What Size Generator Does My Refrigerator Need: A Detailed Manual For Beginners

How do you keep your refrigerator running if there is no power? How do you survive in a crisis without fresh food? 

A refrigerator is one of your home’s most fundamental electronic devices. You require a refrigerator and freezer even in a power outage, and hence you need a backup power source to run our appliances in such situations. 

Moreover, if you don’t want to worry about your food decaying while you’re away, you’ll need a refrigerator to keep it fresh.

There are many questions regarding generator type, size, and how to hook it up. When choosing the right generator for your needs, these are all crucial points to consider:

Before We Begin

You need to know some basic information before purchasing a generator and plugging it into your house system. This knowledge is vital and aids your shopping spree. 

A generator has a power rating rather than a size, and this power rating is expressed in watts or kilowatts

The maximum amount of electricity a generator can produce is determined by the power rating or running wattage, which defines how many watts are required to run a refrigerator.

Furthermore, every device requires a starting wattage. This is also known as surge wattage and is needed by your generator/appliances for a few seconds in the initiation process. 

Can A Generator Harm A Refrigerator?

No, that is just a misconception!

The majority of portable generators should be able to power your refrigerator.

For sensitive devices like laptop computers and home audio systems to work correctly, clean sine wave power is required. A pure sine-wave is the most efficient in converting stored energy (in batteries) to alternating current for your appliances. 

An inverter generator works on the concept of pure sine-wave, which means inverter generators are the most efficient way to power sensitive devices.

Refrigerators, on the other hand, are a completely different beast. Refrigerators and freezers are not classified as sensitive appliances, and therefore, you may securely utilize a standard open frame portable generator with them.

Watts & Amps: What You Should Know?

The power generated by a generator is measured in Watts (W), while the current consumed by electronics is measured in Amperes (A). 

The refrigerator is the household device that consumes the most energy, and it uses 6 to 10 amps (0.6 to 1.0A) of power. You can use a tiny generator to link a refrigerator to a generator. 

The issue is that the manufacturer of the generator will indicate the maximum current that you may pull from it.

The generator might be overwhelmed if connected directly because the fridge uses 6 to 10 amps

Due to this, the generator will overheat and burn its windings (made of an insulated copper conductor).

Think Like A Pro!

Buying a generator is a pricey asset for your future, and there is a marketplace filled with various types of generators. You need to ensure your investment is worthwhile and customized to meet your lifestyle. 

This is why to select the best generator for your needs. You must consider all of these factors:

1. Sizing The Generator – What Your Fridge Needs

To begin, determine how much energy the refrigerator consumes. There are a lot of different power needs.

You may end up either spending hundreds of dollars on a generator that is too tiny or, even worse, buying a generator that will not function.

Let’s start with the size generator you’ll require. The refrigerator’s power needs will be listed on a label inside the door. 

Here’s how our’s appears:

You’re looking for the amps (amperes) that your appliance requires.

This one has a 6.5 amp rating. If the appliance is plugged into a 120-volt outlet, multiply the 6.5 ams by 120 volts to obtain the average operating watts, and it is 780 watts in this case.

An extra burst of electricity (peak wattage) is required when the compressor operates in refrigerators. Typically, this is 2-3 times the average running Watts. Therefore, this appliance requires a minimum generator size of 1,560 watts.

2. Identifying the Fuel Type 

The next step is to decide on the portable generator’s fuel you desire. Gasoline, propane or natural gas, diesel, and even solar electricity are all options.

You should also think about the equipment it will power, how often it will be used, the style of installation you want, and if it will be used outside or indoors. Let’s discuss each type individually:

Gasoline – A Peaceful Preference

Because it’s easy to obtain and use, it is a common choice for inverter generators. Inverter generators can minimize noise by regulating engine speed. Depending on the load, these inverter generators may reduce the power they generate.

Propane – The Environment Guy

Propane is a standard fuel for both portable and stationary generators, and they are a better alternative since they are cleaner than gasoline. There are also propane inverter generators, and models that operate on both propane and gasoline can be purchased.

These are known as dual-fuel generators, and you can read more about them here.

Natural Gas – A Step Further

It might be a wonderful alternative for permanent installations if easily available. They are quiet and simple to operate, and the only issue is that you must put a gas line into your home or building. 

A natural gas generator would usually power more than just the refrigerator, and they’d also provide electricity for lights and air conditioning.

Diesel – Not A Fan Of City

This fuel is an excellent option for rural locations without access to natural gas. Diesel motors are vast and robust, making them perfect for supporting heavier loads like a hospital.

They may also be rather noisy, making them unsuitable for home usage.

Battery Generators – The Only Indoor Option

These generators have the benefit of being able to be operated indoors. In addition, these generators are easy to set up and maybe charged using solar or utility electricity through a conventional wall socket. 

It is beneficial to replace the batteries every four years, and this is an additional but necessary charge.

3. Installment Process – Not A Child’s Play

Installing a generator is not a joke, and there are several procedures for different generators that you need to follow accordingly. 

If you cannot proceed with care or have even the slightest doubts about your skills, it is best to call in an expert who will do the job for you. 

It might be expensive, but it is worth the risk.

How The Fuel Powered Generators Are Installed

These generators can run on various fuels, from heavy fuel oil to propane gas.

