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Topic: Hair dryer pulls a lot of amps for generator

Posted By: Kpackpackkelley on 01/09/13 07:22am

Hello when my daughter uses her hair dryer in trailer with gen power the in rush of electrity is hard on the gen I saw a meter on a thread here onetime about a control that plugged into respectable and then plugged a heater in it with a dial for control do y'all think that would work when we first turn the hair dryer and after first start adjust upwards . If you think it would work could you post that control again I can't find that thread. Thanks

Posted By: BFL13 on 01/09/13 07:32am

Can you start the hairdryer on Low and turn it to High after the gen gets going?

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Posted By: wittmeba on 01/09/13 07:59am

Not uncommon for a hair/blow dryer to be a 1500W unit. This would equate to about 15 amps draw.

What are the generator numbers (watts, inrush, etc).

What else might be running when the hair dryer is turned on?

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Posted By: powderman426 on 01/09/13 08:00am

I seriously doubt that a hair dryer would pull more than 1500 watts. So on a 4 k generator that's only a little more than 1/3 max load. Unless you have a much smaller gen, I would have it checked out.

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Posted By: Jack_Diane_Freedom on 01/09/13 08:29am

When DW is using the hair dryer (I do not need to use one any longer as I am follically challenged) we routinely turn the water heater to gas to lower the draw as the water heater is probably still on recovery following her shower. Two large draws, makes sense to shut one off. Might be worth trying. Also like the comment about starting the hair dryer on low and then moving to high.

Posted By: Kpackpackkelley on 01/09/13 08:34am

I have a marquis 7000 plenty of gen and it handles it but at start its just a little tuff on it. When I'm working it yes starting hd on low and then go to high works good and watching what else is on to works but I can't be there all the time when daughter is working it that's a lot for her to remember when she's working on her hair ha ha .

Posted By: Jim-Linda on 01/09/13 09:12am

Attach a check list to the hair dryer. You didn't mention age, but maybe its time for responsibility to kick in.

good luck


Posted By: tvman44 on 01/09/13 09:53am

Get a amp meter on that dryer should not be more than 12.2 amps for a 1500 watt dryer if it is that big. [emoticon]

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Posted By: wa8yxm on 01/09/13 10:29am

You might plug in via a kill-a-watt and measure it, though caution they have in internal non-replaceable fuse.

However the outlet is rated 15 amp, if that is an installed generator, yes it will "Surge" (Mechanically) when a big ticket item kicks in, Water heater, A/C. Space heater, Microwvae or hair dryer (those are the main big tickets) But it's normal..

If it's really lugging down, Something is wrong either with the genny or the dryer.

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Posted By: Kpackpackkelley on 01/09/13 10:59am

Seems to me that hair dryer pulls 15 to 16 amps I will check it today. Sounds like its one of those super duper ones.

Posted By: AllegroD on 01/09/13 11:57am

If the hair dryer pulls 15-16 amps, that's 1800-1920 watts, your genny would not be a concern. A 15 amp circuit would trip. I suspect that you will find the hair dryer to be 1500 or less, which is 12.5 amps. That is consistent with S&B wiring, as well as your RV.

With 7K genny, you should here the load increase but that is normal. You are far from stressing it out.

Like some said before, you can start it on low and move to high but that will still cause the genny to surge a bit, just not as much at once. You can also get lower (1200 - 1350) wattage hair dryers.

I don't think you have any problem.

How old is your genny and when was the last time you did maintenance? What maintenance did you do? I ask because if the hair dryer is tough on a 7k, you may have other problems.

Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 01/09/13 01:26pm

Resistance loads induce a bare minimum of "inrush". It's purely a generator "response time" issue. Remember, NiChrome wire has almost the same resistance at 0C than it does at 1,000C.

