What Size Generator To Run Hot Water Heater

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Written By John Roe Stephen

Most of my neighborhood lost electricity during Superstorm Sandy. Unless you had a “bougie” neighbor with a generator, taking a hot shower was a distant memory. They wanted to know how big a generator they needed to power a water heater in order to obtain that hot water.

Do you ever wonder how large a generator is needed to heat water? In the end, it’s not a one-size-fits-all response to this question.

The size of the generator required to power a water heater varies greatly depending on the structure of your home. With a 5,000-watt generator, most households can power an electric water heater and other essential appliances. There is no need for more than 1,500 watts if your water heater is fueled by gas.

The first thing we think of when faced with a crisis is how to have access to hot water. However, it might be the difference between success and failure when the proverbial flies. Knowing what to look for when purchasing a generator for your house can help you make an informed decision.

Which Generator Size Is Necessary for a Water Heater?

The amount of electricity needed to keep a water heater running depends on a range of things, including the number of other appliances you wish to power. The sort of water heater you have is the most crucial consideration. To help you out, here’s what you need to know:

Only 1,500 watts are required to run a conventional gas-powered generator. If you have a gas water heater, a relatively modest portable generator could be able to provide electricity for it. If you buy a low-powered generator, keep in mind that you can only power your water heater.

In most cases, an electric water heater will need at least 4,500 watts of electricity in order to function. Washing machines and other appliances that need warm or hot water may also benefit from this.

You’ll still need 4,500 watts even if your water heater is smart. This is still a water heater powered by electricity, for the record.

BrandHeater SizePower requirementsGenerator
Rheem RTEX  ‎ ‎14.78 pounds‎240 VoltsYes
Stiebel Eltron  ‎1 pounds‎240 VoltsYes

Sizes of Water Heater Generators

However, it’s crucial to realize that the broad rules of thumb outlined in the paragraph above are just a starting point. While understanding how your water heater is powered is critical, it’s equally crucial to consider the capacity of your backup generator. To make things easier for you, we built a tiny table.

You should be cautious if you have a big electric water heater that requires a pump to move water to your heater. If you have a model that requires 10,000 watts of electricity, you’re not alone.

With the exception of the water heater, most houses can easily be powered by 7,500-watt generators. That’s up to you, of course.

Where can I get a more powerful generator than I need to run my water heater?

Absolutely. To ensure that your generator can power your water heater at a minimum, you need to know the minimum wattage for a water heater.

In other words, it’s the only thing it can power. It’s not an issue to upgrade to a more significant generator. Only using a surge protector is essential, and don’t waste electricity on unnecessary items.

The Use of Your Generator During a Power Outage Is Essential.

You should always keep in mind that the majority of big appliances need between 3,500 and 4,500 watts of electricity if you ever have to rely on a generator.

All of your favorite appliances are available, but you can’t use them at the same time. Decide what appliances are a need and what you can live without before you start shopping for new ones.

Talk to a generator expert if you need to keep a large portion of your home’s electricity running in the event of a power outage. A power solution that works for you may be possible.

Do Portable Generators Work With Water Heaters?

When it comes to buying a generator, the most crucial consideration is how many watts it can produce. Many people wonder whether they can use a portable generator to power a water heater. Because most portable generators don’t have 5,000 watts of electricity, the answer is most often no.

The rule may, of course, be broken. In terms of output, specific “portable” generators may compete with more traditional, more permanent models. There are now 17500-watt portable generators on the market. As a result, using a portable generator to power a water heater is possible.

It’s only a matter of purchasing the correct one.

The amount of gas required for a water heater powered by a generator is unknown.

We’re going, to be honest with you. It’s not good to use a generator to power an electric water heater unless you have no other option. For a 12,000-watt generator, generators may use up to 25 gallons of gas per day (or more). It’s a good idea for many households to turn off their water heaters for a while.

A reasonable rule of thumb is to ask how many gallons of gas it would need to run a generator 24 hours a day. The fuel consumption of a generator can usually be estimated relatively accurately by the company selling you the generator.

If you’re worried about losing power due to a storm, stocking up on gasoline may be a brilliant idea. It’s impossible to be too cautious.

How much should you expect to pay for a generator that can power a water heater?

It’s not going to be as inexpensive as the primary portable generators designed for power tool use. For a portable generator capable of producing 5,000 watts or more, you could expect to pay at least $500.

A generator that produces 10,000 watts or more might set you back as much as $2,000 or more.

Most Asked Questions:

How much electricity can I expect from a 20,000-watt generator?

This generator will power the majority of your appliances, including a significant central air unit and the majority of your lights, with little to no difficulty. You may need to purchase a second generator if you want one for your water heater as well.

How long can you operate a generator safely?

A generator may operate for anything from a few hours to 24 hours at a time. It all depends on the brand and kind of generator you own. In order to determine how long you can operate a generator safely, you should consult your generator’s owner’s manual.

Is it worthwhile to invest in a whole-house generator?

Absolutely. In the case of a catastrophic weather catastrophe, having a whole-house generator may help you minimize your losses and keep your life running smoothly.

Having a whole-house generator may make or break your capacity to keep your home safe in the event of a power outage. Consider purchasing one if you can.

Is it possible to connect my water heater to my generator so that I have hot water whenever I need it?

However, this is only feasible when the generator’s output power is more than the water heater’s requirement for continuous power.

Power consumption for an average residential water heater is approximately 4 kilowatts for on-demand hot water.

How large of a generator do I need for portable use?

In order to power your little refrigerator, you’ll need at least 1400 watts. Thus you’ll need a generator capable of supplying this amount of power.

Always choose a generator that can easily manage all of your power demands while only utilizing 90% of the generator’s capacity for the best outcomes possible.

Is it possible to run a heater off of a tiny generator?

A 1,000-watt generator may readily power a 750-watt space heater. While a 750-watt heater might save electricity, it can only warm-up smaller areas by a few degrees.

Unless you have no other option, you should avoid using 1000-watt generators to power space heaters.

Wrapping Up

The ground wires must be securely attached to the water heaters’ terminals before connecting to the other wires. Put the heating element covers back on so that there are no exposed wires. Connect the generator’s cord to the junction box.

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