Can I Supply Power to a Bounce House from a Portable Generator?

The size and wattage rating of the portable generator you will need to operate a bounce house will depend largely on its size and the blower that supplies air to it.

A gas powered portable generator that is plugged into a bounce house blower

Common sense would suggest that you don’t need a heavy duty generator to serve as the power source of a small bounce house, in the same way that you wouldn’t put a muscle car’s engine in a Toyota Yaris.

What Does a Generator / Inverter Generator Do?

A generator converts fuel to AC power in order to supply energy to common household items. In our interest, it helps us power up inflatable blowers for bouncy castles, jump houses and obstacle courses so that our kids can still have a blast even though we aren’t near a household outlet.

Generators are commonly available in hardware stores, big retailers such as Lowes and Home Depot, and in online sites such as Amazon, the latter of which also sells inflatable bounce houses. And, cotton candy, but that’s another story.

Why Use a Generator to Power a Bouncy House?

There are a variety of reasons why someone would use a generator to run a bounce house blower. Remember, the best bounce house is the one that turns on.

No Power Outlet / Lack of Extension Cords

We always advocate for having a heavy duty, industrial-style extension cord on hand at all times when operating an inflatable. That might not be the case if you decide to bring yours to a family cookout at grandma’s. You may soon find yourself with no power outlet and, by that rationale, no working air blower.

Keeping a dedicated extension cord alongside your inflatable water slide is a great combo to work with and will help you connect reasonably to a power source. We say reasonably because we’ve seen instances where a bounce house has been almost 100 feet away from the power outlet. Now that’s a rugged extension cord length.

Party Rental

The party could go downhill fast if you’ve promised 8-10 kids a blown-up obstacle course and you can’t stretch the power cord to the nearest three-prong outlet. That’s where a power generator comes in quite handy. Fine by us if you want to babysit for the next 2.5 hours, but if it were us, we’d have purchased that generator just in case.

Cause you never know, and knowing is half the battle. Or something like that.

Check out the Irwindale Portable 3000-Watt Generator that's powering two bounce house blowers, 1hp and 1.5hp respectively, below. They even make the comment in the video that the slides are "firm".

Public Park

Bringing your favorite inflatable toys to a public park is certainly a great way to spend a day outside. However, most public parks don’t offer convenient electrical service to the general public - aka - no amp breakers, no running watts, no volts, nada.

So, the only way you’re going to get that blower operating is to supply your own power. And that comes from a generator.

How Much Power Does the Average Bounce House Require?

In order to determine the proper size generator to acquire, you’re going to need an understanding of what’s considered “enough power”. Large inflatable water slides differ from toddler bouncers which differ from commercial grade, massive carnival games.

While you could probably get away with using a 1,500 watt generator, you’d be a bit more secure up in the 2,000-2,500 range. That is something to keep in mind if you are doing a generator rental.

The best generator though is the one that is working and fully powered up for you. Availability is key, as there will be no interactive party without power. Avoid solar generators as they tend to lack the horsepower (hp) in today’s current models.

Properly Operating Your Bounce House With a Generator

Instructions vary from model to model and brand to brand, so make sure to read them in their entirety before supplying power to any source, including bouncy castles and toddler jumpers.

A hardware store salesman selling a portable generator to a couple
Oh yeah, this will power up a bounce house for sure.

The Best Brands of Portable Generators

  • Champion Dual Fuel Portable Bounce House Generator (Buy One)
  • Champion Power 2000-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator (Buy One)
  • DuroMax Dual Fuel And Electric Start Portable Generator (Buy One)
  • Durostar DS4000S Portable Bounce House Generator (Buy One)
  • Generac Portable Inverter Generator For Bounce House (Buy One)
  • Pulsar Heavy Duty 1200 watt Portable Dual Fuel Generator (Buy One)
  • WEN Portable Generator With Electric Start Transfer (Buy One)

Bounce House Generator FAQs

Can I Use a Gas-Powered Generator Indoors?

First and foremost, never run a gas-powered generator when operating your bounce house indoors. You absolutely do not want fumes to build up in an enclosed space. Leaky fumes can lead to serious sickness and possible death.

The second reason to never operate a gas-powered is even worse than the first. The last thing you want is a mishap with the fuel tank, both for spillage and potential explosive combustion. We honestly can’t stress it enough - don’t operate a fuel-powered generator indoors.

Excessive noise level would be the third reason not to use one indoors, but you shouldn’t even get past the first reason, let alone the second. So don't.

What about a warranty?

It’s always best to read the warranty for not only your generator, but your bounce house as well. Doing so will ensure that you fully understand the capabilities of both, especially after reading the instructions.

What types of generators are available?

  • Battery Powered
  • Gasoline Powered
  • Natural Gas Powered
  • Propane Powered
  • Solar Powered

What about Generator and Blower noise?

Yes, rising noise levels are is one complaint we hear often when it comes to simultaneously operating a bounce house blower and a generator. Read the reviews online or talk to a store clerk about a generator’s potential noise output to get a good sense of how loud or quiet it will be when in use.

How much do portable Generators cost?

The vary in price, ranging from $200-850 in general. You can spend more money on higher watt generators, but the power supplied might be overkill. For a few hundred bucks, you can’t really go wrong.

Can a Portable Generator power 2 or more bounce houses?

It is possible, if you split the source of the power, to attempt to power multiple inflatable bounce houses. However, we don’t really recommend trying this for safety reasons.

How long with a portable generator last?

This all depends on the power required to supply the inflatable blower and the available fuel on hand. Beyond that, craftsmanship helps determine the overall fuel efficiency of an individual generator, so the duration of your jumping will vary on an array of different factors.

Wrapping up

Using a jumper in a public space can lead to hours of fun, if done right. And to do it right, you’re going to need a portable generator with enough fuel to consume.

Trust us though, your kids will love it.