Inverter Generators

The Ultimate Generac 76711 GP1200i 1200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator Review

Electricity is a critically important resource in today’s world. But what do you do during a power outage or when you go to remote areas? Well, this is where brands like Generac come in. Generac is the leading manufacturer of portable generators in America with over 70% market share. The company has been in operation for more than 60 years. During this period, Generac has grown to become a leading manufacturer of backup generators in North America. 

In this article, we will introduce you to this very popular brand and dive deeper into one of its most popular products – Generac 76711 GP1200i 1200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator.

Why Choose Generac?

1. Power Solutions for Diverse Needs

Several reasons make Generac stand out among other portable generator brands in the U.S. For starters, it offers a wide range of generators to suit various customer needs. If you are a homeowner and are looking for a reliable solution to power your whole home during blackouts, you can opt for backup generators such as the Generac 7290 26KW or Generac 6998 7.5kW PowerPact.

If you cannot afford to stay without electricity, then consider going for the standby models such as the Generac RG022 22kW Protector QS. Generac’s standby home generators start automatically, immediately your grid power supply goes off. This way, your critical services are not impacted. 

The advantage of home backup and standby generators is that can produce enough electricity to power your whole home. Unfortunately, they come at a premium price and are installed permanently in homes. To solve this problem, Generac manufacturers portable generators that can be used in a wide range of applications. For example, models such as the Generac GP SERIES 6500 COSENSE® 50ST and Generac GP8000E 49ST/CSA have enough output to power a small home.

If you wish to power your sensitive electronics such as smartphones, television, computer, or even medical devices, Generac has portable inverter portable generators such as the GP1200i 1200. Generac generators in this class produce electrical signals with low HTD, making them ideal for use in sensitive electronics.

Portable Generac generators give you the unique advantage of having electricity anywhere, anytime. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you can get a portable generator that you can use to power your RV, camping, and tailgating activities. Customers who have offsite workstations can also use Generac portable generators to run power equipment.

2. Deploys Advanced Technology

Generac is renowned for incorporating innovative solutions in its generator designs. For instance, their TruePower technology allows Generac inverter generators to produce clean and stable electricity, which is ideal for powering sensitive electronics and appliances. The economy mode on its portable units allows the generator to match its RPM with the applied load. This way, you will save on fuel while protecting the engine from overworking. 

The company applies a modular design that allows you to connect multiple inverter generators in parallel to double your power output. Other cool features you will find in Generac inverters include low noise and auto low-oil level shutdown. These technologies make Generac generators easy to use.

3. Affordable Products

Another reason Generac products are popular among North American consumers is their affordable prices. The pocket-friendly pricing, combined with superior performance, assures customers of value for their money. For high-end products such as standby generators, the company offers clients flexible financing options.  

4. Warranty

The company offers reasonable warranties on its products. Although warranties may vary from one Generac model to another, they can range anywhere between 2 to 5 years. If your generator breaks down during the warranty period, you stand a high chance of compensation, should the unit malfunction.

5. Reliable Customer Support 

Generac has an efficient customer support team that’s on standby 24/7/365 days per year. Customers can call the support team or use the online service to file their complaints. The company has also partnered with agents who are strategically located in the North American region to make it easy to reach customers for installation and repair services.  

If you are interested in buying an inverter generator, then try Generac 76711 GP1200i. Here is an in-depth review of this powerful generator.

Read more about Generac, including their history and our picks for their best generators here.

Review of the Generac 76711 GP1200i 1200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Portability and Ergonomics

The Generac 76711 GP1200i is one of the smallest portable generators in its class. It comes in a compact design that weighs only 33 pounds. This design comes with several advantages to customers. For starters, the compact design is ideal if you have limited space in your garage or RV. It can also fit in your car trunk with ease and leave more space for other outdoor equipment.  

The lightweight feature coupled with an ergonomic handle makes the Generac GP1200i easy for one person to carry. For someone who might need to trek some distance into the woods while undertaking outdoor activities, such as hunting and hiking, the Generac 1200i would be a great pick.

Generac GP1200i Noise Level

When it comes to noise level, most generators operate within the 47 dB(A) to 76 dB(A) range. The Generac GP1200i noise level is drastically reduced thanks to its enclosed design. This way, you will have happier neighbors both at home and camping sites because of its quiet operation. Also, you are not likely to exceed the noise level limit in most camping sites because this inverter generator is quieter than most portable generators. The noise of the generator varies depending on the applied load. However, it remains lower than that of most models, even at full load. 

