 60 Hz
- 120/240 VAC amperage: 54.2/27.1
- Engine displacement: 389cc
- Length: 27.2 inches
- Width: 27 inches
- Height: 26.5 inches
- Weight: 172 lbs.
- Warranty: 3-year residential/1-year commercial
- Price: $799
For more information about Generac’s range of products, visit their website.