Posted By: Kpackpackkelley on 01/09/13 01:45pm

That's probably it mex response time are you sayin diffrent wire helps I know this marquis is not as fast at responding as my onan jc 15 vintage 1970 it has the magniciter not sure how to spell that but they were suppose to the fastest responding any tricks you know for the marquis.thanks for all the responses .

Posted By: Almot on 01/09/13 03:50pm

I doubt that any household item, other than appliances with that big 4-prong plug, can draw more than 15A because fuses in small receptacles in homes and condos are 15A. Check the max wattage label on hairdryer and divide in 120. This will give you an approximate A value, poorly made device may draw more (or less). But it shouldn't draw more than 15A. If it still does, then something is wrong with it, replace it.

Posted By: MrWizard on 01/09/13 05:46pm

does the genset struggle ? when the hair dryer is turned on ?

if so you have problems

if it merely lugs for a split second and then gets louder, i doubt there is any problem

might be time for a tune up, replace plugs and or 'decarbonize' it with some 'sea foam'

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Posted By: wittmeba on 01/09/13 07:04pm


Resistance loads induce a bare minimum of "inrush". It's purely a generator "response time" issue. Remember, NiChrome wire has almost the same resistance at 0C than it does at 1,000C.

This is primarily resistance but there is a motor to include inductance.

Posted By: wa8yxm on 01/09/13 07:35pm

Kpackpackkelley wrote:

Seems to me that hair dryer pulls 15 to 16 amps I will check it today. Sounds like its one of those super duper ones.

The outlet is breakered and rated for 15 amps, if the hair dryer pulled sixteen for more than less than one second, CLICK

at 15 amps for more than a couple seconds CLICK

at 13 amps it's iffy, but even 14 for more than a couple minutes will CLICK

12 is the actual continuous duty rating of the breaker.
(Assuming it is working as it should)

Thus the hair dryer drass <13 amps running, perhaps 14-15 starting since the motor is a tiny fraction of the entire load.

Posted By: Kpackpackkelley on 01/10/13 06:16am

I didn't look at it yesterday but for some reason I remember seeing that vent screen stopped up with lent I may need to clean that out. That screen on the hair dryer on the back of it. This gen has the automatic governor I think I like the mechanical gov better you can set it about 63 hz no load and then with load it pulls it down to around 60 hz verses auto gov try's to keep it even all time load or no load.

Posted By: HiTech on 01/10/13 06:22am

How does the genset do handling the AC kicking in? Or a resistance heater?


Posted By: Kpackpackkelley on 01/10/13 08:32am

Jim 10 to 12 amps you can here grunt pretty good it's just like mex was sayin its response time . There's just a split second there when you throw 15 amps at one time like a heat gun or something you can hear it grunt more i have had as many as 25 or 26 amps on each leg and handles that fine but its just response time for a large load on it at one time I have the gen on the bench right now I took it out to set the valves before I reinstall it I can work on it with different loads and make adjustment before reinstalling in the trailer thanks for everybody's help this is a 1993 model onan marquis 7000 they have probably made some better auto governors for the newer ones.

Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 01/10/13 12:44pm

Cheater's Remedy Inc.

Go to a surplus electronics parts site and purchase 500 uf of 377 volt motor RUN capacitors. Connect the glob of caps to the generator output. The seconds the stored capacitance will buy you will allow a lazy generator to figure out what time zone it is in.

Posted By: wa8yxm on 01/10/13 04:45pm

That would only work if it was a DC generator, Connecting caps like that across an AC generator will only load it down.

Posted By: Kpackpackkelley on 01/10/13 06:04pm

Well I could not believe this today I stopped to get a can of gasoline and thought I will get some super unleaded just by chance sometimes I get the mid grade and sometimes regular and low and behold you could barely hear the the gen change when I turned the hair dryer on staight to high or what ever I loaded it with it sounded like a different machine and I happen to notice my carb wasn't sweating like it has been I have been running it with the heat lever on that's the best it's ever run thanks everybody oh by the way that hair dryer pulls 14.3 amps on high but now it doesn't matter.

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