It’s important to talk about how you will position the conventional generator. For example, an extension wire that extends outdoors through a door or window can be directly plugged into the refrigerator freezer. 

The portable generator does not connect directly to the panel for permanent installation or emergency use. You need a suitable device for this. 

A professional electrician installs a transfer switch to allow a lasting setup. The generator will then be linked to the wall socket that houses the refrigerator and freezer.

How The Battery-Powered Generators Are Installed

A battery-powered generator does not generate but converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. 

Unlike generators that rely on gas, propane, or diesel as their primary energy source, battery-powered generators rely on electricity from the electric grid or the sun.

You can install the battery power system immediately next to the appliance, negating the need for costly electrical work and extension cords.

If you need to power more than one refrigerator, the battery power system can connect to numerous outlets to power two or three appliances at once.

Battery-operated power stations are often more expensive, but they also come with many benefits.

The Table Of Different Types

As you can see, selecting the proper generator to keep your refrigerator running is not as simple as it may appear.

But We Will Help You As Always!

Check out the chart below to get an idea of how much power different refrigerators use and decide accordingly.

A Chart Depicting Different Types Of Refrigerators And Their Wattages

Mini Fridge85 – 100 W127 – 150 W
Smart Fridge250 – 500 W375 – 750 W
Under-Counter Refrigerator90 – 140 W120 – 210 W
Latest Models of Fridge (2001-2020)100 – 400 W150 – 600 W
Double Door Fridge792 W1,188 W
Refrigerator Showcase210 W315 W
Earlier Models of Fridge (1993-2000)200 – 800 W300 – 1,200 W
Mini Glass Refrigerator140 W210 W
Mini Freezer35 – 50 W52 – 75 W
Deep Freezer (Chest) 350 – 500 W525 – 750 W
Counter-Top Fridge160 W240 W
*These values are merely an estimate; they might vary for your devices

You Are In Desperate Need Of These Pro Tips!

You can take precautions and preventive measures to have an enhanced experience while using a generator. If you’re going to operate your fridge on a generator, there are a few things to think about:

1. Simplified Math

By glancing at the nameplate or the instruction booklet, you can figure out exactly how much power the fridge requires.

If you have the Volts and Amperes used by your device, you can calculate the watts by determining their product:

Voltage x Ampere = Watts

2. Relationship Between Running and Starting Wattage

Fridges frequently require an extra boost of electricity to start, and this is how the motor starts. To achieve this value, multiply the usual running wattage by 1.5. 

If you have two values of wattage present on your appliance without labels, always assume the larger value is the starting watts.

3. One Connection Is Enough

It is important to avoid power interruptions as much as possible. When changing the power source, do not let your refrigerator run for an extended period of time. 

The continuous interchange between power supplies can fry the circuits of a generator and end up destroying all the devices involved.

You can use a regular battery converter to get your refrigerator running while your generator recharges. Another method would be to keep an eye on the gas supply to prevent it from running out completely.

4. Maintenance Saves The Day!

Ensure you have enough electrical sockets for your refrigerator and other appliances that you may want to hook into the unit. 

Throughout the day, you should keep a close check on your usage. Furthermore, before switching the power supply, give the generator a chance to warm up.

Install the generator on a flat area at least 10 feet away from your house and any overhanging roofs.

Keep These Questions In Mind

Several queries need to be addressed before proceeding with your purchase and installation. These questions will further satisfy your mind, and you will decide easily. 

Do you have an older or modern refrigerator?

Older refrigerators use more energy than newer models. Therefore, if you acquire an electric device, keep in mind that its power consumption may increase over time.

How much space does your refrigerator have in total? 

If your refrigerator is smaller, it will need less energy to function effectively. On the other hand, your energy usage would be higher if you had a huge refrigerator stocked with goods and food.

What if there is a freezer built-in? 

If your refrigerator has a freezer, it will need more energy to run than a refrigerator that has a fridge.

What happens if an ice maker and a dispenser is installed?

Any additional functions and capabilities that your refrigerator provides generally come at a higher cost in terms of energy usage.

Is there a smart control panel and several sensors on your refrigerator?

If you answered yes, you’d need to invest in an inverter generator, as standard generators produce significant total harmonic distortion, which might destroy your appliance’s microprocessors.

Are there other devices running simultaneously with the fridge? 

Many consumers purchase generators just to power their refrigerators to avoid food spoiling. However, they are unaware that they will need to power other appliances simultaneously.

As a result, we recommend allowing for a 20-30% increase in energy supply. If you know you’ll only sustain a refrigerator, though, you may purchase a generator that provides total peak wattage + approx. 10% just to be safe.

Summing It All Up/ To Sum It All Up: 

When determining the wattage, you’ll need to run your refrigerator contemplate several aspects. 

When the power goes out, you’ll need a refrigerator backup power system that depends on three factors: 

  1. how much electricity does your refrigerator need, 
  2. how long do you want it to run
  3. what temperature do you want it to keep?

The majority of individuals will utilize a larger generator than they require, resulting in increased fuel usage.

Please keep in mind that this essay is just for educational reasons. We are not responsible for any property damage or personal injuries resulting from the misuse of generators.

We Hope You Make The Best Decision!

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