What Can You Run With a 6500 Watt Generator?

When considering what size generator is right for you, you’ll need to consider which appliances you want to power and how much wattage they draw. We’ll answer your question: what can you run with a 6500-watt generator?

A generator is an essential tool during a power outage. You’ll want to keep your food and water supply intact. That means running your refrigerator, freezer, and water pump. You may also want to power your electric range and an AC unit.

We’ve gathered the details for what you can run on your 6500-watt generator. Some appliances can run at the same time with no power interruption. 

Here is what we’ll cover in this article:

  • Which appliances you can run
  • Which items you can run at the same time
  • What size breaker you need
  • How to calculate wattage

Read on to answer your questions about what you can run with a 6500-watt generator.

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What Can You Run With A 6500 Watt Generator? 8

Will a 6500-Watt Generator Run My House

You can run most household appliances with a 6500-watt generator, such as your refrigerator, dryer, window air conditioner, and television. You have a few things to consider when you power your appliances on a generator.

What can a 6500-Watt Generator Power?

If the rated power of your appliance and the surging demand is lower than that of your generator, you can reliably power that appliance with your generator. Combining those numbers shows what items you can power at the same time. 

  • Refrigerators (1000-2000)
  • Chest Freezers (200-400)
  • Window Air Conditioners (as low as 450)
  • Televisions (40-400)
  • Dishwashers (1800 )
  • Microwaves (1200)
  • Coffee Makers (400-800)
  • Clothes Washers (400-1400)
  • Hair Dryers (1000-2100)
  • Ranges (2500 running one element)
  • Computers (500-2000)
  • 1 Horsepower well pump (2300)
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Honda Em6500Sxk2An 6500-Watt 120/240-Volt Generator With Co-Minder - 49-State

What Can a 6500-Watt Generator Run at the Same Time?

When the power is out and you depend on your generator, you prioritize food storage and water supply. You may need to run a refrigerator, freezer, and water pump or filter at once. Calculating the total wattage is simple.

You’ll add together the power ratings for the appliances you want to run. As long as you don’t exceed the wattage for your generator, you should be able to power those appliances reliably. Keep in mind the surging demand. 

Appliances with motors tend to consume more power upon initial start-up. For instance, your window air conditioner will consume more wattage in the first few minutes and then “settle in” to lower consumption. 

Bestseller No. 1
Honda Em6500Sxk2An 6500-Watt 120/240-Volt Generator With Co-Minder - 49-State
8 Reviews
Honda EM6500SXK2AN 6500-Watt 120/240-Volt Generator with CO-MINDER – 49-State
  • Provides 7,000 watts for 10 sec to start larger equipment
  • Powers fridge, freezer, furnace, well pump, and much more
  • Long run time – up to 9.8 hrs
Bestseller No. 2
Generac 7683 Gp6500 Portable Generator, Orange, Black
17 Reviews
Generac 7683 GP6500 Portable Generator, Orange, Black
  • Featuring co-sense technology: stops, alerts, saves. Powerful protection against hazardous carbon monoxide
  • Dimensions: 27.2″ W x 27″ D x 26.5 H | Weight: 172 lb
  • 8125 Starting Watts. 6500 Running Watts
SaleBestseller No. 3
Briggs & Stratton Q6500 Quiet Power Series Inverter Generator | Co Guard, 6500...
272 Reviews
Briggs & Stratton Q6500 Quiet Power Series Inverter Generator | CO Guard, 6500…
  • QuietPower Series Inverter Technology – Inverter technology produces power that’s more than 60% quieter than standard generators while…
  • 306cc Integrated Engine/Alternator – A highly-efficient integrated engine/alternator provides up to 14 hours of run time.
  • Protective, Noise-Reducing Shell – With an all-steel frame enclosed in a protective shell, noise is minimized and internal components are…

Single Appliances

Dryers are your greatest power consumers. Most standard-size clothes dryers have a power rating of 5000 watts and a surging demand above 6000. You can usually run a dryer on a 6500-watt generator, but only by itself. 

Some electric water heaters require less than 6000 watts. The caveat is they heat the water more slowly. A 5000-watt water heater takes approximately one minute to bring a gallon from 50 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. 

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Fluctuating Power

Some appliances use power in different ways during operation. Refrigerators, for instance, use a surge of power three times the normal usage when the air compressor starts. The surge lasts for only a second but will affect the power flow from the generator. 

