How Many Appliances Will A 5000 Watt Generator Run?

  • By: Umer.A
  • Date: October 10, 2021
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A 5000W generator is good enough to power a washing machine, a fridge, and a freezer. But they all cannot be connected at the same time.

A typical fridge with a freezer needs 3000 surge watts and 1000 running watts. At the same time, a washing machine needs 3500 surge watts and 1000 running watts. So, you can do the math and see you can’t run them all simultaneously.

If your home runs on wind or solar energy or you have to deal with many power outages in your area, it’s better to go for a backup generator.

But large output units do come with a heavy price tag on them. Maybe you already own a 5000W genny or are looking to buy one. In this scenario, you will have to balance your power requirements.

In this guide, we will help you to run most household appliances on a 5000-watt generator.

Power Requirements of Different Appliances

You have to determine how many appliances you can plug directly into your 5000W generator. So, you should know the power requirements of each device. You can also consult the owner’s manuals or each of these appliances.

But if you can’t get hold of all the appliance manuals, you can look at their power cord. There will be specifications labeled on this cord. And they will tell you about the power requirements of your appliances.

The power requirements will be mentioned in wattage most of the time, but there are times when you will only have amperage and voltage.

In that case, you will only have to multiply the voltage and amperage to get the wattage. However, appliances that run on 240V like your water heater tend to draw more power, and they will have bigger wattage requirements as well.

Surge Wattage

You will also have to take care of surge wattage ratings of your appliances as well. Devices that run on a cycle and turn on and off on their own, like your freezer and fridge, need extra power to start up. This is known as surge power, and it can be three times more than the running wattage of an appliance.

For instance, a fridge might only need 600W to run, but it might need 2000W to start. This additional power requirement needs to be well catered to when deciding how many appliances you need to attach to your generator.

If you don’t address this surge wattage rating matter, the generator breaker will trip and continue to do so as the power draw exceeds the rating.

Besides fridges and freezers, other appliances come with running and surge wattage ratings as well. These include pressure pumps and well pumps, washing machines, power tools, and electric furnaces.

Total Power Requirement

After determining the appliance’s wattage, you have to add them up. If this total turns out to be less than 5000W, which is the total capacity of your generator, then you might be able to plug in all these appliances into your genny at the same time.

But you need to keep in mind that none of these appliances you are using should draw more than 5000W at a time. So, when you are doing the add-up, a safe rule to follow is to add a 10% factor or uncertainty to the total to play it safe and avoid any miscalculations.

For instance, if you use a Genset in winter, you will need it to run your furnace. Based on the fan motor size, it might need around 2400W to power on.

Now, if you plug in a fridge that will come with a surge wattage rating of 2200W, your Genset must have enough juice to power your radio, TV, other small appliances (juicer, blender), and a few lights.

If you need, you can substitute your washing machine, microwave oven, or electric range for the fridge, but your 5000W generator might not handle two or more of these appliances simultaneously.

So, What Can You Power With Your 5000W Genset?

Small kitchen appliances

A 5000W genny is good enough to power small kitchen appliances. These include a toaster, juicer, blender, coffee maker, microwave oven, etc., but you need to remember that the total wattage amount should not exceed 5000W.

Each of these appliances contains wattage information on its labels. Also, you can only use one device at a time and make sure not to overload your generator unit, or it will trip the breaker.

Large appliances in the kitchen

As mentioned above, a 5000W generator unit can power a fridge, a freezer, and a washing machine but not simultaneously. A refrigerator needs 3000 surge watts and 1000 running watts, while a washing machine needs 3500 and 1000 running watts. A clothes dryer needs 5800 surge watts, so it will not work on your 5000W Genset.

Smaller electrical appliances

There are various other smaller electrical appliances as well as your 5000W Genset that can power them all. These include the likes of radio, TV, lights, fan, hairdryer, water pump, small electric heater, as well as an electric blanket. Your unit can power anything under a 5000-wattage rating.

It can also power up your sensitive devices like smartphones and computers. But make sure that you use an inverter generator for this purpose to add that extra layer of security. These devices need clean energy with pure sine waves that are only possible with inverters.

Worksite power tools

Of course, you use different types of power tools at your worksite, and your 5000W generator is capable of powering them. These tools include circular saws, air compressors, electric sprayers, power drills, and grinders. But make sure their wattage rating stays below 5000W.

Water heater

Your 5000W genset can also power your electric water heater, but you will have to be careful there. The wattage rating of your water heater should not exceed 5000W. Typically, a water heater receives around 4500 surge watts and 3500 running watts.

It means that you will have pretty limited options to further connect with your Genset. If you exceed the rating, the generator breaker will trip, and your heater will shut off.

What is a good size generator for a house?

You need to run most of your critical household appliances with your Genset. And the good thing is that a 5000W generator is good enough for that job. Most of the appliances used in households come with a wattage rating under 5000W. So, you can use them with your 5000W generator pretty conveniently.

Is a 5000W generator a good option for a worksite?

Yes, a 5000W generator is a good option to run most of your power tools at your worksite. Just make sure that their wattage rating is under 5000W and that you can only run one power tool at a time. For example, you can connect power drills, circular saws, electric sprayers, air compressors, and grinders one by one with your 5000W Genset.

Is there a specific type of breaker that I should use for my generator?

You can use different breakers, but molded case breakers are the best for their durability and reliability. For example, a 30A breaker will work for a 5000W generator without a problem.

Final Word

Your 5000W generator is a capable unit, provided that you wisely use its resources. It can power most of the appliances in your house and worksites. You only have to make sure you don’t exceed the wattage rating of your Genset with the total wattage of your devices.

Also, don’t plug in all the appliances at once because it will trip the generator breaker. The best breaker you can use with this generator is a 30A molded case. It is extremely reliable and can handle workload pretty well.