Generac GP1200i Power Output

The Generac 76711 GP1200i runs on a four-stroke single-cylinder engine with 54 cc displacement. This engine has a peak wattage of 1200 watts and a rated output of 1000 watts, which is enough to power various household appliances such as refrigerators, television, computer, smartphones, dryer, and washing machines, just to mention a few. 

Its 0.8-gallon fuel tank allows you to run the generator for 5.5 hours at 50% load. With this runtime, you to accomplish much, especially if you are working offsite with a power tool or a computer. But if your load nears the rated wattage of this unit, it may not be the best option for you because you will probably run the generator for less than three hours before refueling. 

This inverter generator uses TruePower technology to produce a 60Hz electrical signal which remains stable even at maximum load. The pure sine wave is ideal for sensitive electronics such as digital televisions, medical devices, computers, and smartphones. 

Control Panel

This Generac 1200 watt generator comes with a simple control panel that is easy to understand. 

For starters, the generator has three LED indicators that help you to know the status of its vitals at a glance. The Ready to Load LED allows you to know when it’s okay to apply a load to the unit.  The Overload Warning LED lights up when the applied load approaches 1000 watts, while the Low Oil Warning LED goes on when the generator is low on engine oil. By looking at these lights, you can tell whether your Generac GP1200i is working properly.

There are two AC outlets to the left of the LED indicators. These outlets are 120V, 20A, 5-20R and come with a cover that protects the sockets from weather elements and dust. Below the LED lights and the outlets are the Economy Switch and 9A AC Circuit Breaker. When you flip the Economy switch to the on position, the engine will automatically adjust its RPM to match its output to the applied load.  

This feature reduces fuel consumption and prevents the engine from overworking, thus minimizing your maintenance costs.  The generator engine can serve you for a longer time when you reduce wear and tear.  This way, you get value for money. The eco mode provides the quietest operation and is ideal when running non-motor starting devices such as televisions, game consoles, and lighting systems. You will need to turn off this eco mode when running motor-starting and resistive appliances such as air conditioners and power tools. 

There are also 2.1A and 1A USB ports that come in handy for outdoor enthusiasts when one wants to charge their power banks or smart devices directly from the generator. Next to the USB outlets is the Grounding Location. Thankfully, the unit doesn’t require external grounding, thus saving you on setup time. 

Safety Features

The 9A circuit breaker acts as a security feature on the GP1200i. If you overload this unit or there is a short circuit in your network, the circuit breaker kicks in and trips the internal circuit protector. In case this happens, you need to investigate first and fix the problem before resetting the circuit breaker. Repeated tripping can damage the unit. 

Another safety feature that comes with the GP1200i is the low-oil auto-shutoff mechanism. The engine has sensors that detect the oil level. When it falls below a specific level, the engine will not run until you add the oil. Therefore, if your unit shuts off and it still has fuel in the tank, check its engine oil level.

Starting Mechanism

The Generac GP1200i inverter generator has a manual recoil start mechanism. Therefore you might need to pull the recoil handle a few times before the engine starts. This feature might not augur well with customers who are used to electric start generators. However, this is not a biggie if you are used to inverter generators because most models in this class use manual recoil start mechanisms. 

Other Notable Features of GP1200i

Besides the above features, the GP1200i has other features that make it easy to change engine oil. For starters, the engine side panel has a slave faster that does not fall off when unscrewed. This way you will not risk losing the screw especially when you are out in the woods. The engine oil chamber has a rubber lip that drains excess oil to a trough. The trough on the other hand has a drain hole that lets the oil flow outside the generator with ease. The carburetor has a drain cup that helps prevent fuel flooding and eventually stops your engine from starting.

