What Can I Run with a 3500-Watt Generator?

New channels and radio stations just announced that a hurricane would doom your city within 24 hours, and you will likely face a power cut for more than a week. 

You respond by rushing to the market to purchase a generator. However, you are conflicted about what amount of electricity will be enough for your house or business needs? 

If a 3500-watt generator is your first and only choice, you need to know if it will sustain all the emergency appliances on your list. 

Lucky for you, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the 3500-watt generator, including the most typical mistake other buyers make that you should avoid.

A battle is approaching. Let’s prepare you and your armor: a sustainable energy source. 

A Little Background 

A generator with a power output of 3,500-watts is always in high demand. This wattage can power a wide variety of appliances, even if it doesn’t have the power of a much bigger generator due to its portability factor.

A 3,500-watt generator is sufficient to run most of your home’s smaller electrical appliances. Electric cookers and mini-refrigerators are also included in this category. 

It doesn’t matter whether the electricity goes out at home, if you’re camping, or if you need a power source to charge your tools and equipment. You’ve got a 3.5kW generator!

Remember, your critical gadgets and equipment are never out of reach with a 3.5kW generator.

A Peek Into The Different Types

Companies innovated and came up with variations of generators to aid users with all their needs in varying emergencies, locations, and tasks. Some of these models are equipped with high portability, while others with self-supplying energy.

Each type of generator was invented due to a need and in hopes of helping the consumers.

We recommend that you know about different types/varieties of generators before making a wise purchase

Generators require several sources of energy to commence their function and operation. There are commonly four variants of 3.5kW generators available in the market.

Solar Generator

People are increasingly worried about the environment as we learn more about global warming. As a result, more and more customers are turning to solar power generators to support the cause of the planet’s mutual benefit. 

One of the most well-known benefits of solar generators that people begin to purchase is that they produce no carbon monoxide emissions.

Maybe that is why the young generation prefers solar generators over typical generators. 

Standby Generator

A standby generator, known as a backup power generator, is a popular option during an emergency, and it is automated and supplies energy to the whole residence in most cases. 

The generator automatically kicks in during a power outage and provides electricity to the home’s appliances and light fixtures.

Depending on your budget and requirements, a 3.5kW backup generator can power a few essential items or your entire house.

There is no comfort or pleasure without electricity as almost every appliance is dependent on it. 

For example, residents living in the countryside rely on wells to provide flowing water, and the water pump pulling the water runs on electricity.

Standby generators may provide energy for days during extended power outages depending on the fuel type and generator size (measured in watts).

A backup generator’s fuel might be either diesel or gas, and modern generators may also run on two fuels, which is an alternative. 

They are known as dual-fuel generators.

These power sources operate on various fuels simultaneously to optimize production and reduce maintenance costs.

Inverter Generator

Generators with inverters are an upgrade on conventional energy supplies. However, if you want to utilize the inverter generator’s power, you’ll have to undergo a few additional procedures to get rid of the generator’s sloppy energy. 

Sloppy energy is the industry slang for surges and spikes that can cause damage to your sensitive electronic pieces of equipment. To prevent sudden disorganized energy, you should use a surge protector

These generators produce AC electricity by connecting an engine to an alternator. These generators then use a rectifier to convert the AC to DC.

The piercing roars of our generators annoy us all day and night. So manufacturers have responded by creating inverter backup generators, which are quieter and more energy-efficient than conventional models.

The following are some of the many benefits of a 3.5kW inverter generator:

1. Say No To Excess

An inverter generator is similar to a regular generator in that it only provides enough electricity to meet demand, and extra supply is held back to prevent waste.

Hence an inverter generator uses less fuel than a typical generator.

2. We All Love Lightweight Equipment!

An inverter generator is the most portable variation of all generators. Compared to ordinary generators, they are smaller and lighter. Yet, they will produce a good amount of energy despite the reduced size. 

3. No Need For Additional Equipment

The inverter generator’s quiet functioning is another plus. Regular generators are too loud to use when tailgating or camping. While most prefer to purchase external tools like mufflers or silencers, inverters are peaceful and comfortable. 

Conventional Generator

The alternator in a conventional generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy by burning either propane, gasoline, or diesel. It’s not uncommon for specific models to include an additional fuel supply in the form of propane.

