Sizing a generator.

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Phillbo, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. Phillbo

    Phillbo Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Hey guys, I need to rent a generator to power an airless paint sprayer. How do I determine what size generator I need to rent?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    If the compressor on the sprayer doesn't list watts, P=VA, or 120*the listed amps. You'll want some margin so turn-on surge doesn't trip the breaker.
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  4. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Apr 2, 2008
    Yes, generators are rated by the watts they can handle.

    So a 5000 model generator would be 5000 watts capacity.

    A microwave oven would be about 1000 watts for example. Or a 100 watt light bulb 100 watts.

    But most important is wheels! Especially if you need to cart it around. Some of those construction rental generators can be quite heavy and don't have wheels.

    Then if you are using something higher wattage like 1000 watts and using a long extension cord, be sure to get a good "construction type" 12 gauge wire extension cord. I imagine they would rent these.

    If you have a high wattage thing like an air compressor on a long extension cord, and the extension cord has a small gauge wire, then the air compressor might just "hum" and not even start-up!
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