What Size Generator For 200 Amp Service?- Wattage And Specs

What Size Generator For 200 Amp Service

What size generator for 200 Amp service? Generators have different specs and are rated for different jobs.

Many generators come with a power rating. Ratings dictate the use cases for the generators. High wattage generators are generally heavy-duty machines ideal for large power requirements.

Low wattage generators are light or medium-duty machines approved for specific tasks. The power requirements differ with the equipment. You should get the right generator for your needs.

The 200 Amp generator is fairly common. It has a decent spec sheet of tasks, but what size suits these generators? Let us find out:

What Size Generator for 200 Amp Service?

A 200 Amp generator comfortably handles any 15kW to 20kW load. Most manufacturers recommend this range with their generators as the optimal operating power. 

It is a decent requirement for a decent variety of equipment. Using about 80% of the recommended load capacity for safety is advisable. It also reduces wear on the generator’s parts.

What Happens When You Overload A 200 Amp Panel?

Every generator has a recommended load. For 200 Amp panels, you can technically overload the panels because many manufacturers have error allowances.

It is, however, very dangerous to take the risk, especially when you run the appliances for long periods.

Overloading your 200 Amp panel triggers the breakers to protect your equipment. Overloading equipment creates a fire hazard and increases the risk of electrocution.

Overloading the generator can ruin it, especially if it has faulty breakers. It could cause the board to short circuit.

What Are The Signs Of Exceeding The Minimum Requirements?

Are you unsure whether you have exceeded the minimum load requirements? Here are some tale-tell signs that you should look out for.

Buzzing on the panel

Exceeding the minimum load causes an eerie buzzing on the panel. The fizzing sign serves as a warning that the draw is too high. When it happens, disconnect some appliances from the unit.

Flickering when you connect a new device

If you notice that some devices flicker when you connect new ones, the load is too high. The flickering indicates that the unit is redistributing power to a new device. It causes a dip in performance for other devices.

An odor from the panel

When circuit boards get overloaded, some components tend to smolder. The silicone board might start to melt under excessive heat. 

The smell is strong enough for most people to notice. You should shut off the generator immediately if it happens to salvage it. Replacing the boards is expensive.


What size generator do I use for 200 Amp service? The rating varies depending on the manufacturer. Many manufacturers recommend using a 15kW to 20kW load on these machines. 

They are mid-duty devices that don’t support power devices with huge power draws. They are, however, useful in many situations.

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