What Can a 2000 Watt Generator Run? – Is It What I Need?

The purpose of this article is to clarify your concerns about ‘What Can a 2000 Watt Generator Run?’, how many appliances we can run at the same time, and how to determine the wattage requirement.

A 2,000-watt generator could run almost every essential of a small household including a toaster, refrigerator, Microwave, coffee maker, dishwasher, etc, however, you must have to cross-check the power rating of the appliance/equipment you are going to operate.

What Can a 2000-Watt Generator Run?

What Can a 2000 Watt Generator Run?

A 2,000 watt could run almost all home essentials including the microwave, lights, LED TVs, Freezer/refrigerator, normal-sized washing machines, etc.

Below is the list of appliances/equipment that runs smoothly with our Honda EU2200i (a 2,000-watt generator) during the test.

  • Coffee Maker
  • Toaster
  • Blender
  • A normal sized Air conditioner
  • Hair Dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • PC/Desktop computer
  • Laptop
  • Speakers
  • Microwave Oven
  • Refrigerator/Freezer
  • Dishwasher
  • Toaster
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Iron 
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Television
  • Electric mower
  • Electric drill
  • Reciprocating saw 

NOTE: A 2,000 watts generator couldn’t run all equipment/appliances simultaneously.

E.g. if you are going to run power-hungry equipment of 1600 starting and 1800 running your generator will not have the capacity to afford another one.

The bottom line is, you can’t exceed the wattage capacity of a generator otherwise it will be overloaded.

Starting and Running Watts

Starting/Surge/Peak watts: Maximum wattage a generator/machine could draw for a short period to power up the motorized devices. The number of surge/peak wattages is always higher than running/rated wattages.

Running watts: The amount of Power/wattage a generator/machine could provide continuously for a longer time. The rated wattage is always lower than the starting wattage.

Recommended Guide: What Can a 3000-Watt Generator Run?

How Many Appliances Can a 2,000-Watt Generator Run?

It depends on the actual wattage ratings of the appliance/equipment you are going to use.

Any appliance between 1,500 – 1,700 running and 1,800 – 1,900 starting wattage could be run with a 2,000-wattage machine, however, you have to cross-match the wattage ratings of the appliance and the generator.

NOTE: Don’t ever exceed the capacity of a machine; an ideal scenario is to be between 80% – 90% load.

A small margin of 10% – 20% could not only enhance the life of your machine but also save your appliances from voltage fluctuation.

Additionally, that small margin could be enough to cover the power losses as a result your desired appliances could run uninterruptedly.

Below is the list of appliances with their running and starting wattages.

Table of Essential Household Appliances With Starting and Running Watts

ApplianceStarting WattageRunning Wattage
Coffee Maker01000
75 Watt Light Bulb075
Cell Phone Charger025
Window Air Conditioner (10,000 BTUs)18001200
Toaster Oven01200
Camping Refrigerator500350
50 Inch LCD TV0150
String of outdoor lights040
Hair Dryer01250
Power Drill Corded0800-1200
Air Conditioner1800650
Washing Machine1900800
Light Bulbs020
Phone Charger010
Coffee Maker01200
Chop Saw16001800
Compressor, 2 gal18001300
Shop Vac1800800
Circular Saw14001950

Recommended Guide : What Can a 1000-watt Generator Run?

How to Determine My Wattage Requirement?

  1. List all appliances with their wattage ratings, you can find the wattage ratings in the energy labeling. Make sure to separate their running and starting wattages.
  2. Sum up the running and starting wattages and compare them with your machine.
  3. Compare the sum of both with the capacity of the generator you own, if your machine can produce more than the calculated wattages you are good to go.

Below is a practical example.

Chart to Determine Wattage Requirement

From the above chart, we got 1400 – 1450 of running and 1800 starting watts hence a solid 2,000-watt generator could be more than enough for this quotation.

What Happens If You Overload Your 2,000-Watt Generator?

Overloading the generator could lead to the following problems.

  • Overheating (generator may heat up more than usual).
  • Soot emits from the exhaust.
  • Rapid circuit breaker tripping.
  • Fluctuated voltage (extremely dangerous for voltage-sensitive appliances).
  • The generator will shut off rapidly. Check out our guide about why the generator won’t start.

Will a 2000-watt generator Run an AC?

It depends; if you are going to run a window or RV air conditioner with 1050 – 1,600 running and 1,800 – 1,900 starting wattages you are good to go with, however for a bigger central Air conditioner units of more than 10,000 Btu you have to consider a bigger machine.

Below is the comparison of window AC units with their starting and running wattages.

  • 11,000 window AC units consume almost 1100 to 1200 running watts and 1600 – 1700 starting watts.
  • 12000 window AC units consume 1200 to 1350 running watts and 2000 to 2200 starting watts.
  • 15000 window AC units consume 1600 – 1800 running watts and 2500 to 2700 starting watts.

Can a 2000 Watt Inverter Generator Run A Space Heater?

Yes, a 2,000-watt machine could easily run a space heater of 800 – 1800 watts, however, if it is big with 2.5kw – 4kw you need to consider a bigger unit.

 NOTE: The average wattage of a space heater is between 800 – 1500 watts depending on the size and heating capacity.

Can A 2000 Watt Generator Run A Microwave?

A normal energy-efficient microwave consumes about 900 – 1000 watts which isn’t a big task for a 2,000-watt unit, however, If you have a larger microwave with multiple facilities you may have to consider a bigger unit.

Will A 2000W Inverter Generator Run A Sump Pump?

Well, it depends, A normal Sump Pump of 1/2 HP requires at least 2100 – 2200 starting and 1050 running watts. If you have a machine that can produce more than 2300 peak watts, you are good to go.

Recommended Read: What Size Generator to Run Sump Pump?


Though a 2,000-watt machine could be enough for a smaller house as it can operate most of the essential appliances like a Coffee Maker, Toaster, smaller AC unit, refrigerator, etc, still, you have to do calculations as per the needs before making any buying decision.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Will A 2000 Watt Generator Run A Fridge?

The average wattage of a fridge/refrigerator is between 100-400 watts, A 2,000-watt machine could easily run even 2 of them simultaneously.

Will A 2000 Watt Inverter Generator Run A Welder?

No, a normal welder needs at least 3,000 – 4,000+ wattage.

How long will a 2000-watt generator run on a full tank of gas?

The fuel tank of a 2,000-watt generator lasts for around 6 – 8 hours depending on the size of the tank, generator brand, efficiency, and how much power you are going to draw from the machine.

Will a 2000-watt Generator Run a Circular Saw?

Yes, a 2000-watt generator can potentially run a circular saw; however, it depends on the power consumption of the tool. If you have a circular saw with 1500 – 1600 watts you can easily operate it with a 2,000-watt unit.



Fareed, the highly skilled electrical expert, boasts 5 years of extensive experience in proficiently maintaining, repairing, diagnosing, and installing a diverse range of electrical systems.

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