Are your day-to-day power needs high? Do you ever worry about how you would keep your family comfortable if the power were to go out for an extended period? If so, you might want to consider an 8000-watt generator.
An 8,000-watt generator will take care of pretty much all of your home electrical needs, such as your refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, television, lights, and even your range. If you manage the load carefully, you could even use an 8,000-watt generator as a whole house generator because it will provide enough electricity to manage just about everything in your home.
In this article, we’ll explain what appliances your 8,000-watt generator can run. We’ll talk about how you can manage the load to use one as your whole house. And we’ll explain the difference between starting watts and running watts so that you know just what items an 8,000-watt generator can run.
What can an 8,000-watt generator run?
Before you run to your garage and plug your electrical panel in your 8,000-watt generator, you need to know what appliances it can run. Although this size generator can handle a lot, you want to plan your electric usage so you don’t take the chance of overloading it. Overloading the generator could damage the equipment and even start a fire.
The chart below will give you an estimate of what starting and running watts your appliances need to run well. Keep in mind that every brand and type of appliance is a little bit different. So you’ll need to look at your equipment’s user manuals to get the exact details on just how much electricity your appliances require.
Starting and Running Watts of Typical Household Appliances
|Appliance||Starting Watts||Running Watts|
|Cell Phone Charger||N/A||25|
|String of Outdoor Lights||N/A||40|
|75 Watt Light Bulb||N/A||75|
|Powered Cordless Drill||N/A||100|
|50 Inch LCD TV||N/A||150|
|Sump Pump ½ Horse Power||2150||1050|
|Window Air Conditioner (10,000 BTUs)||3600||1200|
|Hot Water Heater||N/A||3000|
|Central Air Conditioner||Up to 11,400||3,800|
Starting and Running Watts of an 8000 Watt Generator
The chart above lists average wattage requirements for typical household appliances. You can see from the chart that some devices require a lot of watts to run, and some require a much smaller amount. For example, items with a motor usually need additional watts to get started but then less to keep running.
Running Watts or Continuous Watts of an 8000 Watt Generator
Generators can run for hours at a time. This steady amount of watts that a generator can make is known as continuous watts or running watts. So your 8000-watt generator can make 8000 watts of electricity for an extended period.
For example, a coffee maker requires about 1000 watts to run. However, it doesn’t need any extra watts to get started, so the entire time it brews and stays hot, it will need 1000 watts. Other appliances will need extra watts to get them started up, which are called starting watts or surge watts.
Starting Watts or Surge Watts
If continuous watts are the number of watts, you need to keep an appliance running, starting watts, or surge watts, are the extra watts an appliance needs to get started up. Your generator will need to supply that extra power that some appliances need to get up and running when you turn them on.
For example, a clothes dryer will need about 6700 watts (depending on size and type) to get started. But once the dryer has started up, the number of watts it needs to keep running will drop to about 5400.
Another example of an appliance that needs starting watts is a refrigerator. Refrigerators cycle on and off throughout the day. So when they are on, they will require extra watts or surge watts. And when they are in the lower part of their cycle, they’ll only need running watts.
Most generators can provide some extra watts for at least several minutes to assist larger appliances in getting started. Keep in mind that every generator is different. And the number of watts available is different for each one. Make sure you check the user manual carefully so you don’t overtax it.
How Many Appliances Can You Run Simultaneously on an 8000 Watt Generator?
An 8000-watt generator can run as many appliances at one time as you want, as long as the total number of running watts and the total number of continuous watts are less than what the generator can provide.
You’ll want to figure this out before the power is out, so you don’t make a mistake during an emergency. You may even want to create your own chart with the starting and running watts of all of your own devices, but for now, we’ll use the chart above to get a general idea of how to calculate just how many appliances you can run on your generator.
- Look up in your generator’s user manual how many starting and running watts your generator can supply and for how long. If you don’t have the manual, you can probably find the information online.
- Make a list of all of the appliances you will need or want to run if the electricity is out for a short or long period.
- Next to each item on the list, write down the starting watts and continuous watts the item needs to run.
- At the bottom of the list, add up all of the starting watts. If an item doesn’t have extra starting watts, use the running watts.
- Next, add up all of the running watts.
- See if the amount of starting watts and running watts are less than what your generator can provide.
- If the totals are higher than what your generator can provide, you’ll need to run fewer items at a time.
How to Run Multiple Appliances on an 8000 Watt Generator
When the power goes out, you’ll want to make sure your family is safe, comfortable, fed, and entertained. So maybe you’ll want to use the following appliances:
- Two cell phone charges
- Coffee maker
- 3 75 watt light bulbs
- Washing Machine
Can your generator handle this many appliances?
Before you run out and fire up your generator, you need to remember that it is unsafe to run your generator indoors. Only run it outside of your home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, don’t overload any extension cords you use to plug in your appliance to the generator, and make sure they are rated for outdoor use.
You need to figure out the starting and running watts for the appliances you want to run to get started. Your columns will look like this:
|Item||Starting Watts||Running Watts|
|Two cell phone charges||50|
|3 75 Watt Light Bulbs||225||225|
First, we add up all the running watts of each item, which comes to a total of 8,125.
Next, we add up the surge watts and the running watts of the items that don’t require extra start-up watts, which comes to a total of 10,725.
The running watts are just a little bit too much for your generator but don’t worry. You don’t have to run all of those items at the same time. For example, you’ll keep the generator running to keep the fridge and chargers going all day. Then, first thing in the morning, start your coffee. When the maker is finished, then do a load of laundry. Once the laundry is done, you can start cooking dinner in the oven.
This will spread out the starting and running watts throughout the day and reduce your generator’s load.
Can an 8000-watt generator handle a furnace?
Most home furnaces require about 600 watts to run and could be handled by an 8000-watt generator. However, if you heat your home with an electric boiler, you’ll need a more substantial unit to handle the load.
What happens if I overload my generator?
If you run too many appliances at once, you could overload your generator. This might damage the generator or the appliances. It also might cause brownouts and even start a fire. If you are concerned about overloading your generator, aim to run it at no more than 90% of its capacity. This will give you a little extra room for error.