# What Size Generator to Run 5 Ton AC Unit? Top 5 Suggestions

*Want to know What Size Generator to Run 5 Ton AC Unit whether single or three-phase for residential or commercial use? Read this helpful guide.*

The proper sizing of a generator is crucial when considering the use of air conditioning units. A 5-ton AC unit typically requires a generator with a **minimum capacity of 15,000 watts or 15 kilowatts**.

This is because air conditioning units require a significant amount of power to start up their compressors, which are responsible for cooling the air.

It’s important to note that the exact size of the generator required may vary depending on the specific make and model of the AC unit, as well as other factors such as the temperature and humidity levels of the environment.

## What Size Generator to Run 5 Ton AC Unit with a 5 Ton Heat Pump?

**A generator with a minimum capacity of 15,000 watts or 15 kilowatts is needed to run a 5-ton AC unit. This is because the compressor requires a significant amount of power to start up.**

Running a 5-ton heat pump requires careful consideration of its electrical requirements.

Typically, a **240-volt or 220-volt heat pump** draws a maximum current size overcurrent protection of **40 to 45 amps**, and some models may require up to 50 amps depending on their efficiency.

While the nominal running amperage for a 5-ton AC unit is around 30 A, the unit requires a surge of power during startup to get the compressor running.

Recommended Read: What size generator do i need to run a Furnace?

### What Size Generator to Run 5 Ton AC Unit Three Phase?

Typically, a 5-ton three-phase AC unit needs a starting current of 50-60 amps and a running current of 25-30 amps per phase, at 208 or 240 volts.

This translates into a peak power demand of approximately **17,000-18,000 watts** and a sustained power demand of **8,640-10,080 watts.**

A generator with a capacity of at least **20,000-22,000 watts**, three-phase output, and proper voltage and frequency regulation is necessary to ensure reliable operation.

The sizing and wiring of the generator must also comply with local electrical codes and standards.

### What Size Generator to Run 5 Ton AC Unit Single Phase?

A single-phase 5-ton AC unit typically requires a generator with a **minimum capacity of 18KW or 20KW**.

A single-phase AC unit is mostly commercial or sometimes residential. So, at a 45 to 50Amp maximum overcurrent protection, a **60amp generator is needed.**

The reason for this is that air conditioning units require a significant amount of power to start up their compressors, which are responsible for cooling the air.

In addition to the starting power, the generator must also be capable of supplying a continuous power output to keep the AC unit running.

### Will a 15000-Watt Generator Run a 5-Ton AC Unit?

A 5-ton AC unit typically requires a generator with a minimum capacity of 15,000 watts or 15 kilowatts to provide enough power to start the compressor and keep the unit running.

**Here’s an example to illustrate this calculation:**

Assume that we have a 5-ton AC unit that requires a 240-volt, single-phase power supply.

The unit’s maximum current draw is 45 amps, and its nominal running amperage is 30 amps.

To calculate the starting wattage required for the unit, we need to multiply the voltage by the maximum current draw:

**240 volts x 45 amps = 10,800 watts**

Therefore, we need a generator that can provide at least 10,800 watts to start the AC unit.

To calculate the running wattage required for the unit, we need to multiply the voltage by the nominal running amperage:

**240 volts x 30 amps = 7,200 watts**

Therefore, we need a generator that can provide at least 7,200 watts to keep the AC unit running.

In this example, a generator with a minimum capacity of 15,000 watts would be sufficient to handle the starting and running requirements of the 5-ton AC unit.

It’s important to note that the exact wattage required may vary depending on the specific make and model of the AC unit, as well as other factors such as the temperature and humidity levels of the environment.

**Recommended Read: What size generator do I need to run a 2-ton AC unit?**

### Will a 10000-Watt Generator Run a 5-Ton AC Unit?

A 5-ton AC unit requires a starting current of** 50-60 amps** and a running current of 25-30 amps per phase, at either 208 or 240 volts. This translates to a peak power demand of approximately** 17,000-18,000 watts **and a sustained power demand of 8,640-10,080 watts.

A 10,000-watt generator may not be sufficient to handle the high starting current required by a 5-ton AC unit, which could result in compressor failure or damage to the generator.

Therefore, it is recommended to use a generator with a capacity of at least 20,000-22,000 watts to power a 5-ton AC unit reliably.

It is crucial to ensure that the generator has the appropriate voltage and frequency stability and is adequately grounded to prevent electrical hazards. The sizing and wiring of the generator should also comply with local electrical codes and standards.

Here are some examples to illustrate the power requirements of a 5-ton AC unit and the potential limitations of a 10,000-watt generator:

Recommended: What size generator do i need to run an Air conditioner?

**Example 1**:

A 5-ton AC unit requires a starting current of 50 amps and a running current of 25 amps per phase**, at 240 volts.**

This translates to a peak power demand of 12,000 watts and a sustained power demand of 6,000 watts.

**A 10,000-watt generator** may be able to supply the sustained power demand but is unlikely to provide enough power for the high starting current, which could lead to compressor failure or damage to the generator.

**Example 2**:

A 5-ton AC unit requires a starting current of **60 amps **and a running current of 30 amps per phase, at 208 volts. This corresponds to a peak power demand of 17,280 watts and a sustained power demand of 8,640 watts.

A 10,000-watt generator would be insufficient to handle the high starting current demand, which could result in compressor damage or reduced AC unit performance.

To ensure reliable operation, a generator with a capacity of at least **20,000-22,000 watts would be necessary** to power a 5-ton AC unit, especially during peak load conditions.

**Recommended Read: What Size Generator To Run 3 Ton AC Unit?**

## How to Determine the Power Requirements of a 5-Ton AC Unit?

To determine the power requirements of a 5-ton AC unit, follow these steps:

### 1. Find the Unit’s Nameplate:

The nameplate (energy labeling) is usually located on the outdoor unit and provides information about the unit’s voltage, amperage, and wattage.

