What Will A 6000 Watt Generator Run?

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Before investing in a 6000 watt generator or to make the most use of your existing one you want to know what it will run.

Assuming you have enough amps too, a good 6000 watt generator should be able to run big devices like a 2-ton central air, a hot water heater, or an air compressor separately.

You can also run multiple smaller appliances and tools at once.

An example of a combination a 6000 watt generator should be able to run together is a 2-ton central air, refrigerator, dishwasher, and electric grill.

It is important to note that these are rough general guidelines that may not apply to the brands of devices you have.

Additionally, you want to make sure you have a 6000 watt inverter generator for more sensitive electronics.

Lastly, you can find a helpful (but again imperfect) table with the watt needs of different appliances and tools below.

What electronics a 6000 watt generator can run

Below you can find a table with what electronics 6000 watt generators can run. However, there are a few additional things to keep in mind.

The first one is that even when two generators have 6000 peak watts, they can still vary in terms of the amounts of running watts and amps they offer and whether they are inverters or not.

You want to take these details into account to make sure your 6000 watt generator can run the appliances and tools below safely.

I will assume your 6000 watt generator is an inverter, has a 240 volt 30 amp outlet, and offers at least 5000 running watts.

The second thing to keep in mind is that individual brands of these electronics categories can still vary in terms of the watts they need.

Lastly, you should look at these appliances and tools separately.

To run multiple of them at once with your 6000 watt generator you want to check the next article section too.

Appliance Or ToolRunning WattsAdditional
Starting Watts
Total
Starting Watts
Coffee Maker600 Watts600 Watts
Incandescent Light Bulbs60 Watts60 Watts
Refrigerator800 Watts1400 Watts2200 Watts
800 Watt Microwave Oven1300 Watts1300 Watts
Electric Frying Pan1500 Watts1500 Watts
Electric Grill1650 Watts1650 Watts
Slow Cooker270 Watts270 Watts
Toaster1200 Watts1200 Watts
Blender400 Watts450 Watts850 Watts
Air Fryer1600 Watts1600 Watts
Pressure Cooker1200 Watts1200 Watts
Electric Oven3500 Watts3500 Watts
Window Air Conditioner
(10,000 BTU)
1500 Watts700 Watts2200 Watts
11,000 BTU RV Air Conditioner1010 Watts590 Watts1600 Watts
Central Air (2 ton)1500 Watts3000 Watts4500 Watts
Sump Pump (⅓ HP)800 Watts500 Watts1300 Watts
Flat Screen TV120 Watts120 Watts
Dishwasher220 Watts320 Watts540 Watts
RadioUp to 200 WattsUp to 200 Watts
Portable Fan40 Watts80 Watts120 Watts
Laptop250 Watts250 Watts
Printer600 Watts600 Watts
Garage Door Opener720 Watts720 Watts1440 Watts
Cell Phone Charger25 Watts25 Watts
Radiant Heater1300 Watts1300 Watts
Hair Dryer1800 Watts100 Watts1900 Watts
Vacuum Cleaner1400 Watts1400 Watts
Hot Water Heater4500 Watts4500 Watts
Iron1200 Watts1200 Watts
Electric Drill600 Watts300 Watts900 Watts
Bench Grinder1400 Watts1100 Watts2500 Watts
Circular Saw1400 Watt900 Watts2300 Watts
Table Saw1800 Watts2700 Watts4500 Watts
Air Compressor1600 Watts2900 Watts4500 Watts
What electronics a 6000 starting watts generator can typically run

How much can a 6000 watt generator run at once?

If you are interested in or have a 6000 watt generator you likely want to run more than just a laptop or radio.

To figure out how much a generator of this power level can run at once, you need to go through a few different steps.

The first ones are:

  1. List the appliances and tools you want to run at once with your 6000 watt generator.
  2. Research (or even better measure) the power needs of these electronics. Keep in mind that the table above is helpful but not perfect.
  3. Add up all the running watts of the appliances and tools on the list. If your result is higher than 6000 watts, you already know you will need to use fewer devices or a stronger generator.

After these initial steps, there are two ways you can go depending on how precise you want to get.

The more detailed steps that require a bit more calculating are:

  1. Rank your electronics from highest starting watts to lowest.
  2. Do a thought exercise where you turn on each device and make sure you stay under 6000 peak watts and the number of running watts you have.
  3. If there is a step where you go over the power capacities, you will have to remove devices from the list.

A rougher way to estimate how much your 6000 watt generator can run at once is:

  1. Add up all the running watt amounts on the list. Add the highest amount of additional starting watts to this.
  2. If this total sum is more than 6000 watts, you will need to run fewer appliances and tools at once.

If you follow these steps, you will likely conclude that a 6000 watt generator can run a combination like a 2-ton central air, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, coffee maker, and laptop at once.

At least if you start these up in certain orders and your brand models consume “normal” amounts of watts.

FAQ about running specific devices with 6000 watt generators

The table of appliances and tools above is relatively complete but you may wonder about running other specific devices with your 6000 watt generator.

Can a 6000 watt generator power a whole house?

Whether or not a 6000 watt generator can power a whole house depends more on your safety precautions, adapters, and what devices there are inside of the house.

To figure out whether this applies to your situation you want to check what devices a 6000 watt generator can run at once and go over the safety guidelines.

Will a 6000 watt generator run central air?

Whether a 6000 watt generator can run central air depends on the size of your system.

A 4-ton central air will often require around 5200 starting watts and 3000 running watts so a 6000 watt generator will regularly be able to run this.

Will a 6000 watt generator run a furnace?

It is hard to make general statements about whether a 6000 watt generator can run a furnace because these can vary a lot in terms of watts needs.

Will a 6000 watt generator run a welder?

A 6000 watt generator will be able to run many types of welders since these often require around 6000 peak watts.

At the same time, there will also be welders that are too big for this generator power level.

Will a 6000 watt generator run my well pump?

Assuming a 1/3 HP well pump needs about 2200 starting watts, a 6000 watt generator will be able to run one of these.

Will a 6000 watt generator run my heat pump?

Similar to many appliances and tools, heat pumps can vary a lot in terms of watts needs.

For example, a 6000 watt generator would be able to run a heat pump that only needs 4500 peak watts.

Will a 6000 watt generator run an RV?

Whether a 6000 watt generator can run an RV depends on the appliances and tools inside an RV.

That being said, 6000 watt generators often have 30 amp outlets that are relatively easy to connect to RVs and have a lot of power.

In turn, a 6000 watt generator can typically run RVs with a nice amount of electronics inside.

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Author:

Mats is the founder and head editor of Generator Decision. With a combination of critical thinking, tireless research, and a healthy interest in electronics he helps people find the right generators and how to use these. At this point in the journey, Mats has done research on hundreds of portable generators.