ABCD
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WHAT SIZE GENERATOR DO YOU NEED?
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When calculating the “size” of generator you need, there are two key considerations:
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Continuous Power (or running watts) is the wattage required for operation of your appliances under normal load.
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Extra Peak Power (or startup watts) is the extra wattage required for appliances at startup or when they are running at their highest levels of power consumption.
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An average size home requires from 5000 to 7000 watts to power essential items.
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Step 1: To determine your needs, total the watts for the items you would like to run simultaneously. This provides you with the number of continuous or running watts your generator must supply.
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Step 2: Now select the largest number of starting watts assigned to the items you wish to use.
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Step 3: Total these two numbers and this will indicate the size generator required to meet your needs.
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Tools or AppliancesRunning WattsSurge Watts
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Cell Phone Battery Charger100
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Christmas Lights (50-string, small) (RV/Camping/Tailgate)200
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Laptop Computer (Home/RV/Camping/Tailgate)750
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PDA, iPod, iPhone, Blackberry, Cell Phones800
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13-Inch TV (Home/RV/Camping/Tailgate)1000
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Outdoor Buglight (RV/Camping/Tailgate)1000
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AM/FM Radio / CD Player1000
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20-Inch Box Fan2000
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Video Game Console2000
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Crockpot (Home/RV/Camping/Tailgate)2500
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Desktop Computer3000
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TV/DVD Combo (Home/RV/Camping/Tailgate)3000
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Refrigerator – Dorm Size (Home/RV/Camping/Tailgate)350500
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Food Processor/Blender (RV/ Camping/Tailgate)350500
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Small Power Tools; Electric Drill 3/8-inch, jig saw…)440600
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Color TV 27-Inch5000
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Frying Pan / Skillet (Home/RV/Camping/Tailgate)6000
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Refrigerator / Freezer6002200
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Microwave Oven 750W750800
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Single Element Hot Plate (Home/RV/Camping/Tailgate)7500
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Washing Machine7502300
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Coffee Maker (Home/RV/Camping/Tailgate)8000
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Sump Pump8001400
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Toaster – 2 Slot (Home/RV/Camping/Tailgate)8500
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Furnace Fan Blower ½ HP8752300
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Griddle/Deep Fryer (Home/RV/Camping/Tailgate)12000
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Toaster (Home/RV/Camping/Tailgate)12500
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RV Low Profile Air Conditioner, 13,500 BTU – Heating16002300
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Circular Saw15003000
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Space Heater18000
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Electric Range21000
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Electric Water Heater40000
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TOTALS
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If you have items that are not on the list, check the appliance, the product manual, or the manufacturer’s Web site for the device’s continuous and surge wattage. If amps are noted on the device, you can calculate watts by multiplying amps times the voltage. For example, a 7 amp device on 120v AC current would equal 840 watts (7 x 120 = 840).