For most people, a portable inverter generator is the perfect choice for mobile and outdoor power. These 2000 watt generators are quiet, they’re small enough to be carried, and they have enough power for camping, tailgating, and powering a few tools. Which inverter generator should you buy? We rounded up the best 2000 watt generator models we could find. Not sure what to look for? Read on to find out what features you should look for, including noise level, power output, run time and socket compatibility.
Our Picks for the Best 2000 Watt Generators
- 1WEN 56203i - 2000 Watt Generator
- 2Westinghouse iGen2500 - 2500 Watt Generator
- 3Pulsar G2319N - 2300 Watt Generator
- 4Honda EU2200i - 2200 Watt Generator
- 5Champion 100692 - 2000 Watt Generator
- 6Genkins - 2300 Watt Generator
- 7Bluetti - 2000 Watt Generator
- 8Duromax - 2200 Watt Generator
- 9PowerSmart - 2200 Watt Generator
- 10Briggs & Stratton P2200 - 2200 Watt Generator
1. WEN 56203i 2000 Watt Inverter Generator
WEN has an excellent reputation in the gas powered generator market, and the 56203i can run longer on a tank of fuel than most competitors. However, its one of the few 2000 watt generator class that still has a peak power output of just 2000 watts.
This inverter generator has a run time of 7 hours at 50% load, which is the among longest in this segment. To prevent stale fuel problems, turning the generator switch to “off” doesn’t cut the ignition. Instead, it cuts off the fuel supply to the carburetor. This lets the engine burn off the remaining gas in the carburetor bowls, preventing problems with clogged jets. Turn on eco mode, and the throttle will adjust automatically to match the current load, minimizing fuel consumption and noise. This generator makes 51 dB of noise at 25% load, which is about average for this segment. Expect noise levels to be in the mid to high-50s at 50% load.
The WEN 56203i has a pair of 120 volt 5-20 R household AC outlets and one 12 volt cigarette lighter socket. There are also two USB Type A sockets for charging. One socket has a maximum output of 2.1 amps for fast charging, while the other outlet has a maximum output of 1 amp. The inverter is rated at a maximum 1.2% harmonic distortion, compared to the 3% distortion which is normal in this segment. You probably shouldn’t plug in high end audio gear into this generator, but it’s the safest choice on our list for powering electronics.
The 56203i is also parallel capable. WEN’s parallel cord lets you link two identical generators together. It has two built-in sockets: one 14-50R and one L5-30R. These are the most common sockets used by recreational vehicles for shore power. This generator will shut down automatically if it’s low on oil or fuel. By shutting off the engine before fuel is completely gone, you don’t have to repeatedly pull the recoil starter to get gas back through the fuel lines and into the carburetor.
This inverter generator measures 17.3 x 11.5 x 17.7 inches and weighs 39 lbs.
This 2000 watt generator is backed by a two year warranty. WEN is noted for having some of the best after sales support in the industry, surpassed only by Honda and Briggs & Stratton.
WEN has another generator with similar specs called the 56200i, however we prefer the WEN 56203i due to its lighter weight, longer run time and higher sustained output. You can read our full review of the WEN 56200i if you are curious to see if it might suit you better.
2. Westinghouse iGen2500 2200 Watt Inverter Generator
Parallel compatibility with several generator models and some unique features make the iGen2500 a compelling option from an ease-of-use standpoint.
This generator makes 52 dB of noise at 25% load, making the noise level about average for a 2000 watt class generator. Westinghouse says owners can expect this portable inverter generator to run for 10 hours at 25% power output. Turn on the efficiency mode switch, and the throttle adjusts automatically to the current load.
The LED data center has a digital display with two bars indicating fuel level and load level. This display can show you the estimated remaining run time, voltage and hours of operation. That last feature is important for keeping track of maintenance. The engine shuts off automatically when it’s low on oil. An oil funnel and spark plug wrench are included, making the iGen easy to work on out of the box.
The iGen2500 has a pair of 120 volt 5-20R outlets and two USB ports. One port delivers 2.1 amps for fast charging, while the second port only delivers 1 amp of power. Since this is an inverter generator, it’s safe to use it to power your electronics. Any two iGen generators with parallel sockets can be connected together. Westinghouse’s parallel cable has a built-in 14-50R socket, which is great for connecting your generators to an RV.
