Home Survival Handbook - Survival-proof your home








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Generator Starting Watts | Running Watts
Common Household Appliances & Tools


Starting Watts is the amount of energy it takes to initiate the start appliance or tool.
Running Watts is the amount of energy it takes to keep that appliance or tool running once initialized.


Estimate both the amount of starting watts and the running watts needed to run the essential appliances before deciding how large a generator to purchase. The final decision as to what size of generator to buy can partially be based on just how well one manages the power usage. Managing usage is accomplished by having only those appliances running that are needed when needed. Otherwise turn them off. This allows a smaller generator to power more appliances more efficiently.

Items with an * notation take as much energy to run as to start.
Common Household Appliances
Appliance Starting Watts Running Watts
Refrigerator 1,200 150
Freezer 1,200 192
Electric Stove* (8" Element) 2,100 2,100
Electric Skillet* 1,500 1,500
Coffee Maker* 600 600
Microwave* (1000 watts) 1,500 1,500
Hair Dryer 1,900 1,800
A/C Unit (10,000 BTU) 2,200 1,500
Washing Machine* 1,200 1,200
Electric Clothes Dryer 6,750 5,400
Hot Water Heater* 4,500 4,500
Dishwasher (Cool Dry) 540 220
Radiant Heater* 1,300 1,300
Radio* 200 200
Television (Flat Screen) 190 190
Computer* (Laptop/Desktop) 250/800 250/800
Water Well Get watts from manufacturer Get watts from manufacturer
Standard Lamp Indicated by bulb
25W, 60W, 100W, etc.
Indicated by bulb
25W, 60W, 100W, etc.



Common Household Tools
Tool Starting Watts Running Watts
Compressor (1/2 - 1 HP) 1,600 - 4,500 975 - 1,600
Circular Saw 2,300 1,400
Drill (1/2 inch) 900 600


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