Standby generators are a great piece of equipment to have in any Ft. Wayne, IN area home. These appliances can provide access to electricity in the event of extended power outages, providing backup power so you can run your home’s essential systems and equipment for safety and comfort. How long can a standby generator run? “Doc” Dancer Heating & Air explains how long can you run your generator continuously, how many hours of electricity you can expect from your generator, and what you can do to maximize its lifespan.

How Long Can a Standby Generator Run?

As long as it has fuel, most standby generators can run indefinitely – in theory. However, you certainly don’t want to leave your standby generator running forever, or your equipment will expire sooner than it should.

How long you can run a standby generator continuously will vary based on the model. Manufacturers typically recommend that your generator run continuously for no more than 500 hours maximum. A portable generator, however, should only run continuously for shorter periods of time – between six to 18 hours, depending on the model.

This means it is generally safe to use a standby generator for nearly three weeks as a constant power source during prolonged power outages if needed. It is possible to operate the generator for a longer continuous period, but exceeding this limit is more likely to result in damage to the generator or the home’s wiring and electrical appliances.

Standby Generator Lifespan

How long you can run a generator in total is typically between 1,500 to 3,000 hours, depending on the model you have installed at home. Standby generators are made to be used for longer periods and in emergency situations, and thus offer better performance than portable gas powered generators.

Typically, standby generators won’t need to run for extended periods of time. Powering the home through an occasional short power outage plus running the generator for maintenance may result in only a few hours of usage each year. The lifespan of a standby generator is directly tied to its operating time as well as maintenance care. Generally, they last anywhere from 20 to 40 years.

Backup Generator Fuel Options

How long you can run a generator continuously will also depend on its fuel source. There are a few different fuel sources you can choose from when you purchase a standby generator. A running generator will burn through fuel, and depending on the type of fuel your generator runs on could be a limiting factor.

Natural gas generators are convenient because they are hooked up to the gas line. The same gas line that provides your stove, water heater, and clothes dryer with heat. When you experience a power outage, your single gas line will provide an endless supply of fuel and continuous power for as long as the power is out.

Propane gas powered generators or diesel generators do not have the luxury of being connected to a fuel source. Propane generators and diesel generators will need to have their fuel tank refilled. It’s a good idea to have at least one propane tank, or extra diesel fuel tank filled in storage during a power outage so you can put more fuel in your generator if you need it for continuous power.

Increase Generator Lifespan with Maintenance

Maintenance care can make a major difference in how long can a standby generator run, generating a longer service life from your equipment. To maximize the service life of your generator, be sure to follow these maintenance tips:

  • Run the generator weekly to exercise the equipment. Run the system for a half-hour each week, which adds only 26 hours of use each year through maintenance.
  • Whenever your standby generator is in use to power the home, it’s wise to shut it down periodically and allow the engine to cool. Check engine oil and add oil as necessary.
  • Maintain your generator monthly as well as after any period of prolonged use. Routine maintenance for standby generators involves keeping the surrounding area clean and free of debris, checking oil and coolant levels, inspecting batteries, testing the battery charger, and tightening any loose wiring connections.
  • Schedule professional service for your standby generator each year. A professional will inspect and service essential systems to ensure proper performance.

Standby Generator Services in Ft. Wayne, IN

How long you can run a generator ultimately depends on how well you care for it over the years. Care for your generator during periods of prolonged use and on a routine basis to keep equipment in good shape and optimize the generator’s performance. For standby generator installation and service in the Ft. Wayne, IN area, contact “Doc” Dancer Heating & Air today.