The iGen2500 measures 19.7 x 11.2 x 17.9 inches and weighs 48 lbs.
When used by consumers, this generator is covered by a three year warranty.
3. Pulsar G2319N 2300 Watt Inverter Generator
The Pulsar’s range of outlets makes it one of the most flexible generators on our list.
Starting this gas powered inverter generator with a full tank will keep it running for 4.8 hours under a 50% load. Turn on the economy mode switch, and the engine will adjust its speed to automatically to match the current load, conserving fuel. The included low oil sensor shuts the generator off automatically to protect the engine.
This generator has two 120 volt 5-20R outlets for connecting household appliances. There’s also a 12 volt cigarette lighter outlet to use car accessories, and a single USB port with an output of 1.5 amps. That’s lower than the 2.1 amps of most fast charge ports, but it’s better than a standard one amp port. The Pulsar can be wired in parallel with a second generator. The compatible cable has a built-in L5-30R socket, letting you connect directly to an RV. Since this is an inverter generator, it’s safe to use with electronics.
This 2000 watt inverter generator produces 59 dB of noise at 10 feet under a 50% load, which is a slightly higher noise level than its competition.
The G2319N weighs 47 lbs. and measures 19.7 x 11.2 x 17.9 inches
Pulsar guarantees the G2319N for one year of consumer use. They offer no warranty for units used commercially.
If you are interested in another 2000 Watt Pulsar invertergenerator you can read our full review of the Pulsar PG2000iSN.
4. Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Honda built the first portable enclosed generator over 50 years ago, and they continue to lead the segment in features and reliability. However, that doesn’t mean the EU2200i should be the first on your list when shopping for a generator. While a solid unit, it does have some odd design choices that makes it less useful than alternative models.
The EU2200i inverter generator has a pair of household outlets, plus a T-shaped 12 volt connector. This connector only works with a proprietary battery charging cable, which you have to pay extra for. Want to pair up a couple generators to power your RV? You can do that with the EU2200i, but only if you connect it to an EU2200i Companion. Instead of putting the L5-30R socket on the parallel connection cable like other manufacturers, it replaces one of the 5-20R outlets on the Companion.
This inverter generator is compatible with Honda’s My Generator App. As long as you’re within 75 feet of the generator, you can connect to the EU2200i via Bluetooth to monitor output and load, and get an estimate of total run time. It also helps you keep track of maintenance. The EU2200i also comes with the CO-MINDER carbon monoxide monitor. If it detects high CO levels in the air, it shuts off the engine.
Run time is unusually short for a inverter generator this size. The fuel tank holds just under a gallon, which is enough for 3 hours and 12 minutes of use at 50% load, or just over 8 hours at 25% load. However, this is the quietest generator in this class, making 57 dB of noise at 50% load, and a low 48 dB at 25% load.
Maintenance on this generator is easy. The service cover is held on by a single bolt, while a hatch on top of the case provides access to the spark plug. However, you’ll need to remove the back cover and muffler to access the spark arrester. Honda recommends installing a high altitude jet kit, if you use your generator at altitudes over 5,000 feet. They make jet kits for 4,500-7,500 feet and 7,500 feet and above. Parts are easy to access, thanks to a massive dealer network.
The EU2200i weighs 46 ½ lbs. and measures 16 x 20 x 11 inches. It’s covered by a three year warranty, which applies to both residential and commercial use.
5. Champion Power Equipment 100692 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
If you want a generator you can work on yourself, get a Champion 100692. A repair-focused design and excellent technical support make it easy to maintain.
On the front panel, you’ll find a pair of household sockets, and a 12 volt DC automotive socket. Champion also throws in a USB adapter for the 12 volt outlet, giving you access to two sockets. One has a 2.1 amp limit for fast charging, while the other is limited to 1 amp. It also comes with a battery charging cable that fits this socket. All outlets have rubber covers to protect them from dirt and moisture when not in use. This 2000 Watt generator has a built-in inverter, so it’s safe to use with electronic devices.
