3.5 KVA Generators: What Will It Run?

A 3.5KvA (3,500-watt) generator can be used to operate a range of home appliances. Generally speaking, appliances require a higher wattage for when they first start up. Once they are operating, their running wattage tends to be substantially less. Thus, a 3.5KvA generator could theoretically run several appliances at the same time, as long as they were all activated separately.

Some of the things that could potentially be powered by this kind of generator include:

  • A refrigerator
  • A microwave
  • An electric furnace
  • A television set

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Things To Consider

When thinking about the number of appliances a generator could run, you will need to take a look at each item individually. What are their starting watt requirements? What are their operational watt requirements? A large refrigerator may require between 1.2 and 1.6KvA to start up, but that may drop as low as 0.2 – 0.7KvA during normal operation.

On the other hand, appliances like microwaves may have static wattage requirements due to the way they operate. A microwave is generally used in short bursts and requires a significant wattage to power its basic function.

With a 3.5KvA generator to hand, you will need to balance wattage requirements carefully. It is theoretically possible to run most of a household’s appliances on 3,500 watts, but this may not account for spikes in power requirements. If there is a spike from one or two appliances, this could cause the entire system to short and deactivate.

Your Wattage Requirements

When considering the generator size you need, the fundamental variable is what you intend to use it for. Different generators are designed to run at specific wattages, so you need to have calculated the amount you require. Whether you are simply powering some camping equipment or an entire construction site, these calculations need to be accurate or you might buy a generator that isn’t up to the job.

Here are four key considerations relating to wattage:

  1. The wattages of individual appliances are usually listed on the equipment or in their manual.
  2. You must consider which items will be running concurrently. Calculate the total wattage if you plan to run things simultaneously, or simply find the highest wattage if everything will be run independently.
  3. Check whether the items have a starting wattage. Things like induction motors usually require a higher wattage to start an appliance than that item’s general operating wattage will be.
  4. Always leave some headroom – around 20% is a good number to protect yourself in the event of a spike or surge.

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Final Thoughts

Take the time to check the starting and operational wattages of all the equipment you need to power. Calculate the highest total wattage you will need at any one time and look for a generator that can accommodate that with around 20% headroom.

A 3.5KvA generator will be sufficient for many applications. If you feel unsure about anything, you can contact Chaffey Power any time to ask for advice. We can help with your calculations and recommend a generator for your needs.