A voltage regulator maintains a steady supply of power. Like a vehicle or a lawnmower, this generator will produce exhaust fumes. The bigger the model, the more energy it generates.

When it comes to a versatile product with a high-power output, the conventional generator wins.

As a result, it’s an excellent option for contractors who require a steady energy supply while working. It’s also a perfect choice for a home emergency backup system. At a reasonable cost, it may provide the performance you require.

There are various advantages of a 3.5kW generator:

1. Lower Fuel Costs

Your conventional generator’s portability is directly influenced by the fuel it consumes, and it takes around six pounds to fill up a gallon of fuel. 

A propane tank may weigh as much as 4 pounds when it comes to weight. Due to the low cost of propane, a conventional 3.5kW generator is one of the best portable generators out there.

2. Impressive Electrical Output

The conventional generator does well when it comes to generating electricity, and the tank’s capacity and production are the two primary determinants. Most generators operate at least 3600 RPM.

Let’s Discuss Generator Wattages

Wattage measures how much energy a generator generates compared to how much power it uses.

Heavy-duty machines need more power from a system than a less-demanding device. Smaller gadgets like lights, chargers, and coffee makers, on the other hand, consume less electricity.

One hefty device can power numerous ceiling fans with the same electricity. You can easily find wattage information on a product’s packaging, a retailer’s website, or the instruction manual.

Not all manufacturers use watts as a measuring unit for power, and certain firms use Volts and Amperes to monitor electrical energy use.

You now know what the wattage of a generator implies, and we will also tell you how to figure it out. There are still a few twists and turns to come. 

There are two types of watts. Let’s look at each of them one at a time to help you better grasp.

Starting Watts

This is the amount of energy your equipment requires to begin its function. They are also known as surge watts or peak power. 

It is essential to know how much power your equipment consumes when switched on. For example, refrigerators and air conditioners, which need a lot of electricity to run, employ motors or compressors, and that’s why they have higher starting watts. 

However, there is no motor or compressor in small appliances such as bulbs and LEDs, and that’s why they require no surge watts.

Running watts 

Running watts is the energy that your appliances require continuously, and that’s why running watts are also known as continuous watts or rated power. 

As a result, this equipment requires a constant flow of electricity from your generator. No matter how big your generator is, the number of watts will remain the same as your electronic gadgets require. 

There is a considerable difference between surge and running watts, and the rated watts will always be lower out of the two.

Your generator operates at stable watts and does not produce surges to avoid damaging your electrical appliances. The term “running watts” may also mean measuring power in a continuous state.

How To Calculate Generator Watts?

There will be enough amps and volts to power your device. Amperes (or amps) is the unit of measure for the current flow. Most appliances only need 240V and 120V power, and this information is readily available.

You can easily calculate generator wattage from the formula mentioned below.

Watts = Amp x Volts

The problem is that some customers say they have no idea how to calculate amperes. However, when it comes to determining amperes, you don’t have to worry about it since you can discover it from the equation below.

Amps = Watts / Volts

What Can You Run On A 3500-Watt Generator?

If you want to use it at home or in a commercial setting, a 3.5kW backup power supply is perfect as it fits the small to medium category. These categories are popular with consumers because of all their benefits.

Whether it’s a heavy appliance or a delicate gadget, it can handle it.

According to industry regulations, generators should not be utilized more than 3500-watts. Instead, it’s best to run your generator at 90% of its capacity, or approximately 3100-Watts if required.

The 3500-watt generator is one of the better selections when purchasing a generator, and this heavy-duty gadget is capable of powering many medium-sized household appliances. With this generator size, you will obtain an electrical supply ranging from 14 amps to 240 volts. 

Table Showing Running And Starting Watts Of Some Electrical Devices

EquipmentStarting WattsRunning Watts 
FM Radio N/A25
Space Heater N/A1600
*These values are an estimate and may differ for your electronic devices.

The 3500-Watt Generator may run the following appliances with ease: 

1. Energy Saving LED

It will undoubtedly power all of the lights in your home, mainly the LED or CFL lights. These bulbs do not use much energy, and their wattage is generally about 14 watts apiece.