Champion offers two parallel kits that let you combine the power from two generators. Both kits have a 14-50R RV shore power socket, while one kit has an L5-30R home backup socket, and the other kit has a TT-30R RV socket. These sockets only provide 120 volt power. While most manufacturers only allow parallel connections between identical models, these parallel kits will work with almost any Champion inverter generator.
The 100692 inverter generator will run for 11.5 hours at 25% load off of its 1.05 gallon fuel tank size. Expect a run time closer to 7-8 hours at 50% load. Champion says this generator makes 53 dB of noise at 25% load, measured from 23 feet away. Expect noise to be around 60 dB at 50% load.
This is one of the easiest enclosed generators to work on. The side panel is held on by two thumb screws. You need to unscrew the back panel to get to the spark arrester, but it’s mounted at the end of the exhaust pipe, so it’s easy to access. The carburetor has a drain, letting you remove all gas from the tank and fuel system before storage. The owner’s manual has a complete list of parts with part numbers, making it easy to order replacements. Champion recommends using a a high altitude jet kit with generators used at elevations over 3,300 feet (1,000 meters). They make kits that work between 3,300 and 6,500 meters, and 6,500 feet and higher.
The 100692 measures 17.3 x 11.5 x 17.7 inches and weighs 39.5 lbs. It comes packaged with an oil funnel and oil.
This 2000 Watt inverter generator has a 3 year warranty for residential use, and a 270 day warranty for commercial use. Champion also offers lifetime technical support.
6. Genkins 2300 Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Genkins is the newest brand in the generator market, and they’re trying to stand out from the crowd with unique features. Their GK2300i is the only generator we’ve found in this size class that comes with a ready-to-use RV shore power socket. This makes it a great option, if you have a small camper or travel trailer, and don’t want to mess with a large generator or a pair of parallel-connected enclosed generators.
This inverter generator has an L5-30R socket, so you can connect the generator directly to your RV. With 2,300 watts on tap for starting electric motors, this generator should be able to handle a 7,500 BTU RV air conditioner.
There’s also a single household outlet rated at 20 amps. With the right extension cable, you can draw as much power from this outlet as you can from a pair of duplex outlets on other 2,000 watt class generators. The GK2300i also has a pair of USB Type A sockets for charging mobile devices. One socket provides 2.1 amps of power for fast charging, while the other is limited to one amp. This model supports a parallel connection with an identical generator. However, this connection doesn’t add additional outlets. Genkins says the inverter has a maximum THD of 2%. That means the power coming from the outlets is nearly identical to grid power, making it safe to use this generator with electronics.
The 1.32 gallon fuel tank size can keep the engine running for just over 8 hours at 50% load. A fuel gauge is built into the top of the tank, so you can monitor fuel usage. The GK2300i makes 57 dB of noise, as measured 21 feet away at 50% load, making it one of the quietest generators in this segment.
Maintenance is a little easier than most enclosed generators. Remove one screw, and you can fold down the access port for the dipstick and oil fill spout. There’s also a hatch on top of the case to access the spark plug. The spark arrester mounts externally, so you can remove it for cleaning after unscrewing the back panel. Genkins doesn’t offer or suggest using a high altitude kit on this generator.
The Genkins GK2300i inverter generator measures 21 x 11 x 19 inches and weighs 51 lbs. It comes with a two year residential warranty, and lifetime technical support.
7. BLUETTI Portable Power Station AC200P 2000W 2000Wh Solar Generator
Are you looking for a safer, quieter alternative to internal combustion generators? The BLUETTI AC200P is a portable power station that can charge using solar panels, household outlets or DC connections.
The AC200P is loaded with outlets. There’s a 15 volt pad for wireless charging, a USB-C port, 4 USB Type A ports, a 12 volt automotive port, two 12 volt terminal connectors and 6 120 volt household outlets. This station has a pure sine wave inverter, so it works with electronics and electric motors.
The battery holds just 2,000 watt hours of electricity, so you’ll burn through power fast with high draw devices. An average 800 watt household refrigerator will drain the battery in about two hours. However, it will keep a CPAP machine running for almost four nights. An LCD screen on the front of the station shows current, voltage, output, battery temperature and charging status.
