What Can A 4000 Watt Generator Power?

What can a 4000 watt generator power, you wonder? A generator of 4,000 watts will be able to run most of your essentials during power outages. Such generators have one engine, typically use gas, sometimes propane or diesel. You will also be able to find a few outlets and usually feature circuit breakers. The circuit breakers are there to protect the engine from damaging due to overload. Such generators will also be able to run several appliances at the same time. However, don’t expect it to do so permanently.

This article will give you an answer to what exactly can you power with 4,000 watt generator. And, hopefully it will be informative enough.

What you need to know first is that there are running and starting watts. The smaller wattage is referred to running watts whereas starting watts is the bigger number. With 4,000 watt generator, it is referred to the starting ones. Or, in other words, the power required for a generator to start running. It can also be called peak power and it varies from model to model. However, it usually is in the range from 4,300 watts to 5,250 watts.

Wattage Requirements

The most important thing before plugging in any sort of appliance is knowing wattage requirements for this type of generator. The first thing you need to do is figure out what appliances you want to power with this generator. Most appliances have that information on their power cords and you will find them in watts.

Other times, you will find the specifications in amps as well. If you want to convert from amps to watts, you need to multiply amps by the voltage on which the appliance runs. It should be either 120 or 240 volts.

The ones that run on 240 volts, like water heaters, naturally require more power. So, keep in mind, that sometimes such appliances are so power hungry that they will demand all the power output from the generator.

The Start-Up Power

Appliances like refrigerators usually need more power to start up. Those appliances cycle on and off. That power can sometimes be three times larger than its running power. One such example is that if a fridge needs 600 watts to draw while it’s running may need 2,200 watts to even start. Those notes should be kept in mind because it is very easy to forget. Also, if you don’t remember, the circuit breakers will start tripping.


If you know what appliances you want to run, you need to add up the watts. It’s important to remember you need to add up the start-up ones. Once you add it up and if it results in less than five thousand watts, you don’t need to worry about overloading a generator. However, if it exceeds five thousand watts, you will still be able to run all the appliances. But, you can only do that if the ones that you are using at the moment are less than five thousand watts.

Also, be sure to add 10% of uncertainty factor when you add up the power requirements. What is probably the smartest thing to do is to find the appliance that has the highest wattage. So, you should start off with that one first and then proceed.

Sample Application

There are a few things to be taken into consideration if you use the 4,000 watt generator in winter. One thing that is recommended is operating a furnace. The size of the fan motor depends on how many watts it needs to cycle on. In estimate, it will require around 2,200 watts to cycle on. If you decide to power a fridge (which requires the 2,200 watts), you will also have leftover power in the generator.

With that leftover power, you will be able to run a TV, radio, a few lights, and some kitchen appliances like a toaster. Instead of the refrigerator, you can even use a washing machine, electric range or even a microwave. However, chances are the generator won’t be able to run two of these appliances at the same time.

Keep in mind that the total amount of wattage doesn’t exceed 4,000 watts. If it does exceed 4,000 watts, there is a chance of overloading and it might damage the engine. So, if the result is less than 4,000 watts, it is safe to power.

Appliances/Tools You Can Power With A 4,000 Watt Generator

1. Essential Appliances

In essential appliances is a ceiling fan, a few light bulbs, electric water heater, furnace fan blower, humidifier, space heater, sump pump, well water pimp, window AC (10,000 btu). Keep in mind that the total amount of wattage doesn’t exceed 4,000 watts. If it does exceed 4,000 watts, there is a chance of overloading and it might damage the engine. So, if the result is less than 4,000 watts, it is safe to power.

2. Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen appliances include: coffee maker, deep freezer, dishwasher, electric can opener, electric kettle, stove, fryer, microwave, refrigerator (2,200 watts), rice cooker, toaster. There are many more it can power, these are just the most important ones.

3. Bathroom & Laundry Appliances

Laundry appliances includes clothes dryer (gas), curling iron, shaver, hair dryer, vacuum cleaner (700 watts), washing machine (2,250 watts), iron.

4. Entertainment Appliances

It can power any sort of entertainment appliances such as stereo, TV, DVD player, laptop etc.There shouldn’t be any problems with any of them.

5. Power Tools

Some power tools the 4,000 watt generator can run is: air compressor, chainsaw, circular saw, electric drill, pressure washer.

What Can A 4000 Watt Generator Power – Conclusion

These were some of the most important appliances and tools a 4,000 watt generator can power. Hopefully, the guide was helpful and informative. Just make sure not to overload the generator and you will be just fine. The engine is easily damaged especially if there are no circuit breakers. It can be avoided by not plugging in too many appliances at the same time. Hope we answered your question, “What Can A 4000 Watt Generator Power?”.

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What can a 5000 watt generator power?

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