What Can You Run on a 2000 Watt Generator?

2000 watt generators are a very popular class of power generators, featuring acceptable price, long runtime on a single gas tank, quiet operation, simple maintenance etc., and are thus often used for camping, boating, fishing trips, in RVs, etc. Also, they are often used in emergencies.

Thus, many people wonder what household appliances their 2000 watt power generators may run and for how long.

2000 watt power generator 1

Before trying to figure out what will 2000 watt power generator run, it is important to explain a few things about power generators.

- Running vs Starting Power: All power generators feature running and starting power - running watts represent continuous power that the power generator is able to provide, while starting power is the maximum power that the power generator is able to provide for short periods of time. This is very important for appliances, tools, devices, gadgets, and similar loads with electric motors that draw much larger currents when they start than during the normal operation.

When trying to figure out what will a power generator be able to power, always calculate using both running and starting power - it is easily possible that the generator is able to power all required devices during normal operation, but stopping and starting just one appliance with an electric motor can cause generator overload and its automatic shutdown ...

- Inverter Generator vs. Standard Generator: Standard power generators must operate at the pre-set speed in order to maintain the required frequency. For example, in order to provide electricity at 60 Hz, such generators operate at 3600 rpm, even with no load. On the other hand, inverter generators feature complex electronics based on AC and DC converters (also known as 'inverters', hence the name) that provide pure sine 60 Hz electricity with very low Total Harmonic Distortions (THD), making them suitable to power even sensitive electronics directly. Since inverters don't require 60 Hz input to provide 60 Hz output, the generator's engine may be throttled down when there is no load, or when the generator is lightly loaded, leading to increased fuel efficiency.

- Eco vs Standard Mode: Eco mode of modern inverter generators increases fuel efficiency, but may be of a problem when there are appliances and tools with strong electric motors - in Eco mode engine is throttled down and in order to provide enough power due to the power surges, the engine must be throttled up, and that requires time.

If your inverter generator is in Eco mode and it shuts itself off whenever there is an appliance or a tool with electric motor turned on, turn off the Eco mode and try to start that appliance/tool. If the appliance/tool features starting power lesser than the starting power of your power generator, it will/should operate normally. If not, check your power generator for error codes/statuses and let it cool down a little bit.

 Common Appliances, Tools and Gadgets Wattage Charts

Here is the list of most common household, office, job site, outdoor, and recreation appliances, tools, devices, and gadgets, often being powered by portable inverter power generators.

Note: these charts provide general values. For actual power requirements, check your appliance/tool - commonly, power requirements are labeled on the device (on the back, at the bottom).

Home

Appliance/Tool Running Watts Starting Watts
Aquarium 200 250
Blender 300 800
Ceiling Fan 100 300
Central AC 10.000 BTU 1500 2400
Central AC 24.000 BTU 3800 5000
Central AC 40.000 BTU 6000 7500
Clothes Dryer - Electric 5000 7000
Clothes Dryer - Gas 700 1800
Coffee Maker 1000 0
Curling Iron 1500 0
Deep Freezer 500 1500
Dishwasher 1300 1800
Electric Can Opener 170 220
Electric Grill 1.6 kW 1600 0
Electric Stove 2kW 2000 0
Electric Water Heater 4 kW 4000 0
Food Processor 400 0
Furnace Fan 1/3 HP 700 1400
Furnace Fan 1/2 HP 800 2350
Garage Door Opener 1/2 HP 900 2400
Hair Dryer 1.5 kW 1500 0
Heat Pump 4700 5500
Humidifier 13 gal. 175 0
Iron (Clothes) 1500 0
Iron (Waffles) 1200 0
Light Bulb 60 W 60 0
Light Bulb 75 W 75 0
Light LED Bulb 10 W 10 0
Microwave Oven 600 W 600 0
Microwave Oven 1000 W 1000 0
 Refrigerator/Freezer 700 2200
RV Roof Top Air Conditioner
13.500 BTU
1600 2500
RV Roof Top Air Conditioner
15.000 BTU
1700 2700
Security System 500 0
Space Heater 2 kW 2000 0
Sump Pump 1/3 HP 800 1300
Sump Pump 1/2 HP 1050 2200
Television 27" 500 0
Toaster 900 0
Toaster Oven 1200 0
Vacuum Cleaner 12 Amps 1440 2500
VCR 100 0
Washing Machine 1200 2300
Well Pump 1/2 HP 1000 2100
Window AC 5.000 BTU 600 900
Window AC 10.000 BTU 1200 1800
Window AC 12.000 BTU 1500 2300
Window AC 15.000 BTU 1900 2900
 