The AC200P has an MPPT controller, which turns high voltage power from solar panels and other connections into low voltage electricity that is suitable for battery charging. This extends battery life and helps the charging system utilize all available power. This power station handles up to 700 watts of solar power. A fan turns on at 113°F (45°C) to keep battery cool during charging. Otherwise, this unit is completely silent. The battery holds a full charge for three to six months.
This solar generator uses lithium ion phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, which are cheaper than lithium ion cells. This battery chemistry comes with some advantages and disadvantages. The battery will last an estimated 3,500 cycles, which is higher than Li-Ion, but long term storage can unbalance cells, leading to premature failure. The battery is less dense, but it handles fast charging better. Power input doesn’t have to slow down at 80% charge like Li-Ion, so you can make use of the battery’s entire capacity.
The included household adapter can charge the battery in 3.5 hours. Buy a second adapter for the solar charging port, or use solar and AC charging together, and a full charge takes 2.5 hours. If you get a DC7909 to XT90 cable, you can charge the battery off of your vehicle’s 12 volt port in 20 hours, while using a 24 volt RV port charges the battery in 10 hours.
The BLUETTI AC200P measures 16.5 x 11 x 15.2 inches and weighs 60.6 lbs. It comes with a two year warranty.
8. DuroMax XP2200EH Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator
Propane might not make as much power as gasoline, but it’s cheap, and doesn’t degrade in storage. The DuroMax XP2200EH Side Kick can run on either fuel, letting you choose the option that’s most convenient.
On the front panel, you’ll find a pair of 5-20R household outlets for powering appliances directly. This model was also updated recently, adding a USB Type A socket. This outlet is limited to 1.5 amps, so it doesn’t support fast charging. You can connect two of these generators together with a parallel kit. This kit has a TT-30R socket and an L5-30R socket, so you can use these generators for quiet RV shore power.
DuroMax says this inverter generator makes 52 dB of noise at 25% load, and 61 dB at 50% load, but they don’t quote distances for this measurement. However, if it’s in line with similar enclosed generators, you can expect average noise levels for the segment.
The 1.2 gallon fuel tank can keep the engine running for almost 7 hours at 50% load. Connect a 20 lb. LPG tank, and you can expect the generator to run for 19 hours at 50% load. The fuel selector switch only allows access to the propane port when it’s switched to LPG, and it won’t switch back to gas unless the port is disconnected. Unlike most dual fuel generators, DuroMax doesn’t include an LPG line. You’ll need to provide your own hose and regulator.
Since propane doesn’t release as much energy as gasoline when burned, output goes down a little on this fuel. However, you only lose 110 watts of starting power and 90 watts of running power on this fuel.
Even though this inverter generator is fully enclosed, maintenance is straight forward. DuroMax includes a spark plug wrench and an oil funnel with the Side Kick, and there’s a snap on cover for accessing the spark plug. The company recommends having the carburetor modified by a dealer for use at elevations above 5,000 feet. They don’t sell a separate high altitude kit.
The DuroMax XP2200EH Side Kick measures 20 x 11.2 x 18 inches and weighs 53 lbs. It comes with a three year residential warranty and a one year commercial warranty.
9. PowerSmart Generator, Super Quiet Generator, 2200 Watts Portable Inverter Generator
On the front of the PS5025, you’ll find a pair of 120 volt household outlets and a 12 volt DC automotive socket. There are also two USB Type A ports. One port provides up to 2.1 amps of power for quick charging, while the other port is limited to one amp. Two of these generators can be linked using a parallel connection, but this doesn’t add more outlets for a direct connection. As of this writing, the parallel cable is not yet for sale.
This inverter generator makes just 58 dB of noise at 50% load, measured from 23 feet away. At 25% load, the one gallon gas tank will keep the engine running for 10.5 hours. Expect it to run about 7 hours at 50% load.
All generators should be operated in a dry environment and on a level surface. However, PowerSmart went the extra mile and did some testing in adverse conditions. The PS5025 is IPX3 rated, so it can withstand sprays of water at angles up to 60 degrees. This generator can also sit at angles up to 25 degrees in any direction, and it will still use all of the fuel in the gas tank.