2. Refrigerator

With a 3500-watt generator, you can run your refrigerator. A typical freezer consumes 700 watts but requires up to 2100 watts to start, and the same is true for a refrigerator.

 3. 1/3hp Sump Pump

It may also power this device since the sump pump consumes around 516 watts and begins with 1550 watts of electricity.

Starting And Running Watts Of Typical Household Appliances

EquipmentStarting WattsRunning Watts
Hot Wave HeaterN/A3000
Oven RangeN/A2000 – 3500
Well Pump40002000
Space HeaterN/A1800
DishWasher N/A 1500
Hair DryerN/A 1250
Electric GrillN/A1250
Window Air Conditioner36001200
Toaster OvenN/A1200
Washing Machine22501150
Coffee MakerN/A 1000
Full-size refrigerator 2200700
MicrowaveN/A1600 – 1200
Home Projector N/A300-800
50-Inch LCDN/A150
75-watt bulbN/A 75
*These values are an estimate and may differ for your electronic devices. 

Is A 3500-Watt Generator Suitable For Your Needs?

There is enough electricity in a 3,500-watt generator to operate a few appliances at once.

In the same way, they can operate many tools simultaneously. Therefore, it is more probable that they will be utilized as a backup in an emergency at a job site.

However, if you’re planning on utilizing the generator to power an RV, this wattage should be enough.

Since RV appliances are smaller than those found in a regular house, the primary reason for the disparity. Because of this, they use less electricity and have a lower wattage output.

Keep an eye on the power requirements of each gadget or appliance that you want to operate with a 3,500-watt generator if you decide to utilize one. This will help you to arrange the generator’s usage in a way that minimizes the risk of harm.

Why Should You Choose A 3.5kW Generator?

Before acquiring a generator, evaluate what vital appliances you would be running via it. There are a few elements to consider, such as the voltage or the capacity of the appliance and the quantity of gasoline required while the engine is running.

If a 3500-watts generator succeeds in fulfilling your needs, you should start looking into the different models of this generator size. However, if it fails to do so, try reducing the appliances you put on the list.

You can remove devices that are unnecessary and not useful during a crisis. Then, sort out your priorities and make a list again.

Why Should You Avoid Overloading A Generator?

When you try to operate too many appliances simultaneously, you may be overloaded. As a result, the generator cannot meet the power requirements of these gadgets.

There are a few telltale signals that this problem is likely to arise. Overheating the generator is the most likely cause, and you may also notice a decrease in its ability.

Even though the generator’s starting wattage is higher than the total operating wattage, overloading might occur if many appliances are hooked into it simultaneously.

Installing a circuit breaker in specific generators will help you.  A generator without a circuit breaker is more prone to overheat and produce fires.

Many problems arise from overestimating your generator’s power, and it harms not only your generator but also the appliances it is powering. Unfortunately, in worse cases, your generator can end up resulting in a fire or, worse, an explosion. 

Hence, it is essential to follow the capabilities of your 3,500-watt generator, ensuring that it is only used to power specified equipment and does not exceed the maximum wattage capacity.

Will A 3500-Watt Generator Run Your RV?

A 3,500-watt generator is an excellent purchase if you own an RV since it can power your mobile home.

Even though RVs are more petite than houses, you might still run into problems if you attempt to power too many different appliances at once.

1. Electrical Devices

With no main power, all your smaller gadgets won’t charge, so a 3,500-watt generator keeps you connected to the rest of the world when you are constantly traveling.

Everyone enjoys family game night, but if monopoly is your primary source of amusement, it may get tedious. So for a change, why not attempt a family movie night?

You can power your television and DVD player for an all-night movie marathon with a 3,500-watt generator; just don’t forget to bring some popcorn!

I hear you asking, “What can you cook your popcorn on?” Just as you would at home! Simply connect an electric stove or a microwave to your generator since 3,500 watts is more than enough to power any kitchen equipment.

2. Lighting

As much as everyone enjoys a bonfire, finding the campground or cleaning up outside your RV after dark may be difficult if this is your sole source of illumination.

The same can be said about candles. Now, there will be no more scrounging for the last box of matches when you aren’t linked to the main power supply since you can easily power your lights and light bulbs with a 3,500-watt generator.

