Can A Portable Generator Run A Refrigerator?

  • By: Umer.A
  • Date: October 10, 2021
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Yes, practically speaking, you can run a refrigerator on a generator.

Running any appliance with a generator’s help when the power outage occurs seems simple and easy, but it isn’t. You may think that fuel is the only thing required to run any appliance from a generator.

Well, it’s not true!

There are many other things to consider. You might be confused about whether a portable generator can run a refrigerator. We’re here to guide you about the safety and working factors.

First, you should know that the generator can run a refrigerator efficiently. So, the generator must have a higher watt capacity than the fridge to run it safely.

Starting Watts:

Here we are talking about the working of a refrigerator while using a power backup generator. Hence, starting watts is the main factor to understand. First, you need to know what the term used is?

The selection of your generator and running your refrigerator with a portable generator depends on the starting watts. The generator’s watts capacity should be higher. If your fridge requires 800-1200watts, your generator should be of 2000watts capacity. Well, the capacity should increase if you are willing to use more appliances.

The powerful spike by a refrigerator while starting can cause damage to your generator. It would help if you assumed the starting watts as a running wattage. The automatic on and off system of a fridge reaches the starting watts frequently.

You should know about your refrigerator’s required power to turn on. Also, check the manufacturer’s guide or the tag, as every model is different.

Sizing the Generator for Your Refrigerator:

Sizing the Generator for Your Refrigerator

This is a crucial step in selecting a generator. A wrong generator will either cause a problem turning on the fridge. The suitable size of generator for your home will make your life easier.

Let’s start with the things you need to do to get the right one for your refrigerator:

  • Read out the tag or manual of your refrigerator to know the surge (starting watts) and running power. Make sure both of them are mentioned in watts.
  • Now make a list of appliances you want to use on a generator.
  • If it’s only about a refrigerator along with some small items, the starting watts of your refrigerator is what you should use to calculate.
  • If the surge power rate is 1200Watts, it’s time to get a generator of 2000-3000 watts.
  • Getting a generator of higher watts capacity is never a bad idea as it will save you from mishaps.

You can quickly size the generator for your refrigerator by knowing the starting watts of the appliance. Don’t forget to add simple items that are to be powered too. The generator capacity should be higher than the total to handle the load properly.

Determining Generator Type:

If you don’t choose the appropriate generator type for your refrigerator, you will face a mishap. Either it will harm your fridge or generator. The damage chances are higher for the generator. To protect your portable generator, it’s better to understand and get the right one.

A good generator comes with an ideal power supply capacity of 3000watts. There are many options on the market, among which only some work well. Try to find the best according to the surge power of your refrigerator.

One more thing to think about is the usage of the freezer. If your freezer starts with the fridge, don’t forget to check the wattage. The total will decide the wattage capacity and type of the generator.

Generator Installation:

Generator installation plays an essential role in the protection and running of your appliances. People use various installation processes according to their needs. Moreover, the area you are living in affects the installation.

Hence, first, know about the legalities. Then go for any of these two most safe options, the transfer switch and the interlock system.

Both are safe and legal. A transfer switch is a better but expensive option that transfers the load from primary to generator automatically. The installation of a transfer switch requires a professional to manage the setup. So, it is costly but a relieving plus long-term step.

On the other hand, an interlock system is a good and affordable idea if you don’t want to invest much. The interlock breaker allows you to add an extra breaker to the generator, but you can do it independently. It will save you money and time.

Whatever way you apply to connect a generator to your house, don’t forget to keep the generator away to protect yourself and your home. Not only this, but the turning off and on needs proper attention. Switch the load attentively and correctly so that none of your appliances and circuits are damaged.

Is It Safe to Run A Refrigerator on A Generator?

If you have chosen the right size and type of generator, it is entirely safe to run a refrigerator on a generator. The only thing that matters the most is the starting watts of the fridge. The correct calculation will result in the perfect running of the appliance. Else, the generator will kill itself if it doesn’t have enough capacity. Moreover, the refrigerator won’t start with this mishap.

How Much Power, In Wattage, A Mini-Fridge Consumes?

Every appliance and its model are different from others. An average fridge consumes about between 100-250 watts for running. But the starting wattage could be anywhere between 600-1200 watts

For a mini-fridge, the wattage power is lower for both running and starting. It takes about 500-800 as starting watts. So, you need a generator of about 1500-2000watts if you want to run a conventional refrigerator.

Mini fridge

How Can You Connect Your Refrigerator to The Generator?

It is not about connecting wires between the fridge and the generator directly; instead, you should use a proper and safe way. There are many ways, among which transfer switch and interlock breaker system are the top ones. Both are good to make your refrigerator work amazingly.

Connect the wires of the appliances you want to run with a cord to use a generator’s power through any of the desired systems.

Can A 2000-Watt Generator Run A Refrigerator?

Yes, a 2000watts generator can run a refrigerator, but only if you are using a single appliance with some small ones. Because a fridge requires about 1200watts to turn on, only a few watts are left behind for a 2000watt generator. You can add a few household items to that calculation. If you want to run additional appliances, you need a generator with a higher wattage capacity.

What Is the Best Generator Brand To Run A Refrigerator?

For the best results, you should get an inverter generator. You have a wide range of generators to choose from. Among several options, the champion dual inverter generator with 3400watts is an ideal choice to run your refrigerator. It is one of the best brands with quiet, well-performing, and top-notch generators to provide you with enough capacity.


Having a portable generator of good quality and required capacity is the secret behind the relief you get with it. Now, the power outage won’t bother you because you have a fantastic power backup supply. It will let you run your refrigerator conveniently, without any worries.