We all use our generators in many different ways. At home, on the ranch, construction site, campground, park, backyard, beach—anywhere we want to have power and land lines are not accessible. The one thing we cannot do with our generators is get more power from them than their maximum output, so evaluating your needs and what equipment you wish to use at any one time is critical in deciding what size generator to purchase.

You want to keep in mind the maximum and rated output of the generator you intend to purchase. You will be attaching items which have reactive loads (circular saws, pumps, drills, air conditioners and air compressors, fluorescent lights). Other items commonly used will be standard light bulbs, coffee makers, curling irons and frying pans. These items have resistive loads. A resistive load of 600 watts draws 600 watts from your generator. The reactive load items draw much more on startup and a good rule of thumb is 3 times the run load rating. So if a drill has a run rate of 600 watts then 600 x 3 = 1800 watts is your calculated need for the drill.

Maximum output is available to assist in motor starting only. The generator should only be operated at maximum load for no longer than 30 minutes or damage to the generator will result. (Owner’s manual warning.)

Many times a number of items are plugged into your generator. Your management of what is operating at any one moment is critical for proper operation of your generator.

Review the power requirements of each of the items you wish to run. Calculating the proper run load requirements is the best way to determine your actual needs. Below is a chart with many common items and their power requirements. Keep in mind your tools and appliances can vary from these averages.

Get the best combination of performance, quality, and value with Kipor generators!

Ohm’s Law:

  • Watts = Volts x Amps
  • Amps = Watts/Volts

Other considerations to review prior to your purchase:

  • Normal operating altitude - With any generator your power will reduce by 3.5% for every 1000 feet above sea level.
  • Average ambient temperature - Again with any generator your power will reduce 1% for every 10 degrees over 85 degrees.
  • Extension Cords - An extension cord must have adequate wire size (AWG or American Wire Gauge) for safety, and to prevent loss of power and overheating. The smaller the gauge number of the wire, the greater the capacity of the cable, i.e. 16 gauge has more capacity than 18 gauge. When using more than one extension cord to make up the total length, be sure each individual extension cord contains at least the minimum wire size.

NAMEPLATE RATING- AMPS TOTAL EXTENSION CORD LENGTH
25 50 75 100 125 150 175 200
0-10.0 18 18 16 16 14 14 12 12
10.0-13.0 16 16 14 14 14 12 12 12
13.1-15 14 14 12 12 12 12 12 -

This chart is to be used only as a guide to establishing your power needs. Check the actual name plate on the product to get the actual power requirements. Age of the equipment, altitude and temperature all have an effect on your power requirements.
Appliance/Tool Run Wattage
@ 120v
Start Wattage
@ 120v
Air Conditioner, Central, BTU 13,500 3,955 6,700
Air Conditioner, Central, BTU 15,000 4,395 7,400
Air Conditioner, Central, BTU 22,000 6,446 11,000
Air Conditioner, RV BTU 13,500 1,632 1,960
Air Conditioner, RV BTU 15,000 1,680 2,050
Air Conditioner, Window, 8000 BTU 1,200 2,100
Bench Grinder 700 2,000
Blanket, Electric 400 670
Blender 200 335
Bread Maker 600 2,300
Broiler 1,400 2,300
Broom, Electric 500 850
CD player & Speaker 100 168
Clothes Dryer Electric 750 1,800
Clothes Dryer Gas 650 720
Coffee Maker 550 1,000
Computer & Large Monitor 900 1,500
Computer & Monitor 720 1,200
Computer Network Equipment 100 170
Computer Printer Inkjet 350 585
Computer Printer Laser 720 1,200
Converter 600 1,000
Copy Machine 1,600 2,700
Dehumidifier 650 800
Dishwasher, Hot Dry 1,400 1,500
Dishwasher, Cool Dry 700 1,400
Freezer 700 2,200
Fry Pan, Electric 1,300 2,100
Furnace Fan, gas or fuel, 1/2 HP 875 2,400
Furnace Fan, gas or fuel, 1/3 HP 700 1,400
Furnace Fan, gas or fuel, 1/4 HP 600 1,000
Garage Door Opener, 1/3 HP 725 1,400
Garage Door Opener, 1/4 HP 550 1,100
Hair Dryer 900 1,500
Heat Pump 1,100 4,800
Hot Tub Heater 1,700 1,900
Hot Tub Pump 800 950
Iron 1,000 1,500
Lighting Flood 500 800
Lighting Fluorescent 90 125
Lighting Incandescent 100 170
Microwave Oven 625 800
Oven 3,400 5,700
Pump, Sump, 1/2 HP 1,100 2,200
Pump, Sump, 1/3 HP 800 1,300
Pump, Well, 1 HP 2,000 4,100
Pump, Well, 1/2 HP 900 2,000
Pump, Well, 2 HP 3,750 7,000
Pump, Well, 3 HP 5,000 10,000
Pump, Well, 3/4 HP 1,500 3,000
Pump, Well, 5 HP 7,500 15,000
Radio 200 350
Radio or Stereo 350 575
Range, Electric, 6-inch elements 1,500 2,500
Range, Electric, 8-inch elements 2,100 3,500
Refrigerator 700 2,200
RV Refrigerator 1,800 2,000
Saber Saw 500 1,400
Security System (Alarm Panel) 200 350
Sewing Machine 200 350
Slow Cooker 130 210
Space Heater 800 1,400
Table Saw 1,000 3,200
Television Color 300 500
Toaster 900 1,500
Toaster 4-slice 1,700 2,700
Vacuum Cleaner Heavy Duty 1,100 1,800
Vacuum Cleaner, Standard 800 1,340
VCR 200 350
Washer & Dryer 2,000 3,000
Water Heater, Electric 2,000 3,000

Review the power requirements of each of the items you wish to run. Calculating the proper run load requirements is the best way to determine your actual needs. Below is a chart with many common items and their power requirements. Keep in mind your tools and appliances can vary from these averages.