What Can a 5000-Watt Generator Run? – Is It What You Need?

This article aims to clear your queries about “What Can a 5000-Watt Generator Run?” How many appliances we can run simultaneously and will it run my whole house?

A 5,000-watt generator could be enough for a small to medium household, RV, or Worksite to run the lower to higher wattage appliances including washing machines, microwaves, small AC units, Refrigerator/freezers, sump/well pumps, different saws, drills, air compressors, etc.

NOTE: You can’t run all of them simultaneously even an 8 – 10kw unit couldn’t handle that much load at the same time, however, you can run some of the appliances simultaneously by keeping the generator’s limits in mind.

What Can a 5000-Watt Generator Run?

What Can a 5000-Watt Generator Run?

A 5,000-watt machine could be ideal for those who want to run the following appliances of the household, RV, work site, etc.

  • Small window AC unit
  • Toaster
  • Central air conditioning system
  • Table saw
  • Sump pump
  • Espresso machine 
  • Electric stove
  • Microwave
  • Chainsaw
  • Bench grinder
  • Dishwasher
  • Electric leaf blower
  • 1Hp air compressor
  • Refrigerator/Freezer
  • Coffee Maker
  • Circular saw
  • Well pump
  • 1/2Hp Air compressor
  • Space heater
  • Washing machine
  • Electric drill
  • Window air conditioner
  • Central heating system

What is the Starting and Running of Watts

Starting/Surge/Peak Watts: The amount of wattage a generator could generate for a small time to fire up power-hungry motorized appliances. Surge watts will always be higher compared to running/rated watts.

Running/Rated Watts: The number of stable wattages a machine could generate for a longer. Running wattage will be always fewer than the starting wattage.

Note: Both wattages could be found on the specifications of the generator, however, if you have found them in the amp (Amperes) make sure to use Ohm’s law for conversions

Ohm’s law = W (watts or Kw) = Amp X Volts

List of Appliances a 5000 Watt Generator Can Run

ApplianceRunning WattsStarting Watts
Food Dehydrator8000
Furnace Fan Blower (1/2 HP)8002350
Coffee Maker10000
Well Water Pump (1/2 HP)10002100
Window AC (10,000 BTU)12003600
Electric Kettle12003000
Ceiling Fan6070
Humidifier (13 Gal.)1750
Electric Strimmer300500
Pressure Cooker7000
Central AC (10,000 BTU)15004500
Curling Iron15000
Electric Can Opener1700
Clothes Dryer (Gas)7001800
Security System5000
Copy Machine16000
Sump Pump (1/3 HP)8001300
Furnace Fan Blower (1/3 HP)7001400
Outdoor Light String2500
Electric Water Heater40000
Rice Cooker200500
Home Internet Router515
Deep Freezer5001500
Paper Shredder200220
Garage Door Opener (1/2 HP)8752350
Sump Pump (1/2 HP)10502150
Home Phone35
Space Heater18000
Refrigerator / Freezer7002200

Recommended Guide: What appliances will a 4,000-watt generator run?

How Many Appliances Can I Run Simultaneously?

It depends, if you have a bunch of power-hungry appliances with more than 2,000 watts, you can’t even run two of them, however, if you are going to run the low power-hungry appliances with normal wattage ratings, you can run even 5 – 10 of them.

The bottom line is, that you don’t have to overload the gen-set.

Below is the simple method that I use to do calculations of my powering needs before making any buying decision.

How to Determine the Power Needs?

  • Write down all appliances with their running and starting wattages in a separate column, you can find the wattage/power ratings from the energy labeling of the appliance/equipment, if the power rating is in Amps make sure to convert them with the help of the below formula.

Ohm’s law = W (watts or Kw) = Amp X Volts

For E.g. let’s suppose an appliance consumes 11 running amps and 13 starting amps at the voltage of 220V.

By using ohms law = W (watts or Kw) = Amp X Volts

Starting watts = W (watts or Kw) = 13 X 220 = 2860 watts

Running watts = 11 X 220 = 2420 watts

  • Sum up the running and starting wattages and compare them with the generator you are looking for. If it is more than enough for the calculated quotation go for it.

