What Will a 10000 Watt Generator Run?
10000 Watt portable generators are a common choice for powering larger and even smaller RVs while being offline, whole houses during emergencies and blackouts, construction sites, and similar.
Thanks to their output power, 10000 Watt generators can successfully power a long list of tools, appliances, gadgets, devices, and other loads. But, one must be aware that 10000 Watt generators are rarely inverter generators, providing electric power with relatively high THD%, requiring users to additionally protect sensitive devices by smoothing out output voltage.
Updated: September 16, 2022.
On This Page:
- Intro to 10000 Watt Power Generators
- Wattage Charts of the Most Common Tools, Appliances, and Gadgets
- Most Popular 10000 Watt Power Generators
- How to Protect Sensitive Devices and Gadgets
- Few Final Words
Intro to 10000 Watt Power Generators
10000 Watt power generators feature Running/Starting Watts "around" 10000 Watt mark, they feature mostly open-frame construction for easier access and maintenance, they are "classic" power generators (they are not inverter generators) and are portable using built-in wheels - most of 10000 units can be moved around by one adult using foldable handles, but they cannot be pulled by the car/truck on the streets/roads.
Before diving more deeply into this topic, we must clarify a few things, including:
Running Watts vs Starting Watts
Running Watts is the power that the power generator can provide continuously over a longer period of time, while Starting Watts is the power that the power generator can provide for a very short period of time in order to prevent issues with power surges/spikes.
Power surges are mostly created with tools, appliances, and other similar devices that feature electric motors that require more energy/power when starting.
Typical examples of such devices are various drills, saws, pumps, but also AC units, refrigerators, fans, washing machines, dishwashers, etc.
When calculating what can 10000 Watts generators run, one must consider the running power and starting power requirements of all devices being powered by the power generator.
Most portable power generators are gasoline (gas) powered units, with some of them being dual-fuel generators - they can be powered by both gas and propane gas (LPG).
A small group of power generators are so-called tri-fuel generators and can be operated using gas, propane gas (LPG), and natural gas (LNG), greatly simplifying operating a generator during emergencies and longer blackouts.
Diesel-powered portable 10000 portable power generators are relatively rare, tend to be heavier, but they have better fuel economy.
Personally, dual-fuel power generators (gas and LPG) offer the best performances at acceptable prices.
Generator fuel conversion kits can be used to convert a power generator from one or two fuel types to two or three fuel types, respectively. However, such conversion kits are rarely officially supported by the generator's manufacturers. Very often, converting a power generator from one fuel type to other fuel types means rendering the warranty void.
Type and Number of Receptacles
10000 Watt power generators often come with a long list of available receptacles, allowing them to power a broad range of various loads.
Such receptacles include:
- 120/240V 50A (14-50R),
- 120/240V 30A (L14-30R),
- 120V 30A (L5-30R),
- 120V 30A (TT-30R),
- 120V 20A (5-20R),
- 120V 15A (5-15R).
Also, some power generators come with DC 12V and USB charging ports, but they are more common on smaller, inverter power generators.
The number of receptacles varies, of course, but the smaller ones, for example, 120V 20A 5-20R, are very often present as one or two double receptacles.
The runtime on the single fuel tank varies depending on the load and fuel tank size.
Also, the runtime of dual-fuel power generators depends on the size of the propane bottle.
On average, 10000 Watt power generators can operate 8-15h at 50% load and up to 20-25 hours at 25% load - this is model dependent and must be verified for every power generator individually.
10000 Watt power generators feature relatively large internal combustion engines and when combined with open frame construction, these units feature noise levels greater than the smaller power generators.
On average, 10000 Watt power generators feature noise levels of ~73-75 dB @25% load.
Most 10000 Watt power generators feature a manual recoil start system as a backup system and an electric start system as the main start system.
Some models also feature a remote start fob, allowing the users to start the units from a certain distance, which can come in handy in many situations.
Stability of the Output Voltage
10000 Watt power generators are "classic" power generators, often featuring Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) levels of up to 15-20%.
Such THD levels are not an issue when powering tools and some devices featuring electric motors, but sensitive appliances, gadgets, and devices may have issues with such "dirty" output voltage.
