Can a Generator Damage a Refrigerator?

Can a Generator Damage your refrigerator

Well, there’s more than meets the eye.

Find out more.

Do you live in a region where power outage can occur from time to time? Did that spoil the food and other items stored in the refrigerator? If your existing generator can’t supply the amount of energy required to operate your refrigerator, you will need to purchase another, stronger generator.

One of the most important features to look out for when buying is the generator’s starting wattage. Starting watts means the wattage required to start the refrigerator. This wattage is usually much higher than that required to keep the refrigerator running. This latter number is called running watts.

While the average consumer usually has no idea how much wattage his refrigerator need, this information is easily accessible. Such details can be found in the operating instructions or the manufacturer’s label. You just have to look at the right places.

Can a generator damage a refrigerator? Let’s find out!

Best Generators For Your Refrigerator 2021


The Wattage of an Average Refrigerator


Today’s refrigerator market offers hundreds of brands, price ranges, and sizes to choose from. The wattage requirement of each refrigerator depends on many factors, including its size, capacity, power calibration, etc.

A typical household refrigerator typically uses 2,000 to 2,500 watts to start the wattage. You must check the generator that you’re buying to make sure that it can handle this amount of power. Otherwise, an electrical energy spike that goes beyond its level could irrevocably damage it.

As far as startup and running wattage are concerned, there’s not a standard calibration or an industry standard for refrigerators. If you want to know how many watts your fridge needs, just look on the label or in the manufacturer’s manual.

Overloading your generator can expose you to damaging the unit and, in extreme cases, cause fire or bodily harm. We strongly recommend that you never estimate the wattage and take the time to research your specific model number for the correct wattage.

Protecting your food during a power outage is usually the number one priority, and a portable generator makes it easy to keep your food safe.

A portable generator that adequately supports the operating and startup wattage of your refrigerator is the biggest factor in the choice to use for the generator.

It’s always a nice idea to get a generator that can meet your refrigerator’s electricity needs, plus a little extra in case you need to power something else in the meantime.

Regarding the powering of your refrigerator, you need to do a little research on the wattage requirements of your fridge and the performance limits of the generator.

It’s better to take more time gathering the right information than plunge into guesswork and regret when it’s too late. The rush to buy the wrong portable generator can be an expensive mistake.

Can A Generator Damage a Refrigerator?

You should be able to use most portable generators to run your refrigerator with ease.

Sensitive electronics such as laptop computers or home audio systems indeed need clean sinus current to function properly. That’s why inverter generators are the only bulletproof solutions to operate them.

Refrigerators are, however, a very different bunch. Neither a refrigerator nor a freezer is classified as a sensitive device. You can safely operate them with a conventional open frame generator.

Here Are A Few Tips to Take Care of Your Generator


Read the manual of the generator. The more you know about the portable generator, the greater the likelihood that you’ll use it correctly and that it will provide a low-maintenance emergency power supply for many years.Note text

Oil is a key to long engine life: Make sure you use the right type and change as stated by the manufacturer’s instructions. SAE10W30 is often recommended for universal use at all temperatures.

Never use a power cord to connect a portable generator to an electrical outlet in the house. This power is “fed back” into the supply lines leading to your home, which can potentially result in the death of a supply team called to restore to your neighborhood.

Use the correct power cord. The power delivered by a portable generator is measured in watts. A power cord is measured in amps. Select a power cord that complements the most powerful outlet on your generator. So if it has a 50 amp socket, buy a 50 amp power cord. Use a high-performance cable with at least 12 gauge, that’s less than 100 feet.

Start the generator and allow it to run briefly before plugging in your devices. Switch off the appliances and connect them one after the other. Let the appliances turn on and stabilize before connecting another device.

Don’t overload your generator. Keep in mind that if your refrigerator running at 800 watts, turning it on when the compressor starts up may require 1,600 watts. (Pay attention to the fridge’s wattage on an inner sidewall.)

If an appliance doesn’t provide wattage, use this formula: Multiply an appliance’s voltages by amps.

Overloading a generator could damage your device. Don’t let appliances or other electronic devices run unnecessarily.

Never refuel a running generator, even with an engine that is still hot, as the heat of the engine parts or the exhaust could ignite the gasoline. Turn it off and let it cool down for at last 10 minutes.

In the event of prolonged outages, the oil should be changed. Consult the user instruction for correct intervals. If your generator has no hour meter, that shows how long the generator has been running, try to keep an overview.

Finally, change the oil. Then feed the generator with half-gallon of gas each month and let it run for at least half an hour. This will help prevent the carburetor from clogging.


To recap, the generators we recommend to safely power refrigerators are the following:

  1. DuroMax XP13000HX Portable Generator
  2. Westinghouse WGen9500DF
  3. Durostar DS10000E Portable Generator
  4. Champion 100573 Inverter Generator

Power surges can damage your generator and endanger you and/or your family members. Overloading your generator can also result in bodily harm or even a fire that could destroy other properties in the house. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you obtain sufficient information about the wattage of the generator you wish to purchase before committing your money. Please NEVER estimate the wattage. Take the time to research your specific model and determine the correct wattage.

Keeping your groceries and other perishables goods fresh in the event of a prolonged power outage should be your priority. With a portable generator powerful enough for your needs, you can easily supply your electrical appliances with power.  This includes your refrigerator, of course.

When you choose a generator, you have to choose one that adequately, covers the starting and operating performance of your refrigerator. This is the very first thing you should look out for when comparing the different brands of generators available.

Even while your refrigerator is happy, it’s always a good idea to go ahead and buy a portable generator that can also support some other household device and power needs. Or will you need electricity for the fridge alone as the power outage continues? Definitely Not. Things like light bulbs and a computer or TV should also be supplied.

Your medium-sized refrigerator can easily get enough power from an adequately equipped portable generator. You just need to take more time to get information about the wattage and performance limits of the generator.

Before you can connect your refrigerator to the generator, ensure that it can comfortably handle both the starting wattage and the operating wattage of the refrigerator or else you could damage or even destroy your generator without knowing it.

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