Propane generators provide reliable backup power during outages. If you want to keep the lights on, and refrigerators run when the power goes out, you must know how long will a generator run on propane.
In this article, we’ll discuss the factors that determine how long your generator can run on a tank of propane. You’ll learn how to calculate potential runtime based on the generator and tank specs, as well as tips to prolong runtime.
How Long Will A Generator Run On Propane?
A medium-sized generator of around 8000 watts can operate for 10-12 hours continuously on a standard 100 lb propane tank when running at 50% capacity, on average. The running time of a propane generator depends on the size of the tank and the generator’s wattage rating.
Propane Tank Size Chart with Estimated Run Time of Generator:
|Propane Tank Size||Generator Fuel Consumption Rate||Estimated Run Time|
|20 lb||0.5 gallons/hour||10 hours|
|30 lb||0.5 gallons/hour||15 hours|
|40 lb||0.5 gallons/hour||20 hours|
|100 lb||0.5 gallons/hour||50 hours|
|500 lb||0.5 gallons/hour||250 hours|
How Much Propane Does A Generator Use Per Hour?
The amount of propane a generator uses will depend on its size and how much power it is using.
In general, generators require two to three pounds of propane each hour while they operate. With a heavier propane load, operating times will naturally be shorter.
Here’s a table showing the average propane consumption of generators based on their wattage:
|Generator Wattage||Propane Consumption per Hour|
Here’s a quick method for calculating it below so that you may do it yourself.
The total amount of propane used in an hour (in gallons) = watts / 3000 x 0.65
This is the formula for a 3000-watt generator. Let’s take a closer look at this equation to see how it might be used to find your overall propane usage.
Step 1: Basic Assumptions
Let’s make some basic assumptions before we start: using the following figures below, let’s assume a typical generator with the following numbers:
According to the EPA, the typical household can expect to use around 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity each day.
The average number of watts a gasoline generator generates is 1000.
You will need to generate one horsepower 10,000 BTUs of fuel are required.
We should also keep in mind that propane has a fuel value of 92,000 BTUs per gallon and that its weight is 4.2 pounds per gallon.
Step 2: Figure Out The Horsepower
To begin, we’ll figure out how much horsepower we use with this calculation.
Formula: Horsepower = (wattage / 1000) x 2
You’ll need 6 horsepower if you have a generator with 3000 watts.
Step 3: Finding BTU
Next, we can multiply our calculated horsepower by this equation to obtain the BTU ratio we’ll require in our calculation.
BTU = calculated horsepower x 10000
In the second stage, we worked out a total of 6 hp. Put this into the equation above to get a total of 60000 BTU every hour.
Step 4: Calculate The Propane Amount
Finally, we may now calculate the amount of propane that will be consumed below using the following equation:
Gallons of propane = BTU / 92000
In our previous section, we determined that 60000 BTU was required. So, let’s insert this figure into the formula.
Finally, a generator with 3000 watts consumes 0.65 gallons of propane per hour.
When we add all of these together, we get the formula given above. As a result, 0.65 gallons of propane equals roughly 2.73 pounds.
This is achieved by multiplying 0.65 ounces by 4.2, the volume of one gallon of propane.
As you can see, it’s not very difficult to calculate how much propane your generator will use.
So, the next time someone asks you how long a generator will run on propane, you’ll be able to answer confidently.
Advantages Of Using Propane Generator
There are several reasons to use a propane generator over other types.
Here are some of the advantages:
Propane is generally less expensive than gasoline, which makes propane generators a cost-effective choice for emergency power backup or daily use.
Efficient and Reliable:
Propane generators are highly efficient and can provide reliable power for extended periods.
They have fewer moving parts, which means less maintenance and fewer chances of failure.
Propane generators require less maintenance than traditional gasoline-powered generators.
Propane burns cleaner, which means fewer deposits on the engine and longer engine life.
Propane is a clean-burning fuel that emits fewer pollutants than gasoline or diesel.
It produces fewer greenhouse gases and does not contain any lead or sulfur.
Safe and Easy to Store:
Propane is stored in tanks that are designed to be safe and easy to use.
Propane tanks are built to withstand harsh weather conditions and are equipped with safety features to prevent leaks or accidents.
