What Types of Appliances Will a 3,000-Watt Generator Run?

Jodi Jacobson/E+/Getty Images

A 3,000-watt generator can run a large range of home appliances, including heavy-duty things such as a refrigerator, an electric furnace, a microwave and a television. In general, appliances require a higher wattage amount when they are first started up; during operation, the running wattage typically drops significantly. Theoretically, a 3,000-watt generator can run many appliances simultaneously, though each needs to be activated separately.

When considering the number of appliances that can be run on a generator, it is important to take note of what the operational and starting watt requirements are for each item. A large refrigerator, for example, may require anywhere between 1,200 to 1,600 watts to start up, but then might drop to as low as 200 to 700 watts during normal operation.

Certain appliances, such as a microwave, can have static wattage requirements due to the nature of their usage. A microwave is typically used for a very short period of time and uses a large wattage to power its normal functions.

When using a 3,000-watt generator, balancing wattage requirements is important. While it is theoretically possible to run most, if not all, of a house’s appliances on 3,000 watts, spikes in watt usage may sometimes cause the whole system to short and turn off.