What Appliances Can I Run With a 6,500-Watt Power Generator?

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You can supply power for a number of appliances with a 6,500-watt generator. However, you will not only have to consider the rated power of your appliance but also the surge demand of your appliance. Then you will have to compare it against the rated power and surge power of your 6,500-watt generator. If the generator’s rated power and surge power is greater than the rated power and surge power of your appliance, you can reliably power the appliance with the generator.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

A 6,500-watt generator will allow you to run most common household appliances, including a fridge, a dryer or a television.


Refrigerators can be powered with a 6,500-watt generator. Home refrigerators only require in the order of 1,000 to 2,000 watts. The amount of power needed is proportional to the size of the refrigerator.

Window Air Conditioners

A 6,500-watt generator will power most window air conditioners. Small window air conditioners with a 5,000 BTU capacity can require a rated power of as little as 450 watts.

Electric Clothes Dryer

Most standard-sized electric clothes dryers have a power consumption rating in the range of 5,000 watts and a surge power rating slightly above 6,000 watts. If your generator has a power rating of 6,000 watts and a surge power rating of over 6,500 watts, you can usually use the generator. However, if other appliances are on when your dryer is on, you may have problems reliably powering the dryer.

There are portable spin dryers however that consumes much less power, in the order of 300 Watts. Those dryers can dry a couple of pairs of jeans relatively quickly and take very little room, reference two.


For the most part, any television can be powered with a 6,500-watt generator. LCD televisions range in power consumption from about 40 watts to 400 watts. Power consumption tends to go up with screen size, but there are several models that buck that trend.

Electric water heater

An electric water heater can be purchased that draws much less than 6000 Watts. However, the lower the rated power of the water heater, the slower the water will heat. For a 5000 Watt water heater, it takes about one minute to heat one gallon of water from 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, reference four.


You can power a number of other appliances easily with a 6000 Watt generator. These include microwave ovens, clothes washers, dishwashers and hair dryers. Watt ratings will vary depending on the size of the appliance.


About the Author

Mark Stansberry has been a technical and business writer over for 15 years. He has been published in leading technical and business publications such as "Red Herring," "EDN" and "BCC Research." His present writing focus is on computer applications programming, graphic design automation, 3D linear perspective and fractal technology. Stansberry has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from San Jose State University.