Close this search box.


What Can a 10000 Watt Generator Run?

Wa Starting Is there a huge storm in your area that lasted for a few days? Did a hurricane wreck all the properties and essential infrastructure in your region? We cannot control such natural disasters and, in these situations, you will not have access to power for days. If you don’t have an electricity supply for a couple of hours, it is just an inconvenience but the situation is tolerable. But when you don’t have electricity for days (or sometimes weeks), it can cause a lot of damage to both individuals as well as small businesses. Due to the unpredictable nature of the climate and the grid supply, many homeowners are investing (or thinking of investing) in a portable home generator. Depending on their requirements, one could get a tiny 5,000-Watt Portable Generator or a slightly larger and powerful 10,000-Watt Generator. If you opt for the 10,000-Watt option, it could help you power a lot of devices and tools. Speaking of powering devices, what can a 10,000-Watt generator run?

This seems like a legit question considering an investment in portable generators is a huge deal and understanding the capabilities of a particular generator is the first thing to do in the purchase process.

We made a dedicated guide on how to calculate the size of the generator based on your requirements. Check that out for more information. But a suggestion from our end is you need to calculate, even if they are ballpark numbers, the size or power of the generator you need based on the different appliances you intend to run off of it.

In this way, you won’t make the mistake of buying a “smaller” generator than what you need or spending too much money on a large generator with a lot of power that you don’t use.

If you are interested in knowing what can a 10,000-Watt Generator run, then this guide is just for you. With a high-power generator such as the 10,000-Watt Generator, you can power all your electrical appliances in your home and power tools in your worksite or garage.

A Brief Note on Portable Generators

What does a portable generator do? It is a gas-powered device that produces electricity. Generators are very useful devices during lengthy blackouts or in the event of a total power loss. It produces electrical power and you can use this to run all the important and essential electrical devices.

The main components of a generator are a gasoline engine (basically an internal combustion engine), an alternator, and some additional electrical components. The output of the generator is the standard 120V 60 Hz AC Supply. But you can also get 240V 60 Hz on some models.

If you are looking for a cheap and affordable way to produce a backup power supply for residential or small business purposes, then portable generators are the best choice. The best thing about portable generators is that there is no need for wiring the generator to your existing electrical system. Just connect some decent extension cords to the outlets of the generator and access the electricity.

Backup generators come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types. The output power and the features of the generator directly dictate their price. If you are on a strict budget or need a generator just to provide backup power for small to medium-power devices, then you should look at a 5,000 to 7,500 Watt Generator.

But if you are slightly flexible on the budget and want to run several large and powerful appliances, then a 10,000-Watt generator is a decent option. But an important question is what can a 10,000-Watt generator run?

Choosing a Generator

There are several factors and parameters to consider while choosing a generator. But the power rating of the generator in Watts is the most important one. If you look at online or printed catalogs of generators, the first thing manufacturers and sellers highlight are the power ratings of the generator.

You can get portable generators in several power ratings starting with as little as 1,000 Watts and going all the way to 15,000 Watts.

So, how to choose a generator? We already made a guide on Sizing Portable Generators. Check that out for more information. But essentially you need to make a small calculation using the Running Watts and Starting Watts of all the appliances you want to run and also the corresponding rating of the generator.

If you are unfamiliar with the terms Starting Watts and Running Watts of a generator, then here is a brief overview. The Running Watts of a Generator are the continuous power it can deliver for sustained periods.

The Starting Watts of a Generator are the surge power (or sudden jolt of power) that it provides while starting a motor-based appliance. Some common motor-based devices are Air conditioners, Refrigerators, Water Pumps, some power tools (saws, drills, hammers, etc.), Dish Washer, etc.

When the motor in these devices starts from a complete stop position, it will draw a large current (which can be two or three times that of the normal current) to kick-start the rotation. As a result, the power draw while the motor starts is also twice or thrice its normal power consumption.

The generator must be able to deliver this power (or choose the generator with a sufficient Starting Watts rating), even though this high power draw will be only for a couple of seconds.

Coming to the 10,000-Watt Generator, this rating can be the Running Watts or the Starting Watts. Does it make any difference? Yes. A big difference. If the 10,000-Watt rating is the Running Watts specification of the generator, then you will have a higher starting watt rating (usually 12,000 Watts or 13,000 Watts).

But if you choose a generator with Starting Watts rating of 10,000 Watts, then the Running Watts will be even lower (usually in the 7,500 Watts to 8,000 Watts range). So, you will be limited to a low continuous power output from the generator.

We recommend you choose a generator with 10,000 Watts of Running Power (if your budget permits it).

Why 10,000-Watt Generator?

