What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Portable Generator?

  • By: Umer.A
  • Date: May 27, 2022
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Portable generators have a less lifespan than standby generators. But the overall life depends on the type of generator and engine quality. You can expect the portable generator to last for around 1000-2000 hours.

Whenever you plan on buying a portable generator, you are investing a considerable sum of money ranging between $250-$2500. Other than that, you need to pay money for maintenance costs and installation.

So, it’s high time you consider the life expectancy of a portable generator. If you run the generator for 100 hours each year, the generator will last for about 20 years.

However, other than the run time, you need to consider maintenance, service, and much more!

The Lifespan of Portable Generators:

Portable generators come with a less lifespan than stationary generators. But it all depends on the type of generator and engine quality. More commonly, you can expect the portable generator to last for around 1000-2000 hours.

If you run the portable generator for around 100 hours each year, this generator will last for about 10-20 years. However, if the portable generator is exposed to dust and moisture, its lifespan will reduce.

So make sure you store and maintain it properly. You can also extend the generator’s lifespan by choosing the right brand and dealer. Make sure you research the brand thoroughly and check the quality of the engine.

Moreover, check the generators with pressurized lubrication. Generators having pressurized lubrication come with a long lifespan leading to the proper circulation of oil within the engine.

Which Factors Are Helpful to Increase the Life of Generators?

Try Changing Oil:

One of the essential things to maintain a generator’s life is to make sure you change its oil daily. The variable things include the generator’s brand and frequency of using the generator. It also includes the environment in which you operate the generator.

Industry experts usually recommend changing the oil after every 50-200 hours. However, new models need few oil changes due to less burn cleaning. Moreover, if you operate the generator in an environment full of contaminants and dust, it might mix with oil.

Additionally, if you own a brand-new generator, it’s recommended to change the oil every eight hours.

Oil Change

Maintain Cleanliness:

Make sure you maintain cleanliness. The generator works with the stator and rotor, which work together to create electricity. Once you operate it, these parts collect debris, dust, and contaminants.

If there is a high buildup of grime, the energy of the generator might be affected. Clean the air filters efficiently to eliminate debris within the generator.

Most people consider generators a safety backup, so it’s best to start it at least once a month. Ensure it’s adequately lubricated, charge its batteries carefully, ensure the carburetor functions well, and much more.

Test Standards of Your Generator:

Test the generator properly as NFPA has set some standards for the homeowners. NFPA states that the portable generator should be adequately tested at 40-50% of maximum load for around half an hour, once a month.

Avoid Using Old Gas:

Make sure you don’t use any old gas. The homeowners must get rid of the fuel from the tank of the generator after every use. Cleaning the tank ensures that it runs clean. It should work efficiently and protects the equipment against damage and erosion.

Store the Portable Generator Safely:

To increase the portable generator’s lifespan, you need to take certain precautions after every use. Other than you empty your fuel tank, make sure to check fuel lines that they are empty.

Ensure storing the portable generator in a dry, cool place leading to a reduction in rusting and extension of life span. Besides that, make sure to buy accessories like tents, covers, and generator shades.

Factors Due to Which Lifespan of Generator Decreases:

Environmental Conditions:

Temperature critically affects the lifespan of the generator. It can affect the functioning and proper ignition of the generator. Generators need an adequate amount of air for proper combustion. Reduced levels of air can fail a startup.


Areas with high altitudes have low air pressure, which reduces the air density. This results in problems in the startup of the generator. Ambient air facilitates the dissipation of heat from the generator.

An ample amount of heat is dissipated at the time of combustion, which needs suspension to reduce the engine’s temperature.

Low air density results in less heat indulgence at a slower rate than on the sea levels, leading to the engine’s high temperature.

High Temperature:

This is associated with reduced air density, which can result in ignition issues. This can affect the engine, which needs to push for enough power to the generator. In such instances, the engine might lead to overheating and can collapse after some time.


Humidity is another factor that can reduce the lifespan of the generator. In situations where there is high humidity, water vapors can displace oxygen in the air. A low amount of oxygen can affect ignition.

Fuel Issues:

When considering low oxygen levels at high altitudes, there is a problem with gelling of fuels. Low temperatures can lead to gelling of diesel which alters the characteristic flow of the energy.

What Is the Useful Life of a Generator?

The options for this usually vary between 1000-2000 run hours, which helps a portable generator. But it all depends on run time, usage, and other factors. This usually indicates that the generator will last for around 20-25 years.

When Should You Replace A Generator?

An average generator can last between 1000-3000 hours of usage. If you are a homeowner who frequently loses power, you need to replace the generator sooner.

Generators usually have a lifespan of around 20-40 years based on the runtime.

Is A Portable Generator A Good Investment?

The portable generators are expensive, but they need extra cost for maintenance and repair. Portable generator’s overall cost is relatively minimal than other benefits, especially during an emergency.


The life expectancy of the portable generator varies from one brand to another. It also varies based on maintenance and exercising. To extend the generator’s lifespan, it’s essential to prioritize your time spent operating the generator at times of power outage.

Regular maintenance and cleaning of generators can offer an increased life span of the generator with additional benefits for the users, which you’ll fall in awe with.