What Can a 3500 Watt Generator Run? – [Tested Results]

The goal of this article is to answer all of your burning questions about “What Can a 3500 Watt Generator Run?” How many appliances I can run simultaneously? and will a 3.5kw machine be enough for my household, RV, or job site?

A 3,500-watt generator would be enough for a household or RV that has a bunch of low-power-hungry appliances like microwaves, small sump pumps, refrigerators, Window air conditioners, Vacuums, Washing machines, etc.  

What Can a 3500 Watt Generator Run?

What Can a 3500 Watt Generator Run?

As per the tests conducted with my brother’s Predator 3,500-watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator, the following appliance runs smoothly with a 3,500-watt machine.

  • Window Air Conditioner (10,000 BTUs)
  • Electric Kettle
  • Space Heater
  • Sump Pump (1/2 HP)
  • Washing Machine
  • Toaster Oven
  • Dishwasher
  • Water Pump, ½ hp
  • Coffee Maker
  • Refrigerator
  • Miter Saw (10″)
  • Rebar Cutter (1″)
  • Airless Sprayer
  • Air Compressor (0.25 HP)
  • Hair Dryer
  • Microwave
  • Blender
  • RV Air Conditioner (7,000 – 15,000 BTU)
  • Food Processor
  • Belt Sander

Understanding the Generator Wattages

Every generator comes with two different wattage ratings one is starting and the other is runtime

Running Watts: The number of watts a generator can produce for a longer time to run an appliance smoothly without any frequency or voltage fluctuation. Running watts will always be lower compared to the starting watts.

Starting Watts: The number of watts a machine can produce for a small time to power up motorized appliances like sump pumps, air conditioners, air compressors, etc. Starting watts will always be higher compared to running watts.

What Appliances You Can Run With a 3500 Watt Generator?

List of Home Appliances:

ApplianceStarting WattsRunning Watts
Window Air Conditioner (10,000 BTUs)18001200
Electric Kettle30001200
Sump Pump (1/2 HP)21501050
Washing Machine22501150
Space Heater01800
Toaster Oven01200
Water Pump, ½ hp2000900
Coffee Maker01200
Hair Dryer01250
Phone Charger010
50 Inch LCD TV0150
Light Bulbs020
Garage Door Opener (1/2 HP)8752350

List of RV Appliances:

AppliancesStarting WattsRunning Watts
Electric Stove 2kW02000
RV Air Conditioner (7,000 BTU) 1700900
RV Air Conditioner (10,000 BTU)20001200
RV Air Conditioner (13,500 BTU)25001600
RV Air Conditioner (15,000 BTU)27001700
Food Processor 400 0

List of Power Tools:

ApplianceRunning WattsStarting Watts
Belt Sander1,200 2,400
Miter Saw (10″)85021,00
Rebar Cutter (1″)1700 – 2800 0
Airless Sprayer (0.33 HP)600 1,200
Jointer/Planer1,800 1,800
Charger (Cordless Drill)70 80
Concrete Vibrator (0.75 HP)850 1,900
Orbital Sander1,200 2,600
Air Compressor (0.25 HP)975 1,600
Table Saw (10″)1,800 2,700
Concrete Vibrator (1.00 HP)1,100 2,500
Electric Drill600 900
Chain Saw 12” (1.5 HP)900 0
Impact Wrench (1″)1,200 1,400
Drain Cleaner250 0
Disk Sander (9″)1,200 2,600
Bench Grinder1,400 2,500
Hammer Drill1,000 3,000
Radial Arm Saw2,000 2,000

Recommended Guide: What appliances can a 8,000 watt generator run?

How Many Appliances Can a 3500-Watt Machine Run Simultaneously?

It depends on the wattage ratings of the appliances you are going to use. If you are going to operate three 1,000-watt appliances simultaneously you can’t plug another one as you have drawn 100% of capacity, however within the limit of 0 – 3,500 watts you can run any appliance you want.

Note: We don’t recommend drawing 100% of the load from a generator, keeping a margin of 10 – 20% so that the generator could work more efficiently.

