Will A 5000 Watt Generator Run A Welder

  • By: Umer.A
  • Date: May 20, 2022
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Welders find themselves running for on-site projects with no reliable power source. That’s where generators come into play.

Generators are a good source of constant backup power. And a 5000-watt portable generator provides enough watts to run a welder. Thus, making them the perfect source of power in remote areas.

So, whether you’re off to work on a farm or in an urban area, you can rely on your generator.

What is a welder?

A welder is used to weld metals together. It is an informal name for the shielded metal arc welder.

Welder generates high temperatures and heats two metals to join them. But they can weld other materials or surfaces as well. One such example is thermoplastics.

To generate high temps that can melt even metals, these welders require equally high-power sources. As a result, a single welder’s power consumption can be as high as a small house.

What size generator do I need for my welder?

Generators come in different sizes. But which one would provide enough output to use your welder? This is a tricky question, as generators are differentiated for their output watts. But, at the same time, the welders are rated for their output amps. So, you’ll have to figure out the watts your welder consumes.

Usually, the input of these welders is mentioned in volts and amps on the boxes or manuals. So, for example, your welder consumes 30 amps at 120 volts, then you’ll have to multiply it.

30 amps x 120 volts = 3600 watts

We get 3600, which a welder needs to run. Now, power tools require extra watts for starting. Generator manufacturers recommend adding 30% to the running watts for this.

30% of 3600 watts = 1080 watts

By adding this to the running watts, we get

3600 watts + 1080 watts = 4680 watts

This wattage falls under the 5KW generators. Their surge output is 5000 Watts. A 5KW generator can handle a welder if its consumption is 3600 watts.

Using this method, you can find the power draw of your welder and then figure out what generator you need.

Things to consider to run a welder on a generator

To run a welder on a generator, you’ll have to consider the following essential factors as preventive measures.

a) Consider the wattage of the generator

First of all, find out the output of your generator. It is measured in watts. Wattage is calculated by multiplying Amperes and voltage. Voltage is usually either 120 volts or 240 volts. At the same time, the amps can be different according to usage. If you have a generator with a 3600 watts output. Then the generator has either 30 amps at 120 volts or 15 amps at 240 volts.

Every generator has two different output ratings, running watts and surge watts. Running watts is when the generator is producing its normal output. In contrast, surge watts are a generator producing its maximum output. The generator cannot supply its surge watts for longer, as the generator is working at its max. In comparison, the generator can work on its running watts for longer durations. It is there to power motors that require high starting wattages.

The output of a generator is the surge output of the generators.

b) Consider the wattage of the welder

Once you’ve known your generator’s wattage, you’ll have to find out the welder’s power draw. It is usually there in the owner’s manual or on the welder itself. If not, you can find it on the website in the product listing.

If the wattage isn’t mentioned, but the input is mentioned in amperes and volts, you can do the math to find out. For example, if it says 18 amps and 240 volts, multiply these two together. This will give you 4320 watts. Most manufacturers don’t mention the exact consumption; that’s why we recommend overestimating the input.

What size generator do I need to run an inverter welder?

An inverter generator converts AC into a low voltage output. It converts a 240volt AC supply into 20v DC output. This is done with the help of electronics present in the inverter welder. They increase the amperage and frequency to generate the arc.

Determining the generator size to run an inverter welder safely is a tricky task. You need to consider the consumption of the welder, the rated output of the generator. In addition to that, you need to know the running watts of the generator too. Experts always recommend overestimating the consumption of your welder as the manufacturers don’t mention the exact watts.

So, for any inverter welder that is under 160A, you can use a 7KW generator. Whereas for any welder up to 200A, an 8KW generator will do the job. If you have an inverter welder with up to 250A, we recommend getting a minimum of 13KW generator.

Will a welder generator run a house?

The most significant advantage of owning a welder generator is that it is suitable to run a house. Therefore, you can use it to power the essentials at your house. And since the welder generators have higher outputs to power welders, they can power most of the appliances at home. With this, you get to save space and money for getting a separate generator.

Once you’re done with your welding task, you can use the generator to power lights or AC units at home. This also saves you from the hassle of using two separate generators.

How do you connect a generator to a welder?

You can connect the welder to a generator by two different methods.

·         Connecting the welder directly into the generator

For this, you’ll have to buy a twist-lock plug that fits your generator. Then, cut the welder’s plug and connect the wire with the twist-lock plug. Then, connect it to the generator whenever you’re using the welder, but turn the generator’s switch off before connection.

·         Connecting the welder indirectly to the generator

This is suitable for you if you plan to use the welder through the generator and utility line. Get a twist-lock plug and 10/3 flexible rubber cable. This cable should be of type SOW or SJOW. The length of the cable depends on your needs, although we recommend getting a longer cable. Then connect these both to a matching receptacle of your welder’s plug. You’ll end up with an extension cord or adapter for your welder. Connect the twist-lock plug to the generator’s plug and the other side with the welder’s plug.

What can a 5000-watt generator handle?

A 5000-watt generator produced either 20 amps at 240 volts or 41 amps at 120 volts. This means that the 5000-watt generator can handle most of the essential appliances.

At worksites, it can be used for power tools or air compressors. But, even then, the generator is left with enough watts to power the lights.

For household appliances, 5000 watts is the middle ground. It gives you enough output to power most of the essential devices. For example, it can power refrigerators, small window AC units, or space heaters. The 5000 watts generator can handle starting watts from sump pumps too.

RVs are equipped with low-consumption appliances. That means a 5000-watt generator can power all the appliances in an RV. From AC units to LED lights and entertainment electronics, the generator can handle anything.

Will a 5000-watt generator run a stick welder?

A 5000-watt generator can run a stick welder easily. It can handle 120 amps on a welder. And give you a clean and hiccups free welding experience. But, of course, if you plan on using higher amps, the 5000-watt generator is capable of that too.

How many watt generators do I need to run a 220v welder?

The size of a generator to run a 220v welder depends on the amperage of the welder. If it has high amps, around 30, you’ll need at least 9000 watts generator. But if your welder draws 20 amps, then a 7000 watts generator will do the job. The amps of a welder are there in the owner’s manual.

What size generator do I need to run a 200 amp welder?

If a welder has an output of 200 amps, then it’ll require a powerful generator. The generator should have enough rated output to handle its high starting watts. An 8kva generator can handle a 200 amps generator.

What size generator do I need to run an inverter welder?

To power an inverter welder with a generator, you’ll have to consider its output amperage. If the welder has 160 or lower amps, you can use a 7kva generator. However, for a 200 amps welder, getting a 9kva generator would be suitable.

How many watts does a TIG welder use?

TIG welders have different consumptions. A TIG welder consumes around 10,000 watts at 240 volts. And if used in low power, the TIG welder consumes around 6,000 watts.


All in all, a 5000-watt generator is something that you can rely on to power a welder. In addition, this generator makes you independent of using the welder outdoors or in isolation.

Not only that, the generator will come in handy if there’s a sudden outage. Make sure to prepare an adapter extension to connect your welder and generator.

The 20 amps output at 240 volts and 41 amps at 120 volts should provide you with enough power. Happy welding.