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What Can a 5,000 Watt Generator Run? (With Power Chart)

gasoline powered portable generator

It is always a good idea to have an additional generator in your home in case there is a power outage. However, generators can be expensive, so you need to balance out your budget with the power requirements of the generator.

Typically, a 5,000-watt generator will be enough to handle most appliances in your home, although they will not be able to run at the same time. That is why it’s crucial to know if a 5,000-watt generator is right for your power needs.

Keep reading to learn more about generators and what a 5,000-watt generator can run.

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Generator Wattages

Before you decide to get a generator, you should become familiar with generator wattages.

Generators have two wattage ratings:
  • The rated wattage: The power your generator needs to run constantly for a while an appliance is operating.
  • The surge wattage: The maximum power your generator can provide. This typically lasts for a couple of seconds while the appliance starts and most larger appliances have a high surge wattage. After those few seconds, the generator will run on the rated wattage.
Image Credit: Virrage Images, Shutterstock

How To Determine Your Wattage Requirements

To determine your wattage requirements, you will need to do some simple math and calculations. Follow these steps to figure out which appliances inside your home you can run at the same time:

  1. Make a list of all the appliances you would want to use in case of a power outage
  2. Write down the wattage of each appliance
  3. Add up all the watts that it takes to run your appliances
  4. Once you have everything written down, find the appliance that has the highest surge wattage
  5. Add that number to the total number of rated watts
  6. The final number you get represents the number of surge watts your generator needs to have

Of course, not all appliances need starting watts to function, so they won’t require you to have a generator with high wattage.

Power Consumption of Common Household Appliances

The power consumption of appliances varies from home to home. Some of them can operate in a low-watt supply, while others need a high amount of watts to run.

We have created the table below to show you the power consumption of common household appliances.

Appliance Power Consumption (The Rated Wattage) Additional Surge Watts
Ceiling Fan 60 Watts 70 Watts
Electric Water Heater 4,000 Watts /
Heat Pump 4,700 Watts 4,500 Watts
Coffee Maker 1,000 Watts /
Electric Oven 2,150 Watts /
Fryer 1,000 Watts /
Microwave 1,000 Watts /
Toaster 850 Watts /
Hair Dryer 1,250 Watts /
Vacuum Cleaner 200 Watts 200 Watts
Desktop Computer 100 Watts 350 Watts
Washing Machine 1,150 Watts 2,250 Watts
Electric Mower 1,500 Watts /
Fridge and Freezer 1,000 Watts 3,000 Watts
Treadmill 280 Watts 900 Watts

As you can see, these appliances can function with a 5,000-watt generator without any issues. That’s highly beneficial if there are mishaps with power.

cleaning carpet with a vacuum cleaner
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Which Appliances Can You Run With a 5,000 Watt Generator?

A 5,000-watt generator is an excellent addition to your home as it can run various appliances if there’s an issue with power loss. If you’re unsure of which appliances you can run with this generator, read more about them below.

Large Kitchen Appliances

A 5,000-watt generator can run an array of large kitchen appliances like:
  • Fridge and freezer
  • Electric oven
  • Dishwasher

A regular fridge with a freezer uses around 3,000 watts to start and then 1,000 watts to keep running. An electric oven needs 2,150 watts to operate, while a dishwasher needs between 1,200 and 2,400 watts.

As you can see, most of the larger kitchen appliances can work when powered by a 5,000-watt generator. However, as they use more watts than smaller appliances, they cannot operate at the same time. Otherwise, an overload would occur, causing possible malfunctions.

Small Kitchen Appliances

Most small kitchen appliances need less than 5,000 watts to operate, meaning you can use a 5,000-watt generator to power them. A microwave, coffee maker and your toaster could all be working simultaneously, as long as their wattage doesn’t exceed 5,000 watts.

However, using each appliance separately is better because the generator could overload. You can search for labels on your appliances to verify their wattage before turning them on through the generator.

automatic drip coffee maker with glass pot
Image Credit: Rococo2018, Shutterstock

Small Electrical Appliances

Luckily, small electrical appliances we all have around our households typically have low wattage, meaning you can use a 5,000-watt generator to run them.

Some of those appliances are:
  • Radio
  • Ceiling Fan
  • Stereo
  • TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Water Pump
  • CD/DVD Player
  • Laptop
  • Humidifier

Other Things a 5,000 Watt Generator Can Run

Besides regular appliances, you can also run other things such as power tools and an electric water heater with a 5,000-watt generator. You can also use this type of generator when RVing to make your vacation more enjoyable.

Power Tools

If you need to use power tools, but there’s no power, you can run most of them on a 5,000-watt generator.

Some of those tools are:
  • Power drills
  • Chainsaws
  • Table saws
  • Leaf blowers
  • Circular saws
  • Grinders
  • Air compressors
Image Credit: _Alicja_, Pixabay

Electric Water Heater

A 5,000-watt generator can also run an electric water heater, but there’s a possibility of exceeding the maximum wattage of the device. Electric water heaters typically need around 4,500 watts for the appliance to run and 3,500 watts to keep working.

If you exceed the generator’s maximum wattage, the circuit breaker will shut down, turning off the generator and your electric water heater.

How Long Can a 5,000 Watt Generator Run?

There’s no precise answer for how long a 5,000-watt generator can run because each generator has a unique fuel tank capacity and consumption. In general, a 5,000-watt generator should work for 12 continuous hours on a load of 50%.

Here’s a table of popular generators and their operating hours.

Generator Running Watts Run time
Champion 6250 5,500 9 hours on a 50% load
Powermate CX5500 5,500 12.5 hours on a 50% load
Honda EU7000iS 5,500 8 hours on a 50% load
LIFAN Energy Storm ES5700 5,500 10 hours on a 50% load
Pulsar PG6580E 5,500 12 hours on a 50% load
Green Power Atlas 6500 5,300 13 hours on a 50% load

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Final Thoughts

A 5,000-watt generator can provide enough power for an array of household appliances, tools, and machines. It can also power RVs and help in various situations if you experience a power outage. However, before you purchase a 5,000-watt generator, verify that it works for your needs, as your power consumption might be higher than 5,000 watts.

Featured Image By: canoniroff, Shutterstock


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