RV appliances that could be run by 2000 generator

FAQ: What Can You Run on a 2000 Watt Generator?

Are you thinking about getting your hands on a 2000 watt generator but you still have doubts whether it will be able to run all your electric appliances? Then continue reading this guide as our team here at Generatorist will try to provide you with every piece of information you might be looking for.

Let’s begin.

There are two main wattage output numbers characterizing the amount of power each portable generator can produce at one time.

The first, smaller number, refers to rated (running) watts – the amount of power your machine can produce over long periods of time. The second, larger number, refers to the surge (or starting) watts – the maximum power your machine can produce over a short period of time.

By a 2000 generator we refer to a machine that is able to produce 2000 running watts. Its starting watts will vary depending on the brand and model of each generator, but based on our experience the range is somewhere between 2200 – 3250 surge watts.

In layman’s terms, a 2000 watt generator can run almost any small household, RV or recreational appliances, including:

  1. Portable light source
  2. Small space heater
  3. Coffee maker
  4. Microwave oven
  5. Modern fridge with a freezer
  6. Laptop
  7. TV
  8. VCR / DVD Player
  9. All smaller electric appliances
  10. A couple of smaller power tools

To learn, whether you can run all these at the same time you need to know the power consumption of each appliance in your home. Also, you need to know whether your generator has the correct number and type of outlets as some higher wattage appliances may need different outlets than some low-wattage appliances.

Just don’t expect to run any large essential household appliances on this machine (such as AC units or heat pumps) as this will require a lot more power than any 2000 watt generator can provide. If you need an energy backup for your whole house without any limitations, you may consider getting a stand-by unit instead of a portable one.

Usually, these are much more expensive and need to be installed by a professional electrician.

Determining your

wattage requirements

If you want to learn what electronic appliances will a 2000 generator run, you need to get ready to do some math. Don’t worry, it will be a very simple process of adding up several numbers.

To determine what appliances you can run on this type of generator at the same time, you need to follow these steps:

  1. List all electronic appliances in your home you want to keep running in the case you are out of power (here is a great list full of appliances you might use)
  2. Write information from their name tags on required running and starting watts into a table (see examples below)
  3. Then you need to add up all the running watts required to operate your appliances
  4. The next step is to find the item with the highest additional starting watts
  5. Then add this number to your total running watts
  6. The final number represents the amount of starting watts your generator needs to provide

Here is a good example of calculating wattage needs for a generator.

We have decided that in case of a weather-caused blackout, we would need only essentials such as refrigerator with a freezer so our food will be safe, a lamp that will serve as an emergency light source, a small window AC unit to keep the temperature under control, a toaster, and a laptop.

Selected Appliances Rated (Running) Watts Additional Starting Watts
Toaster 850 W 0 W
Refrigerator / Freezer 700 W 2,200 W
Laptop 300 W 0 W
Lamp (2 Lightbulbs) 150 W 0 W
Window AC (10,000 BTU) 1,200 W 3,600 W
TOTAL 3,200 W
6,800 W

As you can see in our example above, if we add up all running watts of our appliances we get the number 3,200 – so we are way over the 2000 running watts limit (850 + 700 + 300 + 150 + 1,200 = 3,200).

Not only that, we would need a generator that is capable of producing at least 6,800 surge (starting) watts to power all these appliances (3,200 + 3,600 = 6,800).

Just keep in mind that some electric appliances in your home may not have running watts provided on their data tags. If this is the case, you can estimate the running watts required thanks to the following formula:

Watts (W or kW) = Volts (V) x Amps (A)
Amps (A) = Watts (W or kW) / Volts (V)

So, as long as you have required Volts and Amps, you can easily convert them into an estimate of required running watts. Maybe you remember that this equation represents the Ohm’s law from High School physics.

Luckily, there is a device called “appliance load tester” that you can get to determine how many watts each your appliance takes. You can easily get one from Amazon and avoid all that physic´s equation.

If you need general estimates of wattage consumption by the most common electronic appliances, then take a look at our tables below. Just take these numbers as rough estimates. You need to check each appliance / power tool in your home individually to see the precise wattage requirements.

How much can a 2000 watt generator run? Check out the wattage of the most popular appliances below to discover answer to that question.

