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What Size Generator Do I Need to Run a Dryer? (Answered)

Thanks to modernization and technological advancements, electricity has made its way to numerous cities where electricity was unavailable.

Now, generators have made it possible to power entire homes along with high-power-consuming appliances such as a dryer. Therefore, we will discuss what size generator can run a dryer.

Generator size to run a dryer

While working, dryers typically consume about 5000 to 6000 watts and around 6000 to 8000 watts at the beginning of the cycle. Therefore, any generator that can produce more than 6000 watts and has a surge power rating of over 6000 watts will be able to run a dryer.

In markets, different variants of generators are available from various manufacturing brands. The feature that differs the most among the generators is the amount of power it can supply using different kinds of fuel such as diesel, propane, octane, gasoline, etc.

If you are willing to buy a generator to power your entire home, you will need to calculate the total power consumption of all the appliances in your home.

Generators have two types of output power; constant power and maximum or surge power.

The running watts or continuous power is the amount of wattage the generator can provide consistently without any issues. Running appliances and devices can use continuous power to stay on.

On the other hand, the maximum or surge power is a short boost that the generator can provide for a short amount of time. Appliances that have power surges pull additional wattage while starting.

So, during the starting phase of those appliances, the generator delivers a short boost to turn on the connected machines.

Buying a generator for the whole home can be troublesome if you do not know how much power the generator needs to produce to power each appliance and device.

Knowing the monthly wattage can help you break down the hourly power consumption of the appliances in your home, and you can select a generator most suitable for your home.

Also, you can calculate the power expenses by yourself if you know the monthly power consumption and the price rate of kWh.

Another point is that the generator you choose to purchase must be able to start your appliances and run them. Some people fail to select a proper generator for their home, and the connected devices do not even turn on.

Therefore, remember the starting power consumption of high-power-consuming devices before deciding which generator to buy.

Amount of electricity usage of a dryer

If you go to an electronics shop to purchase a dryer for your home, you will find yourself among numerous kinds of dryers from different manufacturing brands. There are electric dryers, ventless dryers, etc.

All clothes dryers work more or less in the same way, by pushing hot air through the clothes.

Generally, dryers use around 1800 to 5000 watts of power per hour of work which equates to 1.8 to 5 kW per hour.

However, you must understand that the load of the dryer and cycle configurations can influence the power consumption of a clothes dryer. Also, the usage duration of the appliance can lower or increase the amount of electricity consumed.

Similar to refrigerators, clothes dryers also have a starting current. So, the appliance pulls additional amounts of power while starting and the amount varies from one to another. The usual starting current of a dryer machine is 6750 watts or 6.8 kW approximately.

If you know the power consumption of the appliances in your home, such as the dryer machine, you can easily figure out the necessary steps you can take to reduce the electricity bill at the end of each month.

Additionally, you can try using products that are more efficient and have power-saving modes built into them. In some dryers, you will see such features termed as EcoBoost or similar.

Factors that determine how much electricity a dryer uses

There are certain factors that affect electricity usage. Let’s get to know them.


The size of the dryer plays a role in this aspect. The size decides the usage. If you have a bigger dryer, it will also use more electricity.

Usage time:

The usage time also indicates the more usage of power. The longer you run your dryer the more you will use the electricity.

Dryer cycle in use:

What type of dryer cycle you are using also defines how much power you are going to use. So, you must know the actual measure of the cycles.

These factors can well inflate the amount of power usage of your dryer.

How to calculate what size generator you need?

You will find generators in different shapes and sizes. Some generators are industrial generators that can power an entire building or large factories and some are portable and lightweight, best for powering specific devices or appliances in a home.

If you wish to purchase a generator for your dryer at home, here is how you can understand what size generator will be the most suitable.

To understand what size generator you need, you first have to know the wattage of the dryer or any other appliance you are planning to power using the generator. As previously mentioned, most dryers use the expected amount of 1800 to 5000 watts.

The power consumption depends on the size of the dryer, the load, and the working duration and you can find the wattage on the printed label on the body of the dryer.

Dryer machines also have a startup power surge of around 6000 watts. Therefore, the generator must be able to supply a continuous power of around 5000 watts and a short boost of 6000 watts to start the dryer.

You can know more about the wattage of your dryer from the manufacturer’s website or the manual and buy an appropriate generator.

Will these generators run a dryer?

Since there are numerous varieties of generators in the market, we have tried explaining in detail which generators can and cannot run a dryer.


2000-watt generators are portable and lightweight, which makes them an excellent choice for outdoor and camping applications.

These have an ample supply of power outlets and are significantly more silent while running than other generators.

However, a 2000-watt generator is not sufficient enough to run a dryer as it cannot provide enough power to start or run the appliance.

3500 watts:

Although 3500 watts is more than 2000 watts, a 3000-watt generator does not produce more noise or consume more fuel than a 2000-watt generator.

As a result, most people buy a 3500-watt generator instead of a smaller one since it can provide more value.

You can use it for different purposes, such as an additional power source for using electrical tools in the yard or on construction sites. It is more than enough powerful to power common tools.

However, it cannot provide enough electricity to start or run a dryer.

5500 watt:

Most dryers use around 2 to 5 kW to run. However, they require about 6 kW to start. A 5500-watt generator will be able to provide a continuous supply of 5500 watts.

So, you may think that it can run a dryer without any problem. But that is not the case. A 5500-watt generator will not be able to start the dryer so, chances are you will not be able to use it at all.


6000-watt generators can provide enough power to start a dryer and keep it running for some time.

The continuous power of 6000 watts combined with the starting power of more than 6000 watts will be adequate for a dryer to function. If you want to power a dryer, you must look for a 6000-watt generator.

Now you know what wattage you should look for if you go to buy a generator for powering your dryer. Also, check the wattage of the dryer before you make the final decision on which generator to buy.

Is it safe to run a dryer on a generator?

With recent advancements in electrical machinery, generators now have safety features that can prevent damage to people, connected devices, and the generator itself. However, as a user, you should remember this point to stay on the safe side.

Although a 6000 or a 6500-watt generator will be able to power your dryer without any complications, it is better to use a 7500-watt generator.

The additional headroom will come in handy if the dryer suddenly pulls more power than it requires because of a technical fault. Also, it will keep the power consumption at around 80% of the total capacity of the generator.

Nowadays, generators have an over-current protection switch. If the power consumption exceeds the amount of power the generator can supply, the over-current protection switch will trip, and the power supply will automatically shut down.

Additionally, this helps the user avoid any damage from an overloaded generator.

Final Thoughts

These days, using a generator to run a dryer is a safe alternative to direct electrical connections from a power outlet. Also, a simple 6500-watt generator will be enough for a dryer. You must check the dryer’s wattage before buying a generator to get the most appropriate one.