How Long Will a Generator Run on Propane

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As per the question of How long will a generator run on propane? It all depends on the size and type of your generator; you can run your generator on propane for a longer period of time. No doubt propane is such a reliable fuel source that you can get power for your appliances in case of a blackout or power outage emergency.

How Long Will a Generator Run on Propane


We will discuss in this article, that what are the benefits of using propane as a fuel type and how long can a generator run on propane. Get ready to dive in! because we will also explore the tips for maintaining your generator in order to have it in the best working condition.


How Long Will a Generator Run on Propane?

There are a lot of questions that arise and we will discuss each question here…


How many pounds of propane Gas are there in a Gallon?

A gallon contains 4.2 pounds of gas normally, on the other hand, the standard tank comes with 20 pounds of propane in it. In a US gallon, there are almost 8.3 pounds of liquid propane gas which is slightly more than 3 quarters of kg. just consider it as an average, because there are always variances between the incoming pressures and manufacturers.


At How Long Can a 20-Pound Propane Tank Run a Generator?

By having a 20 pounds propane tank, your generator can run your appliances for up to 4 hours at full load. A 20-pound of propane tank is approximately about 4.6 gallons of propane, which will run on an average of 4 – 5 hours on full load.

A full-liquid propane gas tank can expand into 250 gallons of gas when its valve is opened. In order to fill a 20-pound tank, you need to connect the tank to a propane hose and then fill it with about 18 pounds of liquid propane.

A generator (which uses 208 liters/hour or 480 lb./hour) will consume 1 or two 20 lb. tanks in 4-5 hours when you run it on full throttle every time.

In general, when your generator is running for 4 hours. It will consume 2 tanks or 20 lbs. of propane gas or one full tank.


At How Long Will a 1000-pound Propane Tank Run a Generator?

If we talk about a 7-kilowatt generator, on 1000 pounds a tank of fuel it can run for about 66 hours. On the other hand, a 12-kilowatt generator can work about 36 hours at 25% of the load. So you can say that it will run at full capacity and 1000 pounds of the propane fuel supply will last longer.


Portable Generators Running on Propane

When you are having a portable generator running on a propane fuel source, you are quite under the control of a fuel tank. It means you can keep it running only by purchasing more fuel even if you think to go out anywhere.


Using A Regulator

With the changeover regulator, you can easily hook up two fuel tanks. On the other hand, you may have stopcock valves in order to get more power out of your propane generator.

Always equipped your generator while running on propane with a changeover regulator or a stopcock valve. The benefit of having a stopcock is that when one tank gets low, the other tank will take it over even without an interruption in the service. Then after that, turn on the next tank and close the first one.

Simply, when one tank runs low then open the standby closed valve and let them run unless both tanks are going to empty again, and as needed switch them back. In this way, we can change the empty propane tank with the fresh tank.

And here, you will have an unlimited supply of propane as per fuel tank availability. But still, our question arises, how long can you run your generator on propane fuel?


Regular Maintenance

Moreover, it also depends on the maintenance of a generator. In order to make your generator smooth and accessible, the generators need maintenance after the usage of 100 hours as it is not the same for every generator case. Alternatively, the engine oil of your generator will also restrict you from running it.

When the oil runs out and does not have much strength to protect the engine, then most modern generators automatically turn off and it usually happens after the usage of 150 – 200 hours.

Yes! It’s another critical point when your generator heats up even after running for a shorter period. Now you cannot run it for an extended period.

Normally, a generator can run over a span of 12-24 hours, and after running this interval of time it produces a little heat. But if you make it run continuously for a day it may suffer through a risk of producing extra engine heat which will harm your machine.


Required a Cool Environment

So, if you are running your generator in the summer season, must place it in a cool place or turn on the fan near it to cool down its engine. By having a look into the settings, you can change its fan speed so it will not produce much heat.

By just taking care of your generator, you will make it run continuously for about 150 – 200 hours on propane.

Greatly, when you run your generator on a propane fuel source it will give the best range. A 5000-watt generator should be able to run for about 5 hours with the supply of a standard 20-pound propane tank.

Respectively, using a larger tank your generator will run longer. Your generator will give you power for up to 65 hours with the supply of a 100-pound tank.


Standby Generators Running on Propane

As a matter of fact, Portable generators are not proven to be the best generators for providing continuous power or running for a longer period. But fortunately, we can enjoy a continuous power supply for a longer period with standby generators.

Standby generators are specifically made for running for longer periods. It always makes sure that people have power every time even when the power goes out.

The engines of standby generators are well designed to work great and to run for a longer time. They were particularly created to run for a long time.


Standby Generators Engine

Standby generators come with efficient engines that are specifically made to work for extra extended periods of time. They can run also on natural gas lines or also comes with larger 500 or 1000-gallon propane gas storage tanks.

All the standby generators offer a recommended running limit, they recommend running it for about 2-3 weeks continuously.

Moreover, you can run your standby generator for a longer period than the recommended span. Although, doing it on a regular basis will have irreversible damage to the electrical wiring, your generator, and for your appliances.

Compared to a gas-powered generator which must be connected to a direct power source to run, Propane generators are easy to refuel.

