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Sub-Zero Generator Considerations


  • Can Sub-Zero products run on a generator?
  • Storm or other issue caused power outage and only power to home is by generator or inverter
  • New construction installing a generator for times of power outage and trying to size it accordingly for appliances in the home
  • When connecting a Sub-Zero to a generator, what is the starting amperage?
  • Is it best to put a Sub-Zero unit on a generator or shut it off during a power outage?
  • Will using a generator harm a product?


Sub-Zero products are not designed to operate properly on long-term, generator-supplied power. If possible, turn the product off at the circuit breaker until full power is restored to the home.

Generator Recommendations

Consider a minimum 2800 watt generator.

  • A unit with two compressors can draw close to 24 amps.
  • The electrical supply, whether wall outlet, generator, or inverter, must be able to supply the required current at some minimum voltage in order to start the compressor(s).
  • Units can require significantly more power to start than they require to stay running. 

Electrical Supply Requirements

An electrical supply for Sub-Zero refrigerators, freezers, and wine chillers must have the following characteristics:

  • 115/125 volts AC power, 60 Hz output
  • Ability to start unit with one or two compressors
  • Ability to deliver 104 volts AC power minimum continuously

    Surge Protection

    Sub-Zero products do not have a surge protector built into them. However, the control boards are durable, so typically they do not need surge protection.

    • Units are designed to turn back on when power is restored. A surge protector, AFCI, or GFCI may prevent power being restored to the unit.
    • Therefore, the unit may stay off after a power outage.
    • Consult with an electrician for the best recommendation if you are in an area that has a lot of storms or power outages.

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