What Size Generator Do I Need?

Cover image with text "What Size Generator Do I Need?" above a man thinking about a generator

Generators are great tools to have–providing consistent and reliable power for mobile cleaners.

But how do you pick one that’s the right size? Well, we’ve got a simple formula below that you can use to find the right size generator for any setup! If you’ve ever needed to know how to pick a generator, this is the article for you! 

First, a quick refresher on the relationship between amps, watts, and volts. Having a basic understanding of these makes this process much less daunting. To put it simply, amps measure the volume or “how much” electricity, and volts measure the speed or “how fast” the electricity is delivered. If you multiply the amps by the volts, you get watts, which is the measure of “real power” or total electric output. To put this into an analogy, imagine your cord is a highway: the amps are the number of lanes across, the volts are the speed limit, and the watts are the total cars coming through a point.

So now we have an idea of how they relate. Let’s now put it to use. Say you have a portable, the manufacturer states cord one is 18 amps and cord two is 12 amps. That gives us a total of 30 amps. Depending on your country you may have either 115V or 230V circuits (In the U.S. it’s 115V). So now let’s take 115 volts and multiply by 30 amps, which gives us 3,450 Watts! Great! 

Now should you go get a 3,450W generator? Well, not exactly. Generators have several wattage ratings, one that’s the “peak” or starting watts and one that’s the “running watts”, which is the max amount it can sustain over a period of time. So what should you be looking for? Well in this instance the running watts is the important number, and you want to be able to run your equipment with about 80% or less of the generator’s running watts. Running your generator below its maximum load has many benefits, including a longer life for your generator, better efficiency, and reduced noise.

So, to find the right size, divide the total watts needed by .8, and that will give you the correct running watts! Using our example we need a generator rated for at least 4,315 running watts (3,450 ÷ .8). Voila, that’s all there is to it! Simply add up the total amps needed, multiply by the voltage to get the total watts, then divide by .8 to get the running wattage a generator will need to run your setup properly! Below are some more examples based on popular Mytee setups.

8070 Mytee Lite

8070 Cord 1: 19 amps

19a x 115V = 2,185W ÷ .8 = 2,731 suggested running watts

1005LX Speedster + Mytee Hot Turbo

1005LX Cord 1: 20 amps 

1005LX Cord 2: 15 amps 

Mytee Hot Cord 1: 20 amps (at max) 

55 amps total

55a x 115V = 6,325W ÷ .8 = 7,906 suggested running watts

Air Hog + Water Hog

Air Hog Cord 1: 15 amps

Air Hog Cord 2: 15 amps 

Water Hog Cord 1: 14 amps 

44 amps total

44a x 115V = 5,060W ÷ .8 = 6,325 suggested running watts

Escape + T-Rex

Escape Cord 1: 19 amps 

Escape Cord 2: 18 amps 

T-Rex Cord 1: 8 amps

45 amps total

45a x 115V = 5,175 ÷ .8 = 6,470 suggested running watts

P.S. While we all want to avoid overspending on an overkill generator, keep future growth in mind when purchasing one! Giving yourself room to get larger/more equipment is a good way to future-proof your purchase and may save you money in the long run!