How long do generators run | Complete Detailed

How long can you use generators as a power source? This is the question that needs to be explained. When the power is out, and you require a power source for refrigerators, water motor, and lights. This is the time when the need for a generator arises.

House generators are necessary for a comfortable life, but how long can you use the generator in the house or during a camping and outdoor picnic? It will depend upon some factors on the type, brand, and size of the generator and the type of fuel you are using to run the generator. We will discuss these factors in detail.

How long do generators run – Detailed

Fuel source

There are two sources of fuel for generators; these are natural gas and propane. In some generators, diesel and gasoline are also used as fuel. Natural gas and propane are used because they do not stale.

If your generator runs on natural gas, then you can use it unlimited as fuel. The generator will run on natural gas as long as the company will supply natural gas.

Propane is stored in large tanks in the house. These tanks are of different sizes, from 250 to 1000 gallons. Generally, generators use 1 and ½ gallons of propane to create power for one hour or about 36 gallons of propane a day.

Generators with gasoline

If you are using gasoline, then the generator will run for a limited amount of time. You can not refill a tank with gasoline when the generator is running. If you try to add fuel into the tank, then it can be dangerous.

Before adding fuel is best to turn off your generator and wait until it cools down and then add gasoline. It also depends on the generator the size and power of the generator. You can run the generator with gasoline for few hours, some portable generators with fuel tanks large enough to be used for several days.

Generators with propane

You can control the amount of fuel in propane generators. These generators have some options for nonstop fuel. You can increase the run time of the generator by attaching two propane tanks on a single gas line with a stopcock valve. In this way, you can continue the flow of fuel from one tank and close the fuel of the other tank. You can replace the consumed tank with the new full tank. In this way, you never run out of fuel.

If you have an unlimited amount of fuel, then how much time can you run the generator?

Most generators require maintenance after 100 hours, but it depends upon the amount of oil in the generator’s engine. You have to change the oil after 150-100 hours of use. The more advanced generators will automatically turn off to protect the engine of the generator.

You need to consider the heat of the generator. The marginal amount of heat over a 12-24 hour period is normal, but if you are using a generator continuously, heat could damage the generator. If you are using a generator in hot weather, then you have to set a fan and pack it with the side to protect the engine from heat. Remember that if you are using a generator at a higher wattage, then it will produce more heat.

You have to manage the generator carefully if you want to run it for as long as 150 hours with propane.

Standby generators

If you need a power source for few days, then standby generators are the best option. Standby generators have an engine that is specially designed to run for a long period. These generators run on fuel nature gas or propane tank of 500-1000 gallons.

Mostly the standby generators can be used for 500 hours. However, it is possible to use these generators for a longer time than the recommended time. By doing so, the appliance and the engine of the generator could damage.


If you are using gasoline, then the use of a generator will be for a limited time of few hours. If you use a generator with propane, then you can use two propane tanks. If one is finished, then you can attach the other one. The use of a generator is limited to the life of the engine oil of the generator. The standby generators can be used for about 500 hours because the generator is linked with gas line fuel.

No matter what generator you are using but when you run it for a long time, then you should monitor it. You have to spend time on maintenance. This includes changing the oil of the engine and letting the engine cool. If you run the generator for a long time, then you have to turn off it and let the engine cool this way, you can increase the life of the generator

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