What size of generator do I need?

How to select a backup generator. Add the wattage from the nameplates of each item you want to keep running during a power outage. Add the startup wattage for the largest appliance. Appliances with electric motors require additional surge "startup wattage." The total will equal the size of generator needed.

How to select a backup generator. Add the wattage from the nameplates of each item you want to keep running during a power outage. Add the startup wattage for the largest appliance. Appliances with electric motors require additional surge “startup wattage.” The total will equal the size of generator needed.

Having a backup generator on hand can help ease the disruption brought on by a power outage. But where to begin? Start with the end in mind.

When selecting a backup generator, determine what you want to keep running during an outage. This impacts how large (output capacity) a unit you need. Having enough power for cooking, refrigeration, lighting, television and operating a furnace are typical essential needs.

To properly size your generator, check the wattage on the nameplate of each item you want to keep running. This is called the total “running wattage.” Appliances with electric motors are inductive devices so they require additional surge “startup wattage.” This can be as much as six times the running wattage.

A sizing rule of thumb is to total the running wattages for the appliances you need to keep running. Add the additional startup wattage for the largest appliance to get the rated power for a generator. It’s important to note that it is unlikely all appliances will start at the same time.

If you select a whole-house generator, which is permanently wired to the breaker panel, install an automatic transfer switch with it for your convenience and for the safety of Dawson PPD’s lineworkers.

Dawson PPD offers a transfer switch rebate. Please call 308-324-2386 or visit DawsonPower.com.

 

November 2018

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