Servicing this inverter generator may be difficult. Nothing is included with this generator, not even a paper manual. PowerSmart hasn’t updated their websites in years, but the box does list a URL where you can download a PDF version of the manual. If you have a problem or need a part, your best bet is calling their service line. That said, they do include exploded diagrams and parts listings in the manual, and their service instructions are thorough.
This generator measures 21 x 20 x 14 inches and weighs 42.5 lbs. This makes it one of the smallest and lightest generators in this class, which is impressive, considering how well it controls noise. PowerSmart covers this model with a two year residential warranty. Commercial use is covered for 90 days.
10. Briggs & Stratton P2200 2200 Watt Inverter Generator
Briggs & Stratton is synonymous with small engines, making this the best 2000 watt generator for those looking for easy access to repairs and support. However, it’s missing a few features that you may want in your generator, like CARB certification.
Lasting just 8 hrs on one tank of fuel at 25% power output, this 2000 watt generator has the shortest run time of any gas powered generator on our list. This is due in part to the P2200’s 111cc engine, which is one of the largest in this class.
There are three outlets on the front of the P2200. You can get 120 volt power from a pair of 5-20R sockets. Next to that, there’s a 12 volt cigarette lighter socket. If you use two generators in parallel, you also get L5-30 and TT-30R sockets built into the connection cable. The parallel connector works with a second P2200 and Briggs & Stratton’s P3000 generator. Like every other portable inverter generator, the power output is clean enough to safely power electronics. An automatic low oil shutdown protects the gas powered engine from damage due to lack of lubrication.
Owners can expect the noise level for this 2000 watt class generator to be 59 dB from 21 feet away under a 25% load. That makes this the loudest generator on our list. However, that’s still far quieter than any hybrid or open frame generator. The P22000 comes with “Quiet Power Technology,” which is another way of saying it has an eco throttle. Once enabled, this system controls engine speed automatically. This keeps the engine running as slow as possible to meet load demands while reducing fuel consumption and noise.
The P2200 measures 21 x 12.5 x 17.4 inches and weighs 54.6 lbs. While most 2000 watt generators have a single suitcase handle, this generator has an H-shaped handle. The added grip points lets two people pick up the generator, and it makes it easier for one person to lift the unit up high to get it into truck beds.
Briggs and Stratton offers this 2000 watt class inverter generator with a 24 month warranty for consumer use, and a 90 day warranty for commercial use. With one of the largest dealer networks in the country, service is readily accessible, no matter where you are.
What Can you Power with a 2000 Watt Generator?
Want to know how much can you do with 2000 watts? Having trouble figuring out the difference between wattage ratings? Here’s everything you need to know to figure out how a 2000 watt generator will fit into your portable power generation needs.
How Much Power Does My Portable Generator Actually Make?
If you’re new to portable generators, you may be surprised to see that your generator has two power ratings. There’s “peak,” “surge” or “starting” power, and there’s “sustained” or “running” power. Surge power is the maximum output of the generator. This output can only be sustained for a few seconds before overload protection kicks in and shuts off the engine. Running wattage is the maximum amount of power the generator can maintain. On most generators, surge watts are about 20% higher than running watts. Generators are almost always advertised by their surge power, which leads to confusion when consumers find out they can’t really use all 2000 watts all of the time.
What’s the point of surge power? Electric motors are reactive loads, which means they require extra electricity to start. Surge power lets your generator handle these temporary spikes in demand. Electric motors are used in power tools, blenders, mixers, refrigerators and air conditioners.
For the best results, you do not want to run your generator at full power. Manufacturers recommend running generators at no more than 90% capacity to save wear and tear on the engine. Noise and fuel consumption ratings may be based on using the generator at 25% or 50% load. Noise is also measured at different distances. If you want to see these results in real world use, you need to have a matching load.
Why do we call these “2000 watt class” generators? Until recently, all enclosed inverter generators had a peak output of 2,000 watts. Since Honda introduced the EU2200i. competitors have updated their models to match the Honda’s peak power output of 2,200 watts.
