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Generators should be installed by qualified electricians. Most generators are rated in watts. The formula for watts is Watts=Volts x Amps. If you you have a 120 watt bulb at 120 volts you would have one amp. If you were to run 25 100 watt bulbs you would need a 2,500 watt generator. Motor circuits such as circulating motors for heat and compressors for refrigerators must be calculated differently. It takes about three times the current to start a motor. Most motors have the amperage rating on the name tag. If the motor has a nameplate rating of 3 amps you might want to add 9 amps on your generator calculations. Also because most generators may run over a period of time you may not want to run at full capacity. About 0% of the wattage rating of your generator would be the way to go.

Appliances and Approximate Wattages.





Lighting - Basic

1,200 Watts

Lighting - Full

4,000 Watts

Electric Heat

5,000 Watts

Electric Water Heater

5,000 Watts

Refrigerator - 20 Cu Ft

00 Watts

Freezer - 20 Cu Ft

550 Watts

Sump Pump

900 Watts

Well Pump HP

1,000 Watts

Well Pump 1HP

2,000 Watts

Garage Door Opener HP

400 Watts

Microwave Oven 1000W

1,500 Watts


400 Watts


900 Watts


250 Watts

Electric Range Oven

8500 Watts

TV - 32" Color

180 Watts


60 Watts

Stereo System

140 Watts

Clothes Iron

1100 Watts

Electric Clothes Dryer

6000 Watts

Washing Machine

1000 Watts

Hair Dryer

1600 Watts

Air Conditioning 1 Ton

2,000 Watts

Air Conditioning 2 Ton

3,000 Watts

Air Conditioning 3 Ton

4,500 Watts

Window A/C

2000 Watts

Vacuum Cleaner

80 Watts

Central Vacuum

1850 Watts

Why put transfer switches on generators?

 The only proper and most safe way to run a generator is with a transfer switch. These switches should only be installed by an electrician. Transfer switches have three selections. off...and utility. It prevents you from having the generator and the utility power on at the same time. Which could cause severe damage to the wiring in your home. And when installed properly will prevent a back-feed to the utility lines which could prove fatal to lineman working. The utility transformer is a step-down into your home but becomes a step-up when fed the other way. Think of it as a gate. When open, it will allow current to either enter your home or, exit your home to the power lines and even the sub-station. When closed, it will keep the power contained in your home.

Table and information courtesy of: MaRoSteph

For generator installations that are code compliant and neatly done, contact Mike Egezeino of Suncoast Electrical Services. I have known Mr. Egezeino for over 20 years. He is very meticulous and conscientious about his work.
Suncoast Electrical Services Phone: (561) 371-5903

Click on the links to the left for important information.


Martin County: (772) 214-9929 Broward/Palm Beach Counties: (954) 340-6615

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