Can a Generator Damage a Refrigerator? – The Right Way To Go About It

As anyone who has ever been without power knows, it is important to have a generator on hand to keep the refrigerator running. A generator will keep the food in your refrigerator from spoiling and prevent your ice cream from melting.

But there are other reasons to keep your refrigerator running on a generator, even if you don’t have food that needs to be kept cold. Your refrigerator is one of the most important appliances to keep running during a power outage.

The Danger of Running a Refrigerator on a Generator


There are some dangers when using a generator to power your fridge.

First, generators produce carbon monoxide gas. This gas can build up in enclosed spaces and can be deadly if inhaled. Be sure to place your generator outside and away from windows or doors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Second, generators can be a fire hazard. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and keep the generator dry to avoid potential fires.

Finally, generators can be noisy. Be considerate of your neighbors and try to run the generator during the day, so it doesn’t keep everyone up at night.

Generator near the field of grass

Absorption Refrigerators

Absorption refrigerators use a heat source to generate cold instead of electricity. This makes them ideal for use with a generator, as they do not require an electrical connection.

When choosing an absorption refrigerator for a generator, there are a few things to consider.

  1. The size of the generator. Make sure the generator can handle the power requirements of the absorption refrigerator.
  2. The type of fuel the generator uses. Some generators are not compatible with certain types of fuels.
  3. The warranty. Make sure the generator comes with a warranty that covers the absorption refrigerator.

Absorpation refridgerator in the room

Compressor Refrigerators

Compressor refrigerators for a generator are designed to keep food and other perishables cold during a power outage. They work by using the generator’s engine to power a compressor, which circulates the refrigerant through the fridge’s coils. The coils transfer heat from the fridge’s interior to the outside air, keeping the interior cool.

There are a few things to consider when choosing a compressor refrigerator for a generator.

  1. The size of the refrigerator. Make sure to choose a size that will fit in the space you have available.
  2. The type of compressor. There are two types of compressors, reciprocating and rotary. Reciprocating compressors are more common in smaller units, while rotary compressors are more common in larger units.
  3. The power consumption. Compressor refrigerators can be very energy efficient but still consume a fair amount of power. Make sure to choose a model that won’t strain your generator.
  4. The noise level. Compressor refrigerators can be quite noisy, so if you’re using them in a peaceful setting, choose a model with a low noise level.
  5. The price. Compressor refrigerators can vary widely in price, so choose one that fits your budget.

Compressor refrigerator in the living-room


Here are a few tips to keep in mind when using a generator for refrigerators:

  1. Make sure that your generator is properly ventilated. The last thing you want is your generator to overheat and damage your fridge.
  2. If possible, use a heavy-duty extension cord to plug your fridge into the generator. This will help prevent any damage to your fridge’s electrical components.
  3. Keep the fridge door closed as much as possible. Every time you open the door, cold air escapes, and warm air rushes in, which can cause your fridge to work harder than necessary.
  4. If your fridge has an automatic defrost cycle, ensure it’s turned off. Otherwise, the extra heat from the defrost cycle could damage your fridge.
  5. Be sure to unplug your fridge from the generator before refueling. And always let the generator cool down before adding more fuel.

Frequently Asked Question

How Many Watts Are Needed for the Fridge?

Refrigerator starting watts are between 800 and 1200 watts of power, so a generator with a minimum rating of 2000 watts would be ideal. A larger generator with more ratings would be even better if you need to run other appliances.

Will a Generator Damage Electronics?

No, a generator will not damage electronics. A generator can be a very useful tool during a power outage. Generators provide a backup power supply in an emergency, which can be critical for keeping electronics running.

Is It Safe to Run the Refrigerator on a Generator?

Refrigerators are safe to run on generators as long as they are properly connected. When using a generator, always ensure the refrigerator is properly grounded. It is also important to ensure that the generator is properly sized for the load.


If you live in an area prone to power outages, it is important to have a generator on hand to keep your refrigerator running. A generator will ensure your food stays cold and fresh and prevent your freezer from thawing and spoiling.

Without a generator, your food will spoil within a few hours. A generator will allow you to keep your refrigerator running for as long as needed, ensuring that your food stays fresh.

Ronnie Collins

Ronnie Collins

I’m Ronnie Collins. I’ve been passionate about gardening and woodworking all my life and even earned an MS degree in Botany from the University of Maryland. I’ve been working at a gardening company for a while, so I know the ropes about a whole lot of dedicated equipment such as the table saw, track saw, lawnmowers, chainsaws, garden hoses, and much more.

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