How to check portable generator output

One of the most important things you will want to know about your portable generator is its run time. This is the length of time the generator will run without having the need to refuel. To make sure you get the run time right, you will have to know how to check portable generator output.

The reason for this is that your generator output will affect your run time. The more power your generator produces, the more fuel it burns up.

That will then shorten the run time. If you’re banking on a good night’s sleep because your generator can run for 8 hours straight on 50%, then you better make sure your output doesn’t exceed this level.

What is the Output of a Generator?

Three factors determine the essentials of a portable generator. The factors are power (w), current (amp), and voltage (v). So, if you want to know whether your gadget would work on the generator, then executing this task is paramount.

The formula for finding out the power output your generator generates is multiplying the current with the voltage. Whatsoever you get is, therefore, quantified in wattage. If it’s lesser than the overall wattage a property requires, there’s no need to use it on the generator.

Peradventure you need the information for the substitutes such as current and the voltage that’s required, then you can carry out a substitution equation to get the right valuation.

How to Check Portable Generator Output? 5 Easy Steps

The output of portable generators is assessable by using a hand-held voltmeter. Get an affordable one and adhere to the following instructions below:

1. Buy a Voltmeter

This doesn’t have to be super expensive. You can buy a cheap onefor your best generator brand and it will work perfectly well. It’s very helpful for measuring electrical electric potential between 2 points in an electric circuit.

2. Minimizing the Risks

If something can go wrong, it will. This is a good attitude to take when you’re dealing with gadgets that can possible electrocute you.

This means you should wear shoes that have a non-conductive sole (rubber will do). Then you should also stand on a rubber mat. These will all help in minimizing the risk.

You also have to be very sure that you never touch wires like the voltage regulator at any point while you’re using the voltmeter. You can get shocked—in a literal sense!

3. Start Your Engines

Start the generator and get it running. Then turn on the voltmeter, while you make sure that it’s at the “AC Voltage” setting. If you’re not at this setting when you use the voltmeter, there’s a chance you’ll blow a fuse.

4. Using the Voltmeter

Ground the meter by using the black lead to attach it to the frame of the generator. This lead usually has an alligator lead, and that’s what you attach to the generator frame.

Now take the red lead and then touch it to the outlet where you’d plug in your appliance or a power tool. That will then have your voltmeter displaying the current voltage output of your generator.

5. The Shortcut

There’s an easier way to do this, and you don’t have to buy a separate voltmeter to read the portable generator output. Instead, you can just purchase a portable generator that already has a voltmeter built in.

  • Put on insulated shoes to avoid electrocution if you’re on wet ground. Read the manual of the hand-held voltmeter to know about the features of the voltmeter.
  • Switch on the voltmeter while placing the black color alligator on the generator’s frame and the red color alligator on the inside of the 120AC power outlet.
  • Set the voltmeter to AC Voltage before you ignite the power of your generator. Failure to preset the unit could burn a fuse, so you must be careful.
  • You’ll see the answer right on the screen of the gadget.

How Many AMPs Does a Portable Generator Put Out?

You could get it from the manual that comes with the portable generator. Nevertheless, it depends on what you want. You could find some products that produce 1000W and some that generate 10000Wand 20000W.

It all centers on what you want to use your portable generator to power. So, once you get the wattage a portable generator can generate, then you can find out the amperage the portable generator can generate. You only need a little calculation. Calculate the amperage by dividing the overall wattage by the voltage required by the property. You could do this on any generator you’re using at a point in time.

How Many Kilowatts Can a Portable Generator Produce?

There is a starting wattage and a running wattage in generators. The starting wattage is the minimum power needed to ignite the portable generator, while the running wattage is the power that keeps the currents flowing.

The starting wattage in portable generators ranges from 1kw to 10kw. The running wattage is always lower. You really don’t need to find out the running power, except you’re about to use a dual-fuel portable generator. Just go with the stipulated surging power a product has to offer and go on with it.

How Do I Know What AMP my Generator Is?

If you’re using a 6.5kw generator and plan using the 120V, divide the 6500 by 120. The answer is 53.2amp. That’s the format you’re to imbibe to get an amp that a generator can produce. When one wants a capable generator to meet specific needs, this is a mandatory factor to check out.


If you buy a generator with a built-in voltmeter, then learning how to check portable generator output is easy. You just take a look at the voltmeter and that’s that.

If you’re bothered by the noise of the generator, then your output may be too high. You should also reduce the load if you’re going to go to sleep so that you can extend your generator running time.