The small margin will not only save you from the ongoing cost of maintenance and repair down the road but also keep your voltage-sensitive appliances away from the intake of contaminated power.

How to Determine the Power Needs?

  • Make a list of the appliances you are going to run and write down their running and starting wattages in a separate column. You can find the power rating from the energy labeling, if you have found the power ratings In amperes make sure to convert them to watts with the help of Ohm’s Law

Ohm’s Law: W (watts or kilowatts) = Volts (V) X Amp (Ampere)

E.g.: An appliance/equipment is consuming about 11 starting and 10 running amps at 220 volts.

With the help of Ohm’s Law

W (watts or kilowatts) = Volts (V) X Amp (Ampere)

Running Watts = 2200

Starting Watts = 2420 watts

  • Sum up the starting and running wattages and compare them with the power ratings of the generator you are going to purchase.

Practical Example:

AppliancesRunning wattsStarting watts
50” LED TV1500
Camping Refrigerator350500
Electric Drill500800
Window Air Conditioner (10,000 BTUs)12001800
Coffee maker12000

From the above calculation, we got 3400 running and 3100 starting watts, hence a brandable 3,500-watt machine like a Predator 3500-watt inverter generator would be enough for this quotation.

Can a 3500 Generator Run a House?

It depends on the requirements,  typically 3,500 watts could be an ideal power for those who just want to operate their low-power-hungry appliances like microwaves, lighting, TVs, home theater systems, refrigerators, etc.

However, if you want them to operate simultaneously or you want to operate the higher-wattage central ACs, sump pumps, etc. you may have to consider a bigger machine of at least 7,000 watts ( Here is the Guide about what appliances will a 7 000 watt generator run).

Will a 3500 Watt Generator Run an AC (Air Conditioner) Unit?

It depends, a Standard Window or RV Air conditioner wouldn’t be a problem for a 3.5kw machine, however higher higher-wattage central air conditioner may need a bigger machine.

Will a 3500 Watt Generator Run a Washing Machine?

Yes, a washing machine needs about 1,500 – 2250 wattages depending on the size.

Will a 3500 Watt Generator Run 2 Refrigerators?

Yes, a standard-sized refrigerator with a freezer needs only 1000 – 1200 watts, hence they both consume about 2400 watts, on the other hand, a 3,500-watt generator is capable of generating 3,500 – 4,000 starting and 3,200 – 3,500 running watts.

Will a 3500 Watt Generator Run a Camper?

It depends, Though a 3,500-watt machine runs almost every essential of the camper including a small air conditioner, refrigerator, microwaves, lighting, washing machine, TVs, charging devices, etc. still if you want to run them simultaneously or you want to run a higher wattage electric water heater, a dryer, central air conditioner, etc. you should have to consider a bigger one.


A 3,500 machine would be considered an ideal size for a camper, small RV, household, and camping as well because of the normal weight, fuel consumption, and huge variety of machines available in the market.

However, you have to keep in mind that it isn’t capable to run all household or RV appliances at once, make sure to do a thorough wattage calculation by following this section of the article before making any buying decision.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will a 3500 Watt Generator Run on a Tank of Gas?

It depends on the fuel tank size, load, efficiency, and brand of the generator.

If you are going to draw 90% of the load you may hardly get 4 – 5 hours of runtime with a single tank of 2 – 3 gallons, however at 25% – 30% load you may get 7 – 8 hours of runtime. Additionally, an inverter generator provides more runtime compared to the ordinary one.

How Long Will a 3500 Watt Generator Run on a Gallon of Gas?

It depends on the load, at 25% – 30% a 3,500-watt machine can provide about 2.5 – 3 hours of runtime, however at 85% – 90% load you may hardly get 1.5 – 2 hours or less in some cases if the generator is not maintained properly.

Will a 3500 Watt Generator Run a Welder?

No, a standard welder needs at least 4 – 5kw of starting wattage which isn’t practically possible for a 3.5kw machine.



Kashif has been a valuable asset to the electric generator industry for over 5 years. Now, As a skilled energy engineer, he’s been on the front lines of diagnosing problems, fixing broken parts, and performing routine maintenance tasks to keep generators running smoothly.

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