Your lighting system, which includes anything from spotlights to night lights, is another item you can power with a generator of this magnitude.

3. Air Conditioner

One of the most energy-intensive items you may operate in your RV is the air conditioner, which can initially demand up to 3,500 watts of electricity for a standard 15,000 BTU air conditioning system, or perhaps less if you have a tiny RV. 

At first, this would exhaust your whole generator’s capacity!

After the first start-up, you’ll have 2,000 watts of electricity to operate another smaller item, such as a kettle or hairdryer, with 1,500 watts of running power. However, you would only be allowed to have them plugged in for a few minutes or up to ten at a time.

If your air conditioning system needs a boost, you may run smaller fans or heaters as long as the total wattage pulled from the generator is less than the 3,500-watt maximum.

Different Uses Of A 3500-Watt Generator

A 3.5kW generator is a complete power pack in a small cage, and that is why you can use it on different sites other than homes and RVs. 

Work Site

The 3500-watt generator may seem little for a trade site, but it has enough power to run a chainsaw, hand drill, rotary hammer, and a portable heater.

Once you’ve determined your overall wattage, you can begin looking at several generator sizes to see which one would work best for the trade location

For a quick recap, sum up the total wattage of everything that will be hooked into a generator.

To calculate the total watts, add the running watts; we also suggest adding an extra 10% to guarantee you have adequate power in your generator. 

Below is a list of trade site appliances that a 3500-watt generator might power:

Chart Depicting Starting And Running Wattages Of Work Site Appliances

EquipmentStarting WattsRunning Watts 
Angle GrinderN/A900
Disc SanderN/A1200
Band SawN/A700-1200
Table SawN/A1800
Air CompressorN/A2000
*These values are an estimate and may differ for your electronic devices.


If you’re tailgating, 3,500 watts should be enough. Powering a big television, laptop, and lights will likely take less than 700 watts, so you can even power a minifridge instead of storing your beverages in a cooler if you want to.

If you’re going to replace your gas or charcoal grill with a more handy electric one, you’ll need an additional 1,500 to 2,000 watts.

Do you know what you’ll do with the extra 500 or so watts you’ll have leftover? Bring a solid fan to keep everyone calm, or wow your pals with an electric nacho cheesemaker.

Camping Trips

A 3500-watt inverter generator can be considered a heavy-duty option for camping electricity.

Customers in this category, on average, prefer noiseless camping generators to power a variety of electronics and appliances, as well as power-sensitive equipment, making this generator a front-runner.

In general, with 3500 watts available, electricity may be readily provided for lights, refrigerators, and other necessary equipment and support any solar systems or recharge batteries.

Below is a list of camping appliances that a 3500-watt generator can power:

Table Showing Wattages Of Different Camping Equipment

EquipmentStarting WattsRunning Watts 
Small Camping ACN / A900-1700
PumpN / A800-1300
HeaterN / A 750-1500
MicrowaveN / A1000
Mobile ChargerN / A25
Laptop ChargerN / A75
*These values are an estimate and may differ for your electronic devices.

What Are The Benefits Of Choosing A 3.5kW Generator?

Purchasing a 3500-watt generator has a wealth of perks. If you have a gadget like this, it will enable you to power one or more appliances simultaneously.

A generator of this kind is likely enough to power small appliances or those with a low wattage demand. In addition, you won’t have to worry about running out of power while carrying on with your routine.

The majority of 3,500-watt generators are portable and hence lighter than more significant types. 

Inverter generators with 3,500 watts of power tend to be quieter while running. This is crucial if you intend to use the generator in an RV or camping since much noise will bother your neighbors.

Additionally, 3,500-watt generators use less energy and fuel than older models. As a result, even if they are left running for an extended period, they waste less power than a larger generator would.

Because of this, you’ll be able to save money on operating expenses.

Conclusion – Here’s what we think

A 3500-watt generator can meet your needs, but before connecting all your appliances to the power supply, you must be careful.

You will also need to sort your devices and prepare beforehand if a disaster strikes. Remember, identifying your desires and the current electrical load is vital and cannot be messed up.

Lastly, never forget the fundamentals of generator operation to minimize damage and other mishaps.

Precaution Is Always Better Than Regret!

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