It is a well-known fact that if you want to stay well-prepared for power outages, you need to get a sound generator. But when it comes to choosing one of these backup power stations, the power output matters the most.
While many think it is better to get something with higher running watts or starting watts, the case is not simple. There is so much to it. However, a 4000-watt generator is what most consider while picking conventional generators.
But the real question is, how much can you run off a 4000-watt generator? Is 4000-watt really enough to power all of the household appliances? Well, you will get to know all about the topic by going through this in-depth article.
Starting Watts and Running Watts
Before we get deep into the topic, we would like to give you a fair idea regarding the two critical terms, which are the running watts and starting watts. As you might know, watts are basically a measurement of electrical output.
And before you pick an inverter generator, portable generator, or any other generator, you should have a clear idea regarding these two terms. In simpler words, most household appliances that are large in size will require higher wattage requirements.
On the other hand, all the appliances that are small in size will have low wattage requirements. And if you want to know how many watts do essential household appliance requires, you can just check on the back. But the wattage that will be stated there will be running power wattage.
Starting and running wattage is not the same. Running wattage is the watt requirement for an appliance to continue running. But, tunning watts is the number of watts the device requires to start up. That would be the starting watts. In comparison, starting wattage is a bit higher than running watts.
Otherwise known as surge watts, if the starting watts are not met, the appliance will not start properly. It will show some issues if it does not get the extra boost of wattage.
What Can a 4000-watt generator Handle?
Whether it is inverter generators or other types of generators, a 4000-watt generator would be capable of meeting the power requirements of multiple appliances. That includes essential appliances, laundry appliances, entertainment appliances, kitchen appliances, and many more.
In other words, you can run an air conditioner, washing machine, window air conditioner, electric kettle, space heater, small window AC unit, microwave oven, electric stove, vacuum cleaner, steam iron, coffee maker, rice cooker, deep freezer, curling iron, and a few lights with a 4000-watt generator.
However, do note that some devices, such as electric water heater, washing machine, air conditioner, sump pump, clothes dryer, air compressor, electric furnace, furnace fan blower, and electric blanket, are a bit power-hungry. They would have higher energy consumption.
You will not be capable of running multiple of the appliances at the same time with a 4,000-watt generator. The same thing applies to some power tools, including the pressure washer, circular saw, sewing machine, electric drill, and beefy sump pump. Those require more power to operate.
To get a fair idea regarding what appliances it would be possible to run simultaneously, you must calculate all of the power requirements. For example, if you want to run a small heating system, hairdryer, clothes washer, water pump, and some kitchen appliances simultaneously, add all the running watts.
If the calculation of running watts matches with the power outage of the 4000-watt generator, it will be possible to all of them simultaneously.
What Is the Peak Power of a 4000-Watt Generator?
The peak power of a 4,000-watt generator would depend on the generator’s efficiency. And in most cases, the manufacturers would promote the generator depending on how many watts the generator can offer at the maximum load. In other words, the 4000-watt generators can output 4000 watts in most cases.
However, that will not be the case for all of the 4000-watt generators. If the manufacturer does not promote their generator by considering the maximum efficiency, it will be around 3600 watts. Even with that power output, the generator can power on several household elements at the same time.
What Size Generator Do I Need to Power the Whole House?
It will depend on the appliances that are in your house. For example, if you have an electric water heater line going through the entire house and want to power it during a power outage, you might want to get a large-sized generator.
On the other hand, if you want to power a few things that have a low amp and watt rating, you will be good with a medium-sized option. You might even be capable of running those appliances at the same time if the power rating of the generator is up to the mark.
Now, you might be wondering how many amps do your appliances pull. Well, it will depend on the appliance. And for most cases, the devices will state the ampere rating on the backside. On the other hand, some devices will state power and voltage, which you easily calculate by factoring in a simple formula.
What formula are we actually talking about? P = VI. Here, P (watts) stands for power, V stands for voltage (volts), and I stands for current (amps). By putting the numbers into the equation, you will determine the amp rating of a device.
For example, if a hot water heater states that it requires 120 volts and has a power rating of 1125 watts, it would draw around 9.4 amps of current.
How to Find Out if the 4000-Watt Generator Has Enough Watts?
As we have mentioned, the 4000-watt generator will be capable of outputting 4000 watts in most cases. However, some of the models will offer close to 3600 watts at the max load. That said, if you want to figure out if the generator can offer enough watts or not, follow these steps:
Step 1: Figure Out the Running and Starting Watts of Your Generator
First of all, you would need to figure out your generator’s running and starting watts. Check the manual that the manufacturer provided or the sticker at the back or front of the generator. You will be capable of getting a clear idea of how much watts the generator can actually offer.
Step 2: Add up the Wattage Requirements of the Appliances
Next, you would need to check each and every appliance that you want to run simultaneously. Like the generator, it should be stated in the sticker or in the manual of the device. Write all of them down and add them up. Keep the running watt and starting watt calculation separated.
Step 3: Match the Wattage
Now, you need to compare the two calculations that you have just made. If the number is less than the rating of the generator, you will be capable of running the appliances at the same time.
On the other hand, if the calculated wattage requirement is higher than the wattage output of the generator, you will not be capable of running those appliances simultaneously. So, you might have to take a couple of things out of the list and prioritize the appliances that are absolutely essential.
What Things Can a 4000-Watt Generator Not Run?
A 4000-watt generator can run almost most of the household appliances at the same time without struggling one bit. However, there are some things that you will not be capable of running with a 4000-watt generator.
For example, if you run a large-sized washing machine and a power-hungry well pump simultaneously, there will be no room left for other appliances. You would either have to turn one of them off and power the other devices or wait for them to finish working and move on to powering the other appliances.
The same thing applies to central air conditioners and electrical ranges that have loads of burners on the top. These two will require a lot of wattages, and if you power them through a single 4000-watt generator simultaneously, you will notice that one is barely working and the other is not starting at all.
That said, you should keep in mind that if you try to push the generator over its limits from time to time, accidents can happen. The components inside can get damaged, which can damage all of the appliances that are connected with the generator.
For that reason, it would be a wise decision to calculate and add the wattage required for each of the devices that you want to run before connecting them to the generator.
To conclude, if you are still wondering how much can you run off a 4000-watt generator, the simple answer would be most of the essential home appliances. However, for the demanding devices, you might not be capable of running all of them simultaneously. They simply demand higher wattage input.