How Long Will Your Backup Generator Run If Used on a Continuous Basis?
A backup generator can be a true lifesaver in emergency situations. But as you are preparing for your emergency situations, you want to be able to know how long your generator will last during a prolonged power outage. The answer to that question depends upon the type of generator that you have.
Portable Backup Gasoline Generators
Many people purchase gasoline generators because they are convenient to use. However, this type of generator will be extremely limited in the amount of time that it can run continuously. The primary reason that your time will be limited is because you will be unable to refill a gas-powered generator without turning it off first.
Gasoline generators should never be refueled while they are running. Doing this can cause the fumes from the gas to spark and cause an explosion. In order to refuel a gas generator, you have to shut the generator down completely and allow it time to cool off before adding more fuel.
This means your generator may need to be offline for up to 12 hours when you refuel it.
Propane Portable Generators
Unlike gas generators, a propane powered generator does not have to be shut down before you add additional fuel. However, all portable propane generators require a certain amount of oil in their engine in order to work and will shut down once that oil gets low. Although the exact times may vary, a full engine full of oil can last up to 200 hours.
Standby Backup Generators
Of all the possible generators, a standby generator will last the longest. These generators can operate for up to 500 hours of continuous use. This will give you almost three weeks of usage out of the generator. The reason these generators last longer is because they have larger motors that are designed to work with either natural gas or 1,000 gallon propane tanks.