Propane generators are versatile and can be used for a wide range of applications.
They are used for emergency power backup, camping, RVing, and outdoor events.
Long Shelf Life of Propane:
Propane has a long shelf life and does not degrade over time, making it an excellent choice for emergency backup power. It can be stored for years without going bad.
Propane generators operate more quietly than gasoline or diesel generators.
They are ideal for use in residential areas where noise pollution is a concern.
Reduced Carbon Footprint:
Propane has a lower carbon footprint than other fossil fuels, which makes it an environmentally friendly option for powering generators.
Availability and Accessibility:
Propane is readily available and accessible in most areas. It can be easily refilled at gas stations or delivered directly to your home or business.
This makes it a convenient choice for powering generators.
Maintenance Tips For Propane Generator
It’s critical to keep a propane generator in good working order in order to guarantee continuous operation.
It is essential to maintain a propane generator in order to avoid power outages for an extended period of time.
Control Panel Has Been Damaged
Because the battery terminal is damaged, there is poor contact with short circuits. And so on, the mainboard near the battery box is especially vulnerable.
In this situation, the propane generator will not start because it could not do so in a previous scenario.
Also, the control panel may malfunction and cause damage to the mainboard if not used for a long time.
Therefore, cleaning the control panel regularly and keeping the contact points clean are necessary.
The propane generator will start more efficiently and have a longer lifespan.
When setting up your propane generator or replacing the battery, be cautious to avoid damaging the control panel.
The Controller Is Broken
Just like any other generator, the propane generator needs a controller. This vital piece of equipment keeps the generator in good shape and functioning correctly.
The control panel monitors all aspects of the generator, from charging to the voltage output.
If this component is not working correctly, it can cause significant damage to your propane generator.
Symptoms of a broken controller include decreased performance and increased fuel consumption, and eventually, the generator will not start at all.
If you suspect the controller is not working correctly, you must take it to a qualified technician for repairs.
Please do not attempt to fix it yourself, as this could void your warranty or cause further damage.
The Starter Is Broken
The starter is responsible for starting the engine. If it is not working correctly, the generator will not start.
A few symptoms indicate a problem with the starter, such as clicking noises. When you turn the key or no response at all when you turn the key.
On the other hand, if the engine starts but then dies immediately. This could also be a sign of a starter problem.
When the starter is not working correctly, please take it to a technician for repairs.
Engine Is Damaged
It is not uncommon for the engine to be damaged after a long period of use. Over time, parts will wear out and eventually need to be replaced.
The most common symptoms of engine damage are decreased performance and increased fuel consumption.
If the engine makes strange noises, this could indicate something is wrong.
So, it’s always best to have your propane generator regularly serviced by a qualified technician.
This will ensure potential problems are found and fixed before they cause severe damage.
Battery Is Dead Or Unable To Charge
A generator needs a battery to start the engine. If the battery is dead, the generator will not start. A few symptoms indicate a problem with the battery.
Such as clicking noises when you turn the key or no response at all when you turn the key. When the battery is not working correctly, take it to a technician for repairs.
When you test with a voltage detector, confirm if your generator will not start.
Before using a propane generator, it is vital to recharge the battery with a charger.
These are some of the most common problems with a propane generator.
By taking proper care of your generator and following these maintenance tips, you can avoid these problems and extend the life of the generator.
FAQs about How Long Will A Generator Run On Propane
Can I use a propane generator for extended periods?
Yes, propane generators can run for extended periods, but it is essential to have enough propane supply on hand to maintain power.
You should also follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule to ensure your generator is in good working order.
Can I switch between propane and gasoline on my generator?
Some generators are designed to run on both propane and gasoline, but not all.
It is essential to check the manufacturer’s specifications before attempting to switch between fuel sources.
You may need to modify the generator to switch between propane and gasoline.
Can a propane generator be used indoors?
Propane generators should never be used indoors due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Propane generators produce harmful exhaust fumes that can be deadly if inhaled in an enclosed space.
Always use propane generators outdoors in a well-ventilated area.
A propane generator is an excellent investment for those who need a reliable backup power source.
However, like all generators, they require some maintenance to keep them running correctly.
We hope this article has given you some helpful tips for maintaining your propane generator. Now you know how long will a generator run on propane.