### 2. Calculate the Running watts:

Multiply the unit’s voltage and amperage to determine the running watts. For example, if the voltage is 240 volts and the amperage is 20 amps, then the running watts would be **240 x 20 = 4,800 watts.**

### 3. Calculate the Starting watts:

The starting watts are typically 1.5 to 2 times the running watts. To calculate the starting watts, multiply the running watts by 1.5 or 2.

For example, if the running watts are 4,800, then the starting watts would be **4,800 x 1.5 = 7,200 watts or 4,800 x 2 = 9,600 watts.**

### 4. Choose the Right Generator:

The generator you choose should have a capacity that meets or exceeds the starting watts of the AC unit. In this case, you would need a generator with a capacity of at least 7,200 watts or 9,600 watts depending on the starting watts of the AC unit.

## How Many Watts is a 1 Ton AC?

Here are a few examples of how to calculate the wattage required for different types of 1-ton AC units:

### 1. Window Air Conditioner:

A typical window air conditioner that is rated at 1 ton or **12,000 BTU** requires approximately 1,200 to 1,500 watts of power to operate.

The actual wattage required may vary depending on the energy efficiency rating of the unit, which is indicated by the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) or EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating.

### 2. Portable Air Conditioner:

A portable air conditioner that is rated at 1 ton or **12,000 BTU** typically requires between 1,200 to 1,500 watts of power to operate.

The actual wattage required may vary depending on the energy efficiency rating of the unit, as well as the voltage and current requirements.

### 3. Central Air Conditioner:

A central air conditioning system that is rated at **1 ton or 12,000 BTU** typically requires between 1,800 to 2,000 watts of power to operate.

The actual wattage required may vary depending on the energy efficiency rating of the unit, the size of the home, and the temperature and humidity levels in the area.

The wattage required for a 1-ton AC unit may vary depending on various factors, such as the make and model of the AC unit, its energy efficiency rating, and the environmental conditions. I would advise reading the user manual as well.

### How Many Watts Does a 5-ton AC Use?

The power consumption of a 5-ton air conditioning unit depends on several factors such as the SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) of the unit, the temperature set point, and the size of the room being cooled.

Typically, a 5-ton AC unit has a cooling capacity of 60,000 BTU/hr (British Thermal Units per hour) and a SEER rating of around 14-18. Assuming a SEER rating of 14, the power consumption of a 5-ton AC unit can be calculated as follows:

**Power consumption (in watts) = (Cooling capacity in BTU/hr) / (SEER rating x 3.413)**

Using this formula, the power consumption of a 5-ton AC unit with a cooling capacity of 60,000 BTU/hr and a SEER rating of 14 is approximately **14,163 watts or 14.16 kW.**

However, it is important to note that this is only an estimate and actual power consumption may vary depending on several factors such as the age of the unit, the condition of the ductwork, and the efficiency of the compressor.

To put this into perspective, a 14 kW AC unit would be capable of powering several small households.

For example, a typical 2-bedroom apartment would require about 2**-3 kW** of power to run its lights, electronics, and appliances.

## How Many Watts Does a 6-Ton AC Unit Use?

The power consumption of a 6-ton AC unit can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of compressor, the **SEER rating**, and the brand. However, as a general rule of thumb, a 6-ton AC unit typically requires a power supply **of 18,000 to 22,000 watts** to operate.

It’s important to note that the starting current of an AC unit can be significantly higher than its running current, so the generator or power source used to run the unit must be able to handle this initial surge of power.

## Best Generators for 5 Ton AC Unit

Generator Model | Rated Power Output | Starting Power Output | Fuel Type | Run Time @ 50% Load | Noise Level |

Honda EU7000iS | 5,500 watts | 7,000 watts | Gasoline | 18 hours | 52-60 dBA |

Generac GP8000E | 6,800 watts | 8,000 watts | Gasoline | 11 hours | 70 dBA |

Champion 100520 | 6,500 watts | 8,125 watts | Gasoline | 11 hours | 72 dBA |

Westinghouse WGen7500DF | 7,500 watts (gas), 6,750 watts (propane) | 9,500 watts (gas), 8,100 watts (propane) | Dual Fuel | 16 hours (gas), 10 hours (propane) | 73 dBA |

## Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQs)

### What Size Generator Do I Need to Run a 5-Ton AC Unit?

A 5-ton AC unit typically requires a generator with a capacity of 12,500 watts or more. It’s important to choose a generator that can handle the starting current of the AC unit, which can be significantly higher than its running current.

### Can I Run a 5-Ton AC Unit on a Portable Generator?

You can run a 5-ton AC unit on a portable generator, but you need to make sure the generator has a high enough capacity to handle the starting current of the AC unit. A portable generator with a capacity of 12,500 watts or more should be sufficient.

### What Factors Should I Consider When Selecting a Generator to Run a 5-Ton AC Unit?

When selecting a generator for a 5-ton AC unit, you should consider the capacity of the generator, the starting current of the AC unit, the fuel type and efficiency of the generator, and the noise level of the generator.

### How Can I Determine the Starting Current of My 5-Ton AC Unit?

The starting current of a 5-ton AC unit can usually be found in the unit’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website. Alternatively, you can use a clamp meter to measure the current draw when the unit starts up.

### Can an Inverter Generator Run My 5-Ton AC Unit?

You can use an inverter generator to run your 5-ton AC unit, but you need to make sure the generator has a high enough capacity to handle the starting current of the AC unit. Inverter generators are generally more fuel efficient and quieter than traditional generators, but they tend to have lower capacity.

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.