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How to Power Refrigerator with Generator

How to Power Refrigerator With Generator

Refrigerators are a staple in most households. They keep our food cold and fresh, but what happens when the power goes out, and your refrigerator stops working? You can go without food for a few days until the power is restored, or you can power your refrigerator using a generator.

This post will show you how to power refrigerator with generator. We will also explore whether a generator can damage your refrigerator.

Read on to learn more.

How to Power Refrigerator with Generator

Generators are great for powering your home, but there is a maximum load that you cannot exceed. If the generator can’t produce enough power to run all of those appliances simultaneously, it’ll fail before anything else does.

Generators come with at least two outlets that can split the rated output. Sometimes they’ll be of different voltages and amp ratings, so make sure your refrigerator is within those parameters before connecting it up.

When the power goes out, you’ll be thankful for a refrigerator with generator backup. Make sure to buy one and practice using it as your emergency generator system. You can safely power your refrigerator with a generator following the following tips:

  1. If you have a refrigerator with an energy-efficient model number, it most likely uses less power than your standard-sized unit. Find out how many watts are required by looking at the nameplate on top of this appliance – if there are only volts and amps listed, multiply that amount to get its watts. Remember that for your refrigerator to start, the motor requires some amount of jolt electricity.
  2. Make sure your generator has enough power for the refrigerator. For example, if it’s rated at 1,500 watts and has a unit that needs 1050 watts to startup, there should be no issue with functioning correctly; however, an 800 watts model may cause problems because of its lower capacity.
  3. The portable generator should be moved close enough to the refrigerator to maintain its charge. Keep away from structures like awnings and overhangs, which could result in an accident if touched by high-voltage parts of this device. Plug one end into your house’s power outlet with an extension cord made specifically for these purposes – 14 gauge minimum required thicknesses are recommended.
  4. The easiest way to run an extension cord from the generator into your home is through a door or window. The best spot will depend on where you plan to plug it in and what kind of décor constraints there are. Still, typically these locations tend to be near appliances that use lots of electricity, such as refrigerators because they need constant power sources nearby.
  5. You may begin the generator and allow it to come up at its operating speed.
  6. When you unplug your refrigerator from the wall outlet, ensure it’s plugged into an extension cord and not just any old wires. Check if all of its lights are on correctly, including those indicating power is being accepted by the circuit breaker to avoid defaults.


When using an extension cord to connect your generator and refrigerator, be sure to handle the load. Do not use thin or flimsier cords as they may overheat and start a fire.

Can a Generator Damage a Refrigerator

Once you have an overloaded generator connected to your refrigerator, there can be severe consequences for the generator and refrigerator. To get why this happens, we need to look no further than the way refrigerators work.

The refrigerator has a thermostat to maintain the right temperature. It tells its compressor when it should be on and off, so everything stays cold in there.

 If it doesn’t have enough power, then this could cause damage to both the thermostat and compressor, which would lead to them not working correctly, making your refrigerator get damaged.

Frequently Asked Questions Refrigerator Powering

Can I Plug My Refrigerator into a Generator?

You can run your fridge on a generator as long it has the power necessary to match its consumption. The average starting watts for refrigerators is between 800-1200W.

The higher the wattage of your generator, the less likely it is that you will notice any difference in how quickly or cool a refrigerator runs. A 2000-watt capacity machine should be enough to run most fridges at home.

How Long Should You Run a Refrigerator on a Generator?

You’ll want the power running to your refrigerator for at least an hour before turning it off again. This gives plenty of time so that any food inside can cool down and allow you to open up a few cabinets while doing this, which makes sure there’s not too much hurry when getting things put away after being taken out.

The ratio in question here ends up being about 1:4.

What Size Extension Cord Do I Need to Run a Refrigerator on a Generator?

Modern refrigerators use a small amount of electricity, but it’s essential to use the proper extension cords if you are running an outdoor generator into one.

You should only need 20 amperes rated cables for runs less than 50 feet long because anything more can result in voltage losses that reduce performance and make things unstable.

How Big of a Generator Do I Need to Run Two Refrigerators?

The wattage rating is essential when looking for a generator to run your appliances. To start both refrigerator and freezer at once would require a generator that can support them both depending on their requirements.

This will depend largely upon what kind of appliance you are running. The right choice can be determined by figuring out if there will be any delay between starting one unit and starting another.

So, can you power a refrigerator with a generator? The answer is yes – but it’s not as simple as just plugging the fridge in. You need to consider the wattage of both the refrigerator and the generator and ensure that the generator can handle continuous running for an extended period.

If you follow these tips, you should be able to keep your food cold during a power outage – without damaging your refrigerator. Hopefully, this post has made you understand how to safely power your refrigerator with a generator.

Have you ever tried powering a fridge with a generator? What tips would you add?

References and Citations:

Queensland Government, Electrical Safety Office: Powering appliances with generators-

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