What Size Generator Do I Need To Run A Refrigerator | Ultimate Guide

Most people ask a common query: What size generator do I need to run a refrigerator? Or how big of a generator do I need to run the refrigerator or freezer? The reason behind asking of asking such queries is pretty simple. All the people want to keep running their refrigerators during the electricity shutdown or when going on a camping trip.

What Size Generator Do I Need To Run A Refrigerator

Similarly, people also ask: Can I power up the entire home while running the freezer on a generator? Don’t panic! You are at the right spot. If you are also confused by such questions, we are here to assist you. This comprehensive guide will totally guide you about the power of a generator that you need to run a refrigerator. We will also explain the calculating procedure of the generator’s size to run the freezer. So, let’s get started within no time.

Method To Calculate The Size Of A Refrigerator For Your Needs

It is compulsory to calculate the power/wattage required to run a refrigerator that you have. Follow the below-mentioned methods to determine the power requirement of the refrigerator or freezer.

1. Enlist All The Necessary Devices

The first step is to list all the devices you want to run on the generator in electricity shutdown. Make sure you only mention those appliances that are compulsory to run.

2. Calculate The Total Power

Secondly, calculate the total power of your shortlisted appliances. To do this, simply write down the wattages of each appliance and then add them up to get the total wattage needed. An important point is necessary to be noted here. Always write down the surge or starting watts of the appliances if they have. The reason is, some appliances need high starting watts and low running watts. So, don’t forget to check the starting power rating.

3. Pick Up A Generator Now

After getting a new power requirement, go for buying a suitable generator to run all your appliances. Here we want to share a tip for you. Don’t buy a having the same wattage as calculated. Always go for a slightly bigger generator than the calculated amount. In our recommendation, you should buy a generator having 10% more wattage than your calculated power.

How Much Wattage Does A Refrigerator Need?

Each refrigerator is rated for different power wattages. You can get this data from the refrigerators manual. Suppose you have lost the refrigerator’s manual, you can get this data from the information plate or sticker on the back of your refrigerator.

In our opinion, you should pay more attention to the surge/starting wattage than running wattages. Usually, a home refrigerator is rated for 1000-2000 watts of power. The power changes with the size and manufacturing brand of the refrigerator.

Steps To Choose The Size of Generator To Run A Refrigerator

Generators are usually used to power up home appliances, especially refrigerators. Picking up the right size generator is not always a piece of cake. You would need to analyze different parameters such as size, type, and more. However, check out the step-by-step guide to choose the right generator for the refrigerator.

Step 1: Generator Sizing

Firstly, note down the power requirement of your refrigerator such as rated power and surge/initial power. Now check the rated amperes of your refrigerator mentioned on the back or in the manual. Also, check whether the refrigerator compressor is in running condition or not. If the compressor is OFF, open the door of the refrigerator and note check the amperes from any electrical tool when you find out the compressor is running.

Step 2: Determine The Type of Generator

The second step is to select the type of generator best suited for you, such as propane, gasoline, and more. In this step, you must consider the power, type of installation, fuel type, outdoor/indoor, and most importantly, how often you will use the generator. If you could not be able to distinguish between types of generators, let’s read further.

Gasoline Type

As the name suggests, such types of generators use gasoline to power up your appliances. They are useful in running electronic appliances such as refrigerators, fans, ovens, and more.

Propane Type

In this type of generators, propane is used as fuel. They are somewhat portable and do not cause much pollution due to clean fuel.

Natural Gas Type

As natural gas is readily available, these generators are a very cost-effective source of electrical energy. Such generators are easy to use and also produce less noise. They have high power and can run appliances more than a refrigerator.

Diesel Type

Diesel generators are the most powerful and heavy-duty generators. Mostly used in industries to run for long hours without any issues. However, they are not Eco-friendly.

Batteries Type

Battery-type generators are usually used to run small electronic appliances such as laptops, smartphones, speakers, and more. They are usually used indoors and have a low power rating.

Step 3: Buy A Suitable Generator

After finalizing the type of generator according to your needs and requirements, now it’s time to buy a suitable generator under your budget For Your camp or home. Check out the top brands and pick up one that suits best with your budget and circumstances.

Step 4: Install The Generator

After buying a good generator to run the refrigerator, the next step is to install it at your home. Just start the generator and plug the refrigerator directly into the generator’s power outlet.

So, this was all about choosing or running a refrigerator.

Can A Generator Damage Refrigerator or Freezer?

As a refrigerator is an expensive home appliance, people are worried about damaging the freezer when run on a generator. Keep in mind that the generators do not damage your refrigerator. They produce pure sine-wave, and you can even run your sensitive electronic devices on them (such as laptops, smartphones). Subsequently, refrigerators are not sensitive appliance that’s why it is not affected by running on generators.

Our Top-picked Generators For Running A Refrigerators

If you are planning to buy a generator that is capable of running the refrigerator, we want to assist you in this regard. Here check out our top recommended generators to run the refrigerator on them:

  • Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator (Best Budget)
  • WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator (High End)
  • Briggs & Stratton 30545 Inverter Generator (Our Top Pick)


According to us, a generator rated for 3500 watts can easily run your essential home appliances such as a sump pump, modem, fan, Tv, and refrigerator.

Usually, a refrigerator for home use is rated from 1000 to 2000 watts. So, you can easily run a refrigerator with the help of a 2000 watts generator.

Yes, you can run two small to medium-sized refrigerators with a 4000 watts generator. Remember that 4000-watts are the surge wattages.

Generators have the capacity to handle a certain amount of load. If you are putting more load on a low-rated generator, it will not run your refrigerator. First, check the initial wattages of your refrigerator and match them with the generator’s rated power and detect the real problem.

It purely depends on the size of the generator. Usually, small refrigerators take 350-780 watts. However, home refrigerators utilize 1000 or above watts for working.

Final Verdict

You can power up your refrigerator in several ways without relying on your main power supply. You can use standard propane, gasoline, or diesel generators to run the refrigerator. If you want to buy a generator to run the refrigerator, our ultimate guide will guide you. Check out our mentioned details that you need to know while calculating the size of the generator. We hope our efforts will help you in making the right decision.