Household Appliances

Estimated wattage
Kitchen Appliances Rated (Running) Watts Additional Surge Watts
Toaster 850 W 0 W
Microwave 1,000 W 0 W
Refrigerator / Freezer 700 W 2,200 W
Coffee Maker 1,000 W 0 W
Electric Stove (8" Element) 2,100 W 0 W
Deep Freezer 500 W 1,500 W
Electric Can Opener 170 W 0 W
Dishwasher 1,500 W 1,500 W
Food Processor 400 W 0 W
Essential Appliances Rated (Running) Watts Additional Surge Watts
Electric Water Heater 4,000 W 0 W
Well Water Pump (1/2 HP) 1,000 W 2,100 W
Window AC (10,000 BTU) 1,200 W 3,600 W
Window AC (12,000 BTU) 3,250 W 9,750 W
Central AC (10,000 BTU) 1,500 W 4,500 W
Central AC (24,000 BTU) 3,800 W 11,400 W
Sump Pump (1/3 HP) 800 W 1,300 W
Sump Pump (1/2 HP) 1,050 W 2,150 W
Furnace Fan Blower (1/3 HP) 700 W 1,400 W
Furnace Fan Blower (1/2 HP) 800 W 2,350 W
Garage Door Opener (1/2 HP) 875 W 2,350 W
Common Light Bulb 75 W 0 W
Space Heater 1,800 W 0 W
Laundry Appliances Rated (Running) Watts Additional Surge Watts
Washing Machine 1,150 W 2,250 W
Clothes Dryer (Electric) 5,400 W 6,750 W
Iron 1,200 W 0 W
Hair Dryer 1,250 W 0 W
Entertainment Appliances Rated (Running) Watts Additional Surge Watts
Laptop 300 W 0 W
Television 500 W 0 W
Stereo 450 W 0 W
VCR / DVD Player 100 W 0 W
Video Game System 40 W 0 W
Other Appliances Rated (Running) Watts Additional Surge Watts
Clock Radio 50 - 200 W 0 W

Printable Chart

power tools & machines

Estimated wattage
Power tools Rated (Running) Watts Additional Surge Watts
Radial Arm Saw 2,000 W 2,000 W
Circular Saw (7.25") 1,400 W 4,200 W
Air Compressor (1/4 HP) 975 W 1,600 W
Air Compressor (1 HP) 1,600 W 4,500 W
Miter Saw (10") 1,800 W 1,800 W
Reciprocating Saw 960 W 0 W
Electric Drill 600 W 900 W
Belt Sander 1,200 W 2,400 W
Bench Grinder 1,400 W 2,500 W

Printable Chart

Looking for a 2000 watt generator?

2000 Generator FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Because we got a lot of questions over time with regards to 2000 watt generators, we have decided to add this FAQ section where you can look for helpful information.

If you have questions that are not answered here, feel free to contact us or leave your question in the comments section available at the end of this article.

In general, this type of machine can run almost any essential household appliance, including:

  1. Modern fridge with a freezer
  2. Small sump pump
  3. Small radiant heater
  4. All smaller electric appliances
  5. A couple of power tools

Obviously, whether you can run all these at the same time you need to know the power consumption of each appliance in your home. Also, you need to know whether your generator has the correct number and type of outlets as some higher wattage appliances such as AC units may need different outlets than other low-wattage appliances.

Just don’t expect to run your whole house on this machine simultaneously as any 2000 watt generator will have too little power to do so. We have provided tables with rough estimates for individual electric appliances in this article.

If you need to provide an energy backup for your whole house without any limitations, you may consider getting a stand-by unit instead of a portable one.

Usually, these are much more expensive and need to be installed by a professional electrician.

In general, a 2000 running watts generator doesn’t provide enough power to run a heat pump or electric furnace. However, answering this question is really hard without knowing the exact running and starting watts required by your electric appliance.

Please, contact a manufacturer of your pump or furnace to learn more info on its wattage requirements. Also, we have discovered a forum thread where this question is answered in more details so don’t forget to check it out.

Sadly, there is not a single answer to this question. To learn, whether you can run your welder on a 2000 watt portable generator you need to know the power requirements of your welder (see the data tag or user manual you got to your welder).

However, based on the information we were able to learn, the best option is to get a special generator that has been manufactured for welding purposes to be able to harness the full potential of your welder.

You can see some good options on Home Depot.

In general, a 2000 – 2400 running watts generator should provide enough power to run a very small air compressor (1/4 horse power) without any issues. However, answering this question is really hard without knowing the exact running and starting watts required by your air compressor.

I have found rough estimates for different types of compressors:

  • 1/2 Horse Power – It takes 975 running watts and 1600 starting watts.
  • 1 Horse Power – It takes 1600 running watts and 4500 starting watts.

As you can see in the estimates above, the issue is not running watts but starting watts. To get the precise numbers, you will need to find the voltage, amperage, and horsepower information on the info-plate of your compressor.

Then, all it takes to learn required wattage is to apply this equation:

Watts (W or kW) = Volts (V) x Amps (A)

In general, a 2000 – 2400 running watts generator should provide enough power to run small RV AC unit (11000 BTU) without any issues. However, answering this question is really hard without knowing the exact running and starting watts required by your AC unit.

I have found rough estimates for different types of RV air conditioning units:

  • 11000 BTU – It takes 1050 running watts and 1600 starting watts.
  • 13000 BTU – It takes 1800 running watts and 2800 starting watts.
  • 15000 BTU – It takes 2000 running watts and 3300 starting watts.

As you can see in the estimates above, the issue is not running watts but starting watts. To get the precise numbers, you will need to find the voltage, and amperage information on the info-plate of your RV AC unit.

Then, all it takes to learn required wattage is to apply this equation:

Watts (W or kW) = Volts (V) x Amps (A)

Answer to this question is not that simple. In general, a rough estimate of power requirements of a heavy-duty 7.25″ circular saw are as follows:

  • 1400 running watts
  • 2300 starting watts

As you can see, as long as your generator offers at least 2500 starting watts (we rather recommend getting slightly more power than needed), you should be able to run your machine on this type of generator.

A rough estimate of energy requirements of a space heater is as follows:

  • 1800 running watts
  • 1800 starting watts

As you can see, you can easily run your space heater by a 2000 – 2400 running watts generator. Just don’t forget to double-check the name tag on your appliance to learn the precise wattage requirements.

In general, a common microwave needs around 1000 watts to operate. A 2000 watt generator has at least 2000 running and 2200 starting watts so you can run your microwave pretty easily.

Just don’t forget to check the nameplate on your appliance to learn the precise wattage requirements.

In general, a refrigerator takes around 1200 surge watts at the beginning while the compressor kicks in and then it gradually drops down to around 200 running watts. As you can see, each and every generator in this article could run a mid-sized refrigerator.

However, you shouldn’t rely on these general estimates and you have to check the nameplate and data tag on your fridge to learn the precise numbers.

Also, if your generator has a high total harmonic distortion, your fridge (especially if you have a modern type) may get damaged (that is why we recommend getting an inverter type of generator).

Definitely. As long as your generator is an inverter with a low total harmonic distortion, then you can run your TV safely on a 2000 watt generator.

Here are some rough estimates of wattage requirements of various TVs:

  • Tube type – It takes 300 running watts and 300 starting watts.
  • Flat Screen (20”) – It takes 120 running watts and 120 starting watts.
  • Flat Screen (46″) –  It takes 190 running watts and 190 starting watts.

As you can see, you will have enough spare power to run your DVD player that takes approximately 350 running and 350 starting watts as well.

Usually, a 2000 – 2400 running watts generator should provide enough power to run a very small sump pump (1/3 horse power) without any issues. However, answering this question is really hard without knowing the exact running and starting watts required by your pump.

I have found rough estimates for different types of sump pumps:

  • 1/3 Horse Power – It takes 800 running watts and 1300 starting watts.
  • 1/2 Horse Power – It takes 1050 running watts and 2150 starting watts.

As you can see in the estimates above, the issue is not running watts but starting watts. To get the precise numbers, you will need to find the voltage, amperage, and horsepower information on the info-plate of your pump.

Then, all it takes to learn required wattage is to apply this equation:

Watts (W or kW) = Volts (V) x Amps (A)

Just keep in mind that your sump pump will probably require a 240V outlet on your generator.

In general, a 2000 – 2400 running watts generator should provide enough power to run a very small well pump (1/3 horsepower) without any issues. However, answering this question is really hard without knowing the exact running and starting watts required by your water pump.

I have found rough estimates for different types of pumps:

  • 1/3 Horse Power – It takes 750 running watts and 1500 starting watts.
  • 1/2 Horse Power – It takes 1000 running watts and 2100 starting watts.
  • 3/4 Horse Power – It takes 1500 running watts and 3000 starting watts.
  • 1 Horse Power – It takes 2000 running watts and 4000 starting watts.
  • 1 & 1/2 Horse Power – It takes 2500 running watts and 5000 starting watts.

As you can see in the estimates above, the issue is not running watts but starting watts. To get the precise numbers, you will need to find the voltage, amperage, and horsepower information on the info-plate of your pump.

Then, all it takes to learn required wattage is to apply this equation:

Watts (W or kW) = Volts (V) x Amps (A)

There is no way a 2000 watt generator would provide enough power to run a central AC unit. We would rather go for a very small emergency window AC unit as 2000 watt generators may have too little starting power.

However, the answer to this question really depends on the number of running and starting watts your AC unit requires.

Obviously, these numbers vary from one unit to another and are based on cooling ability of individual models and brands. That is why you need to look for the following data at the name tag of your central AC unit:

  1. LRA (Locked Rotor Amps) – This number represents the current you can expect under starting conditions when you apply full voltage.
  2. RLA (Rated Load Amps) – This number represents the maximum current a compressor should draw under any operating conditions.
  3. FLA (Full Load Amps) – This number represents the same as the Rated Load Amps.

You need to take into consideration the amps for both the compressor and the fan unit. To determine, if your 2000 watt generator can run a central AC, please consult its manufacturer or a professional electrician.

Keep in mind that a typical central air unit runs on a 208/240 volts and is often permanently mounted and hardwired into the electrical system of your house. That is why to safely run this electronic appliance you need to connect your generator through a transfer switch.

Actually, you should always connect your generator through a transfer switch if you don’t want to damage your appliances or endanger people who may be working on electric lines in your neighborhood.

In general, a 2000 watt gasoline generator has a 4-stroke engine. If this is the case, you will need to use either SAE 30 (if you live in a warmer climate) or a SAE 10W-30 if you are going to use it in a colder climate (do not forget to double-check with your owner´s manual).

However, there are several things you need to consider while choosing the oil for your machine:

  • Whether you got a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke engine
  • Starting and operating temperatures
  • Type of fuel your machine runs on
  • Certifications and classifications of the oil
  • Reputation of the brand and company producing the oil

If you need to learn more information on how to choose the best oil for your generator, then consult our guide that is available right here. We provide you also with a list of best brands in various categories of oil.

In general, a 2000 watt generator provides approximately 16 amps, in case of 120 volts or 8 amps in case of 240 volts. However, we haven’t seen a 2000 watt generator that would provide 240 volts. To learn more, you should check out the owner´s manual to the machine you want to buy.

Actually, identifying how many amps there are in a 2000 running watt generator is a very simple process. All you have to do is to apply the following formula:

Amps (A) = Watts (W or kW) / Volts (V)

You need to divide the wattage by the voltage. So, in this case you need to divide 2000 by 120 or 240 to get the correct numbers.

Although this question doesn’t have a universal answer as each generator has unique fuel consumption and capacity of the fuel tank, based on our database, an average 2000 – 2400 generator runs for approximately 7.4 hours on a 50% load.

This number is a median that we got after looking at the run time of over 20 generators that provide 2000 – 2400 running watts.

There is not a single correct answer to this question. Actually, there are several features of your 2000 watt generator you need to consider while choosing your transfer switch.

We will be doing a guide on choosing the best transfer switches soon but in the meantime, consider this guide from Electric Generators Direct.

If you are looking for an RV generator, our advice is to choose a machine that is powerful but still quiet. Ideally, go for an inverter. There are many inverters in this category of generators but these 3 are the quietest:

  1. Westinghouse iGen2500 Camo
  2. Westinghouse iPro2500
  3. Yamaha EF2400iSHC

Sadly, there are no RV ready generators in this category. That is why you need to get a necessary set of adapters (also called dogbones) to easily connect your RV to any machine on this list through either a 20 or a 30 amp outlets.

So pick a generator that fits your needs the most and if it is not RV ready, don’t forget to get the correct adapter.

Finding a reliable information on the “noisiness” of generators is a tough job to do. However, based on our findings, we can list the following machines as “quietest”:

  1. Westinghouse iGen2500 Camo
  2. Westinghouse iPro2500
  3. Yamaha EF2400iSHC

In general, if you want a portable generator that is powerful but also quiet at the same time, then go for an inverter. Sadly, these machines are much more expensive than regular generators.

If you are looking for a 2000 -2400 running watts generator that offers the most comfortable electric start, then we have only two options for you to choose from:

  1. Lifan Energy Storm ESI2000iER (2000 running / 2200 starting watts)
  2. Lifan Energy Storm ESI2500iER-EFI (2400 running / 2500 starting watts)

Both machines are almost the same and offer a remote start. So choose one according to the maximum starting and running watts you actually require.

While going over our database of 2000 – 2400 running watts generators, we haven’t identified any generator that runs on diesel. If you still need a diesel powered generator, you would need to increase the running watts category:

Just expect to pay a lot as diesel generators are usually on a much more expensive side when compared to gasoline powered machines.

We haven’t found any 2000 watt generator that runs on propane. If you still need a propane powered generator, you would need to either increase or decrease the running watts category:

All these machines provide a good quality-vs-price ratio.

If you are looking for the best inverter generator that provides 2000 – 2400 running watts, then there are many options for you to choose from.

Based on our research, the best inverters in this category are:

  1. Lifan Energy Storm ESI2500iER-EFI (2400 running / 2500 starting watts)
  2. Westinghouse iGen2500 Camo (2200 running / 2500 starting watts)

Just keep in mind that although inverters are running quietly, they are on the expensive side.

recommended readings

About the author

Matthew

handyman, loves science

Hands behind everything you see around. Matthew is the ultimate handyman. He is the expert to all things related to generators. 

When he compares the machines, he uses his comprehensive research skills combined with attention to details. If you need to pick new generator, he is your man.

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