2024: What Size Generator Rental Do You Need for your Event -
  • 2024: What Size Generator Rental Do You Need for your Event

    What Size Generator Do You Need?

    Outdoor events are my favorite because you have the fresh air (as long as it isn’t the middle of summer in the South) and there are no limitations to how creative you can get with decor. Depending upon the venue, you may need electrical power to run everything.  Determining how much power you need from a generator rental can be tricky.

    How To Determine What Size Generator Rental you Need:

    1. Compile a list of all of the items that require power during your event.
    2. Add the total watts needed for the items that will be running at the same time.
    3. Add the largest number of surge watts you will need. Surge watts are typically what is needed to start the product. For example, once a small bounce house is blown up, it only needs 800 watts to run. But, while it is blowing up, it needs 1955 watts. Note: you do NOT add the total of surge watts for all of your items. Just add the one highest surge watts number to the total of running watts (all of your items will not surge at once).

    Below is a list of average watts needed for commonly rented items. Please note: these are averages only. To be safe, find out the watts needed for the specific item you are renting. Download Generator Worksheet.

    Powered Item Average Running Watts Needed Surge Watts
    Small String Lights (50-string) 20 0
    TV / Large Screen 500 0
    Computer 800 0
    Arcade Game 200 0
    Small Appliances 350 500
    Box Fan 300 600
    AC /Heating (13,500 BTU) 1600 2300
    Small Power Tools 440 600
    Small Bounce House (1 HP Blower) 805 1955
    Bounce House / Slide Combo (1.5 HP Blower) 1035 2000
    Large Inflatable Slides or Obstacle Course (2 HP Blower) 1610 2000
    Popcorn, Cotton Candy or Snow Cone Machine 2100 0
    Margarita Machine 650 0

    Once you have the total number of running watts needed, add the highest number in the surge column to figure out what size generator rental you need. For example, if you are renting a small bounce house and a cotton candy machine, you need a total of 1455 running watts. The bounce house is going to need a surge of power to blow up; so, add 1955.  The total watts needed is 3410. I’d recommend the  3500 watt generator. Below are common generator rental sizes with the average cost to rent.

    Generator Avg. Cost to Rent Generator Per Day
    2000 watt $70
    3000 watt $90
    3500 watt $100
    7000 watt $180
    7500 watt $150

    Annoying Caveat: Most generators only have 2 – 20 amp breakers, which will limit the number of items you can plug into it. Bounce house vendors, for example, typically only allow one bounce house per breaker. Need help figuring it out? Email us info@reventals.com.

    Pro tip: Generators can be VERY loud. If you are concerned about the noise level, it is definitely worth it to pay a little more for a generator designed to be quiet.

    #1 Safety Rule: Generators should ONLY be used outdoors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and electric shock.

    Other blogs you might find helpful while you are in party planning mode:

    Table Sizes and Seating: How Many People Will Fit?!?

    What Size Tablecloth Do I Need

    Calculating Dance Floor Size + Average prices in Austin

    How to Choose Networking Foods

    5 Video Tips for your Next Event

    Candace Leak

    Candace is a 3x Start-up Founder and Certified Event Rental Professional (CERP). She geeks out on brainstorming bold ideas and then actually brings some of them to life. She is currently the CEO of Reventals, where her mission is to reduce overconsumption by making it as easy to rent as it is to buy.

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