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What Size Generator will run a Fridge

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  • 27-08-2020
What Size Generator will run a Fridge

What Size Generator will run a Refrigerator?

The size of a generator is measured by the power output, in wattage, not the weight, height, width or length. Before you buy a generator, there are many factors to consider. For example, the size and run time of your refrigerator, are you needing to power other appliances and does it have a connected freezer?

Finding the right size generator is so important; if you buy a generator that is too large, you'll be overpaying for the energy that your appliances aren't using. However, a smaller sized generator may not be able to handle the number of appliances you need to power, and could, therefore, overheat, or appliances could under-perform.

On this page, you'll find a guide to choosing the right generator to suit your power needs. If you need any further help, you can always ask for the advice of a professional to prevent any problems in the long run. It's essential to be sure the generator is the right size for you before you buy.

Types of Generators

There are three main types of generators; each can have different fuel sources used to generate electricity, such as diesel, propane and gas. Each type of generator can be used for different purposes, and it's important to choose the right one for you. Here is some information about the three main types of generators:

Portable Generator

Portable generators are ideal to have for when natural disasters and bad weather conditions occur, causing a grid power outage. These generators can continue to provide energy until the grid power supply comes back. Portable generators are usually used for residential purposes, along with small businesses and at a construction site to power small tools such as an electric drill and an air compressor.

Standby Generator

Standby generators can switch off automatically when there is a grid power outage, and automatically switch off when the power comes back, using signals from the electrical supply. This type of generator is used as a backup system, and is usually used in large places holding a lot of people, such as hospitals, hotels and restaurants.

Inverter Generator

Inverter generators produce AC power by converting it into DC power, then back to AC. This creates a stable electrical current to help your electrical appliances run better. Inverter generators are lightweight, making them easy to move around and store away. They are ideal for refrigerators and other household appliances.

Uses of Generators

There are many uses of generators that can be very beneficial to everyday life. Listed below is a guide to a few of the different uses, and how they can help you.

Construction Site

At a construction site, there can be bad environmental conditions due to the building work, and tools to power such as an electric drill, or an air compressor. A generator can handle bad weather conditions and spread its energy over a large area.


If you are planning a family camping trip, a generator can come in handy to power appliances such as your stove, lights and electric heater. They are also easy to transport, lightweight and have quiet operation, so you'll have nothing to disturb you enjoying your family time.

Home/Work Use

From your central heating to your oven and even your coffee machine, generators have you covered. If you require a lot of power at home, or at work, you'll need to choose a larger generator. They are also perfect for office jobs if there is a unexpected power cut.

Outdoor Events

For outdoor weddings, festivals or markets, generators can handle anything from your lights, music, heating and cooking equipment. They can cover a large surface area and can cope with adverse weather conditions.

Power Requirements of Electrical Appliances

Around your home, you'll have many appliances that you'll want to power. To be able to do this, you'll need to work out the average power requirements of each electrical appliance you want to run.

Here is the average running wattage of each appliance:

  • Single light bulb: 10 - 60 watts
  • Microwave: 500 - 1200 watts
  • Lights: 15 - 100 watts
  • Coffee machine: 300 - 1500 watts
  • Electric Heater: 1500 watts
  • Laptop: 50 watts
  • Air conditioner: 3500 watts
  •  Computer: 250 watts
  • Oven: 1000 - 3000 watts
  • Television: 80 - 400 watts  
  • Central heating: 1500 - 2000 watts
  • Drill: 600 watts
  • Air compressor: 2000 - 7000 watts
  • Sump pump: 800 - 1000 watts

Sizes of Generators

To work out the power output of a refrigerator, you need to find out the brand, find out the starting watts, running watts and total watts and add them together. You then need to look at the different sizes of generators and choose which one will cover your power needs. 

  • 5 kilowatts
  • 6.5 kilowatts
  • 8 kilowatts
  • 10 kilowatts
  • 15 kilowatts
  • 25+ kilowatts

Power Requirements of a Refrigerator

In order to find the right generator for your refrigerator, you need to be aware of the long run time, the wattage and its purpose. For example, if it's just temporary, or for long term use, or if it's used in a house, or a large building to cater for a large amount of people.

There are many factors that could affect the power usage of a refrigerator. For example, you must consider:

  • The age of your refrigerator
  • The size of your refrigerator
  • The type/brand of your refrigerator
  • The location of your refrigerator
  • The condition of your refrigerator
  • How often you use your refrigerator
  • The temperature your refrigerator is set at
  • The season you are in

Restaurant / Hotel Refrigerators

Restaurant and hotel refrigerators will use more power than home-use refrigerators as they are much larger in size. These refrigerators need to cater to a lot of people, and have a longer run time, as they will need to be running until late at night. Walk-in fridges can use an average running wattage of 1000 - 3000 watts, depending on the time of day. Throughout the day, this can accumulate to a high wattage; therefore, you would need a 15+ kilowatt generator, just to run this refrigerator.

Caravan Refrigerators

Caravan fridges are usually smaller in size, and will, therefore, consume less energy than the average household fridge would. On average, the starting wattage of a caravan fridge is between 500-600 watts. This size fridge would only need a smaller sized generator, as you don't want to be overpaying for the extra unused energy. If you buy a 5-kilowatt generator, then you'll still have energy left over to power other electrical appliances around your caravan.

Domestic Refrigerators

Refrigerators in your home can vary in power consumption due to size, brand and usage. However, on average, a household fridge's typical power output is around 80 - 400 watts. Again, the size of generator you need would depend on what other electrical appliances you wish to power. If you only need to power your fridge alone, you would only need a 5-kilowatt generator.

Supermarket Refrigerators

Refrigeration in a supermarket uses the most energy out of all the electrical appliances need to run the shop. They usually need to run all through the day, and all through the night for 24-hour shops. To run a supermarket refrigerator, you would need a 25+ kilowatt generator. They use up a lot of power, so be sure to get the right size; otherwise, the generator could overheat.

IWS Generator Sales

We offer top quality products, along with excellent customer service skills and expert advice. The range of services we offer are delivery, installation, repairs, servicing and sales. If you would like to find out more information or have any other questions related to generators, please visit our website, or contact us today via phone or email.

 If you are looking for reliable  generators for sale, we provide the best brands with UK wide delivery.