If you want more power or instead think that 2000 Watt is too much, you can check out our reviews of the best portable generators. The generators listed there vary in power ratings so you can find one that matches your desired power requirements.
How Much Power do I Need?
To find your required running power, add up the power for all of the appliances you are likely to use at one time. To calculate surge power, add the highest single reactive load from your appliances to your running power.
How Do I Find Out How Much Power an Appliance Uses?
The easiest way to measure power draw is with an electric usage monitor. This device plugs in between the appliance and the outlet, displaying how much current is passing through.
Most appliances will list their power requirements on a label, or in the instruction manual. To convert the amp rating of appliance into volts, multiply amps by volts. Most appliances are 110 or 120 volts. If you have an appliance that operates at a range of voltages, use the upper end of this range. You can find a more detailed explanation on what you can run on a 2000 watt generator here.
When and Why Should I Run Two Generators in Parallel?
Two enclosed 2000 watt generators are quieter and easier to move around than one open or hybrid 4,000 watt generator. Having two generators gives you some redundancy, so you still have power if one generator fails. Some manufacturers offer parallel cables for their 2000 watt generators that have built-in high amperage outlets designed for RV power.
What 2000 Watts Can Power
A single cup coffee maker uses 200-200 watts, a small 4-5 cup coffee maker uses 600 watts, and a 12 cup maker uses 1,200 watts.
Hand mixers and blenders have a surge load ranging from 400-1,200 watts depending on the engine size. Once running, power requirements drop to 250 to 600 watts.
An RV fridge needs 500 to 600 watts to start the compressor, then draws around 200 watts while running. Household refrigerators need too much power for a 2000 watt class generator.
Most small LCD TVs use 50 to 100 watts of electricity. Add another 20-30 watts for a satellite receiver or streaming box.
Smartphones, drones, cameras and other small battery-powered devices use less than 10 watts while charging.
Tool battery chargers only draw 25 to 100 watts, so you can keep more of these tools powered than you can by sending AC power directly to tool motors.
Emergency Home Power
Light bulbs use the number of watts printed on them. Keep in mind that LED bulbs are sold as “equivalents.” A 60 watt equivalent bulb is as bright as a 60 watt incandescent, but only draws around 9 watts.
You may be able to run a 1/3 HP sump pump, depending on its surge load. This can range from 1,300 to 2,900 watts. Once operating, the pump will draw around 750 watts. A ceiling fan needs 1,200 watts to start and about 800 to run. Refrigerators, heaters and air conditioners draw too much power for a 2000 watt generator.
Central and window air conditioners need too much power to run off of a 2000 watt generator. However, a 5,000 BTU RV air conditioner has a reactive load of just 1,200 watts, dropping to around 400 watts when running. Two 2000 watt generators run in parallel can run RV air conditioners up to 15,000 watts.
How Can I Reduce My Power Needs?
After doing the calculations, you realize you need just a little more power than a 2000 watt generator can provide. Instead of spending more on a larger generator, you can make some changes to the appliances you use and how you use them.
Heating elements require a lot of electricity. Use propane, charcoal or firewood in place of electricity where possible. If you use a coffee maker, shut it off immediately after brewing. A thermal carafe will keep your coffee warm without requiring power. Coffee makers that use pods, like Keurig and Verismo, have surge loads up to 1,500 watts. Slow cookers only have a small element, so they draw just a couple hundred watts.
Plan around the use of reactive loads. If you’re about to use a high draw appliance, shut down some of the equipment connected to your generator.
Battery powered devices use less power to recharge than AC devices need to run.
Buying a 2000 Watt Generator? What You Need to Know
For most buyers, a 2000 watt portable inverter generator is the perfect choice for on-the-go power generation. However, there are a lot of differences between models that can greatly affect their usefulness. Here’s what you need to know about safety features, power options, and equipment you should buy with your generator.
Emissions: CARB, EPA III and Spark Protection
Using clean power isn’t just good for the environment. Your 2000 watt generator may need to meed specific emissions regulations to be legal to use. All generators sold in the U.S. must meet EPA emissions regulations. All generators sold or used in California must meed California Air Resource Board (CARB) regulations. Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington DC and West Virginia are part of EPA Region 3. Generators in this region must meed EPA III emissions regulations, which are delayed implementations of CARB regulations. If you buy a CARB certified generator, you can buy and use it anywhere.
