How long do generators last?

How long do generators last?

A generator is a type of device that converts mechanical energy into electrical power. The generator was invented in 1831 by Michael Faraday. Let's say you run out of electricity due to a strong storm, in that case, the generator will help you a lot. The generator isn’t intended for permanent use but for occasional and short-term use (it can run non-stop between 7-12 hours and after that time the generator should be switched off to ‘rest’). It’s a very expensive investment so when you buy it, you want to be sure that it will last as long as possible. The price of the generator varies but mostly ranges between 7000-15000 thousand dollars and now we will see how long one generator can last with proper use and maintenance. The generator runs on fuel (petrol, diesel, natural gas, or propane) and its duration will vary depending on the type of fuel.

Let’s say an average generator can run 3000 hours. To get the time from how long your standby generator will run, we will use math. It’s necessary to calculate how many hours a year you turn on the generator and how much time it takes to maintain the generator. For example, if you have an average of 3 power supplies and each power supply lasts 20 hours this means you would use the generator for 60 hours in one year. Also, the time required to maintain the generator must be taken into account. It’s recommended that you generate a generator for 15 minutes once a week.

A year has 52 weeks which means that it takes 13 hours a year to maintain a generator. Therefore, you use the generator 73 hours a year, on average. We come to the conclusion that if you use a generator similar to this example, you can use it for up to 41 years. These are some average data but other factors that can prolong or reduce the life of the generator such as the maintenance method or the capacity at which you start the generator should be taken into account. If you start the generator with a higher capacity or do not maintain it properly, the engine wears out faster, which means that the generator lasts shorter.

There are also types of generators that don’t last as long as a standby generator and we call them portable generators. The duration of portable machines averages 1000 -2000 hours. Let's say you use a portable generator for 100 hours a year, then it could last 10-20 years. Portable generators are more sensitive and you have to be careful with them because if they're exposed to moisture or dust, you will reduce its lifespan so it’s important to maintain them well and store them properly. A portable generator also has its advantages. It’s cheaper (prices range between $ 200-5000) and doesn’t need to be installed which means you will save money on installation.


When to buy a new generator?

If you notice that the engine is worn out, that certain devices are turning off, that the light is flashing, or that the generator is consuming more fuel than usual, it may be time to buy a new generator. Generators are expensive to repair and it is sometimes more cost-effective to buy a new one than to repair an old one now and then.



By buying a new generator from the manufacturer or seller you get at least a 2-year warranty but in most cases, you will not need it and your generator will last much longer than that. If you use the generator occasionally, it will last you up to 20 years. For more frequent use the duration of the generator will be shorter. Maintain it properly and use it according to the instructions to make your generator last as long as possible.