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How Long Will My Residential Generator Supply Power?

July 22, 2019

Most of the time, when you have a power outage it lasts only a few hours. However, there are times when it goes on much longer – even for several days. 

How will your generator stand up? The answer to this question can help you decide what kind of generator you want to invest in.


Here are the different types of residential generators and how long they last during an outage.


Portable Generators

A lot of homeowners start with a portable generator. While it’s better than nothing, it doesn’t always give you the power you need, especially if the outage is long.


A portable residential generator will run off of unleaded gasoline, and it can provide enough power to run several connections at once. However, once the gasoline runs out, the generator will stop. The size of the tank and the amount of power you’re using will have a lot to do with how long your portable generator runs.


In general, you can run your portable generator for a couple of hours, and at most you can use it for a day or two. Never run the portable generator unattended, and be sure to operate a portable generator safely.


Standby Generators

A standby residential generator is a much more powerful unit and can run a lot longer. As with the portable generator, the exact duration will depend on the amount of fuel you have and how many appliances you are powering.


Many standby generators have tanks that hold hundreds of gallons, and the best high-end generators may be able to run for a full seven days without interruption. Unlike a portable generator, you can run your standby generator safely overnight and you don’t have to keep an eye on it.


However, that doesn’t mean that you can run even a standby generator endlessly. While the lifespan of the generator may be thousands of hours, the machine is not designed to provide that without rest.


Can I Replace All My Power With a Generator?

Some people who are focused on being self-reliant are looking for ways to not rely on their utility company for power. Sometimes we get questions about using a residential generator for all of a home’s power needs.


Even the best standby generators are not designed for that. In addition, you’ll pay far more for this type of power than you would for a regular electric utility. You’ll need to continuously supply fuel and that will cost you more than simply being connected to an electric company.


A Residential Generator is Essential For Power Outages

You don’t want to be caught in the scorching Arkansas summer without power to run your air conditioning and other important appliances. While a portable generator may be nice for the occasional storm, you really want to make sure you have a standby residential generator for longer power outages.


If you’re ready to explore your options and find out what generator is best for your situation, contact us today. We’re happy to help!