Most wilderness areas and parks require spark arresters for all small engines, including those used in generators. A spark arrester is a small screen over the exhaust that catches sparks before they exit, reducing the chance of starting a fire. All 2000 watt class generators sold today come with arresters from the factory.
Parallel Connections: Doubling Your Power
Most generators in this category are parallel capable. By plugging two generators together using a link cable, power can be shared across all outlets. Some parallel kits have additional high amperage outlets, letting you draw full power from both generators through a single connection. This is great for RV shore power. By using two small generators instead of one large unit, you have some built-in redundancy in case there’s a failure. Small generators are also quieter and easier to move than one large generator.
Most 2000 watt generators have at least two NEMA 5-20R 120 volt sockets. This is the same type of receptacle you will find in your home. Pairs of these sockets are wired in duplex, so they share the same 20 amp circuit. That means you can draw the full 20 amps through one outlet, as long as you leave the other outlet unused.
A 12 volt cigarette lighter outlet is identical to the cigarette lighter/12 volt accessory outlet found in vehicles. You can plug in any compatible vehicle appliance or adapter into this port. This is a great way to use low power devices, charge batteries, or add USB ports using an adapter.
New generators are adding 5 volt USB ports for easy charging of smartphones, laptops, tablets, drones and other small battery-powered devices. Adapter cables for these USB Type A connections are readily available for Mini-USB, Micro-USB, USB-3 and Lightning connections. Output of these sockets can vary. One amp is the minimum required for the USB standard, while 2.1 amp sockets allow fast charging. However, it won’t be as fast as using a specialty fast charger built for your smartphone.
14-50R, L5-30R and TT-30 outlets are designed for high amp power, letting you most or all of the power from a pair of linked generators through one connection. These outlets are mostly used for RV shore power. However you can buy an extension cable that splits this power across multiple 5-20R sockets.
Run Time, Noise and Fuel Tank Size
You would think that fuel tank size would be the most important factor when finding out how long the a generator will run before refueling. However, the fuel efficiency of each 2000 watt generator’s engine can vary widely.
Manufacturers will quote expected run time for their gas powered generators at 25 or 50% load. Most 2000 watt generators will run for 5-6 hours at 50% load, and around 10 hours at 25% load. Almost every portable inverter generator on the market comes with an eco throttle. This automatically adjusts engine speed to match the power output demanded by your appliances. Running a lower engine speed reduces fuel consumption, noise and engine wear.
Decibel ratings for noise aren’t standardized, with manufacturers choosing to quote noise levels at different distances and load levels for their portable inverter generators. Be sure these factors are the same when comparing the noise level of two generator models. Decibels are logarithmic, so 60 dB is twice as loud as 50 dB.
What Else Do I Need to Use My New 2000 Watt Generator?
Keeping your generator away from where you’re camping or tailgating doesn’t just lower noise, it prevents buildup of lethal carbon monoxide. You should always run extension cables from your generator instead of plugging appliances directly into the socket.
If you want to use your generator at high altitudes, you probably need a high altitude jet kit. This kit includes smaller jets for the carburetor, leaning out the fuel to match with lower density air. Most manufacturers recommend installing a kit if you use your generator at elevations over 3,000-6,000 feet above sea level. When you use your generator at low elevations, you need to install the original jets. Otherwise, the fuel mixture will be too lean, leading to overheating.
2000 watt generators have enclosures that can make them difficult to work on. Along with common hand tools, you will need a funnel to reach the oil filler neck. Some generators include all the tools you need for maintenance out of the box.
Generators have a short break-in period that should be followed to maximize the life of the engine. Typically, this involved running the engine with little or no load for a short period and changing the oil. Plan on going through this break-in before you use your generator.
Stale fuel is a problem with all carburetor-equipped engines. This problem is worse for generators, since they’re only used occasionally. Fuel should be mixed with a stabilizer before adding it to your generator’s fuel tank. Always drain the tank before long-term storage. Never use untreated fuel more than a month after purchase, and never use stabilized fuel more than three months after purchase.