backup generators

How Long Can a Backup Generator Run Continuously?

Power outages bring life to a standstill and cost us money. Currently, electrical outages cost Canadians approximately CAD12 billion each year.

The best solution is to have a backup generator. They range from small units which power a few appliances, to large generators that power an entire commercial building or home.


But how long can they run continuously to keep your business or home supplied with power? Let's find out.

 

PETROLEUM (GASOLINE) BACKUP GENERATOR

These are smaller units, quick to set up and easy to maintain. They will run continuously until the gas tank runs dry. This means about 8-10 hours of runtime per tank.

Turn off these generators to re-fuel them since fumes might ignite into a fire. Check the oil level often, as these generator engines run hot and consume oil.

Home-use generators typically have a lifetime usage of about 2,000 hours.

 

PROPANE BACKUP GENERATOR

Propane generators will run until the tank empties. A larger tank extends this time, but at some point, they will need re-filling; this limits their continuous runtime.

 

NATURAL GAS BACKUP GENERATOR

For extended runtimes, these make a lot of sense. They will provide generator power continuously until they need to be shut down for maintenance.

Not all businesses and homes have access to natural gas lines. In these cases, the next best option would be a propane generator.

Propane and natural gas generators can last from 6,000 to 10,000 hours if they use the lower 1800 RPM motors.

 

DIESEL BACKUP GENERATOR

While not portable like gas generators, they have the same downside: they run until the fuel tank runs dry. The tanks on these commercial generators usually contain enough fuel for 24-72 hours of runtime. Despite this drawback, they should run long enough to outlast most power outages.

Built for a long service life, you can expect anywhere from 15,000 to 50,000 hours before they need servicing. That can equate to 20-25 years of service.

 

HOW BIG OF A GENERATOR DO I NEED?

You need to determine the generator size based on peak needs plus a margin of 20-25% above your calculated peak draw.

Figuring out your peak draw requires calculating the total watts of devices in use at your peak usage time. An electrical sizing chart can help determine how much power you need from a backup generator.

 

NO MORE DOWNTIME

A generator keeps life and business moving. Based on what you know about generator runtimes, you are now prepared to choose your residential or commercial backup generator.

Look no further than Paramount Power Systems of Toronto for your backup generator needs. We've been servicing Toronto and the Ontario area for 33 years and are available 24/7 for emergency responses.

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