04-29-2006, 04:06 PM #1
Generators and Household Items Amperage Ratings
Hurricane season is approaching and if you plan to purchase a generator, here is a handy list that will help you determine how big of a generator you will need depending upon the of items you plan to run.
Remember the rule of thumb:
The Running Watts = Volts X Amps
Add up the running watts of the devices you plan to run and make sure they stay under the rating of the generator's running amperage rating.
The wattages presented in this table are estimates. The actual wattage required for your appliances can be calculated. Remember that 1kW = 1000 watts, 2kW = 2000 watts, etc.
Running Watts = Volts X Amps
Rule of thumb: allow 2kW/Horse Power for appliances with motors. Some motors can require up to 3 times the running wattage to start.
Always use starting wattage when calculating electrical load requirements for your generator. Select the appliances you want to operate and add the starting wattages together to determine if they can all be operated at the same time without exceeding the limits of your generator. Remember that circuit breakers usually control more than one appliance.
Equipment Avg. Running Wattage
Vacuum Cleaner - 800
Portable Heater with fan - 500-1500
Fan (Central) - 1/4 HP - 400
1/3 HP - 450
1/2 HP - 600
Computer - 200
Fax Machine - 50-1000
Space Heater - 500-1500
Refrigerator / Freezer - 750
Home Security System - 200
Lights - 40-150
Range w/Oven - 12200
Small Burner - 1300
Large Burner - 2400
Garage Door Opener 1/3 HP - 750
1/2 HP - 1050
Well Pump - 1/3 HP - 750
1/2 HP - 1000
3/4 HP - 1500
Submersible Sump Pump
1/2 HP - 1000
Dishwasher w/o hot water - 1200
Television - 150-400
Radio - 70-200
Microwave - 600-1500
Coffee maker - 750-1200
Toaster - 1100
Hair Dryer - 600-1400
Washing Machine w/o Hot Water 1000
Clothes Dryer - 4850
Air Cleaner - 50
Dehumidifier - 840
Humidifier - 177
05-29-2007, 06:32 PM #2
Hurricane season arriving....good information when selecting a generator to suffice the electrical demand
05-29-2007, 06:56 PM #3
now is not really the best time to buy a geny unless you really need one and you can get them cheaper if you get away from the coast
05-30-2007, 08:44 PM #4
One other point about sizing a generator for emergency use. You do not need to add up all the things you would normally use. Size it for only the things you will NEED to use during an extended power outage. The fridge, a few lights, maybe one A/C unit (not the central A/C), possibly the water heater if electric, one TV or radio. I used a 5500w generator after a few hurricanes and I powered a 12000 btu wall unit, two refrigerators, a few lights and even the water heater intermittently.
One other area of concern with a portable generator, if you backfeed in to your house to power things up make sure the main disconnect is OFF or better yet pull your meter. If you have a permanently installed back-up generator it SHOULD have a transfer switch and there is not need to pull the meter.
I work for the electric utility here and when we hear a generator running the first thing we do is yank their meter. If you backfeed from your house to your distribution transformer it will power up the primary with primary voltage. Here the primary voltage is 14,400 volts, your voltage will vary. I doubt your utility will give you any problems by cutting the tamper seal in the event of a extended power outage to remover the meter, as long as you call them when the outage is over and tell them why you did it.
05-30-2007, 10:04 PM #5
well for ppl that dont wanna do all that the best way to go is a transfer switch, save a lot of hassell you and chose what you wanna power up and its a plug an play once installed
07-13-2008, 05:10 PM #6
07-13-2008, 08:39 PM #7
07-13-2008, 09:16 PM #8
I have the Kill-o-watt plus a T.E.D. The TED is cool because it shows you your actual whole house demand at all times. I have a portable 5500w generator, I back feed from the sub panel by the pool and using TED I know exactly what I am drawing. I tested the necessities on the generator last month with the fridge, 2.5ton central air and the 52" plasma TV going I was drawing about 2600 watts from the generator. My main concern was the AC compressor startup, it wasn't a problem. To clear up any confusion with my previous post about not being able to run a central A/C. I bought this house last year and hadn't tried to power this house with the generator until a month ago. It was able to run the central A/C, it's a new 15 SEER 2.5 ton Rude unit. The compressor draws 1800w and the air handler draws 210w. It's been a while since we had any hurricanes, where are they????
Last edited by inothome; 07-13-2008 at 09:25 PM.
07-14-2008, 12:43 PM #9
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
- Corpus Christi, TX
The TED is sweet, I want one!!
07-15-2008, 09:50 AM #10
the one that plugs in to the wall sucks ther other one might work but i wouldnt trust it
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