How Long Does a Generator Last? (+ 3 Maintenance Tips)

power outage

Generators are a great way of providing backup power for many home and business owners. But how long do they typically last? Well, it depends on a variety of factors. The most important factor is the type of generator you own, as some are designed with longevity in mind while others are intended to be disposable.

They last as long as you want them to, but you have to be mindful of proper maintenance measures too. In this blog, we will help you learn more about the longevity of common generators and provide some helpful maintenance tips to help these devices last longer!

How Long Do Generators Last?

Most generators have a lifespan of around 10,000 hours or 5 to 10 years. Generators that are used more often will need to be replaced more frequently, while those that are used less often will last longer. Proper maintenance is also key to prolonging the life of a generator.

What are the Common Types of Generators?

There are two common types of generators: standby and portable generators. In this section, we will elaborate on the comparison between the two, and their life expectancy.

Portable Generators

portable generator

A portable generator is small and light enough to be carried around. They can be used in a variety of situations, such as camping trips, power outages, or outdoor events.

In contrast with standby generators which need to be connected to an external power source such as the power grid or a utility line, a portable gas generator is mobile enough to be moved from place to place

Portable generators are also significantly cheaper than stationary generators because they do not require any permanent installation work. 

How Long Does it Last?

Portable generators are designed to last for a few years at a minimum. Generally, they can last up to 10 years with proper maintenance and upkeep. However, it can vary depending on the quality of the generator and how frequently it is used. 

It’s always best to stay on top of maintenance and replacement parts in order to ensure the longest possible lifespan for your portable generator.

Standby Generators

A standby generator provides a more permanent backup solution to electrical outage issues. These generators are more commonly used by business, industrial, and commercial buildings that need a backup power plan for continuous operations.

Standby generators are usually used for power outages caused by man-made disasters, extreme weather conditions, or power interruptions due to the aging power grid. 

A standby generator can be classified into two common types and they vary on the type of gas used to power them up. Take a look at the two classifications of a standby generator: 

natural gas generator

Natural Gas Generators

Natural gas generators are typically used to provide backup power for homes and businesses. They are also used in some industrial settings, such as oil refineries, paper mills, and chemical plants.

A natural gas generator produces electricity by burning natural gas in a combustion turbine. The heat from the burning process spins a turbine wheel, which is connected to an electric generator.

How Long Does It Last?

This type of generator has a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years, but this depends on the running hours and maintenance measures done for a natural gas generator.

diesel generator

Diesel Generator

A diesel generator is a type of generator that uses diesel fuel to generate electricity. It works by burning diesel fuel to power an engine, which in turn drives a generator that produces electricity. 

Diesel generators are commonly used as backup power sources for businesses, homes, and other facilities in case of power outages or other emergency situations. They are also used in remote locations where electricity from the grid is not available.

How Long Does It Last?

A diesel generator’s lifespan can reach up to 30 years with proper maintenance. Additionally, this type of generator can run from a range of 15,000 to 50,000 hours before it needs to be repaired or serviced. 

[Related: How Much Do Home Generators Cost in Arizona?]

Maintenance Tips for Generators

generator maintenance how long does generators last

Doing routine maintenance processes can help your generator run continuously, especially when you need it most. Here are some of the best tips for maintaining your generator:

1. Change Oil Regularly

Changing a generator’s oil regularly is important because it helps to ensure that the generator continues to operate efficiently and effectively. The oil acts as a lubricant for the moving parts of the generator, and over time, the oil can become contaminated with dirt and other debris.

Through this maintenance procedure, you can remove this contamination and help to keep the generator running smoothly. Additionally, changing the generator’s oil can help to extend the life of the generator by reducing wear and tear on its moving parts. 

In general, it is recommended to change the oil in a generator every 100-150 hours of use, or at least once a year if the generator is not used frequently.

2. Never Use Old Gas

A lot of homeowners may think that it’s acceptable to use old remaining gas from your diesel or propane generator, but that is actually a no-no! After a generator is used, it is critical to remove the remaining oil and empty the tank.

Doing this will ensure that your generator is running clean and it can also help protect it from erosion or other damage.

3. Always Test It Out

Testing a generator is important for maintenance because it helps to ensure that the generator is capable of providing power in the event of an outage or emergency. Testing a generator involves running it through a series of tests to check its various components and systems, such as the engine, alternator, and control panel. 

Although it is quite tedious, these tests can help identify any potential issues with the generator, such as low oil levels, worn or damaged parts, or electrical problems. This can help you get necessary repairs even before a power outage happens. 

Ask a Professional for All Your Generator Inquiries Today!

As we have seen, there are many factors to consider when maintaining a generator. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can extend the life of your generator and avoid costly repairs. 

If you have any questions about generator maintenance, or if you would like to schedule a service, please give Assurance Electrical Services a call today.

Jeff Brandlin - Assurance Electrical Services Prescott Arizona

Jeff Brandlin is the founder of Assurance Electrical Services, LLC. He started in the electrical industry when he was 21 and had worked in several electrical firms before founding Assurance Electrical. Jeff is dedicated to providing the best quality service to his clients and always puts their needs first. Outside work, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

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