In order to power sensitive devices, the output voltage from 10000 Watt power generators must be smoothed out - but, more on that later in this article.
Wattage Charts of the Most Common Tools, Appliances, and Gadgets
The following charts list some of the most common household, office, outdoor, job site, and recreation appliances, devices, tools, and gadgets, often being powered by portable power generators in emergencies, during blackouts, and in other off-the-grid situations.
Note: these charts provide general values. In order to find the actual power requirements of your devices, check their documentation or small labels commonly found at the back of the devices.
Over time devices and appliances become more energy-efficient, requiring less power to do the same task.
When connecting loads to the power generators, always start with the largest ones, especially if there are several tools/appliances with strong electric motors that may draw large currents when starting.
As more and more tools/appliances are added, be sure to monitor the load on the generator - never push the generator to its maximum, especially if You have several tools/appliances with electric motors.
Such combination of loads may trigger the overload protection system of the generator to turn off external loads in order to prevent any possible damage.
Here is the short list which combines several appliances and gadgets that can be powered by a 10000 Watt power generator:
- Coffee Maker: 1000 Watts,
- Laptop: 200 Watts,
- Large Refrigerator: 700/2200 Watts,
- Large TV: 500 Watts,
- Microwave Owen 1000W: 1000 Watts,
- Set of LED lights: 100 Watts,
- Sump Pump 1/2 HP: 1000/2100 Watts,
- Toaster: 900 Watts,
- Window AC 15.000 BTU: 1900/2900 Watts.
Appliances from this list require ~7300 Running Watts and up to ~10900 Starting Watts, if all devices start at the same time, which is theoretically possible, but in real-life much more difficult.
Also, wattage values are given as a "worst-case" scenario - for example, newer generations of large TVs hardly require 500W, etc.
But, in order to find out how much power actually do You need, make a list of appliances that You want to run using your power generator and list their Running and Starting Watts.
Most Popular 10000 Watt Power Generators
The following comparison chart lists some of the most popular 10000 Watts portable power generators with their most important features and specifications:
Gas Running / Starting Watts
LPG Running / Starting Watts
|All Power America APGG12000GLC||
|10h @50% Gas||76 dB||
AC: 2x 120V 20A 5-20R, L5-30R 30A 120V, 14-50R 50A-120/240V
DC: 12V 8.3A
|Champion 100297 8000/10000||
8h @50% Gas
5h @50% 20 lbs Propane Tank
|74 dB @23 feet||
AC: 120V 30A L5-30R, 120/240V 30A L14-30R, 2x 120V 20A GFCI 5-20R Duplex
|Champion 100416 8000/10000||
12.5h @50% Gas
5h @50% 20 lbs Propane Tank
|74 dB @23 feet||
AC: 120/240V 30A L14-30R, 120V 30A L5-30R, 2x GFCI 120V 20A Duplex 5-20R
8.83h @50% Gas
7.2h @50% 40 lbs Propane Tank
AC: 2x 120V 20A 5-20R, 120V 30A L5-30R, 120/240V 30A L14-30R, 120/240V 50A 14-50R
DC: 12V 8.3A
12h @50% Gas
12h @50% 8 gal Propane Tank
AC: 2x 5-20R 20A 120V GFCI, 14-50R 50A 120/240V, L14-30R 30A 120V/240V, L5-30R 30A 120V
|10h @50% Gas||-||
AC: 2x 5-20R 20A 120V GFCI Duplex, 14-50R 50A-120/240V, L5-30R 30A 120V
|Generac 7676 GP8000E||8000W
|11h @50% Gas||-||
AC: 2x 5-20R 20A 120V GFCI Duplex, L14-30R 30A 120V/240V
|5.4h @100%, 7.9h @50%||71 dB @50%, 73 dB @100%||
AC: 2x 20A 5-20R 120V GFCI Duplex, L5-30R 30A 120V, L14-30R 30A 120V/240V, 14-50R 50A 120/240V
|12h @50% Gas||74 dB||AC: 2x 120V 20A 5-20R Duplex, 120/240V 30A (L14-30R), 120/240V 50A (14-50R)
DC: 12V 8.3A
8.5h @50% Gas
3h @50% 20lbs Propane Tank
|-||AC: 4x 120V GFCI 5-20R, 120V 30A L5-30R, 120V/240V 50A 14-50R
DC: 12V 8A
17.5h @25%, 12h @50% Gas
7h @50% 20(?) lbs Propane Tank
AC: 2x 120V 5–20R GFCI Duplex, 120/240V 30A L14-30R, 120/240V 50A 14–50R
Note: Amazon affiliate links (the 'Model' column) open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices. Also, we have really tried to verify every single bit of information in this chart and article (and in the end - our website), but there are sometimes discrepancies found even in data from the official websites.
