how long can you run a generator continuously
Power and Energy

How Long Can You Run a Generator Continuously?

Generators are our best support during the worst of times. Yes, you got it right. Complete dependency upon electricity has made outages the worst thing to experience. How long can power outages last during severe natural catastrophes? 

Well, it can go on for weeks in some extreme cases. So, how long can you run a generator continuously is a serious question that you may ask as a result.

How Long Can you Run a Generator Continuously 

To answer this pressing question, we have gone into the utmost details. Our highly explanatory guide will give you a deeper understanding of your generator’s continuous output duration. Let’s begin! 

The Answer Isn’t That Simple 

If you thought that question’s answer could be summed up in one sentence, you would be wrong. Because, here, many things are at play than you previously thought. What type of generator you’re using is a matter that can influence continuous use. Furthermore, what fuel is being used is another element of much consideration. So, you see how the answer can vary based on different factors? 

Let’s look at some of the results and possibilities. 

Gasoline Powered Portable Generators 

Let’s first talk about the generators that use Gasoline as their prime source for fuel. The continuous use is extremely limited with Gasoline powered portable generators. Because you shouldn’t refuel a gasoline-powered generator during operation. 

The reason is, it heats up high, and pouring in fuel in a state like that is risky. So, shut down the generator and rest it for a while. Once it is cooled down, then try refueling. 

So, your continuous runtime is restricted to the regular runtime duration for a full tank, which is usually around 10 to 12 hours on average. The hour can vary from the lowest 8 to the highest 18 hour period.  

You will like to read Best Oil For Generator

Propane Powered Portable Generator  

With propane, you can add more hours to the account. It has some mechanisms that can help you continuously fuel your generator. 

One exciting way you can continue the uninterrupted power production is by having two propane tanks connected through a stopcock valve. With this technique, you’ll be able to use one container while the other remains idle. When one is nearing depletion, you can switch to the other and replace the depleted tank. This way, you can continue getting power output by replacing the finished tank every time. 

But how long can you go on like this? You can go for like 100 hours or more by this continuous switching technique. Yet, there is a risk of overheating the generator for running that long without breaks. So we’d advise you to maintain extreme caution if you plan on doing something like this. 

Also, don’t forget to read Best Dual Fuel Generator Reviews

Using Standby Generators

If you’re serious about having uninterrupted power production for several days, going for standby generators would be your best bet.

The portable ones are not adequately designed for extended use and can pose risks. You can add up massive propane tanks with these generators and can quickly get 400-450 hours of runtime at a stretch. This is close to three weeks, which we think is plenty of time for your grid power to come back up.

How Long Can I Run My Generator?

So, as said earlier, it varies. As we have shown you in detail. With portable generators, the time gets restricted between 1 week. The period decreases with Gasoline, even more, offering you one refueling time from 8 to a max of 18 hours. 

While the standby generators provide more steady power output and are safer on the whole as well, on the whole, you get almost 3 weeks of uninterrupted power output with much less risk. So, we’d suggest you choose standby generators instead of portable ones if you need to have continuous power for a prolonged period. 

Now you may ask, can you run a whole house generator overnight. We’d say that is debatable. Some generators can be used overnight, but it is slightly risky. Plus, you also have to make sure the ground is not wet during the whole operation. Many things could go wrong while you’re not awake. That is why we do not suggest it, except for being extremely cautious. 

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To Sum Up

Last but not least, running a generator for a more extended period, whether portable or standby, can get tricky. Overheating is a serious issue. Plus, changing propane tanks and Gasoline both are sensitive. So, we ask you to be highly aware while performing such an operation. 

You now know how long you can run a generator continuously.

Therefore, never fret about the next outage now. Be ready and outlast the long outages with proper generator use! 

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