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Product Help | Maytag

Generator Usage with Appliances

Generator Usage with Maytag Appliances

To determine if the customer's appliance will run properly on a generator the customer will need to do the following:

  • Refer to the generator's manufacture Owner's Manual
  • Refer to their appliance Owner's Manual

Guide for Purchasing a Generator

The consumer will need to do the following:

  • Identify the tools and appliances they intend to operate on the generator
  • Determine the required wattage for each.  The best place to look for this information is the model/serial tag, which will list apms, volts, wattage or a combination of the three.
  • Total the required wattage of items that will run simultaneously

Choose a generator that will meet or exceed their total wattage requirements.  The total should not be greater than the generator’s wattage capacity

NOTE: Some timers on cooking appliances may not count down correctly.  Computer boards operate at a consistent 60-hertz sine wave pattern, but some generators may not have good speed control and run at less than 60 Hz.  The operation of cooking equipment should not be impacted other than inaccuracies in the timing.

Generator Wattage Guide

*** These ratings are ESTIMATES and should only be used as a rough guide.  Confirm the actual power requirements of each item by looking at the information panel on that appliance.  This is calculated by multiplying the amps times the volts***



Running Watts


Running Watts

Air conditioner (10 BTU)




Clothes Dryer (Electric)


Clothes Dryer (Gas)


Washing Machine






Freezer (Manual)


Microwave Oven


Freezer (self-Defrost)


Stove Element


Broiler/Bake Element


Additional considerations when purchasing

So how do we, as a representative of a major appliance manufacturer, respond to the consumer’s request for information when they are buying generators?  What does the consumer need to know when purchasing a generator for their home?  What are the requirements for major appliances when operating on generators?

The first thing generator manufacturers will tell potential buyers to consider their needs when sizing a generator.  Consumers can determine which generator is right by determining the amount of wattage required to operate necessary appliances.  The most important consideration is proper sizing.  Overloading a generator can result in damage to the generator and to the connected electrical devices.

When sizing a generator, the motor start (refrigerators, air conditioners, etc..) is an important consideration.   Depending on the efficiency of the motor, it may require two to three times the running amps to start or up to seven times for air compressors and pumps.  On refrigeration, for example, we recommend doubling the running wattage for motor start-up consideration.  This surge of power lasts only for a few seconds but must be considered when purchasing a generator.  Consumers should first figure the watts needed to start the largest motor and then add the running watts of all other connected appliances.

Items such as light bulbs, toasters, and stereo systems are resistive loads and do not power a motor.  When calculating wattage use on these items, simply add the figures together (example:  3 light bulbs at 75 watts each would require 225 watts).

Items with some type of motor would be considered reactive loads.  Examples would be furnace motors, water pumps, and refrigerators. 


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