Can A Portable Generator Power a Refrigerator?

Can A Portable Generator Power a Refrigerator?

Yes! But, there’s more.

Do you live in a region where you might experience power blackouts once in a while? Has that led to the spoiling of the food and other items stored in the fridge?

So much that you now need a lasting solution?

If you’re in this situation, then a portable generator might be the solution you’re looking for. But can it really power your fridge? Do portable generators have that capacity?

If your existing generator can’t deliver the required amount of energy to power your refrigerator, then you need to acquire another more powerful generator. One of the most critical features to look out for as you shop around for one is the generator’s starting watts.

By starting watts, we mean the wattage demand required to kick-start the fridge. This level of wattage is normally much higher than that necessary to keep the fridge running. This latter figure is referred to as running watts.

While the average consumer typically doesn’t have any idea what their refrigerator’s wattage demand, this information is easily available. Such details can be obtained from the owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s tag. All you need to do is just look to the right places.

What’s the Average Fridge Wattage?

The fridge market of today has hundreds of brands, price ranges, and sizes to choose from. For each refrigerator, the wattage demand will vary depending on many factors, including its size, capacity, power calibration, etc.

For starting wattage, a typical household fridge normally consumes 2,000 to 2,500 watts. It’s imperative that you check the generator you’re buying to ensure it can handle this amount of power. Otherwise, an electric energy spike beyond its level could irreparably damage it.

As far as starting and running wattage are concerned, there isn’t really a one-size-for-all calibration or an industry standard we’ve come across in our research. If you want to know the number of watts your fridge needs, just check the manufacturer’s tag or manual.

If you feel that there’s a need to go the extra mile doing some additional research just to be sure, please do it. If you need to ask those with knowledge and/or experience, then don’t hesitate. It’s better to spend more time collecting the right information than rush into an incorrect guess and regret when it’s too late. Rushing to buy the wrong portable generator can be an expensive mistake.

What Types of Portable Generators are Capable of Powering a Mid-Sized Fridge?

For a medium-sized to a huge household fridge, the portable generator to buy needs to be in the middle level range. In addition, the power rating of the generator will also be affected by whether or not you need to use it to power extra appliances like bulbs, TV set, laptops, stereo, CCTV camera, etc.

Below, we discuss 3 great generator options to power your refrigerator:

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel-Inverter Portable Generator

inverter generator

Most medium-sized household fridges consume about 2,200 starting watts and around 700 running watts. However, if you have a few more devices and/or appliances that need to tap power from the portable generator, you’ll need to get seek a higher rating. With a calibration of 3,400 watts, this Champion generator is an ideal choice here.

The Champion 3400w generator comes with a dual fuel capability. This enables it to be powered using either gasoline or liquid propane gas. That is a very useful feature for this particular portable generator, especially in cases where situations like natural disasters have made access to gasoline difficult.

At 500w, the Champion3400watt Dual Fuel-Inverter Generator can run for up to 11 hours or even more on a tank of gas. If your fridge requires 700 watts, expect about 9 hours of running time.

For most of the buyers of this generator, one of the most favorite features is the fact that it’s integrated with an electric start. For a majority of the portable generators we’ve reviewed so far, there’s a pull-cable recoil start that could be difficult for those with motion issues.

This Champion generator’s noise level is just at 59 decibels. That makes it one of the quietest generators out of the many we reviewed. It’s a great choice for residential areas where you need as little noise as possible. You can even leave it no overnight without worrying that it would wake your children or worse, the neighbors.


Generac-GP3300 Portable Generator

The GeneracGP330 portable generator is rated just 100 watts below the Champion Dual Fuel Inverter. However, it’s more attractive in terms of pricing. At about half the price, this is most ideal for consumers seeking a more affordable option.

The Generac GP3300 is calibrated 3750 in starting watts and 3300 in running watts. With that level of power, it can comfortably provide power for your fridge plus a few other smaller household appliances.

The generator features a fuel gauge and allow oil shutdown indicator. Both of these enable you to easily monitor and control the machine’s operation and run it properly and durably for years without any hitches.

Utilizing a half-load, the generator can comfortably last up to 10 hours on a single tank of gasoline. This can especially be useful if you experience a blackout that takes the entire day or longer.

Regarding safety, this generator is equipped to help keep you safe as you use it. There are a number of features to safeguard your use however inexperienced you may be with these electrical machines. For instance, it features a number of circuit breakers on the main board. They are built to trip in case of a power overload.


Briggs & Stratton 30545-P3000 PowerSmart Series Portable Generator

The Briggs & Stratton 3545-P3000 portable generator is most suited for those of us who want to have more plugging options. All those smaller appliances like bulbs, TV sets, and laptops that you can’t stay without in the house can be plugged here at once.

The generator’s design includes among other features 4 household outlets, a 12-volt locking outlet, as wellas a USB port. It outputs 3000 starting wattsand2600 running watts to a variety of appliances simultaneously. That’s quite powerful!

The generator also has an integrated LCD screen that displays all the crucial performance metrics so that you can easily read them while it’s in operation. What’s more, this Briggs& Stratton generator’s 10-hour runtime at a quarter of the load will let you have things done any time. You don’t have to worry about adding up fuel to the generator constantly to keep it in operation.

If you’re also considering the level of noise of a generator before buying, then this option is great for you. At 58 decibels, it’s extremely quiet, though this noise level is at 25% load making. The generator is a great choice for residential and overnight use.

Before we wrap up our discussion regarding this generator, let’s look at another important thing here. Do you have an outdoor fridge to supply power? If you do, the amount of energy produced by the Briggs & Stratton 3545-P3000 portable generator is enough to meet that need. We tested the machine using a bull outdoor refrigerator and it performed excellently. We definitely recommend it!



Power surges can damage your generator and put you and/or your family members at risk. Overloading a generator can also lead to bodily injuries or even a fire that could destroy other property in the house. It’s for this reason that we highly recommend that you get enough information about the wattage of the generator you’re buying before committing your money. Please, NEVER guess the wattage. Take your time to do thorough research of your specific model and get the right wattage rating.

Keeping your food and other perishables fresh in the event of a persisting blackout should normally be your first priority. With a portable generator that’s powerful enough for your needs, you can easily power up your electrical appliances. Of course, that’s includes your fridge too.

When making a choice regarding the generator to buy, you need to go for one that adequately caters for your fridge’s starting and running watts. This is the very first thing you look out for when comparing the different generator brands available.

While your refrigerator is satisfied, it’s always a great idea to go further and get a portable generator that can also support a few more household appliances and power needs. Or will you need power for the fridge alone as the blackout persists? Definitely not. Things like bulbs and a laptop should also be catered for.

Your medium size fridge can easily draw enough power from a sufficiently equipped portable generator. All you need is just to take some little bit of more time to seek information regarding its wattage requirements as well as the generator’s wattage boundaries.

Before you can plug in your fridge to the generator, make sure the latter can comfortably handle both the starting watts and the running watts of the refrigerator. Otherwise, you may be damaging or even destroying your generator without knowing.

In case of any questions, opinions, corrections, and/or even suggestions regarding our discussion about powering a fridge with a portable generator, feel free to leave us a comment below. We’ll be glad to engage you. Thank you!