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Generator Buying Guide

How to determine generator size you need

Defined below are some common terms to get familiar with and an appliance chart to better understand what size generator you will need for your power requirements.

Rated / Continuous Output – is the power that a gen ator can produce for long periods of time. This corresponds to an appliances Running Load Requirement as defined below.

Maximum Output - is the maximum output that a generator can produce. Maximum power is usually available for a very brief period to cater for start-up wattage of appliances. This corresponds to an appliances Starting Load Requirement as defined below.

What is a Running Load Requirement?

Running load requirements are simply a total of all the eletrical loads to be operated simultaneously. This is stated on the appliance specifications or can be based on actual measurements if a clamp-on probe type AC Current Meter is available. Any electrician should be able to assist you with this exercise.Some appliances may not list the wattage on the nameplate, but may show the rated current in amps and voltage. The wattage can estimated by multiplying these together to get the watts. So the formula is Watts = volts x amps

What is a Starting Load Requirement?

This is the power your appliance will take on start-up and needs to be calculated and researched. Determining the starting load requirements can be a bit more complicat- ed. Certain electrical devices require additional power and current when initially turned on. An example of this is an electric motor because the rotor of the motor and the shaft driven load (fan, pump,compressor, saw, etc.) is initially at a standstill. It requires more energy to accelerate these rotating parts to operating speed than it does to keep them rotating. Therefore, during the period of acceleration, the demand on the power supply is greater. To precisely evaluate the motor starting capability the detailed motor characteristics need to be known.

In the following appliance chart we have aimed at simplifying this for easier under- standing. The values on this list are given as an average, and can change from case to case.

Appliance Running Wattage Starting Wattage
Garage Door Opener (1/2HP)5501375
Air Conditioner (10,000 BTU's)15003000
Air Conditioner (40,000 BTU's)38004950
Air Conditioner (24,000 BTU's)38004950
Air Compressor (1 HP)14403600
Airless Sprayer (1/3" HP)6001200
AM/FM Clock Radio1010
Belt Sander9502400
Box Fan (20")113113
CD/DVD Player100100
Cell Phone Battery Charger2525
Circular Saw - 7-1/4"21005250
Clothes Dryer (Electric)36009000
Clothes Dryer (Gas)18004500
Coffee Maker37503750
Color TV - 13"5050
Copy Machine13001300
Crock Pot240240
Curling Iron15001500
Desktop Computer w/ 18" LCD Monitor300300
Dishwasher - Hot Dry12003000
DVD Player2020
Electric Can Opener7070
Electric Drill - 1/2"11001250
Electric Drill - 3/8" 4 Amps4801200
Electric Griddle15001500
Electric Stove - 8" Element21002100
Fax Machine150150
Food Processor500500
Furnace Fan Blower- 1/37001400
Furnace Fan Blower (1/3 HP)7001400
Hair Dryer- 1250 Watt12501250
Hammer Drill16001400
Heat Pump47004500
Humidifier - 13 gal.175175
Inflator Pump175175
Inkjet Printer1010
Iron12001200
Laser Printer400400
LCD TV -32"7575
Light Bulb - 60 Watt6060
Light Bulb - 75 Watt7575
Microwave- 1000 Watts10001000
Microwave- 625 Watts625625
Miter Saw - 10"18004500
Outdoor Light String250250
Planer/Jointer - 6"18004500
Quartz Halogen Work Light (1,000w)10001000
Quartz Halogen Work Light (300w)300300
Quartz Halogen Work Light (500w)500500
Reciprocating Saw10802700
Refrigerator/Freezer5501350
Security System500500
Space Heater15001500
Stereo Receiver450450
Sump Pump (1/2 HP)12003000
Sump Pump (1/3 HP)11402850
Table Saw/ Radial Arm Saw - 10"18004500
Toaster850850
Toaster Oven15001500
Washing Machine9502400
Water Heater (Electric)38003800
Water Well Pump (1/4 HP)5751440
Window A/C (10,000 BTU's)10002100
Window A/C (12,000 BTU's)32503950
X-Box, Game Cube, Playstation4040
1/8 horsepower electric motor300500
1/6 horsepower electric motor500750
1/4 horsepower electric motor6001000
2/5 horsepower electric motor7001400
3/5 horsepower electric motor8752350
Refrigerator, Average6002200
Dish Washer - Cool Dry7001400
Dish Washer - Hot Dry14501400
Clothes Dryer - Gas7001800
Clothes Dryer - Electric57501800
Microwave Oven, 750W750800
Washing Machine7502300
Coffee Maker850850
Toaster 2-slice11001100
Toaster 4-slice16501650
Electric Skillet 15001500
Electric Range 6-in. element15001500
Electric Range 8-in. element21002100
Freezer25002200

 

 

 

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