In addition, Portable generators offer only gasoline and diesel-powered features. While gas-powered generator offers a maximum output of 8500 watts and diesel provides 10,000 watts. We can use propane-powered generators in fixed conditions like for homes and businesses as they can produce up to 15,000 watts.

We need to watch Gas and diesel-powered generators very carefully when they are not being used much because the gas can stuck and your engine might be needed to fix on time.


Gasoline VS Propane Engine

Comparatively, gasoline is not good for the engine, after many days you cannot even start your car. As gasoline consists of low octane ratings and has high carbon content. It may occur oil contamination in the engine. So, propane is proven to be better as it does not have a shelf life and does not damage the car’s engine.

Normally a dual-fuel generator is much noisier than compared to a propane generator. A propane generator will be your best option if you need a peaceful and calm atmosphere. You must place your generator in a generator quiet box in order to minimize the noise of your generator.


The Benefits of Using a Propane Generator

  • Comparatively more efficient than a gasoline or diesel-powered generator and provide more power. Propane generators are clean in running and quiet of all other generators. Even at idle speed, it is almost silent. As compared to gas and diesel generators it offers more watts per pound of propane in a similar load and power range.
  • Propane is cheap comparatively with gas and diesel and much clean to use. It’s not as cheap as gasoline but when you run your generator directly from the whole tank it will remain last for up to 8 hours on even high output.
  • Propane is much more efficient and doesn’t create pollution like gasoline engines. As propane has 143300 BTU in a gallon whereas gas has 125000 BTU hence it costs up to 20% more to produce power.
  • You can only get quietness by using propane models if you plan to use your generator for a couple of hours. They are quiet because they don’t come up with rumble and whine sounds like gas-powered generator components normally do.
  • Comparatively, propane-powered generators are smaller in size and do not require much room as gas-powered needed.
  • Most of the best generator brands offer dual fuel features that automatically switch over to propane in case of a shortage of gasoline, or by just pushing the “propane button” you can turn it over manually.


Maintenance Tips for Your Propane Generator

In order to have a stable operation, the maintenance of your generator is very important. If you want to avoid the lack of electricity, then you must maintain your propane generator.


Following are the difficulties while maintaining your generator which is as follows:

The damaged control panel:

As the mainboard and battery terminals are placed with each other, so due to the damage to the battery terminals and mainboard can also be damaged. When it happens the propane generator will not start.

Please take much care while changing the battery or when you place your propane generator, in order to avoid damage to the control panel.

And be noticed if you see a burn mark on the mainboard, it might be due to a short circuit near the battery box.


Broken Controller:

When we use frequently a propane generator in winter, the water goes inside the components, and it gets wet for a long time. In such a scenario, the propane generator does not start because of the broken controller and even does not work normally due to the corrosion of electrical components.

Always make sure you see a water drop on the controller when you open the lid.


Broken starter or damaged starter:

Due to the heavy damage to the propane generator motor, it starts excessive vibrations and is deemed to be having harm to the environment, now it will take time to fix your propane generator. It’s time to change your new propane generator.

Always make sure that your generator started is damaged or broken or not.


The battery is dead or unable to charge again:

Please confirm your battery by checking it with a voltage detector if it’s lower than 12V. if it is lower than 12V then it’s time to change with the new one before connecting the cable properly.

If your generator battery is not in good health, then please make sure that your generator is unable to start then check with a voltage detector. In such a scenario, must recharge your battery with the best charger just before operating a propane generator.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any best cheap propane generators on the market?

Following are a few of the best-reviewed propane generators:


Is propane comparatively more eco-friendly than natural gas and gasoline?

Compared to natural gas and gasoline, Propane is clean burning fuel and generates fewer greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Propane is also proven to be the best choice for powering our home appliances. And it does not emit larger pollutants as compared to gasoline and other fossil fuels.


Is propane comparatively more eco-friendly than diesel fuel?

As propane is a fossil fuel that when burned is much cleaner than diesel fuel. When it gets burned it does not emit dangerous gases and produces not several pollutants in the air.


Is propane comparatively more eco-friendly than Gas?

No doubt, YES! Propane is comparatively more eco-friendly for our home appliances, and for those which run on natural gas. On the other hand, burning it is cleaner than other gasoline and natural gas. Which emits a lesser amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.


Can we use propane instead of using Gasoline?

You can try to use propane in your car as an alternative to gasoline. Practically, most drivers have found that their cars are not specifically designed to run on multiple burning rates of propane.

You can have big damage to your car, or your car will run poorly as well. If you really want to run on propane, then you must go and find an aftermarket kit that is particularly designed for propane. you may contact the local distributor for the best advice.



If we conclude that How Long will a generator run on propane? just make sure that your generator is correct in size and while running it will last longer through the power outage having enough fuel and providing you enough time to refill again in case of running out again. 

In case of a severe issue of power outage from the utility company, you may need another one in order to fulfill the additional power requirement.

Especially for homeowners, you can choose as per your need. As a 20lb. a generator can run up to 4 hours at full load. On the other hand, a 7kilowatt generator crucially required 100 pounds of the tank through which you can have energy for about 66 hours.

As I have already mentioned here that propane does not emit dangerous emissions compared to gasoline and natural gas. So, you can use such products indoors and outdoors as well without any worry.

From the top-rated propane generator list, you may choose as per your need.

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