The ambient room temperature and how many cold items are inside your refrigerator also affect its function. A fully stocked fridge in a cool room will kick on less often than a nearly empty one in a hot room. 

How Long Will a 6500-Watt Generator Run on a Tank of Gas?

The next calculation you need to make in an emergency is how long a tank of gas will keep everything going. The exact numbers will vary depending on the brand of your generator. 

A typical 6500-watt generator has a 7.5-8 gallon gas tank. You can expect 7-12 hours of continuous running time on one tankful. 

Power Alternatives

You can operate your generator on propane or natural gas. You’ll have to buy and install a converter kit for these alternative fuel sources. It may be more cost-effective to convert your generator, but you’ll want to do so when you don’t need to use it. 

How Do I Calculate What Size Generator I Need?

To determine what size generator you need, decide which appliances you will power with the generator. Look up the wattage in the manual for each. 

Remember that things with a motor have to start wattage to factor in. Starting wattage is three times the running wattage. Here is a simple formula for calculating your refrigerator or air conditioner.

Running Wattage (R) + Starting Wattage (R X 3) = Total Wattage

Will a 6500-watt Generator Run My House?

No, probably not. A typical American household draws much more than 6500 watts. The list above does not include all the items you power in an average household or HVAC system. 

A whole house generator would be hardwired into your home in case of interruption of power from your regular grid. 

What Size Breaker Do I Need for a 6500-Watt Generator?

Running your generator on a circuit breaker protects your home and generator. If it’s not on a breaker, it can overload and overheat, causing a fire.

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You can use a 30-amp breaker for generators up to 8000 watts. You might be wondering, how many amps can a 6500-watt generator run? It can only put out 27 amps, so a 30 amp breaker is sufficient. 

SaleBestseller No. 1
Briggs & Stratton Q6500 Quiet Power Series Inverter Generator | Co Guard, 6500...
272 Reviews
Briggs & Stratton Q6500 Quiet Power Series Inverter Generator | CO Guard, 6500…
  • QuietPower Series Inverter Technology – Inverter technology produces power that’s more than 60% quieter than standard generators while…
  • 306cc Integrated Engine/Alternator – A highly-efficient integrated engine/alternator provides up to 14 hours of run time.
  • Protective, Noise-Reducing Shell – With an all-steel frame enclosed in a protective shell, noise is minimized and internal components are…
Bestseller No. 2
Honda Em6500Sxk2An 6500-Watt 120/240-Volt Generator With Co-Minder - 49-State
8 Reviews
Honda EM6500SXK2AN 6500-Watt 120/240-Volt Generator with CO-MINDER – 49-State
  • Provides 7,000 watts for 10 sec to start larger equipment
  • Powers fridge, freezer, furnace, well pump, and much more
  • Long run time – up to 9.8 hrs
Bestseller No. 3
Generac 7683 Gp6500 Portable Generator, Orange, Black
17 Reviews
Generac 7683 GP6500 Portable Generator, Orange, Black
  • Featuring co-sense technology: stops, alerts, saves. Powerful protection against hazardous carbon monoxide
  • Dimensions: 27.2″ W x 27″ D x 26.5 H | Weight: 172 lb
  • 8125 Starting Watts. 6500 Running Watts

6500 Watt Generator FAQ

A generator is a major purchase that you will drop thousands of dollars on. We want to give you as much information as possible to help you make the right choice for your situation. 

How many kw is a 6500-watt generator?

If in your research on generators you find that some information is given in watts and others in kW (kilowatts), here is the simple formula. Divide the wattage by 1000. 

A 6500-watt generator is 6.5 kW. 

Will a 6500-watt generator run central air?

We’ve seen that this size generator can run most window air conditioners. What about central air? A central air system can draw 2000-4000 watts. 

Our formula for calculating an item with a motor is 

R + R X 3 = wattage. While the generator can handle the running wattage, it won’t supply enough power for the start-up. 

Will a 6500-watt generator run a 3-ton AC unit?

No. As we’ve seen, a central air unit draws too much power for this size generator to handle. You’ll need at least a 14,000-watt generator for your 3-ton AC unit. You would need a high-power whole house generator or a separate generator to run your essential appliances and your AC unit. 

Generators should each be on separate circuit breakers. A unit large enough for your AC needs a 50 amp breaker.

What will a 6500 kva generator run?

Here is another way of annotating the same thing. In your research, if you see a generator listed as 6500 kva, that’s the same as 6500 watts. You’ll be able to apply the information here to that generator as well.