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I plan to buy a 7500/9500 Watt generator with a L14-30 hookup, rated for 30Amps.

The breaker for my Stove Range is a 40 Amp. I don't know the actual Amps required by my Stove; it's not in the manual and the model# must be stuck behind the Range which I can't move.

However, I would assume that if I only use part of my Stove Range, such as one or two plates only, it shouldn't overload the circuit and should work just fine with no problems? I imagine it would only need 40 Amps if all four plates were on along with the Oven?

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    Your assumption is likely true, but what if a guest turns on more burners? Seems like it's designed to fail from human factors, which makes it not a good idea. Pull out the stove and check though, or find a manual online with the specs; you might be fine.
    – dandavis
    Nov 25 '20 at 18:58
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    If you haven't check inside oven and drawer for a nameplate. Nov 25 '20 at 19:06
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    Things that matter that are human factors related in an outage - proper interlocks rather than suicide cords. Things that don't matter - potential misuse of the range causing the generator breaker to trip by a potential ignorant and downright stupid (to be fiddling with the range while on generator power while not in their own house) guest. They will be banned from entering the kitchen until power is restored, or asked to go home, the generator breaker will be reset, life will go on.
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 25 '20 at 19:13
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    Is there a reason that having a plug-in cooking appliance around (such as a portable induction cooker) for power outages isn't a viable option? Nov 26 '20 at 0:10
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    What type of fuel do you plan to use for the generator? You say below that you don't want to install propane. But you also say you are expecting regular outages of as much as a week. IMHO, propane would be a much more practical fuel to use for a generator expected to run for a full week at a time. Nov 26 '20 at 5:35
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Generally yes can use part of your range. Each burner is different, I've seen 8" burners use up to 2500 watts, smaller can be 1200 to 1500.

I have even baked a pie. However I had to trick the oven by preheating on the broil setting since preheating on the bake setting uses both top and bottom elements and my biggest generator is a 5500.

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    It could help to mention that the worst that could happen is that the breaker on the generator trips if too much load is turned on at once.
    – jpa
    Nov 26 '20 at 6:39
  • Just a couple notes, I won't bore you will details of my bad experience with LPG, permitting, installation, supply issues, operating cost myths. Also most dual fuel generators lose 10% of power on LPG. I'm sure you can get by with 7500 watts, and since a LPG stove won't cure your other power needs I would try the range with it before considering extreme measures. I personally would try a 10K generator before LPG. Nov 26 '20 at 16:55
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    Also consider #8 awg copper wire feeding your generator, it will handle the inrush (9500 watts) better and would allow converting to a L14-50 if you need to upgrade the generator. Nov 26 '20 at 16:59
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I'd take a third option here. You clearly have a place to store fuel and someplace where you can run it so I would suggest a propane tank and stove. Cheap, very long shelf life so long as it's stored shielded from water. (The propane lasts forever, the tank can rust. Note that the tank has a 12 year expiry date--you won't be able to refill it after that, but what you have in it will still work.)

You'll get a lot more cooking per pound of fuel and you very well might be able to use a smaller generator.

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    This is the correct answer. The stove turns electricity into heat, but the generator will turn only a portion of the fuel into electricity. The rest will heat up the generator, and that's not the intent here. A propane-powered stove delivers far more heat to your food, close to 100%.
    – MSalters
    Nov 26 '20 at 9:37
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    You can get camping stoves etc. that will run on petrol so it can "share" with the generator if buying/storing propane is an issue. But you're right, cooking on gas directly will be something like ~90% more effcient than from a generator.
    – John U
    Nov 26 '20 at 11:32
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    Whilst this is certainly a viable option, it goes nowhere towards answering the question in hand. It involves total change of plan - replacing oven, obtaining gas - bottled or tanked - if tanked, how to refill? Maybe OP wants to use genny for other things too? Running lighting with gas? Don't think so!
    – Tim
    Nov 26 '20 at 13:50
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    Many modern gas stoves keep their ovens lit by an always-on heating element that can draw several hundred watts, so for extended use on generator power, this needs to be factored in. There are suppliers catering to the off-grid market that carry gas ranges which use much less or no electricity.
    – CCTO
    Nov 26 '20 at 14:29
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    Wrong on the tank expiring after 12 years -- for DOT cylinders, that's their retest interval where they have to be sent in to be inspected and requalified, but if they pass retest, they're good for another 12 years, and this cycle can repeat several times. (ASME tanks, aka the ones that people put outside their houses, don't have a retest interval, but aren't shipped around nearly as much as DOT cylinders are ;) Nov 26 '20 at 15:14
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I would seriously rethink this. Electric stoves are wonderful. But they use a lot (relatively speaking) of power. Unless you expect long term outages, a far better solution is to get a cheap 120V 15A microwave oven. It will draw 1500 W or so when running but that will let you run lights, refrigerator, etc. at the same time. For a day without power, reheating stuff, or even some very basic cooking will get you through. Can't bake a pie or broil or fry eggs, but you'll still be able to eat hot food.

