Portable home generators will give you peace of mind and a good backup plan for when your power goes out. But you don’t want to wait until a crisis to find out if your generator has enough power to run everything you need or want to run. You need to plan so you know exactly what appliances a 9,000-watt generator will run.
A 9,000-watt generator will run just about every appliance in your home. It can run your lights, washing machine, dryer, microwave, refrigerator, coffee makers, range, and even a small central air conditioning unit. You will be able to run several appliances at one time with a 9,000-watt generator.
We’re going to take a look at just what appliances you can run with your 9,000-watt generator. We’ll also explain load management to know how many of your appliances you can run simultaneously. Load management includes starting watts and running watts, so we’ll discuss that, too. But first, let’s take a look at some sample scenarios of appliances you might have in your home.
What can a 9,000-watt generator run?
A typical household will likely have a refrigerator, oven range, washer and dryer, dishwasher, microwave, coffee maker, and of course, computers and cell phone chargers. Every appliance will require a certain amount of electricity to run, which we measure in watts. In the chart below, we list the required wattage of some typical home appliances to give you a general idea of what to expect.
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 a 9000 Watt Generator
You can see in the above chart that appliances use different amounts of electricity to run. These are just generalizations; you’ll need to look at your appliance manuals for the specific details of what the appliances in your home will require. If you look closely, you’ll see that some appliances need extra watts to get started. Others only require a stable amount of watts the entire time they are on.
Running Watts or Continuous Watts of a 9,000-Watt Generator
Your generator is meant to run for extended periods. Over a few hours, the steady amount of watts that your generator can make are called continuous or running watts. So your 9,000-Watt generator will make 9,000 watts of constant electricity.
If you have a toaster oven, it will require about 1200 watts of continuous energy to run the entire time it is turned on. That means your generator will need to provide 1200 watts of running or continuous watts for you to cook with your generator.
Some appliances need extra watts to get them started.
Starting Watts or Surge Watts
Larger appliances and appliances requiring a motor or compressor to run will need some additional boosts of energy to start up and whenever the compressor or motor needs to run. This type of electricity is called starting watts or surge watts.
A refrigerator is a great example of surge watts. Throughout the day, your fridge’s compressor will cycle on and off many times as it cools the fridge to the correct temperature. So a typical fridge might need up to 2200 surge watts when the compressor runs, but only 700 running or continuous watts when the refrigerator is running without the compressor.
You’ll need to check the user manual of your generator so you know precisely how many surge watts it can supply.
How Many Appliances Can You Run On a 9000-Watt Generator?
There isn’t a limit to the number of appliances you can run on your generator. You are only limited by the number of watts it can supply. So as long as the total amount of running watts and surge watts are less than what your generator can produce, you’ll be in good shape.
That being said, it is always better to run your generator a little under capacity. For example, it is probably best to run it at about 90% or 8100 continuous watts rather than running it at its maximum capacity. By not running your generator at max capacity, you’ll have a little room for error and will protect your generator and your appliances from accidental overload.
Don’t wait for an emergency to try to figure out how many appliances you can power at one time. Instead, plan ahead so you’ll know what appliances you need to run, what additional devices you want to run, and how much electricity they will need. You can use the chart above to get a general idea of what you can run, but you need to use your appliance manuals to precisely determine what your specific appliances will require.
- You first need to find out how many starting and running watts your generator can supply. For example, a Ford dual fuel generator from Home Depot puts out 9000 continuous watts and roughly 11,050 starting watts. You can find this information in your owner’s manual or on the box it came in.
- Next, you’ll need to make a list of all of the items you need to run and all of the things you want to run. You might put these in order of priority. Which items are the most critical, and which can you live without, if necessary?
- After you have made your list, you’ll need to look up each item’s starting and running watts, just like in the chart above.
- Now you need to start adding up your columns. First, add all of the starting watts together and put the total at the bottom of the list. If an item doesn’t have any starting watts, you’ll need to use its running watts.
- Next, add up the running watts of all of the items and put that on the list, as well.
- Now check if your list of running watts and starting watts is more or less than what your generator can provide.
- If the totals are higher than what your generator can provide, you’ll need to adjust your list and run fewer items at a time. That doesn’t mean you have to give them all up, but it might mean you need to take turns running certain items.
How to Run Multiple Appliances on a 9000 Watt Generator
Here’s an example of how to run multiple items on your generator at one time. Let’s imagine you want to run the following items even when the power is out:
- Coffee maker
- 2 75 watt light bulbs
- Washing Machine
- Cell phone charger
Can your generator handle this many appliances?
Before turning on your generator and plugging in your appliances, you need to know that it is not safe to use your generator indoors. You must use it outside to prevent the buildup of dangerous carbon monoxide gas. Follow all safety precautions, which include using extension cords rated for outdoor/appliance use. Never overload your extension cords.
Now that we know what items we need to run, we can start filling in their starting and running watts. Remember, if an item doesn’t have a starting watts value, you’ll need to put its running watts in that place in the chart.
|Item||Starting Watts||Running Watts|
|2 75 Watt Light Bulbs||150||150|
|Cell Phone Charger||25||25|
First, we add up all the running watts of each item, which comes to a total of 8,425.
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 12,375 watts.
You have plenty of running watts to run all of those items with your 9000-watt generator. However, your generator can only supply 11,050 starting watts, so you won’t be able to run all of those items simultaneously. So you need to spread out the load a little bit.
The easiest way to do this would be to run your washing machine first and then your dryer. As long as you are not running the two items simultaneously, you’ll have plenty of starting and running watts to manage the entire electrical load.
Can a 9000-watt generator handle a central air conditioner?
If you have a small home and a smaller-sized central air unit, you might be able to power it up with a 9,000-watt generator. First, you need to check and see the starting and running watts on your central air unit. However, you might need a larger generator to run this large of an appliance safely.
Can a 9000-watt generator run a whole house?
A 9,000-watt generator can run your essential household appliances. However, it might not be able to handle your central air unit. As a result, you may have to manage the power load you put on your generator at any given time, but otherwise, yes, your 9,000-watt generator can run almost every appliance in your home.