Job Site

Appliance/Tool  Running Watts Starting Watts
Air Compressor 1/4 HP 900 1600
Air Compressor 1 HP 1600 4500
Airless Sprayer 600 1200
Belt Sander 1200 2400
Circular Saw 7 1/4 inch 1400 2300
Electric Drill 3/8 inch 4 Amps 450 700
Electric Drill 1/2 inch 5.4 Amps 600 900
Halogen Work Light 300 W 300 0
Halogen Work Light 500 W 500 0
Halogen Work Light 1 kW 1000 0
Hammer Drill 1.2 kW 1200 3500
Miter Saw 10 inch 1800 2500
Planer/Jointer 6 inch 1800 2500
Reciprocating Saw 900 1300
Table Saw 10 inch 2000 2800

Office

Appliance/Tool  Running Watts Starting Watts
Copy Machine 1600 0
Fax Machine 70 0
Inkjet Printer 80 0
Laptop 200 0
Laser Printer 900 0
PC w/21" Flat Screen 800 0

Recreation/Outdoor

Appliance/Tool  Running Watts Starting Watts
AM/FM Radio 100 0
Box Fan 20" 200 0
CD/DVD Player 100 0
Cell Phone Charger 25 0
Electric Trolling Motor
12V 55 lbs
800 1300
Electric Trolling Motor
12V 30 lbs, Kayak
450 700
Hedge Trimmer (Corded, 4 Amps) 500 900
Inflator Pump 50 150
Mower (Corded, 14 Amps) 1700 3000
Outdoor Light String 250 0
Outdoor LED Light String 35 0
Stereo 250  
X-Box, Wii, Playstation 40 0

As one can see, the starting power of many tools and appliances is often significantly larger than their running power.

For example, portable inverter generator with 1800 running watts and 2200 starting watts is able to power:

- Window AC 10.000 BTU (~1200W/1800W) - after staring of AC unit, some 600 watts remain for powering lights, charging laptop/cell phones and other devices that don't feature electric motors. Or, just power the AC unit for longer operating time on a single gas tank.

- Toaster (900W), Microwave Oven (600W) - both units require some 1500W which should not be a problem for the 1800W/2200W power generator. But, if you try to start the blender (300W/800W), its starting power may trip automatic shutdown of the generator due to the overload (2300W vs 2200W) - this 100W difference isn't large, but it may cause the overload event.

- Coffee Maker (1000W), Deep Freezer (500W/1500W) - while you are making coffee, you try to start your deep freezer, causing an overload event (2500W total). This can be avoided by turning the deep freezer on first (1500W starting power, 500W running power) and coffee maker second (1000W running power).

But, be very careful when powering freezers and similar appliances - when freezer or refrigerator achieves required temperature, they turn themselves automatically off. When their internal temperature reaches a certain level, they automatically turn themselves on (calculate starting power) often causing overload events and automatic shutdown of power generators.

There are many possible variations of the appliances, tools, and devices in general that may be powered by 2000W generators.

The first thing to do is to write down actual starting watts and running watts of your power generator and to make a list of your appliances with their starting/running watts and do some math.

Again, some appliances with motors turn themselves automatically On and Off, possibly causing overload events.

How to Increase Output Power?

2000 watt power generator 2If you are having issues with your 2000W generator, the simplest thing is to get a new stronger/larger power generator. Although this method is probably the simplest, it is not always the most cost-effective method.

Most modern inverter generators come with the so-called 'parallel connection' feature, allowing the two same (or similar enough) models of the same manufacturer to be connected with the parallel connection cables in order to increase (double) output power.