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    The smaller burners on standard electric stoves are often around 1500W as well, so it might not be that big of a difference to just use the stove carefully vs the microwave.
    – Nate S.
    Nov 25 '20 at 21:04
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    We're talking one week power outages at times. Nov 25 '20 at 23:19
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    @jesse: "I hear that's not as good as gas" -- huh? propane and natural gas are for most intents and purposes identical. Propane costs more per BTU, and they do require different air/fuel mixtures (so an appliance needs to be set up specifically for one kind or the other). Propane has more than double the energy per volume, but in practice this just means you use more volume of natural gas for the same heat. Other than cost, the only other drawbacks to propane are you have to maintain a tank (if leased, it will have to be above-ground), and get it filled on occasion. No big deal at all. Nov 26 '20 at 5:30
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    Most burners are supplied with jets for mains gas, but (at least in the UK) generally come with a set you can swap in for use with bottled butane or propane. I've used all three sources of gas in my time, and they all work well (except butane in the cold - below -0.5°C) and are hard to distinguish between in use. No need for a large tank if you just use the gas for cooking - a cylinder should last months or years, and is easy to exchange for a full one without needing to arrange delivery. Nov 26 '20 at 7:52
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    The issue with propane isn't that it's not as good as natural gas, it's that it's several times more expensive than piped gas due mostly to the cost of delivery Nov 26 '20 at 15:12
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You are good as long as both the generator and the stove users are more or less sane. Well, if one makes a mistake to turn on more stoves than the generator can bear, the generator will have to be reset, bonus if it is at night.

I am yet to see a generator that breaks when overloaded. Most of them brownout (if the overload is mild) or just trip their breaker.


We have quite a similar problem here.

My wife ordered (and received) a cooker. The required total power happened to be crazy - 8.3 kilowatt total, 36 ampere at 230V (Europe here).

Wires in the kitchen are good for 25A only, the landlord is OK with us upgrading them, but for one reason or another it will not happen soon.

So the temporary solution is not to turn on all 3 ovens at once. Failing that, the breaker trips. My wife is OK with resetting it once in a while.

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  • I've found the same effect with several drills and floodlights run off a single generator. The halogen floodlights provided a nice warning of overload If there's anything other than dumb heater elements, lights, and some motors on the circuit (including oven controls) I'd want to add a breaker that leads to tripping rather than brownouts. Brownouts break electronics.
    – Chris H
    Nov 27 '20 at 13:30
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    Extended brownouts break electronics, motors, fridges, etc... but 1-2s brownout is more or less safe. On the other hand, a breaker needs some safety margin that makes the useful power even less. It may need hours in order to break at 120% overload and the generator may not be able to supply 120% of the rated current even for a short while. Everything boils down to: get a bigger generator or have less ambitions.
    – fraxinus
    Nov 27 '20 at 14:01
  • The particular circumstances here though (leaving too much turned on) could well lead to extended brownouts; that's why I'd want a breaker
    – Chris H
    Nov 27 '20 at 14:39
  • Well, YMMV. If you want the breaker to break more or less immediately, you either need some special type of breaker (generators usually have themselves) or get a generator that can out at least 50% more amperes than the breaker rating. Or use an inverter generator - they don't allow brownouts.
    – fraxinus
    Nov 27 '20 at 15:00

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