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What Exactly Can You Run With a 5000-Watt Generator?

What Can I Run With a 5000 Watt Generator
Written by Jamie Masterson

Don’t expect big things from 5000 watts like backing up the central air conditioning. But you will be able to power many basic things for long hours that will be of great help in an emergency.

Let’s see what you can do with your generator in detail.

Things You Can Run With a 5,000-Watt Generator

Small kitchen appliances

A 5,000-watt generator has the capacity to easily run small kitchen appliances such as microwaves, coffeemakers, and even toasters. But of course the total amount of wattage being used cannot exceed 5,000 watts. The labels on each appliance will speak of the amount of wattage it requires. To prevent the circuit breaker of the generator from tripping, always operate one small kitchen device at a time and not all of them together.

Large kitchen appliances

Among the larger kitchen appliances, 5,000 watt generators can power a fridge, a washing machine as well as a freezer. Typically, a freezer and a refrigerator require 3,000 watts to start and an additional 1,000 watts to keep running. On the other hand, an average washing machine starts with 3,500 watts and continues running with 1,000 watts. However, a typical electricity operated clothes dryer needs a whopping 5,750 watts simply to turn on. So a mere 5,000 watt generator cannot help it to operate in this case.

Small electrical appliances

On the smaller range of electrical appliances, a 5,000-watt generator is capable of running a tv, radio, fan, lamp water pump, electric heater as well as an electric blanket. Any appliance with a 5,000 watt below power requirement is also easily powered with these generators. Note that certain devices like computers may need power inverters to prevent the older generators (that use DC current instead of AC current) from any possible damage.

Power tools

5,000 watt generators can do even more impressive tasks such as running power tools. Air compressors, electric sprayers, power drills and even certain saws are no big deal for a 5,000-watt generator.

Electric water heater

It’s also in the capacity of a 5,000-watt generator to run an electric water heater. But it must not be forgotten that the generator’s total 5,000 wattage rating shouldn’t be exceeded. An electric water heater on average needs 4,500 watts to start the appliance and 3,500 watts to carry on running the heater. If somehow the generator’s total wattage rating is exceeded, the circuit breaker of the generator will involuntarily shut off the electric water heater beside the generator.

Powering the Home With a 5,000w Generator

One of the most common reasons for buying a 5,000-watt generator is to get a backup electric supply whenever there is an extended blackout at home. But it is also vital to know how much power the appliances around your home will actually require.

Here’s a list of some of the most power hungry appliances around your home:

Electric stove 1,500 watts
Air conditioner (window) 1,200 watts (surge power :1,800 watts)
Central AC system 3,800 to 6,000 watts (surge watts: 8,000 to 12,000)
Space heater 600 to 1,500 watts
Central heating system 5,000 watts
Sump pump 800 watts ( surge watts : 1,500 to 3,000)
Well pump 1,000 watts ( surge watts : 2,000 to 4,000)

From the table above, it’s evident that such major appliances consume a large portion of power. For many homes, it won’t even be possible to run the air conditioner and the central heating system at once solely with a 5,000 watt generator.

Heating three rooms at night is also possible using space heaters. A 5,000-watt generator can also be a life saver during a winter/summer outage. The only thing you need to do is pick which of the rooms are climate controlled.

 Powering a Work Site With a 5,000w Generator

Builders and contractors frequently use 5,000 watt generators to power their electric tools. But once again you have to keep it in mind that if you try to run multiple power tools at once, you’re likely to get caught up in the surge power limits. But usually, 5k watt generators are more than what contractors can ask for and hence not a big deal for them.

Surge watts are the watts an appliance needs as it starts. Generally, this is even larger than the amount of power that is required to keep the machine running (better known as the running watts).

Circular saw 1,400 watts ( surge watts: 2,300)
Table saw 1,800 watts (surge watts : 4,500)
Portable air compressor (1/2 hp) 1,000 watts ( surge watts: 1,600)
Portable air compressor (1 hp) 1,600 watts (surge watts : 4,500)
Electric drill 600 watts
Bench grinder 1,400 watts (surge watts : 2,500)
Chainsaw 1,500 watts
Electric leaf blower 1,000 watts

On the contrary for a larger site of work with a lot of people, 5,000 watts may not suffice.

Powering an RV with a 5,000-watt generator

Run With a 5000 Watt Generator

For large RV’s, 5,000-watt generators provide the perfect amount of power. Without leaving out excess power it offers the right amount of energy to keep the entire kitchen, a small AC, lights and a space heater alive and running.

Is 5,000-watts the right size for you

Deciding whether 5,000w is a huge level of power or not will pretty much depend on how you plan to use your generator. A 5,000w generator can help to power all the essential appliances and electronics in your house. Or it can provide power that is more than necessary to run any regular heavy-duty power tools at a site of work. But for an RV, you can stay relaxed as you will never have to face any overload due to a 5,000w generator.

But if a 5,000W generator is too much for you, then you can of course go for the 3,500 w ones. Alternatively, if a 5,000w generator is falling short for you, then the 7,500 w generator is there to take your worries away from you.

Some additional considerations while choosing a 5,000W generator:

  • The frequency of power outages: if the region where you reside loses power often or continuously during particular parts of the year, a 5000w generator may not have the adequate capacity. You should be able to rely on your generator to provide enough backup energy to keep multiple high-powered electronics powered.
  • The type of necessity: one question to ask yourself is whether to use your generator as a rare backup power source. During a power outage, 5000w should be sufficient to keep your power on for the basic appliances, such as the lighting and the refrigerator.
  • Whether you require the power away from electrical sources: for the truly enthusiastic campers, or for the serious individuals working on a project, a generator is essential. A 5000 W generator should be able to power most outdoor or camping appliances and power tools like a king.
  • Whether you use solar energy: generators are the most commonly used backups for solar energy. This function particularly comes to effect in winter. For the locations with the sun shining throughout the year, a small generator should suffice, even in the case of emergencies and bad weather.

About the author

Jamie Masterson

With decade-long experience as a generator technician, Jamie has worked with USA’s top generator manufacturers and suppliers as an independent contractor.

The long years of service to the industry has taught Jamie the ins and outs of troubleshooting, repairing, and maintaining all kinds of generators in home, industrial and outdoor settings.

Jamie thinks this platform is a great opportunity to share his tips and tricks with you so you can make the most of such power equipment for better living.

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