Thus, if your 1800W/2200W portable generator comes with a 'parallel connection' feature, getting another 1800W/2200W portable generator (same model, same brand) with parallel connection cables (or parallel connection kit) is cheaper than buying the brand new 3600W/4400W power generator.

Also, don't forget the fact that you are already familiar with the 1800W/2200W power generator model that you already have.

 Most Popular 2000W Inverter Generators

The following chart lists some of the most popular 2000W inverter generators and their most important features:

Model Running Watts
Starting Watts
Runtime Noise Receptacles Amazon Link
A-iPower SUA2000iV 1600W
2000W
4h @100%
7h @50%
58 dB @50%
68 dB @75%
AC: 120V 20A 5-20R port, 120V 30A L5-30R
DC: 12V
A-iPower SUA2000iV
Champion 2000W
Model #73536i
1700W
2000W
9.5h @25% 53 dB @25% AC: 20A 120V Duplex
DC: 12V
Champion 2000W Model 72536i
Champion 2000W
Model #100692
1700W
2000W
11.5h @25% 53 dB @25% AC: 20A 120V Duplex
DC: 12V 
Champion 2000W Model #100692
Champion 3100W
Model #75537i
2800W
3100W
8h @25% 58 dB @25% AC: 120V 20A Duplex, 120V 30A L5-30R
DC: 12V, 2x USB ports
Champion 3100W Model 75537i
Generac 7117 GP2200i 1700W
2200W
10.75h @25%
7h @50%
? AC: 20A 120V Duplex
DC: 12V, USB 5V/1.5A
Generac 7117 GP2200i
Generac GP3000i 2300W
3000W
4.5h @50%
5.8h @25%
? AC: 120V 20A Duplex, 120V 30A L5-30R
DC: two USB ports (5V/2.1A, 5V/1A)
Generac GP3000i
Honda EU2000i 1600W
2000W
8h @25% 50 dB @25% AC: 20A 120V Duplex
DC: 12V
Honda EU2000i
Honda EU2200i 1800W
2200W
3.2h @100%
8.1h @25%
48 dB @25%
57 dB @100%
AC: 20A 120V Duplex
DC: 12V 100W (8.3 Amps)
Honda EU2200i
Honda EU3000IS 2800W
3000W
20h @25% 50 dB @25% AC: 120V 20A Duplex, 120V 30A L5-30R
DC: 12V (12 Amps)
Honda EU3000IS
Briggs & Stratton
P2200 PowerSmart
1700W
2200W
8h @25% 59 dB @25% AC: 20A 120V Duplex
DC: 12V, USB Adapter
Briggs & Stratton P2200
Briggs & Stratton
P3000 PowerSmart
2600W
3000W
10h @25% 58 dB @25% AC: 20A 120V Quad, 120V 30A L5-30R
DC: 12V, 1x USB
Briggs & Stratton P3000
WEN 56200i 1600W
2000W
9.4h @25% 51 dB @25% AC: 20A 120V Duplex
DC: 12V (8.3 Amps), USB 5V
WEN 56200i
WEN 56225i 1800W
2250W
6h @50% 53 dB @25% AC: 20A 120V Duplex
2x USB 5V
WEN 56225i
Westinghouse
iGen2200
1800W
2200W
12h @25% 52 dB @25% AC: 20A 120V Duplex
2x USB 5V 
Westinghouse iGen2200
Westinghouse
iGen2600
2200W
2600W
10h @25% 52 dB @25% AC: 20A 120V Duplex
DC: 12V, 2x USB 5V
Westinghouse iGen2600
Westinghouse
WH2200iXLT
1800W
2200W
13h @25% 52 dB @25% AC: 20A 120V Duplex
DC: 12V 
Westinghouse WH2200iXLT

2000W inverter generators class is a very popular generator class, featuring models that are rather compact, robust, and reliable, and that come at affordable prices.

If you need a stronger model, first check if your current power generator supports a parallel connection to the same (or similar) power generator.

Note: even very small power generators and power stations provide electricity at voltages and currents that may cause significant damage, and that can injure or even kill people. Whatever you do, read the instructions/manuals and if unsure, call/contact/ask for professional help, either locally or from the generator's manufacturer.