Practical Example:

AppliancesStarting WattsRunning Watts
Refrigerator1200 Watts200 Watts
Dishwasher1500 Watts1500 Watts
Sump Pump (1/3 HP)1300 Watts800 Watts
Washing Machine0 Watts1200 Watts
Microwave0 Watts800 Watts
Laptop0 Watts60 Watts
TOTAL4000 Watts4560 Watts

From the above data, we get 4,000 starting and 4560 running watts, hence a solid 5kw machine could run them smoothly.

NOTE: We always encourage our readers to keep a margin of 10% – 20% load don’t stretch their machine to its limits.

This small margin will keep your generators away from costly repairs down the road and also make sure that there will be no voltage fluctuation (Read this research from science direct about the danger of voltage fluctuation) across the house.

Will a 5000 Watt Generator Run a Whole House?

It depends on the needs, if you have high-wattage equipment/appliances like welders, electric water heaters, central Air conditioners, etc. that you want to run at the same time, a 5kw unit wouldn’t be a good choice for you

On the other hand, if you have some low-wattage appliances like lights, TVs, sound systems, microwaves, refrigerators, etc., a 5,000-watt unit would be more than enough for you.

The bottom is, a 5kw generator would be enough for those who can fulfill there needs with the 5,000 watts

Recommended Guide: What Can a 6000-Watt Generator Run?

How Much Does a 5000-Watt Generator Cost?

A 5,000-watt machine would cost you around $400 – $2,500 depending on the brand and quality of the machine you are going to choose.

How Many Amps Does a 5000 Generator Provide?

A 5,000-watt machine is providing 22.72 amps at 220 V and 41.6 at 120 V.

How Long Will a 5000-Watt Generator Run?

It depends on the fuel tank size, efficiency, and how much load you are putting on the generator. If a gen-set is constantly running at 80%– 90% load, you will surely get a lower runtime than 25% – 50% load.

We have written a guide about how much a generator last make sure to have a look.

Will a 5000 Watt Generator Run a Window Air Conditioner?

Yes, the following Window Ac units we have tested with a 5kw machine.

  • 11,000 BTU window AC unit: Needs about 1100 to 1200 running watts and 1600 – 1700 starting watts.
  • 12000 BTU window AC unit: Needs about 1200 to 1350 running watts and 2000 to 2200 starting watts.
  • 15000 BTU window AC unit: Needs about 1600 – 1800 running watts and 2500 to 2700 starting watts.

Will a 5000 Watt Generator Run an RV AC Unit?

Yes, a 5kw machine has enough power to run the following Rv air conditioner

  • 11000 BTU:  Needs about 950 – 1050 running watts and 1600 starting watts.
  • 13000 BTU: Needs about 1700 – 1800 running watts and 2800 starting watts.
  • 15000 BTU: Needs about 1900 – 2000 running watts and 3300 starting watts.

Will a 5000 Watt Generator Run a Refrigerator?

Yes, even a jumbo refrigerator/freezer wouldn’t be a problem for a 5kw unit.


A 5,000-watt generator could be an ideal option for those who want to power their low to medium-power-hungry appliances/equipment; however, we recommend doing a thorough wattage calculation before making a buying decision.

Wattage calculation will not only save your initial cost but also will save the ongoing cost of fuel and maintenance.

Thanks for reading! If you found this guide helpful, share it with your loved ones!

Will a 5000 Watt Generator Run a Sump Pump?

It depends, a normal sump pump of 1/2hp – 1hp wouldn’t be a problem for a 5kw generator, however, if you have to operate a heavy-duty sump pump of more the 2hp, you have to consider a bigger gen – set of 10 – 15kw.

Will a 5000 Watt Generator Run an Air Compressor?

It depends, if you are going to operate a normal-sized air compressor of 1/2Hp – 1Hp, a 5kw unit would be more than enough, however, for bigger air compressors you may have to consider a bigger machine.

Will a 5000 Watt Generator Run a Central Air Conditioning?

The power requirements for a 10,000 BTU central air conditioner vary depending on several factors. Typically, it needs around 1500-2000 running watts and 4000-4500 watts to operate.
This is within the capacity of a reliable 5kw generator, so it shouldn’t be a major issue.

However, if you’re looking to power a larger central air conditioning system, you’ll need to opt for a bigger generator.



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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