When you need to power an entire home, an event, or a massive work site, there’s no substitute for a powerful 7,500-watt generator. 7,500-watt generators are designed to take on the heaviest duty power jobs, which means they often boast higher currents than smaller portable generators and come equipped with numerous outlets.
Is a 7,500-watt generator the right tool for your power needs?
To answer that question, we’ll explore just how many tools and appliances you can run off one of the 7,500-watt generators. In addition, we’ll look at some example uses and see what you could run with a single 7,500-watt generator in each case.
Understanding Generator Wattages
When talking about 7,500-watt generators, it’s important to recognize that there are really two different power ratings involved: the surge wattage and the rated wattage.
The first is the surge power rating, which is the number of watts that a generator can put out for a few seconds. Typically, the surge power rating is important because motor-driven appliances like power tools, pumps, and refrigerators and freezers require more power when starting up than once they are running.
The second is the running power rating, which is the wattage that your generator can put out continuously for as long as there is fuel in the gas tank. The power draw after startup of everything you have plugged into the generator must be less than the running wattage, or else you’ll overload the generator.
Powering Your Home with a 7,500-watt Generator
A 7,500-watt generator is the perfect size for powering most of the things that you need in your home during an extended blackout. You probably won’t be able to power everything in your house at the same time, but there’s a good chance that using your home more or less as you normally would requires less than 7,500 watts.
The most important reason to opt for a 7,500-watt generator over a less powerful option is that it allows you to run a central air conditioning or heating system. Depending on the size of your air conditioning system, running this requires between 3,800 to 6,000 watts of continuous power and around 8,000 watts or more of surge power. A heating system requires 5,000 watts or more, with no surge wattage requirement.
These systems will likely take up most of your available power. But, being able to run them at all is huge because it means you can turn the AC or heat on for a little while, then unplug those systems and use the rest of your house once the temperature has stabilized.
If you want continuous heating and cooling while also using other appliances, you’ll probably want to switch to powering a space heater or window air conditioner. These use up only about 1,200 watts each (1,800 watts of surge power for a window air conditioner).
Across the rest of your home, power requirements are likely to be much more modest. The most power-hungry appliance that most homeowners will want to run during a blackout is a refrigerator and freezer, which requires about 700 watts of running power and 1,200 watts of surge power. Most other common appliances use less than 1,000 watts:
- Microwave – 800 watts
- Toaster – 850 watts
- Coffee Maker – 800 watts
- Dishwasher – 300 watts
- Washing Machine – 500 watts (1,400 surge watts)
- Dryer – 3,000 watts
- Television – 400 watts
- Laptop – 300 watts
What else might you need to power in your home? Lights can be a big energy draw if you turn enough of them on – incandescent bulbs draw about 60 watts each, while LED bulbs drop your energy use to around 12 watts per bulb.
If you have a sump pump or well pump, it’s also important to budget for those. Each pump draws close to 1,000 watts of running power, but startup power requirements can be between 2,000 and 3,000 watts.
Putting this all together, let’s take a look at how a 7,500-watt generator can power your home during an outage. First, keep the refrigerator, sump pump, and lights running – that eats up about 2,000 watts once the appliances have started up. You can do laundry (you may need to turn off a few other appliances while running the dryer) as well as watch television and run your laptop, all while staying under 4,000 watts. With that extra energy, you could even run a space heater or window air conditioner to keep the temperature of your house comfortable.
So, a 7,500-watt generator allows you to power your home almost as if the power never went out in the first place.
Powering a Work Site with a 7,500-watt Generator
The other common application for 7,500-watt generator is at work sites, which can have a very high power demand. The main advantage of using a 7,500-watt generator in this situation is that multiple people can use power tools simultaneously, which often isn’t the case with a smaller power supply.
Let’s take a look at how much power common contractor-duty tools actually use:
- Circular saw – 1,400 watts (2,300 surge watts)
- Table saw – 1,800 watts (4,500 surge watts)
- Portable air compressor (1/2 horsepower) – 1,000 watts (1,600 watts)
- Portable air compressor (1 horsepower) – 1,600 watts (4,500 surge watts)
- Electric drill – 600 watts
- Bench grinder – 1,400 watts (2,500 surge watts)
- Chainsaw – 1,500 watts
- Electric leaf blower – 1,000 watts
These wattages aren’t excessive, but once you factor in surge demands it can be hard to run two tools at the same time with less than 7,500 watts. For example, a one-horsepower air compressor and a table saw require a minimum of 6,100 watts of surge capacity in order to run them simultaneously. With 7,500 watts, you could run both of those and one or two electric power drills all at the same time.
Is 7,500-Watts the Right Size for You?
A 7,500-watt generator provides a huge amount of power, which is extremely helpful when you need to start up a motor-driven tool or appliance with a high surge requirement. This class of generator offers enough power to keep the average home running smoothly through an outage or for multiple people to work simultaneously on a construction site.