There are larger generators that can produce 15,000 Watts or more power and there are also smaller generators with 5,000 watts or less power rating.

The 10,000-Watt Generator falls under the category of large generators and it is also slightly more expensive than, say, a 7,500-Watt Generator. So, what’s the key takeaway of choosing a 10,000-Watt Generator?

If you want to run several larger appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, freezers, heaters, etc. using a portable generator, then the 10,000-Watt Generator can provide the power to run those devices (sometimes even multiple devices at the same time though).

This might not be possible with a smaller generator, say with a rating of 7,500 Watts. You could run one or two high-powered appliances with a small generator but not more than that.

The next benefit of choosing a 10,000-Watt Generator is you can power an entire house with it during emergencies. At 120V AC output, a 10,000-Watt Generator provides close to 83 Amps, and at 240V, the current halves to about 42 Amps. That’s a lot of current from a relatively tiny device.

You will be obviously paying a premium for a 10,000-Watt generator when compared to a slightly smaller 7,500-Watt Generator. But if your power consumption requirements are high, then investing in a 10,000-Watt Generator is a good choice.

What Can a 10,000-Watt Generator Run?

Coming to the main topic of discussion, if you were to select a 10,000-Watt Generator, then the first question you get is, what can a 10,000-watt generator run? To answer this question, we have to once again visit the terms Starting Watts and Running Watts.

The following table shows some common household, garage, and workshop appliances, devices, and tools along with their typical power consumption ratings. You can observe that we mentioned both the Continuous Power i.e., the Running Watts of the device, and also the additional Surge Power it draws i.e., the Starting Watts of the device.

Household Appliances, Devices, or Tools Rated Power (Continuous Power or Running Watts) Additional Surge Power (Peak Power or Starting Watts)
Incandescent Bulb (100-Watt) 100 Watts 0
LED Bulb (9-Watt) 9 Watts 0
Ceiling Fan 80 Watts 70 Watts
Window Air Conditioner (10,000 BTU) 1,200 Watts 3,600 Watts
Sump or Well Pump (1/2 HP) 1,000 Watts 2,000 Watts
Room or Space Heater 2,000 Watts 0
Furnace Blower (1/2 HP) 900 Watts 2,500 Watts
Garage Door Opener (1/2 HP) 850 Watts 2,200 Watts
Coffee Maker 1,000 Watts 0
Refrigerator 700 Watts 2,100 Watts
Microwave Oven (1.1 Cubic Feet) 1,000 Watts 0
Deep Freezer 500 Watts 1,500 Watts
Electric Clothes Dryer 4,500 Watts 5,500 Watts
Curling Iron 1,500 Watts 0
Hair Dryer 1,200 Watts 0
Vacuum Cleaner 250 Watts 200 Watts
Washing Machine 1,100 Watts 2,200 Watts
55” OLED TV 100 Watts 0
Gaming Console 100 Watts 0
Desktop Computer 800 Watts 0
Air Compressor (1/2 HP) 1,000 Watts 2,000 Watts
Sander 1,100 Watts 2,200 Watts
Circular Saw (7” Blade) 1,300 Watts 3,500 Watts
Electric Drill 550 Watts 800 Watts
Table Saw (10” Blade) 1,600 Watts 2,500 Watts

These power ratings are typical values and for exact information on both the Running watts and Starting Watts of a device, do refer to the manufacturer’s manual, catalogs, or website.

Calculating Power Requirements

With this information, you can make a list of all the devices you want to run off of a 10,000-Watt Generator and make some simple calculations. Let us take a couple of scenarios and see what can you run on a 10,000-Watt Generator.

In the first case, you want to run all non-motor devices i.e., devices or appliances that do not have any additional Surge Power (or Starting Watts) requirements.

These devices include light bulbs (both incandescent if you are still rocking them or LEDs), TV, Stereo Systems, Infrared Space Heaters, Computer, Laptop Chargers, Electric Iron (Curling Irons, Hair Dryers, etc.), Electric Water Heaters, Humidifiers, and other similar electrical appliances.

Now, after making a list, add the running watts of these devices and make sure that this number doesn’t exceed 10,000 Watts. A good rule is to leave 10% headroom for the generator, so 90% of 10,000 watts is 9,000 Watts. So, the power consumption of all the devices must not exceed this value.

Don’t Forget Starting Watts

We cannot imagine our day going on without a motor-powered device. Be it refrigerators, freezers, power tools, air conditioners, etc., all these appliances have some form of a motor in them that pull a huge surge power when starting after a complete shutdown.

So, the next scene is going to be very interesting. Even though you use motor-based appliances, there is a good chance that we won’t be using them all at the exact same time. As usual, make a list of all the appliances you want to run with the generator.

