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Articles Generators Informational Topics

How Long Can A Natural Gas Generator Run Continuously? 

Generators are fantastic devices with several applications ranging from powering up your camping trip to powering an outdoor party to running your home during an emergency. You will only need it for a short period, most of the time.

Still, with prolonged power outages, especially in developing countries that suffer from extended power outages, the need to push a generator to its limits may arise. 

how long can a natural gas generator run continuously

You cannot truly run a gasoline generator continuously beyond the typical runtime.

Depending on the size, brand, and amount of electricity drawn, most gas generators can run for 6 to 12 hours. It should be noted that some alternatives are lengthier than others.

While a generator may be a helpful piece of equipment, it should be noted that it is not intended to run constantly for days.

It is instead intended to operate for a few hours at a time. Normally, it takes 12-18 hours.

But, along with this, some other factors can influence the runtime of your generator while keeping its health and lifespan in the best state.

So, the short answer to the question “how long do generators last?” is that a natural gas generator can constantly operate on a gas tank, but not for an extended period without pausing.

Type Of Your Generator:

There are two types of generators which are portable and standby generators. Similarly, the gas generators falls in the same two categories and you will see prime natural gas generators besides, the standby natural gas generators and the prime natural gas generators.

Standby Natural Gas Generator

A Standby Gas Generator is a fixed electrical power source that can power a home or business for several days depending on its size, fuel supply, and brand.

Most of the time, the standby generators are designed to run for prolonged periods. 

Standby Gas Generators, as opposed to emergency short-term generators, are designed for use in longer-term emergency circumstances.

You will see the standby gas generators being widely used as home backup power source as well as powering the large commercial buildings and construction sites.

Portable Natural Gas Generator

The majority of portable generators on the market are gas generators. These sorts of generators are frequently relatively inexpensive and easy to move. However, compared to other types of generators, they frequently have a short runtime. 

A gasoline-powered portable generator will typically operate for 7.5 to 12 hours, while some may run for up to 24 hours.

The one good thing about Natural Gas Generators is that they operate on a steady supply of natural gas from public utilities and hence do not require refueling; nevertheless, their duration might still be restricted by engine temperature and oil use. 

An engine that operates at 3600 rpm can get extremely hot and may consume oil quickly, whereas an engine that runs at 1800 rpm is more economical and can constantly run for up to eight days.

Prime Natural Gas Generator

Standby and portable gas generators are used for a fraction of runtime ad cannot be continuously used for power requirements. To overcome this hurdle, the prime natural gas generators are available in the market. The prime generators are rare in residential units and that’s the reason why most of readers here are not familiar with this generator category. Prime generators run on natural gas supply and provide longer runtimes than most large generators.

Prime generators are not used continually but whenever the jobsite requires the applications of a large generator that can be used for long durations, the prime generators are transported there on a trailer. There is a subtype of prime generators that goes by the name continuous gas generators and these units are designed to run continually at the job site with consistent load.

Where Natural Gas Generators Are Used

As we have stated earlier that different types of gas generators have different purposes and therefore, different jobsites. You have seen that standby and portable natural gas generators are used for residential units for fulfilling power requirements at home under blackouts and outages. But this is not the common use of gas generators as you would have encountered diesel or battery backup generators at home instead of gas generators.

The typical use of gas generators is designed for commercial purposes and these generators are extensively used in almost all commercial buildings particularly in areas where power outages run rampant.

The natural gas generators are frequently seen in nursing homes, hospitals and other large facilities where continuous power supply is critical. The widespread demand of gas generators is primarily driven by the downsides of other generator types. Gasoline generators are not in demand for commercial use as gasoline have small shelf life and will be hard to find in emergency situations.

The same goes for propane tanks, which will not be easily transported and located under emergencies or natural disasters. Diesel, although have longer runtime but it is a major contributor to air pollution and thus is not promoted for use in commercial levels. All of this reasons lead to an increase in the demand of gas generators that gives longer runtime, limited running cost, eco-friendly and efficient performance and also requires less maintenance then other generator types.

Fuel Consumption:

While there are generators that run on propane, natural gas, or diesel, the majority of them run on gasoline. Of course, the actual fuel consumption will be determined by several factors.

The most important is how efficient the generator’s engine is, its power output, and how much electricity you are utilizing. 

