What Appliances Can Run On A Standby Generator?

If you are considering purchasing a standby generator, you may be wondering what home appliances you can run with this type of backup power system. The answer may surprise you, as most generators have the capacity to run nearly everything in your home except for central air conditioning units.

What Can A Home Standby Generators Be Used For?

In the event of a power loss, a home standby generator may provide you with emergency electricity. A home standby generator may be set up to automatically start-up in the event of a power loss, whether you are at home or not. This will provide power for your appliances, such as a refrigerator or microwave, and your home’s lights.

What Does A Standby Generator Run On?

Natural gas (NG) is the most common fuel source for backup generators, which eliminates the need for a separate fuel tank.

What Happens If A Generator Is Running When Power Comes Back On?

If the electricity is restored while your generator is backfeeding, the generator might be seriously damaged. Always disconnect the generator’s electricity from the electrical system to avoid backfeeding.

Related Questions and Answers

Will a generator damage my household appliances?

Your appliances might be damaged if you overload a generator. Appliances and other electrical devices should not be used in excess. Because the heat from the engine components or exhaust might ignite the gasoline, never refill a running generator, even if the engine is still hot.

How do I size a standby generator?

This video should provide some clarification:

Do you plug into a generator before or after you start it?

Disconnect all wires before turning on the generator. Before connecting your generator to your house, make sure it’s on and ready to go. During startup, no-load should be applied.

Can I backfeed my generator through my dryer plug?

In order to power your house, you may backfeed your generator by connecting it to an appliance outlet (such as a dryer outlet) and enabling electrical power to flow in reverse.

Is it OK to let a generator run out of gas?

Running out of gas on a portable generator is dangerous and may cause serious damage to it. Portable gas-powered generators should not be left running until they run out of gas. It is possible to damage your generator and other equipment in your house if you run it for too long before it runs out of fuel.


Standby generators can be relied upon to run necessary appliances in your home if the grid fails. However, make sure a generator meets the energy needs of your home before installing it.

What appliances can run on a standby generator? A big enough generator is capable of powering appliances such as refrigerators, water heaters, and air conditioners.

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James Sylvester
About James Sylvester

James S. Sylvester is an experienced OSHA Safety Supervisor with years of experience in the construction and oil & gas industries. He focuses on workplace safety, occupational health and safety systems. Learn more about James' here or connect with him on Twitter