How To Power A Fridge With A Generator?

How to power a fridge with a generator

When power outages occur, you need to power your fridge by using a generator. This article will help you along with some other questions you may have;

  • How to power a fridge with a generator?
  • What type of generator do you need to run a fridge?
  • What is the best generator to power a fridge?

Connect generator to extension cord, plug fridge in. Check generator power output, use voltage tester on outlet. Generator may be loud, check fuel levels. Follow manufacturer instructions when operating generator. Fridges need 1000-2000 watts, so you need a generator that provides 2000 watts or more.

Steps to run a fridge with a generator 

Facing constant power outages not only disrupts your daily activities, but it can also be a nightmare for your appliances, especially the fridge since there is a high risk for food items to get wasted.

The ideal solution is to get a generator, but connecting it to the fridge and turning on the machine won’t work. So, let’s have a look at the proper steps to power your fridge.

1. Inspect the wattage required for the fridge to run

First, you need to check the watt (measurement of power) required to run a fridge, which will be available on the label or manual of your fridge. A standard fridge with a freezer section estimates 6.5 amps at 60 hertz, followed by 110 to 127 volt AC.

Generally, the fridge operates at 800 watts with 1,600 as the starting watt. Nevertheless, you can also calculate by multiplying the flowing watt by 1.5 to figure out the required watt for your fridge to start. Finally, the result of the calculation is the wattage needed from the generator to start the unit.

2. Analyze the generator’s wattage 

Identify how many watts the generator can deliver for the smooth running of the unit. A standard generator’s receptacle produces 20 amps,60 hertz at 120 volts, making it idle for running a fridge.

For example, a generator rated with 1,500 watts can run a fridge with 1000 watts. Still, if you choose a generator with an output rating of 800 watts, there are high chances of a power trip raising the need to start the fridge over again.

3. Check other accessories running via the same generator 

If you plan to power other equipment/machines with the same generator used for your fridge, double-check that the generator can handle the load. Make your calculations on how many watts will be needed to run the fridge and how many extra watts can be spared to run another machine.

4. Placement of the generator 

Ensure that the generator is placed in an open space as it may lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and other injuries. Maintain a distance of 20 feet from your residence.

Also, the direct exhaust of the generator should not release towards your home. Connect it with a 14-gauge extension cord. Please remember to use high-quality extension cords designed explicitly for generators that are 10-30 feet and can support 7500 watts. 

5. Connect the generator to the fridge 

Since your generator is advised to be placed outdoors, the extension cord connecting to the generator needs to run through a window or hallway. You can also try using a transfer switch (an electrical switch) for your connection, as it will monitor and allow your wiring system to run appliances through the generator. It will also separate the generator power from the electric utility, making it convenient.

6. Start the generator 

Run your generator, allowing it to stabilize and plug your fridge into the socket of the extension cord, and press that switch button. Your fridge should be running but do a quick check if everything is operating accurately. 

What kind of generator to choose?

Before getting a generator, you need to identify the wattage requirements of your fridge, i.e., starting and running watts. Once identified, try to get a mid-level generator with above 2000 watts that can support your fridge and other appliances.

It is recommended to get a dual fuel generator as it runs on propane, a cheaper gasoline option. Also, consider getting an inverter generator that produces less noise, is 100% safe, and is compatible with any electronics.

Best generators For Fridges

Despite various generators available in the market, here are few portable generators which are an excellent choice for running your fridge.

It is an affordable generator with 3000 watts, enough to smoothly run your fridge. The generator is user-friendly, easy to start, can run for long, and operates quietly.

WEN 56380i falls under the inverter category, which makes your other electronics safe and saves on fuel. This inverter generator comes with 3000 watts and is a plentiful power supply for your home and camping trips. The generator is light to carry, quiet while operating with low fuel expense, and can power multiple appliances at a go. In the future, you can run the generator parallel with an additional 3000 watts to increase the power supply.

The generator provides 3000 running and 3400 starting watts, making it perfect for your fridge. Being an inverter type, it is quiet and comes with a dual fuel unit to use either propane or gas. It also has a long runtime of 20 hours continuously and is very helpful during emergencies.

Can a 2000 watt generator run a refrigerator?

A 2000-watt generator can run a refrigerator, but it depends on the specific wattage and power requirements of the refrigerator. Most refrigerators require between 1000 to 1500 watts to run. It’s important to check the specific power requirements of your refrigerator and compare it to the power output of the generator.

It’s also important to consider that a 2000-watt generator may not be sufficient to run other appliances at the same time as the refrigerator. Running multiple appliances may cause the generator to overload, resulting in damage or shut-off.

It’s important to plan and prioritize the appliances you need to run and to use a generator that can accommodate the total power requirements. It’s recommended to consult with the manufacturer or a professional before using a generator to power a refrigerator.

Refrigerator starting watts vs running watts

Refrigerator starting watts refer to the amount of power needed to start the compressor and get the fridge running. This is typically a higher number than running watts which is the amount of power needed to keep the refrigerator running once it has been started.

Starting watts can be 2-3 times more than running watts and it’s important to consider this when selecting a generator or power source. A generator or power source that can accommodate the starting watts of a refrigerator will ensure that the refrigerator starts properly and runs efficiently.

It’s also important to note that when running a refrigerator, it requires more power during compressor cycles and less during idle time. The running watts will change depending on the frequency of the compressor cycles.

This is why it’s important to check the running watts of the refrigerator and factor in the compressor cycles when selecting a generator or power source. It’s recommended to consult with the manufacturer or a professional to know the specific starting and running wattage of your refrigerator.

The potential issues

One potential issue when using a generator to power a fridge is noise. Generators can be loud and may disturb your home or neighborhood. Be aware of the noise level of the generator before purchasing and running it.

Another potential issue is refueling. Generators require fuel, such as gasoline or propane, to run. Running a generator for long periods of time may require frequent refueling. It’s important to check the fuel levels before turning on the generator and to have extra fuel on hand in case of an emergency.

Plan accordingly to avoid running out of fuel in the middle of use. It’s important to consider these potential issues when using a generator to power a fridge and plan accordingly.

Alternative methods for powering a fridge in off-grid or emergency situations

One alternative method for powering a fridge in off-grid or emergency situations is using solar power. A solar panel can convert the energy from the sun into electricity that can be used to power a fridge. This is a sustainable and eco-friendly solution but it’s important to have enough sunlight and a good solar panel.

Another alternative method is using a 12-volt DC compressor fridge/freezer which is designed to run on a 12-volt power source, such as a car battery or a portable power bank. This can be a convenient option for camping, tailgating or emergency situations where a power source is not readily available.

A third alternative method is using a propane refrigerator, which uses propane as a fuel source to power the cooling system. This can be a great option for off-grid living, camping or emergency situations where electricity is not available.

It’s important to have a supply of propane on hand and to properly maintain the propane refrigerator. These alternative methods can provide a solution for powering a fridge in off-grid or emergency situations but it’s important to consider the availability of the power source and the proper use and maintenance.


Every fridge has its specifications. Get a generator that meets the requirements. Don’t hesitate to invest in good-quality generators for a long-term purpose. We hope you enjoyed our content.

So are you now ready to power your fridge?

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