A typical bigger 5000-watt gas power generator, on the other hand, will require between 0.6 and 0.8 gallons per hour. Smaller models will consume between 0.2 and 0.3 gallons of water each hour.

In other words, with an average load, the larger ones consume between 14.5 and 20 gallons of petrol each twenty-four-hour period, while the smaller ones consume between 4.8 and 7.2 gallons.

Regardless of the fuel source, it may be good to shut down the generator regularly to allow the engine to cool.

Residential customers may opt to turn off the generator while sleeping or during business hours away from home. 

During periodic shutdowns, make careful to check the oil level. This is especially good if the generator’s engine is set to run at 3600 RPM, as these engines produce a lot of heat and require a lot of oil.

If required, add oil, but be careful not to overfill, which might create difficulties.

The Lifespan Of A Generator:

Power generators are typically covered by a 2- or 3-year limited warranty.

As a result, you will be able to use them – as long as you follow the manufacturer’s directions – for at least that long. In actuality, though, your generator will most likely survive considerably longer. 

While it varies depending on the type and normal load, most portable generators have an operating time of ten to twenty thousand hours.

As a result, if you only use your generator for 500 hours each year, it may last you twenty to forty years. If you oil it when necessary, maintain it regularly, and so on.

Are There Gas Generators That Can Run For 24 Hours Non-Stop?

The great majority of portable generators cannot run continuously for 24 hours. Again, the obvious explanation for this is that their tank is too tiny to hold enough fuel.

On the other hand, some generators can run continuously at half-load for a day. 

There are also bigger generators designed to be used as a backup source of electricity in houses and can operate for 24 hours or even longer.

These are frequently fueled by natural gas since alternative fuel sources would be prohibitively costly.

So, How Long Can A Natural Gas Generator Run Continuously?

The requirement to add oil and perform maintenance restricts how long a generator can operate without stopping.

However, like with a vehicle engine, its fuel capacity is the primary factor limiting a generator’s runtime. 

In most situations, the maximum runtime of a generator may be found in the product specifications. This figure is often based on a 1/2 load, utilizing half of the power that the machine is capable of producing. 

To sum it all up, natural gas generators can run continuously for an average of 7.5 to 12 hours.

We hope this article answers your question about how long a natural gas generator can run continuously.

Pros And Cons Of Natural Gas Generators VS Diesel

Natural gas generators are superior then gasoline and propane generators due to their longer runtime and low running cost. The closest rival to parallel the performance of gas generators is the diesel generators. Let’s have a showdown of the two generator types to see which one will be best for you.


Natural gas generators uses gas supply for generating power and therefore needs not to be refilled. On the contrary, diesel generators have to store diesel that can only be good enough for 24 months in the storage. Furthermore, storing large amounts of diesel is expensive and risky.

Therefore, natural gas generators have an advantage of storage over diesel generators.

Running Cost

The running cost of two contrasting generator types that is natural gas and diesel differ extensively. The gas generators have negligible running cost as gas is a cheaper fuel but diesel generators have to continuously refill the fuel tanks with expensive diesel and therefore, have costly running.

Thus gas generators have an advantage of running cost over diesel generators.

Installation Cost

Although gas generators have low running cost, it is not easy to get them running as you would have to hookup your gas supply line with the generator fuel tank. The cost of running gas lines and maintenance works of gas generators is way too much and diesel generators on the other hand have no such prerequisites. You can simply add fuel and connect it to your home circuit board to get the generator running.

Therefore, diesel generators have an advantage of negligible installation cost comparative to enormous installation cost of gas generators.


The natural gas fuel is highly combustible and will be highly explosive if burnt. On the contrary, diesel is the least flammable of all combustible fuel types and will be slightly safer than gas fuel.

Thus diesel generators have lower safety risks while gas generators being run on highly explosive fuel poses much safety risks.

Environmental Hazards 

Diesel generators produce carbon footprints, generate too much noise and also leave behind toxic exhaust that adds to notorious air pollution. On the other hand, gas generators do not produce much noise nor leave behind any carbon dioxide.

Therefore, are more eco-friendly than diesel generators.

See Also:

Where Are Briggs And Stratton Generators Made

Where Are Dewalt Generators Made

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About the author

Anthony Miller

Hello Guys! I am Anthony Miller, a high dynamo, communicative author, and editor of the Renewable Cop, always providing amazing, engaging, informative, unique, highly researched, and verified content based on all sorts of generators. Read more.

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