SUMMARY

Generac 76711 GP1200i 1200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Less noise
  • Clean power output

Cons

  • No remote start
  • Not parallel ready
CHECK PRICE

Generac 76711 GP1200i 1200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator Documentation:

Generac 76711 GP1200i Maintenance

  • Before you start operating the Generac GP1200i, read the manufacturer’s manual thoroughly to familiarize yourself with the parts of the unit and maintenance routine. For the proper operation of the unit, check the engine oil level, air filter, and ensure cooling features are cleaned every time you want to use the generator. Generac recommends that you change the engine oil after a run time of 20 hours or the first month, whichever comes first. 
  • To start the maintenance, unscrew the engine side cover, remove the oil fill cap, and tilt the generator gently until all the oil is drained. Refill with fresh 10w30 engine oil and check the oil level every 8 hours of operation. Repeat this process after every 50 hours of operating this inverter generator or every six months. Also, clean or change the air filter depending on its condition. If you are using the generator in a dusty and hot environment, you might need to replace the air filter. 
  • After running the unit for 100 hours or every six months, you will need to inspect and clean the spark plug and spark arrestor.  The manufacturer recommends customers replace the air filter and spark plug after 300 runtime hours or every year. However, if you operate the unit in a dusty environment, you may need to perform maintenance routines more often. 
  • Avoid performing major maintenance procedures such as servicing the engine. Only allow approved Generac technicians to do such tasks. This way, your warranty will still be valid after such repairs. Remember to adopt best practices such as preventive maintenance to ensure that your generator is operating optimally. Also, purchase genuine Generac accessories from approved dealers. 

What Customers Love About the Generac GP1200i

For over 3,400 clients who reviewed this inverter generator on Amazon, 81% gave it a five-star rating.

  • Many love it for its compact, portable, and quiet design.
  • Customers praised the generator for its fair price and claimed it gave them value for money with time.
  • Other customers were impressed by its power output irrespective of its small design. You can use it to power a wide range of essential household appliances during power outages. It has an impressive runtime of 5.5 hours with only 0.8 gallons of fuel, making it cheap to operate due to its fuel-saving feature.
  • The inverter generator produces a pure sine wave electrical signal irrespective of the applied load and is thus loved by clients who want to run sensitive electronics.
  • The unit is also easy to operate. Users can follow simple instructions on the starter pack and run the generator straight from the box.

Things Customers Don’t Like About the Generac GP1200i

While the GP1200i stands out as one of the smallest and highly efficient inverter generators in the market, it has some demerits that made some customers rate it poorly.

  • For starters, the unit does not come with engine oil. It is common for other brands that offer inverter generators in this class to provide engine oil as part of the starter pack. Although this might seem like a small matter, it can prevent you from using your generator the day you receive it. 
  • The Generac GP1200i is not parallel ready. Therefore, users can not hook up a similar model to double up the power output.
  • Also, this model doesn’t support heavy use. Some customers who needed a generator for daily use complained that this model failed after a few days. This behavior is consistent with the recommended service intervals.
  • Generac recommends only approved technicians to service its generators. Unfortunately, there are some areas with few approved service agents. In such cases, customers have to travel long distances to service their Generac generators.

Who Should Buy the Generac GP1200i?

If you are looking for a workhorse that can power 1000 watts load several hours every day, then this unit may not be the best fit for you. Shop for a Generac inverter with a higher output and probably, parallel ready. This way, you can double your power output and support more appliances. Also, go for a generator with a larger fuel tank to give you a longer run time.

However, if you need a portable generator that you will use a few times a year during power outages or when you go camping, then the Generac GP1200i is a great peak. It is also great for tailgating parties, fishing, and hunting trips.

FAQs

How long does the Generac GP1200i run?

The Generac GP1200i inverter generator has a runtime of 5.5 hours at 50% load. When at full load, the run time drops to below three hours.

What engine oil is recommended for the Generac GP1200i?

Generac recommends 10W30 engine oil for its GP1200i inverter generator.

Is the Generac 1200i inverter generator loud?

The GP1200i inverter generator is built to operate with a noise level below the 47 dB(A) and 50 dB(A) range. This feature makes it one of the quietest models in the market.

Can you use the Generac GP1200i to run your home?

No. The GP1200i has a rated wattage of 1000 watts. The average home may require at least an 8,000 watts generator to run off-grid.

Can you service the GP1200i inverter generator yourself?

You can do minor maintenance routines such as cleaning air filters and changing engine oil. However, if you are not a qualified technician, it is not advisable to undertake major maintenance tasks such as engine servicing. Also, it is advisable to stick to the company warranty policy to avoid invalidating the product guarantee.