Now, take the device with a higher starting watts rating and add it to the sum of the running watts of all the devices. In this way, you can estimate the maximum surge power the generator must provide in the worst case. Make sure that this rating is less than the Starting Watts of the 10,000-Watt Generator (which will usually be in the range of 12,000 Watts to 13,000 Watts).

You can run several small devices and even several large motor-powered devices with a 10,000-Watt generator without much worry. Just make sure that you don’t start two power-hungry appliances at the same time and that the total power draw of all the devices doesn’t exceed the rating of the generator.

We know this isn’t the direct answer you are hoping for as it is very difficult to generalize the power consumption of different households. But if you understand the basics of how to estimate the size of a generator, you don’t need to be a genius to calculate the necessary power rating and choose a proper generator size.

In the case of a 10,000-Watt Generator, assuming this rating is the Running Watts of the Generator, just make sure that the overall power draw of all the devices, tools, and appliances doesn’t exceed this number.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a 10,000-Watt Generator

As a bonus, here is a brief overview of all the things you need to consider before choosing a 10,000-Watt Generator.

Starting Watts and Running Watts

The first and most important parameter or specification that you need to focus on is associated with the power rating of the generator. We usually have two ratings in the form of Running Watts and Starting Watts.

We already discussed a great deal about these two ratings but in a nutshell, Running Watts is the power output of the Generator for continuous operation while Starting Watts is the surge power that the Generator can supply when any motor-powered appliance starts.

In the case of a 10,000-Watt Generator, make sure that this refers to the Running Watts and not the Starting Watts. In this way, you can run multiple powerful devices in the event of a power outage. If 10,000 Watts is the Running Watts of the generator, then it will have 12,000 to 13,000 Watts of Surge Power capability.

Type of Generator

There are different types, styles, and sizes of generators. First, there are conventional and inverter generators. Next, we have generators that run solely on gasoline but we also have that run on natural gas and propane.

Nowadays, it is very common to find several manufacturers producing dual-fuel generators that run on either gasoline or propane.

Diesel fuel generators are usually large, heavy, and powerful and are common in commercial applications. For residential, camping, or worksite needs, you need to look at the previously-mentioned fuel options to get a decent generator within budget.

Another important thing you need to consider is the form factor of the generator. As 10,000 watts is neither big nor small, you can get portable generators. The benefit of these generators is you can easily move from place to place or carry from one site to other without any effort.

Ports and Outlets

The main purpose of a generator is to provide electric power to appliances of different sizes. Hence, you need to look at the number and types of outlets the generator offers.

This way, you can plug the appliances directly into the generator without hardwiring it to your home’s electrical system. Some common ports and outlets are 120V 20A household outlets, heavy-duty 120V/240V 30A outlets (L14-30R and L5-30R), and many others.


There are several other factors such as fuel tank capacity, running duration, starting system, noise, efficiency, warranty, etc.

Popular 10,000-Watt Generators You Can Buy

Now that we have seen the essential things about 10,000-Watt Generators, we are providing you with a list of some popular 10,000-Watt Generators that are available in the market.

Generator Running Watts Starting Watts
Westinghouse 12500-Watt Dual Fuel Home Backup Portable Generator 9,500 Watts 12,500 Watts
DuroMax XP12000HX Dual Fuel Portable Generator 9,500 Watts 12,000 Watts
WEN DF1100T 11,000-Watt 120V/240V Dual Fuel Portable Generator 8,300 Watts 11,000 Watts
RAINIER R12000DF Dual Fuel (Gas and Propane) Portable Generator 9,500 Watts 12,000 Watts
Pulsar G12KBN Heavy-Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator 9,500 Watts 12,000 Watts

Check this: Best 12000 Watt Generators


Buying a generator is a big deal as it needs a huge investment and there is a recurring cost that applies to properly run and maintain it. So, choosing the right-sized generator can save you a lot of money.

If you are planning to buy a generator, then we recommend you make some simple calculations beforehand in terms of the power consumption and power ratings of the generator.

A 10,000-Watt Generator is a decent-sized generator for residential, camping, small business, or worksite applications. In this guide, we saw the basics of a portable generator and also some important parameters of a typical 10,000-Watt generator.

We also understood what can a 10,000-Watt generator run by considering both the running power and peak power of the devices you want to run as well as the corresponding specifications of the generator.

In the end, we saw some popular 10,000-Watt Generators that you can purchase online. We hope that this guide on the 10,000-Watt Generators could help understand the basics of sizing a generator. If you feel we missed something or want us to add anything, do let us know in the comments. It will not only help us but also other readers as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *