Your fridge is stocked with all your delicious foods and then the power goes out. This is not that bad if the power only stays out for a short time. But if the power stays off for hours or even days, you stand to lose a lot of money not to mention those meals you were looking forward to eating.
One way to avoid having your expensive food ruined is to power your fridge using a generator. To find out how to do this, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about.
Can You Use A Generator to Run A Fridge?
Yes, it is possible but before you run out and buy a generator, you need to know some facts first. You need to know the difference between starting wattage and running wattage.
The former is the required amount of wattage needed to start the refrigerator’s motor. The latter refers to the amount of wattage to keep the fridge running. The former is greater than the latter.
To help you find the right generator, check the refrigerator’s owner manual to see the number of watts needed for both or check the manufacturer’s tag. These numbers will tell you how much wattage the generator needs to produce in order for the fridge to work right.
How Much Wattage Does A Refrigerator Use?
The standard fridge uses about 800 watts of power when it is running. Then to start the compressor, you need a little bit more wattage. An 800-watt fridge usually needs about 1200 watts to get moving.
If your owner’s manual or tag do not give the starting wattage or you lost both, the equation goes like this: 800 (running watts) x 1.5 = 1200 (starting watts). That means your new generator needs to produce more than 1200 watts if it is going to start and run your fridge.
Anything smaller and you will not save that food inside the fridge.
How to Power A Refrigerator by A Generator?
The way to power your refrigerator is not that difficult. You will need a larger or thicker extension cord than the ones you use to power lamps and other small electrical devices. Usually, 14 gauge or a little thicker will suffice.
The first step in this process is to place your generator near where your fridge sits. It should be located in a spot free from obstructions and about 10 feet from your home. Your second step would be to plug the extension cord in and run it to your refrigerator.
This can be done through a window or a doorway as long as you take the shortest, safest path. You do not want people tripping over the extension cord. Before you plug the fridge’s power cord into your extension cord, start the generator first and let it come up to operating speed.
The fourth step will be to plug the fridge’s power cord into the extension cord and the fridge should turn on.
The Type of Generator You Need
There are a lot of good generators on the market today and they come in all shapes, sizes and powered by different means.
- The first thing you can do is eliminate any generator that produces less than 2000 watts.
- You do not need to go much larger than that unless you want to power other appliances or your computers while the power is out. Smaller than that and you risk not being able to start your fridge.
- There are several different ways to fuel these units and they all have their pros and cons. There are battery-operated models that may not be powerful enough, propane models, gas models, diesel ones as well as solar options.
- If you are powering your fridge you most likely will not need the inverter model. That is usually reserved for RVs and similar recreational vehicles. Solar is very quiet and you may have to put up with some noise if you choose the gas-powered options.
- Some gas-powered generators only reach 50 decibels when turned on. You will have to pick the operating fuel method that fits with your lifestyle. Just make sure that it will produce up to 2000 watts.
- Also look for good safety features that will protect your home as well as your fridge. The good thing is that you can use your generator for other duties once the power is restored.
It is possible to power your refrigerator using a generator. The process is not hard, and it only takes a few minutes to set up. The key is to get a generator that produces enough power to handle the fridge’s electrical needs and that is not that hard either.
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