We may earn commission from links on this page at no extra cost to you. We only recommend products we back!
A 2.5 HP air compressor requires sufficient power to run efficiently, and a smaller size generator can’t supply the required power.
So learning what size generator to run a 2.5 HP compressor will guide you through the process of obtaining the right size generator for consistent compressed air for successful operation.
In this guide, you will not only learn the right size generator for a 2.5 HP compressor but also some determining factors to make the right decision wise.
What Size Generator To Run a 2.5HP Compressor?
In general, you will need a 7200-watt generator to run a 2.5-hp compressor. However, you should make sure the generator has more wattage than your 2.5 HP air compressor’s starting wattage and running wattage.
|Size||Recommended Starting Watts||Recommended Running Watts||Our Recommendation Product|
|Minimum||7200||2800||Champion Power Equipment Portable Generator with Electric Start|
|Medium||9,000||3500||Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment Gas Powered Portable Generator|
|Large||12,000||4000||A-iPower Portable Heavy Duty Gas Powered Generator with Electric Start|
Determining the Right Size Generator to Run a Compressor
Firstly, you have to find out the required wattage to start and run a compressor, which will then decide how much power is required from a generator. The power output of a compressor with different levels varies from 0.5 to 6.5 HP.
A right-sized generator to run a compressor means a generator that has more wattage than is required to start and run a compressor. As the generator has no set size, calculating the power of the unit will help you pick the appropriate item for your compressor.
- What Size Generator Do I Need For An Oxygen Concentrator?
- What Size Generator For 50 Amp RV In 2022?
- What Size Generator To Run 5 Ton AC Unit In 2022?
Find out the required wattage of your air compressor
Most of the air compressors come with a user guide that includes the required starting and running wattages. But if your model doesn’t have one, simply follow these steps to find out.
While generators are usually characterized by wattage, air compressors refer to HP. So, finding the value of the air compressor in wattage will help you compare the requirements and lead you to the right decision.
Most home use air compressors are 2 HP and run through 110-120V outlets. But the larger-sized air compressor can be over 2 HP, which operates with 220-234V outlets. This voltage is a key factor in determining the right size generator for an air compressor where the more horsepower, the larger the generator size is required.
Once you have got the voltage of the air compressor, find out the amperage, which can be found by checking the user manual.
The wattage of the compressor is quite easy to calculate, but it needs both starting wattage and running wattage. If you have got the amperage and voltage of your air compressor, simply follow these steps:
Calculate the running wattage
To calculate the running wattage for your air compressor, multiply the amperages by the voltage.
Calculate the starting wattage
Multiply the running wattage by 3 and the result will be the required starting wattage to start the air compressor efficiently. In general, the motor requires a surge of power to turn on, which is typically three times more than the power required for running.
As we mentioned, your target is to use a generator that can deliver more wattage than the required starting wattage of your air compressor.
The size of the generator
Choosing a generator that offers more than the required starting and running wattage will keep the generator in optimum shape. Another advantage of picking an overpowered generator is getting the opportunity to run multiple appliances at the same time.
A larger generator can efficiently offer the required power to the appliance that needs 240 volts as well as 120 volts, although these are pricy options. But if you need a generator to run a household compressor that needs 120 volts, a smaller-sized generator will be good enough.
Once again, HP does not only determine the power of the air compressor but also refers to how well the machine can refill the compressor tank to provide compressed air consistently.
Following the section, you will have a basic idea of the different HP air compressors and their required starting and running wattage. Match what HP air compressor you have, keep their starting and running wattage in mind, and then go for the generator that exceeds the requirements.
½ HP Air Compressor
It’s the smallest size air compressor available on the market today, and the required starting wattage is 2000 watts. The air compressor also requires 1000 running watts to be suitable for renovations and home improvement projects and crafting jobs.
1 HP Air Compressor
This air compressor needs 4500 watts at the start and 1500 running watts. It’s a popular choice among hobbies and the perfect item for home improvement projects.
1-½ HP Air Compressor
This size air compressor requires more power than the previous options, requiring 6000 watts to start and 2200 watts to run. This 1-½ HP air compressor is mainly used for powerful projects.
2 HP Air Compressor
It’s a highly powerful air compressor that is beneficial for contractors and suitable for multiple pneumatic tools at a time. The air compressor needs 7770 watts to start and 2800 watts to run efficiently.
Benefits of using an overpowered generator for 2.5 hp air compressor
Throughout the guide, we have suggested using an overpowered generator to run an air compressor. Let’s have a look at the reason behind it:
It is safe
The calculation may not be 100% correct and if the wattage of the generator doesn’t exceed the requirement, it will cause plenty of difficulties. So the compressor may not run and it may put excess pressure on the generator, resulting in reduced longevity.
A more powerful generator is needed to run multiple appliances at a time and even run a single larger machine like a 2.5 HP compressor.
The life span of the generator
Running a generator consistently at maximum power puts extra pressure on it, which can reduce its life span. While using the less powerful generator will encourage you to set the output levels at maximum speed.
Using the overpowered generator will allow you to keep the output level low. Apart from this, you shouldn’t run a generator at maximum output consistently for over 30 minutes.
Best Generator For 2.5HP Compressor
1. Champion Power Equipment 9375/7500-Watt Portable Generator
2. Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen7500 Portable Generator
3. A-iPower SUA12000E 12000 Watt Heavy Duty Gas Powered Generator
FAQs About Right Size Generator For 2.5 HP Compressor
How Many Watts Does An Air Compressor Need?
A 110-volt air compressor that draws 15 amps requires 1,650 watts to keep running efficiently. Conversely, if the air compressor is 220-volt and draws 15 amps, it will require 3,300 watts.
Why Should I Use A Generator To Run A Compressor?
Some people use generators as a temporary power source during an electric power outage while some run appliances that require more power than the electrical system.
What Is The Best Generator For A 2.5HP Compressor?
The DuroMax XP8500EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator will be the best generator to run a 2.5 HP compressor. It delivers 8,500 starting watts and 7,000 running watts and can be powered by both gas and propane.
Whether you have a home garage or need to inflate a sprinkler or tire, an air compressor is a must-have device. Above it, the right-sized generator can let you operate the compressor consistently without the worry of a power outage.
Throughout the guide, we have discussed what size generator to run a 2.5 HP compressor and how to determine it. Hopefully, you have got the idea and are prepared to get the right one.