Modern power generators are relatively simple to use and maintain - just be sure to keep their Owner's Guide close by and to follow the instructions provided by their manufacturer.
Note: Power generators of any kind must be operated outdoors since they emit fumes that contain toxic and very dangerous Carbon Monoxide (CO). And no, the open door of the garage is NOT outdoors!
How to Protect Sensitive Devices and Gadgets
Probably the only issue that 10000 Watt classic generators have is the level of THD, which can be up to 20% at full load.
Such THD levels can cause issues with sensitive devices like laptops, modern TVs, and similar.
Automatic Voltage Regulators (AVR)
Automatic Voltage Regulators (AVR) smooth out input voltage providing output voltage with a much better, almost pure sine waveform, suitable for sensitive equipment.
When looking for a suitable AVR, be sure to check its power rating, input voltage range, output voltage waveform, and similar.
In order to protect the devices from overvoltage (power surges), AVRs with surge protectors are recommended - it is highly unlikely that the power generator will trip surge protection, but the good thing about AVRs is the fact that they can be used to protect sensitive devices even when they are powered by the mains power.
One of the cons of the AVRs is that when the power is gone, their output power is gone, too.
If You have issues with the stability of the mains power and in order to protect the devices when being powered by power generators, one may also use Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS)!
Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS)
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units monitor input voltage and provide the loads with the power when the input voltage is gone, thanks to the built-in battery.
However, when choosing the right UPS device(s), one must be aware that not all UPS devices act as AVRs and that not all UPS devices feature surge protectors by default.
Personally, a good AVR in combination even with cheaper UPS is an excellent combination in providing smooth and constant voltage to sensitive devices, regardless if the original power source is an inverter generator, classic generator, power station/solar generator, power inverter, or something else.
Power conditioners are very special devices that voltage stabilization and filtration raise to another level.
Power conditioners are generally used for sensitive medical equipment, audio devices, recording equipment, entertainment systems, and similar applications where line voltage must be "almost" perfect sine wave.
Power conditioners should be connected to the power generators after AVRs, preferably after AVRs and UPSs - this may sound costly, but in most situations, devices powered by such combination are much more expensive than such combination!
Power Stations/Solar Generators
Power stations/solar generators may be powered by portable power generators either directly or via AVR, while power stations are used to power sensitive devices.
Power stations that are suitable for such combinations also feature "pass-through charging", allowing them to be used for powering external loads, while at the same time recharging their internal batteries.
And the best of all is that many larger/stronger power stations/solar generators also double as UPSs - in the event of mains power failure, power station supply power to the external load, which is usually enough for the user to connect solar panels and/or power generator.
Few Final Words
10000 Watt power generators can supply power for a long list of tools, appliances, devices, and gadgets at the same time.
When connecting the loads, it is important to start with the largest loads, especially those that feature electric motors and larger power requirements when starting.
But, even when such order is not possible to keep, these power generators are able to supply enough power to prevent Power Overload events - just be sure that the total wattage of connected devices is lower than the Starting Watts of the power generator.
Personally, these units have just a few cons:
- they must be operated outside, like any other power generator!
- they tend to be noisier than smaller inverter power generators.
- they have higher THD levels than inverter power generators which can be rectified relatively easily.
But, it is very important that they are used and maintained according to the instructions in their Owner Guides - when maintained properly, modern power generators are very reliable and can last for a long time.