How Many Hours Does a Generator Last?

When you purchase a generator, you may first want to ensure how many hours the generator will last. Generally, the life expectancy of a generator depends on several factors, such as generator type, size, and performing preventive maintenance. Using high-quality fluids (fuel, oil, etc.) & also depends on the life span.

In addition, how many hours your generator runs daily is a significant factor in the lifespan of your generator. For example, if you have a diesel generator that runs 750 hours per year, it can be operated for up to 40 years. However,  to get more details on how many hours a generator lasts and what should be considered before buying a longer lifespan generator.

Important Contributing Factors to Lifespan of a Generator

Important Contributing Factors to Lifespan of a Generator

As we said earlier, the life expectancy of a generator depends on several factors. Here we have pointed out the most significant factors that impact a generator’s lifespan.

  • The efficiency of a generator mainly depends on the engine quality, so the brand you use has a good impact on the generator’s lifespan
  • The fuel you use also affects the generator; your generator life expectancy will be longer if you use high-quality fuel
  • Using the smaller generator for the bigger load size will also reduce the lifespan of the generator
  • Poor maintenance also affects the efficiency of a generator that reduces its lifespan
  • If you don’t change the oil and fuel filters regularly, these can positively impact the generator lifespan

How Many Hours Does a Generator Last?

Generally, the life expectancy of a standard generator is around 30,000 hours. This means if you run the generator for about 750 hours per year, it will serve approximately 40 years. For a more accurate calculation, estimate how many hours your generator will need to run each year. For instance, if you face 150 power outages per year, each lasting 3 hours, your generator would be used for around 450 hours per year. So your generator would last 67 years. Below, we have discussed the lifespan of diesel and portable generators.  

Diesel Generator

Usually, diesel generators last from 10,000 to 30,000 hours that equals about 35-40 years. The generator's working hours could vary based on the load capacity, brand, quality of fuel, and maintenance. When you regularly maintain your generator, the life expectancy of the generator will be increased.

Portable Generator

The lifespan of a portable generator is not as long as diesel generators. But you will find several portable generators under 300 bucks with good quality engines that run around 1000 hours to 2000 hours. This means you can use the portable generator for an average of 100 hours per year, lasting approximately about 10 to 20 years. The life expectancy of this generator also depends on maintenance.

Essential Things to Consider Before Choosing a Generator

How to Pick A Perfect Inverter Generators

As generators come in different shapes, sizes, capacities, and fuel types, it is essential to know what is best for you. Here we have described some common factors to consider before choosing a generator.

Portable or Backup Generator

First, you have to decide what kind of generator you need. Portable generators are incredibly convenient that can be transferred from one place to another. Remember that a portable generator is limited to produce power capacity. On the other hand, you can purchase a permanent backup generator if you need adequate power production.

Fuel Type

The next factor to think about is choosing the generator fuel source. Generally, generators are run by propane, kerosene, or diesel. Diesel generators are cheaper than petrol but better in terms of service and efficiency. Although most people think gasoline is the most convenient, this type of fuel burns quickly and has short stability.

Power Output

It is one of the most important things to consider before purchasing a generator. If you need to run a limited number of devices, a portable generator may be a good choice for you. On the other hand, you have to purchase a backup generator to operate the entire household or business institute.

Control Systems and Management

Try to purchase a PMS (Power Management Systems) equipped generator that optimizes the fuel consumption and performance of the generator in parallel. It also helps to avoid engine damage from running at a low level.

How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Generator

Maintaining your generator regularly will prevent it from damage and early repairs.  We have explained below some common factors to consider before buying a generator.

  • Before starting the generator, try to use the dipstick to examine the oil level. If the level of the oil is below the optimal point, add some oil to the tank
  • Regularly clean the exhaust and intake fans so that no debris of plants will grow up around the generator
  • As the contaminated oil can restrict the oil flow on the engine, change the oil and oil filters regularly
  • Change the spark plug once per year or after 200 hours to ensure the continued power at the highest efficiency
  • Covering your generator to prevent weather damage can help to increase the longevity of your generator
  • Try to use the appropriate power cords to protect your generator’s motor from burnout
  • Ensure the battery terminal connections are tight, free from debris and corrosion


Purchasing a generator is a big investment, so you should know how many hours a generator lasts. Through this article, you might have understood how you can estimate a generator’s lifespan. So before purchasing a generator, compare the brand you want to buy and make sure the engine is high quality.

Although the life expectancy of a generator depends on several factors, the average range is 25000 to 30000 hours. You can extend this lifespan by maintaining it regularly. To properly maintain your generator, follow the mentioned steps that could help you increase your generator’s lifespan.

I am Vera Watson. Drawing The House is a dream that was conceived when I saw a niche in consumer guide on almost everything in our homes. My main aim is to help you save money by testing the products you need and recommending you the best of them all. I believe in the family as an institution and the first way to make a family happy is providing the best for them.

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