How much propane does a generator use-Consumption, Capacity & Calculation

A generator is a machine that is usually meant to be used as a backup power source for a period when the power supply is not available. You can use a portable generator in homes, camping, and whenever you need a light source.
Generators are the best way to provide a power source when working off-site.
If you want to know how much propane does a generator use? You must be looking into the size, weight, and capacity of a propane generator.

Generally, a portable propane generator uses two to three pounds per hour when you run a generator on full load.

Based on the capacity and performance, you can either have large generators as stand-by that work for longer hours or small portable generators. If you are having a camping generator or going to buy a generator for camping, you must know about the running capacity of a generator or how long will a generator run. The running capacity of a generator will depend on different factors.

  • Type of generator
  • Type of fuel
  • Size of generator’s tank
  • The fuel-consuming capacity of the generator

Therefore, the running capacity of every generator is different from one another depending on these factors. The selection of a perfect generator with a long-running capacity is a difficult task.

Types of generators based on fuels

Based on fuels, generators are of different types and have different running capacities. Some of the most common types are given below:

  • Gasoline generators
  • Propane generators
  • Standby generators
  • Solar generators
  • Natural gas generators

Propane generator

A propane generator is an automatic machine that is used to produce electricity by burning propane as fuel. This propane generator is also called a dual fuel generator. A propane generator will be a great choice for you if you need a portable generator for camping and your home, due to the longer shelf life of propane.

Working of propane generator

Just like the other generators, a propane generator is working on the principle of conversion of heat energy into electrical energy. This generator converts the energy of the combustion of propane fuel into electricity.

A propane generator usually has two large tanks of propane attached to a single line of gas. Open the valve of one tank by keeping the valve of another tank close. When one tank of fuel is fully consumed, simply open the valve of the other tank. During this process, one thing you should check in the generator is the amount of engine oil. If your generator has a large amount of oil, it will continuously run for 8 days or 200 hours.

If you use your generator for more than 24 hours, you should check how much your generator is heated, because it can damage your generator. To avoid heating use a cooling fan.

How long will a generator run on propane?

A propane generator is the most commonly used generator because of its large running capacity as compared to other generators. The amount of propane a generator can use is given below.

  • The standard propane generators which are locally available in stores usually have a fuel tank of 4.5 gallons and have a running capacity of 8 to 12 hours.
  • The propane camping generator with large fuel tanks of 500 and 1000 gallons has a larger running capacity. A generator with a 500 gallons tank has a running capacity of 8 days or one week. The generator with a 1000 gallons tank has a running capacity of 2 weeks or 14 days continuously.

Advantages of the propane generator

The popularity of the propane generator is due to the better shelf life of propane, running capacity, environmental effects, and low cost. Many other factors will make the propane generator a better option compared to other generators.

  • Easy storage

It is quite easy to store propane for a long time in large tanks because propane has a long shelf life as compared to gasoline or diesel. The tanks used for the storage of propane are more resistant to leaking.

  • Environmental friendly

The propane generator is good for the environment because it reduces pollution and produces a low amount of carbon monoxide ( CO). The poisonous CO in the environment reacts with oxygen and converts it into a strong greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. This greenhouse gas badly affects the environment.

  • Good for humans

Propane is also good for people who are asthma or allergic to the bad smell of gasoline or diesel. Because propane is an odourless gas without any colour.

  • Low-cost fuel

The propane generator is also better as compared to other generators because of its low-cost fuel. It is easily available in stores due to its large life and low cost.

  • Fuel is not degraded

Another benefit of the propane generator is that the fuel used in this generator doesn’t degrade and you can store it for a long time without any loss

Disadvantages of propane generator

Along with all the advantages mentioned above, propane generators also have some disadvantages. Let’s check what are the disadvantages of the propane generator.

  • It has lower energy density or burns fastly
  • Highly temperature sensitive
  • Difficult to repair propane generator


I hope now you are completely aware and understand how long a propane generator runs. A propane generator or Dual fuel generator is one of the best choices for you for outdoor camping. These generators can be the most reliable backup energy source due to their low cost, large shelf life, better running capacity, and environmentally- friendly nature. These generators can be used as home generators because of their ease of use. You can easily rely on your generator in times of natural hazards. However, this generator also has some cons but they are still the best generators as a source of backup power.

Frequently Asked Questions About How much propane does a generator use

The efficiency of the propane generators is lower as compared to gas generators. But as propane generators have a clearer burning fuel than gas generators they are good for both the environment and the working of your generator.

The propane generators are environmental-friendly generators due to less production of environmental pollutants as compared to gasoline or diesel generators. It produces a lower amount of CO.

No! We can’t run a propane generator on natural gas. A natural gas generator is different from a propane generator. Some modifications are required in the propane generator to run it on natural gas. If the generator has fan-forced combustion air it may run on natural gas.

No! We can’t use a propane generator indoors. Don’t use a propane generator in your home, basement, shed, coral space, or any close place.

A 20-pound propane generator uses an average of 2 to 3 pounds of propane per hour. You can run a generator for 1 to 2 hours while at medium load.