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Last Updated on January 8, 2022
Generators are awesome devices that allow you to power your electronics and other appliances on the go or in case of a power outage in your home. Generators come in different sizes and wattages, and it’s important to assess your own needs before deciding which generator is right for you. In this article we will discuss exactly what a 3500 watt generator is capable of powering.
A 3,500 watt generator can run most of your every day appliances, such as laptops, computers, slow-cookers, mini-fridges, and dishwashers. Items such as air conditioners will require greater power.
Not all generators are the same, however, and you should be careful not to make the classic mistake of overexerting your generator. In such cases, people often try to force their generators to supply more power than it can create — often by plugging in and powering on too many appliances at one time.
A good rule of thumb when using a generator is to always check the watts your appliances require to run and then make sure it doesn’t exceed the capacity of your generator.
How many appliances can you run off a 3500 watt generator?
One of the main things that often gets lost in translation with generators is that they can’t power every single thing in your home at one time. As indicated by the label of 3500 watt generator, these generators are capable of producing 3500 watts of power. This means that as long as the power needed by your appliances doesn’t exceed a total of 3500 watts then you can power them with your generator.
There is, however, an added step involved with this. When looking at the watts your appliances need and the watts your generator can supply, you also need to take into consideration that there are two types of wattage in play.
The first of these is surge wattage. Surge wattage is the number of watts needed to power on an appliance in a sudden surge. Many appliances that are powered by motors will have high surge wattages. In many cases, it takes a lot more power to start an appliance than it takes to actually sustain it longterm once it’s turned on.
A perfect example of this is a refrigerator, which, when you first plug it in, is at room temperature and takes a lot of time and energy to cool it down to the ideal temp.
Once the temperature reaches a low enough level, sustaining that temperature doesn’t require too much power due to the way the appliance was designed to retain cold.
The other type of wattage is continuous wattage, which we already touched on briefly above. Continuous wattage is the amount of power required to keep an appliance running for a long time. In many cases when you look at the wattage requirement on your appliances you will only see one number— this is the continuous wattage.
Very few appliances actually make a note of the surge wattage on the label, which can make figuring out what you can use your generator to power kind of tricky.
What Appliances Can You Power With A 3500 Watt Generator?
A 3500-watt generator will still run a lot of things. Here are a few things that can successfully be powered using a generator of this size. We recommended you should keep your generator at 85%-90% capacity to avoid any issues or damage.
|Appliances||Running Watts||Can It Be Powered|
|Light bulbs (75 watt)||75||Yes|
|Large Refrigerator||700 running, 2200 starting watts||Yes|
|Washing machine||1,600 surge and 800 running||Yes|
Will A 3500 Watt Generator Run A Washing Machine?
In most cases, yes! Your 3500 watt generator will run a washing machine. Most washing machines require 1,600 watts of surge wattage and run on 800 continuous wattage. Therefore as long as you aren’t running any additional appliances that take up more than the remaining 1900 watts, you should be in the clear.
Will A 3500 Watt Generator Run My RV AC?
If you’re an avid RV owner you probably already know that the most power sucking appliance in there is the AC unit. These don’t usually take a ton of wattage to run once they’ve powered on, but they do take a lot to get going.
For context, a 15,000 BTU AC unit will require 3,500 watts to power on, but will only need 1500 watts to keep running. Therefore you should be fine as long as you aren’t using the generator for anything else during the power on process for your AC unit.
Will A 3500 Watt Generator Run A 5000 BTU Air Conditioner?
Absolutely! 5000 BTU AC units are pretty small as far as AC units go, and the recommended generator size for these is only 500 Watts. Therefore you should be more than ok to power up and run your 5000 BTU AC unit on a 3500 watt generator.
Yep! This should be more than enough power to keep the party going during your tailgate.
Yes, in most cases a generator of this size should be able to power all of the power tools and equipment you have on hand.
3500 Watt generators are pretty hefty and are capable of powering a lot more than people might expect. Just make sure you aren’t over exerting your generator by expecting it to power too many appliances at once. Keep track of the watts your appliances need to start up and run continuously to figure out if your 3500 watt generator is up to the task.