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How Long Can Backup Generators Run Continuously?

Backup generators are designed to keep your power running during long outages, which in itself raises a couple of obvious questions: how long a backup generator can really go on functioning continually before it needs to shut down and the specifics of how a generator’s ongoing protection for your power really works. Here, we’ll go over the basic answers to those questions for the different types of standby generators on the market today.

How Long You Can (and Should) Run a Backup Generator

It’s possible, if necessary, to run a home on standby generator power for days on end. Typically, it’s recommended that you limit continuous usage when able and give the unit rest and a cool down. You can run the generator for a week if necessary, but if you can shut it down daily, allow it to cool and check the oil it is the recommended practice. There are multiple factors that can radically modify the kind of consecutive runtimes you can expect. It especially depends on the kind of fuel and cooling systems your generator uses.

Your Generator’s Fuel Type Makes a Difference

Diesel or liquid propane (LP) generators’ runtime is limited by their available fuel supply. Their tanks can store anywhere from one to three days’ worth of fuel and are typically refilled by a fuel service provider with whom it will be important to keep in touch during long outages.

Natural gas generators run on a consistent natural gas supply from public utilities and therefore don’t need refuelling, but their runtime can still be limited by engine temperature and oil usage. An engine that runs at 3600 rpm “runs hot” and will use oil rapidly, while an 1800 rpm engine is more efficient and may be able to run continuously for up to eight days.

Diesel generators are a popular choice for their reliability and versatility (they can also run on biodiesel), but it’s worth taking into account that their fuel is typically more expensive and needs to be checked and refilled more frequently. If you live or work in a place that can more frequently expect extended outages, a natural gas generator is likely to be the more attractive option.

Cooling and Your Generator’s Lifespan¬†

You can extend this lifespan by placing less strain on the generator. In the case of extended outages, it may be preferable to limit your standby generator to running continuously only during the day (or if you’re running it in a commercial situation, during the working day). The less time you’re compelled to run it continuously, the more chances the engine has to cool and the less wear it will endure.

Generac: The Leading Standard in Backup Generators

There are multiple brands of standby generators on the market. They’re designed to come on automatically when the power cuts out, and you’ll need to make specific decisions based on the factors covered above as to how many consecutive hours you’d like them to run after that point. Briggs & Stratton, Kohler and Generac are all well-known brands in the field.

Of these, it’s Generac standby generators that occupy the most prominent position as a leading power protection brand, having set the standard among manufacturers for six decades. Generac generators come with a wide range of load management, remote monitoring and control, automatic self-testing and weather enclosure features designed to allow them to function in harsh conditions. They also feature True Power Technology that delivers power to utility-quality standards and avoids the kind of signal interference that can affect sensitive equipment like computers.

With a Generac standby generator in good working order and installed by professionals, home and business owners alike can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from being able to protect their power continuously during any prolonged power outage.

Get in Touch With the Experts

The expert technicians at Platinum Electrical Contractors can help you choose the right Generac standby generator for your needs and can install it for seamless and reliable operation. They can also provide guidance for the best practices to follow if you ever find yourself needing to rely on your standby generator’s power for multiple days or weeks at a time and offer regular maintenance and support to the highest standards.

To enjoy the best results and longest possible life from your Generac generator, contact the generator experts today for a free virtual or in-person consultation.

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